Previews: Ad Astra Poster, The Current War, More!

Lots to see in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Ad Astra poster, The Current War, Pain And Glory, and more…

Ad Astra Poster

Here is the brand new Ad Astra poster. The film, directed by James Gray, is about an astronaut who travels to the edge of the solar system to find his missing father. Brad Pitt heads the cast, and is joined by Tommy Lee Jones and Ruth Negga. Ad Astra launches onto UK screens on 18th September 2019.

The Current War Trailer

Above is the trailer for the forthcoming The Current War. Set in the late 19th century, the film is about the rivalry between Thomas Edison and entrepreneur George Westinghouse. The enviable cast includes Michael Shannon, Benedict Cumberbatch, Katherine Waterston, Nicholas Hoult, and Tom Holland. Counting Martin Scorsese as an executive producer, The Current War hits UK cinemas on 26th July 2019.

Pain And Glory Trailer

Here is the latest trailer for Pain And Glory. Directed by Pedro Almodóvar (The Skin I Live In, I’m So Excited), the film is about an ageing film director and a series of re-encounters. The film, which stars Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, will be released in UK cinemas on 23rd August 2019.

21 Bridges Poster

21 Bridges is an upcoming thriller with quite a cast. The film stars Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, Taylor Kitsch, Stephan James, and J.K. Simmons. 21 Bridges is a thriller about a New York detective involved in a city-wide manhunt for a pair of cop killers. The film is set for release in UK cinemas on 27th September 2019.

BFI August Season

There is plenty to look forward to at the BFI Southbank this August, leading with a season of Cary Grant films. Classics such as The Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday, and Notorious will be screened in August. Other highlights include a preview of Pain And Glory and a Q&A with Pedro Almodóvar, and a preview of Netflix’s upcoming The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance television series. More details of the full programme can be found here.

Film Review: If Beale Street Could Talk

Barry Jenkins has created one of the best films of the year with the beguiling If Beale Street Could Talk. The film is powerful viewing.

In 1970s Harlem, Tish and Fonny are in love. When Fonny is accused of a crime, Tish and her family do their best to prove his innocence…

Barry Jenkins exhibits his mastery as a filmmaker with If Beale Street Could Talk. An adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel, the film tells the story of Tish and Fonny. Despite being set in the 1970s, the film feels as relevant as ever. 

There is so much to be in awe of in If Beale Street Could Talk. Jenkins’ attention to detail is superb. His storytelling is absolutely enchanting. The narrative begins in the middle, before telling the love story through a series of flashbacks interspersed with present day scenes. Jenkins let the relationship unfold in a careful and natural manner, letting viewers fall in love with the characters as they themselves fall in love. 

Despite the age of the source material, the film is incredibly resonant today. The themes of persecution of minorities, police brutality, discrimination are all present. Jenkins deals with these themes sensitively, yet does not shy away from frankness. The conversation between Fonny and Daniel is one of most powerful moments in If Beale Street Could Talk. It really gets to the bones of issue; the trauma feels real. Elsewhere the show of solidarity from the landlord is an incredibly moving scene. 

Jenkins frames characters in such a beautiful way. The cinematography by James Laxton is wonderful. There are several beautiful shots, such as the close up of Fonny on the phone delivering his moving monologue. The camera is fluid in other situations, sweeping the viewers into the action. The use of colour and lighting charms. The score works very well; it is distinct from the diegetic music, but beautifully sets the mood. 

Performances are flawless all round. Kiki Layne and Stephan James are superb. Layne’s quietness is perfect, while James is so expressive. Regina King finally gets a role with real meat; she is wonderful. Colman Domingo is also great.

If Beale Street Could Talk shows Moonlight was no fluke. Barry Jenkins is one of the best directors working today.

If Beale Street Could Talk is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2018.