The Lost Daughter has everything you could want: It is full of great casting and a stunning performance by Olivia Colman.










The Lost Daughter                                                                         Cert: 15, 2hrs 1min

Rating:

Tender Bar                                                                             Cert: 15, 1hr 44mins

Rating:

Spider-Man has no way home                                            Cert: 12A, 2hrs 28mins

Rating:

9 Days                                                                                        Cert: 15, 2hrs 4mins

Rating:

Maggie Gyllenhaal is an excellent actress who has displayed a remarkable fearlessness and was happy to assume roles others might decline.

Gyllenhaal is always willing to take on roles that others might not, from the young worker in Secretary who explores a sado-masochist love relationship to the teacher caught in a midlife crisis in The Kindergarten Teachers to The Secretary Employee.

She now displays the same creative courage when she takes the stage behind the camera as an adapter of Elena Ferrante’s novel and as director. The Lost Daughter.

The Lost Daughter, starring Olivia Colman and Dakota Johnson (above), is a complex story told with few words but heaps of atmosphere and tension

The Lost Daughter, starring Olivia Colman and Dakota Johnson (above), is a complex story told with few words but heaps of atmosphere and tension

Watching Olivia Colman as a short-tempered and socially awkward academic who struggles to enjoy a single Mediterranean beach holiday gives us a sense of the direction we may be going.

Leda Colman starts looking disapprovingly towards Dakota Johnson, a beautiful young mother and her doll-loving little daughter.

But not so fast – the likes of Gyllenhaal and Colman don’t do predictable.

Colman is a muddy actor, delivering a show of quiet intensity mixed with constant surprises. She also gets fantastic support from Jessie Buckley who plays a younger Leda, in flashback.

Gyllenhaal manages to tell a complicated story in few words while maintaining tension and atmosphere. It is disturbing, but it’s very effective.

George Clooney may have enjoyed a similarly enjoyable hour. Tender BarHe directs the film, rather than playing the lead role in it.

It tells the story of J. R., the young son of a much disappointed single mum and absentee father who finds solace and sanctuary, not just in the domestic chaos of his grumpy grandfather’s noisily crowded house but also in the wisdom of his Uncle Charlie (Ben Affleck) and the kindness of the customers at his book-lined bar.

Clooney draws lovely performances from his ensemble cast (Affleck is superb, and look out for Christopher Lloyd as J. R.’s grandfather) but it’s a film that runs out of energy as adulthood approaches and a distinctly underwhelming journalistic memoir takes over. 

However, corduroy jackets make great gifts.

Having been identified publicly as Spider-Man at Far From Home by Mysterio, Spider-Man has no way home sees 17-year-old Peter Parker (Tom Holland) trying to sort out the whole sorry mess.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is moving and touching enough to send emotional fans out on to the streets feeling they’ve seen something important. Zendaya and Tom Holland (above) star

Spider-Man: No Way Home is moving and touching enough to send emotional fans out on to the streets feeling they’ve seen something important. Zendaya and Tom Holland star (above).

But when he turns to fellow Avenger Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for help, a powerful spell goes wrong and suddenly all sort of enemies start tumbling out of Spider-Man’s past.

Except the likes of Doc Ock (Alfred Molina) and Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) aren’t exactly from this Spider-Man’s past, are they?

What ensues – at least after some initial sluggishness – is clever, ambitious and hugely spectacular. 

But it’s also moving and touching enough to send emotional franchise fans out on to the streets feeling they’ve seen something important… and no doubt very expensive too.

Do you remember your Soul? Well, 9 DaysThis is similar to the previous, except it’s live-action. The interviewer Winston Duke gives adult humans nine days to convince him (a methodical and emotionally distracting interviewer) that they are worthy of being born to experience real life.

It’s strange, stylised and a little slow, but surprisingly profound on what it takes to live a life properly.

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