By Ashley Clark
The great Denzel Washington returns in a fairly quiet week for new releases at South London’s best cinema.
Denzel Washington is back in Robert Zemeckis’ Flight,a gripping drama about an airline pilot named ‘Whip’ Williams who saves a plane from crashing, but happens to be packed to the gills with coke and booze at the time. Whoops! Moral and legal complications swiftly ensue in Zemeckis’ first live-action drama since Castaway,which also features excellent support from the likes of Don Cheadle as a persuasive lawyer, and the near-ubiquitous John Goodman as Williams’ friendly drug dealer.
You can also still see Kathryn Bigelow’s vice-like controversy magnet Zero Dark Thirty, which has been the victim of more ideologically straitjacketed op-eds than I care to remember. It’s a disturbing and brilliantly constructed thriller that’s best viewed as an exploration of the vicious myopia of America’s vengeful foreign policy in the wake of 9/11.
Other films continuing their runs include Quentin Tarantino’s absurdly violent and horribly overlong buddy-slavery romp Django Unchained; Tom Hooper’s warble-fest among the poverty-stricken, Les Misérables; and Steven Spielberg’s stately historical epic Lincoln, in which Daniel Day-Lewis ingests slightly less scenery than usual. Ben Lewin’s charming The Sessions - about a real-life disabled poet’s sexual awakening, has also slipped into the programme. It’s worth a watch, and treats its subject with dignity, authority and economy. Puss in Boots 3D has a few morning screenings, and you could do much worse for the kids. Those at a loose end on Saturday afternoon should definitely check out The Punk Syndrome, a touching doc about a Finnish band with learning difficulties.
As per usual, the Ritzy offers up an exemplary slice of weekly rep programming, including late Friday and Saturday screenings of Roman Polanski’s rancidly authentic, classic L.A. noir Chinatown, as well as Danny Boyle’s buzzily iconic drug drama Trainspotting. Meanwhile, the Picturehouse’s Discover Tuesdays strand continues apace with a screening of David and Jacqui Morris’ compelling McCullin, a study of the charismatic, eponymous photojournalist.
All films showing at the Ritzy Cinema, Brixton Oval. Book tickets here.