Cert: 15 Runtime: 97 mins Director: Steven Soderbergh Cast: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Juno Temple, Jay Pharoah and Polly McKie
Is she or isn’t she?
After Steven Soderbergh’s triumphant return with Logan Lucky was he going to go to retirement?No! Probably one of the most intriguing and experimental film-makers now brings us Unsane. Completely shot on an iPhone with the FiLMiC app, Soderbergh keeps challenging himself and us an audience. So what is Unsane about you ask? Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy) relocates from Boston to Pennsylvania to escape from the man who’s been stalking her for the last two years. While consulting with a therapist, Valentini unwittingly signs in for a voluntary 24-hour commitment to the Highland Creek Behavioral Center. Her stay at the facility soon gets extended when doctors and nurses begin to question her sanity. Sawyer now believes that one of the staffers is her stalker — and she’ll do whatever it takes to stay alive and fight her way out.
There is a real sense of panic and claustrophobia thanks to the use of wide lenses and close proximity to the actors that probably is in large part due to the fact it was shot on a smartphone. You really feel like you are thrust into the very middle of this nightmare – so kudos to Soderbergh for that. This is genre film-making at its very best – and blast to watch and a reminder that Soderbergh is a master of his trade and can effortlessly move between genres. Steven Soderberghs nicely plays with the audience and permanently asks the question is she rightly there or indeed insane? Its a stalking drama that turns into a mystery thriller until it reaches its point as a horror film. Claire Foy is a tour de force as Valentini, such a convincing performance she kept us guessing through out. Utterly strong, harrowing and mesmeric. As for the supporting cast Juno Temple and Joshua Leonard were on prime form too. They really drove Unsane along with Foy, and elevates the mysteriousness of it. Unsane won’t be for everyone, but Soderbergh and Foy have created a mind-boggling film that leaves you on the edge of your seat.
Cert: 12A Runtime: 118 mins Director: Steven Soderbergh Cast: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Farrah Mackenzie, Katherine Waterston, Seth MacFarlane and Katie Holmes
Is it twenty or is it thirty?… We are dealing with science here!
Steven Soderbergh the man that came out of retirement again! But was is worth it? Logan Lucky has only grabbed the attention of us cinema-goers recently. Logan Lucky marks the return of Soderbergh after the captivating Behind the Candelabra. Soderbergh went to great lengths to make this film, in order to have full creative freedom he opened his own studio so that he could distribute Logan Lucky himself. What is it about you ask? Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) is from a blue-collar family from the hills of West Virginia, whose clan has been famous for its bad luck for nearly 90 years. After being fired from his job, and with his ex-wife (Katie Holmes) threatening to move out of State taking their daughter with her, Jimmy decides he has to do something to get his family’s life back on track. With a little help from his brother Clyde Logan (Adam Driver), his sister Mellie (Riley Keough) and an incarcerated explosive expert, the aptly named Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), he plans to steal $14 million from the Charlotte Motor Speedway on the busiest race day of the year.
Welcome back Mr.Soderbergh! Logan Lucky kept my eyes glued to the screen for 118 glorious minutes. It has a divine plot, exquisite action scenes and comedic jokes. It’s a zany comedy about unremarkable characters punching well above their weight but through sheer luck managing to pull things off. Half the fun of the film is seeing things not happening to plan but somehow working out in the end. To its credit, the film never treats itself too seriously and invites you to laugh along with the character’s mishaps and the farcical parts of the story are frequently the funniest.The film does an excellent job humanising our heroes by exploring and framing their environments as a point of fact. One gag involving a prison riot and a jab at George R.R. Martin’s glacial writing pace is as screwy as it is funny. For the most part, the film moves along at a nice pace. Soderbergh’s edits employs slick, fast cut editing to keep the heist scenes interesting and involving.
Every single performer involved is giving it their all, and everyone does a fantastic job with the phenomenally amusing characters created by screenwriter Rebecca Blunt (or is it actually Soderbergh?). Tatum and Driver are both incredible and play off each-other exceptionally as two brothers who love one-another despite their differences and sometimes conflicting personalities. The film wisely gives them both a lot of sympathy and flaws so that the audience never turns against them, and despite what they’re doing being completely illegal, you’ll quickly find yourself rooting for them. Supporting roles by the likes of Mackenzie, Holmes, Riley Keough and even a small turn by Hillary Swank are all played very well and lend a lot to the proceedings. And of course there’s Daniel Craig… Fans who only know him as the latest James Bond might very well want to check this movie out, because Craig shows just how versatile and talented an actor he really is. Adam Driver for me was the best of the bunch. There really isn’t a single thing I can say to the film’s detriment. It’s a perfect, well-oiled machine that knows exactly what it is, and places all of its focus on being the best it can be.