Odeon CinehallPiazza Strozzi, Florence | Show dates and times subject to change | www.odeonfirenze.com | 055.214068
Ricki and the Flash ***
September 10–17, 19–20
Get ready for Ricki, ageing rock-chick guitarist whose single-minded quest for stardom took her away from the family she now seeks to reengage with. Meryl Streep as you’ve never seen her before. ‘A breezy but touching dysfunctional family dramedy, with real heart and some genuine musical soul’ (Screen International). ‘Although sweet and likable, Ricki and the Flash pulls too many punches to qualify as cathartic or even memorable. Instead, it’s a crowd-pleaser every bit as calculated and earnestly defanged as a Golden Oldies bus-and-truck tour’ (Washington Post). ‘Seeking spontaneity and release for her character, Ms. Streep gets stuck in a laboriousness that I don’t want to belabor, since her efforts are gallant—she does her own singing and playing—and there are fleeting moments of real fun. Still, it’s hard not to wonder why so much in the movie went so wrong’ (Wall Street Journal).
The controversial and painful story of Amy Winehouse in her own words. Asif Kapadia’s (rather long) documentary following his excellent Senna angered the singer’s closest and informs her fans. ‘It is the achievement of Amy, Asif Kapadia’s accomplished, quietly devastating documentary, that it makes the story of this troubled and troubling individual surprisingly one of a kind by allowing us to, in a sense, live her life along with her’ (Los Angeles Times). ‘It is an overwhelming story, and despite everyone knowing the ending, it is as gripping as a thriller: Kapadia has fashioned and shaped it with masterly flair’ (Guardian). ‘A surprisingly seamless biographical documentary, one that, even though it’s been constructed largely from found elements, feels gracefully whole’ (Village Voice).
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. ***
Saving the world never goes out of style. It’s the 1960s and stylish saviours Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin are the men from United Network Command for Law Enforcement confronting a heinous bunch of nuclear weapon proliferators in Guy Ritchie’s revamping of the franchise. ‘It succeeds admirably on its own terms—more so, I think, than his two Sherlock Holmes’ films—and while it never really transcends pastiche, its ambitions don’t lie in that direction’ (Telegraph). ‘Though it’s made with lots of modern tricks and technology, it’s old-fashioned in the best sense, and not just because it’s set in the Sixties’ (Village Voice). ‘Being a mildly pleasant, passingly amusing light entertainment isn’t exactly saving the world, yet the film crosses its wires to blow up even that modest assignment’ (Los Angeles Times).
Far from the Madding Crowd ***
September 24, 26–27
Thomas Hardy’s Victorian classic filmed for the second time. Bathsheba Everdene’s three suitors—the trustworthy down-to-earth sheep farmer Gabriel Oak, the dashing opportunist Sergeant Troy and the staid and stolid William Boldwood—contend for her affections. ‘Director Thomas Vinterberg’s romantic rollercoaster honors Hardy’s rustic vibe. Remarkably, too, he’s made a thoroughly modern film anyone can relate to—it’s like a “what a woman wants” discussion set in Victorian times. It’s also an instant classic’ (New York Daily News). ‘Between the sheer on-screen beauty and the finely wrought performances of Mulligan and Schoenaerts, Far from the Madding Crowd has its appeal. Yet like unrequited love, one can’t help but lament what might have been’ (Los Angeles Times). ‘There is ultimately something very unbalanced in this movie: the female lead and one male support are outstanding; another supporting male is fine and the third is frankly uncomfortable and miscast’ (Guardian).
Inside Out *****
Meet the little voices inside your head. Riley is moved from Minnesota to San Francisco and on the cusp of adolescence the inner workings of her psyche controlled by Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness push and pull her in all directions. Unmissable Disney-Pixar gem. ‘Only in the medium of animation could a conceit as elaborate as Inside Out’s be dramatized, and only animation this well-designed and executed could bring such a story so vibrantly to life’ (Slate). ‘The level of invention is so high, and the density of detail is so great, that it’s impossible to absorb everything in a single viewing’ (Wall Street Journal). ‘Inside Out is an absolute delight—funny and charming, fast-moving and full of surprises. It is also a defense of sorrow, an argument for the necessity of melancholy dressed in the bright colors of entertainment’ (New York Times). ‘It hasn’t anything as genuinely emotionally devastating as Up, or the subtlety and inspired subversion of Monsters Inc. and the Toy Stories which it certainly resembles at various stages. But it is certainly a terrifically likeable, ebullient and seductive piece of entertainment, taken at full-throttle’ (Guardian). See it twice!