Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Jamie Foxx
While the beloved ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End has cemented writer-director Edgar Wright’s reputation in the British film industry, his footing across the Atlantic has been slightly less solid. His first American film, Scott Pilgrim vs the World struggled to find its market despite being a lot of fun, and then there was the saga of Ant-Man which ultimately saw him walk away from the Marvel project. However Wright’s latest film, the genre bending action, heist, music video Baby Driver, could just be the film to establish him as a Hollywood director.
Nobody drives like Baby (Ansel Elgort). He’s fast. He’s creative. Baby drives to music. In fact, he lives his whole life to music. Continue reading
Director: Will Gluck
Starring: Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Cameron Diaz
It is the musical remake that nobody was asking for: a loose, modern retelling of Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin’s beloved stage musical Annie. Gone is the traditional red hair and chirpiness of Little Orphan Annie, which this film lampoons in its opening moments. This Annie, played by Quvenzhané Wallis (from Beasts of the Southern Wild), is no orphan, she’s a foster kid and a savvy one at that.
Annie’s life is changed when she is pulled from the path of a car by Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) – our substitute Daddy Warbucks – a telecommunications mogul running for Mayor of New York. The incident is captured on video and goes viral, giving Stacks a much needed bump in the polls. With Annie seemingly his election trump card, Stacks’ cynical campaign manager arranges for him to foster her for the period of the campaign.
In seeking to modernise the story the filmmakers appear to have forgotten just how important historical context is to Annie’s tale. Continue reading