Mark Kermode and Jane Hill review the week's film and DVD releases, including Finding Your Feet, Dark River and I, Tonya.
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Manchester City on Sunday, all
coming up in Six Nations Sportsday
at 6:30pm on BBC News with meat Olly
Foster but now it is time for The
Hello and welcome to
The Film Review on BBC News.
To take us through this week's
cinema releases is Mark Kermode.
What have you been watching?
Interesting week, we have Finding
Your Feet, which I think is a
British drama comedy. We have I time
you with an astonishing performance
by Margot Robbie who also produces.
-- -ite Tonia. And the River, a new
film by Banyard.
Finding Your Feet,
even the poster looks like it
quintessential British gathering --
The poster doesn't do a
daughter favours, it's aimed at the
same audience that did best exotic
marigold hotel, a huge hit. The
story begins with Imelda Staunton as
Lady Sandra Abbott on the eve of her
retirement. She has her refinement
planned out, she leads a very posh
life and discovers suddenly that her
husband has been having an affair.
Here is a clip.
What the hell's going on?
We were just...
It's not what it looks like, Sandra.
Get off me.
How long's it's been going on?
Let's not do this here.
How long, Mike?
Since we all went to Sorrento.
Oh, bloody hell.
That's nearly five years ago!
I've had enough of all this
hide and seek, Mike.
How could you do this to me?
You're supposed to be my friend.
We even took you to the palace.
I didn't mean for this
to happen, Sandra.
You knew precisely
what you are doing!
Now, please calm down, Sandra.
Remember where you are.
I know exactly where I am,
in my own bloody home!
I have spent my entire
married life putting you
and your career first,
and what got me through was knowing
that when you retired
we would share our golden
But instead, you've traded me
in for a newer model.
And let me tell you, Mike.
She's had more than
one previous owner.
And all her bodywork
is mainly filler!
You laughed at least twice. Exactly,
because it's funny. She walks out
and goes to stay with her sister
with whom she is like chalk and
cheese and her sister basically
tells her, this life you have been
leading is an artificial life and
you have to learn to enjoy things
more, she goes swimming in the
Hampstead pond and ghost dance
lessons where she meets characters
like Joanna Lumley and a character
called Charlie named Timothy Spall.
Ends, Finding Your Feet. Yuna from
the outset that that character is
going to soften and discover more to
life than material possessions and
the dream of her husband's
retirement. You know from the outset
when she meets Timothy Spall and she
finds him abrasive and difficult she
will warm to him and you know from
the outset amongst the comedy there
will be tragedy and tears amongst
laughs. The question is how well
this all plays out. I have to say
rather better-than-expected. It was
charming and funny, not least
because it's a great cast. They are
throwing themselves into it and
having a very good time. It is well
directed by Richard Flanagan. No
cliche goes unturned. It owes a
certain structural debt to Nativity,
the Debbie is it film, and in fact,
funnily enough, it would've made
more sense to release this in the
run-up to Christmas because there is
slight Christmas theme to it so it
is odd coming out now. Despite your
reservations about the poster which
I understand I thought it was funny
and charming and unlike the
performances and my heart went with
it enough that when my head kept
going hang on, my heart went just
let it be and I did and I enjoyed
All right. OK.
You have seen I
Tonia as well.
Margot Robbie stars
and also produces.
implicated in an attack and her
career fell apart. It's been
nominated for awards. The film takes
the structure of telling
contradictory stories. Based on the
totally true and utterly
contradictory testimonies of its
central characters and during the
narrative we see each of the central
characters talking to the audience
either through fake interviews or
breaking the fourth wall, turning to
the audience and going, this didn't
happen. But essentially it is a
story of somebody who has come
through and abusive background. She
was beaten by her husband. She was
also attacked by her mother although
the mother who is an award winner
Allison Janney, says for heaven's
sake, show me a family that don't
have their ups and downs. It manages
to balance, in my opinion, the
serious subject matter of domestic
abuse, which it is about, with also
being filmed playing with post
modern conventions in a way that
reminded me of the film 24-hour
party people in which characters
will turn up and this didn't happen.
It's a film about a story being told
from lots of different perspectives
with a brilliant central
I found it hugely
watchable, I'm not going to lie, and
the story is fascinating. It was
that thing of turning to the camera
and being very jokey about something
precisely at the moment when they
are talking about domestic abuse and
he has just punched her. She marries
the first man who comes along and he
beats her up for years.
Unfortunately that is not a subject
Her mother says to her
at one point, you think you deserve
to be beaten and she said I would
never be with a man who beat me and
she says you beat up dad and she
says that's different. There is a
scene when Tonya Harding had a
shotgun and she says this never
happened. The triumph is it deals
with the serious issues were also
being entertaining and funny and
sharp. Essentially it gives you a
kaleidoscopic portrait and says, you
decide. Everyone watching it would
come out with the same opinion that
she is a survivor. Whatever else you
think she is a survivor.
and Allison Janney is a genius, that
is the other thing you would come
She eats that role for
She is just fantastic.
The Shape of Water. Wonderful.
River. -- Dark River. Easily
confused. It deals with abuse and if
different way. Ruth Wilson plays a
character who returns to the tenant
farm on which she grew up, she's
been away 15 years and her abusive
father has died and she comes back
to the farm which she feels she has
a right to take on the tenancy. Her
brother, however, is there
disagrees. Here is a clip.
I'm here now.
What good is that?
Really, I mean it's too
late now, isn't it?
I've been driving all night...
Where's she gone?
I've got to get my head down.
I can't do this now.
She broke her leg.
She needs culling.
Well, I'm not giving it mine.
Well, you'd better get
up there, hadn't you?
I haven't seen you for 15 years.
I'll wait with her.
Now, I am a huge fan of Clio
Barnard, it takes its title from a
Ted Hughes poem and has a surface
similarity to the levelling, and yet
it is absolutely Barnard's film.
It's about the way that trauma
affects people's memories, about the
way trauma affects people's
perceptions and it's about people
living with the ghost of an abusive
past. It's very powerful not least
because the performances are very
good which is something you expect
from Clio Barnard and also because
it is a film located very much in
the landscape, like The Levelling
Centres Like It Has The Feeling Of
Buried Family Secrets Coming Up From
The Ground. It Is Very Atmospheric.
Although The Subject Matter Is Very
Dark, The Tone Is Totally An
Exploitative, It Feels Like A Film
Which Wants To Understand The
Psychology Of Its Characters, It Is
A Very Sympathetic Film And Takes
This Complicated Situation Apart. I
Saw It Twice, First On A Small
Screen A Second Time Projected And I
Have To Say It Is A Film You Have To
See In The Cinema Because So Much Of
It Is To Do With The Immersive
atmosphere of it. This is not a film
you want to wait until it comes out
on DVD, you want to see it in the
cinema, it is a cinematic experience
and she is a really brilliant
film-maker and I thought it was a
very powerful piece dealing with
difficult subject matter but dealing
with it very intelligently.
wait and I love The Levelling and
God's Own Country. There is a whole
theme going on.
The message seems to
be not to be a farmer can because it
will be really tough. The Shape of
Water. This is my favourite film in
the cinema at the moment. I love
this film, Guillermo del Toro's Best
Film since pans Labyrinth, and I
think pans Labyrinth is the Best
Film of the 21st century so far. The
Shape of Water is on one level the
creature of the Black Lagoon meets
Splash, which sounds like it should
work, and yet it does.
something magical about it.
performance by Sally Hawkins, Doug
Jones brilliant as the creature, and
the thing Guillermo del Toro always
does is he has this great love of
what other people think of as
monsters. The real monster in this
film is in the amphibious man, it's
a very human character, set against
the backdrop of cold War paranoia
and the space race, there are
moments when it bursts into song and
there is a song and dance routines
suddenly in the middle of this. I
just loved it, it made me laugh, it
made me cry, I thought it was
beautiful. I think Guillermo del
Toro is a modern-day Orson Welles
and I love this film to pieces.
to look at as well it is stunning.
You should see it on a big screen
because it is such a treat visually.
How amazing that you could take a
story that is apparently so bizarre
and strange, and yet give it such
mainstream appeal. It is a film that
will work for pretty much everyone
because it's a fairy tale but also
grounded in a strange reality. Sally
Hawkins's performance is wonderful.
Terratec. Curious but fabulous. --
I will accept that.
liked your choice of DVD.
The party from hell, it has a
political backdrop, a group of
people together where this political
thing is happening and they have
secrets that suddenly get revealed.
What I love about it, it is a Sally
Potter film, black and white,
stripped to the bone, it is 71
minutes long, there isn't an ounce
of fat on it but it is sharp, the
dialogue is very acerbic. Timothy
Spall who is in Finding Your Feet
and terrific in all most everything.
It has a real brittle humour to it.
I thought at the beginning I would
find it a bit insular and
claustrophobic because it's pretty
much in one location. But it really
made me laugh. I thought it found
its darkly comic tone.
Yes, it is a
good watch. It is like a play for
And so brief, literally,
5-star running time.
Mark. It is a cracking week. A
reminder that before you go you will
find the film News and reviews on
the BBC online and all of our
previous programmes are on the
iPlayer of course. It's a great
week. Enjoy your cinema going. Bye