Banned from entering because of their gender, a group of female Iranian football fans attempt to sneak into Azadi Stadium in Tehran to watch a World Up qualifier. When they are arrested and corralled outside, waiting to be transferred to the vice squad to be charged, the women get to know each other and the soldiers who are holding them. The whole film is an interesting juxtaposition that lays bare the hypocrisies around the policies that the soldiers are being made to uphold. The film is both a moving social commentary and an amusing comedy. I found it charming and touching. Highly recommended.
A mocumentary about a portaloo supervisor probably sounds a bit shit (pun intended) but this peek into the fictional Kenny Smyth’s (Shane Jacobson) life is one of the most heart-warming films I’ve ever seen. Packing the same kind of punch as The Castle, salt of the earth Kenny proves that life is what you make it and that it’s possible to take pride in what you do, no matter what that is. Kenny is surrounded by naysayers, from his negative father and brother to his unreasonable ex-wife but somehow manages to see the silver-lining on everything, without ever being saccharine or unrealistic. This is an absolute must-see even if only for the incredible catchphrases, like:
There’s a smell in here that will outlast religion.
From the back she looked like a fridge with a head.
Mad as a clown’s cock.
You can’t be going around like a raw prawn.
And now for a little bit of Gothic fiction. This unusual take on the Jekyll and Hyde story is told through the eyes of housemaid, Mary Reilly (Julia Roberts) who, in becoming closer to her master, Dr Jekyll (John Malkovich), realises that there is something suspicious and very tantalising about his mysterious assistant, Mr Hyde. I really thought this was going to be a bit rubbish but I actually loved it. It crawls along at a bit of a snail’s pace but that adds to the increasingly dark atmosphere. Malkovich manages to be both sexy and creepy (as always) and Julia Roberts is surprisingly good, as the conflicted, Mary. Probably only good though if you like this kind of thing though. I can imagine a lot of people might fall asleep before the good bits.
Basically this is Friends With Benefits’ poorer, more boring cousin. Doctor, Emma (Natalie Portman) and screenwriter, Adam (Ashton Kutcher) agree to a “no strings attached” casual sex relationship, but it’s not long before Adam falls for Emma and all hell breaks loose. Unlike Friends With Benefits, which is sexy and often hilarious, this just felt flat. The leads have little chemistry and Portman is so annoying you kind of hope she’ll get hit by a bus halfway through. Please don’t bother.