Four new films to see this week – The Irish Times

Four new films to see this week – The Irish Times


Corsage ★★★★★

Directed by Marie Kreutzer. Starring Vicky Krieps, Florian Teichtmeister, Katharina Lorenz, Jeanne Werner, Alma Hasun, Manuel Rubey, Finnegan Oldfield. 15A cert, gen release, 115 min

In Kreutzer’s innovative historical drama, Krieps plays Empress Elisabeth of Austria, the beloved 19th-century monarch whose 1898 assassination – an event transmogrified by Kreutzer’s script – was part of an escalating sequence that led to the first World War. Corsage shares some obvious DNA with Pablo Larraine’s Spencer and Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. But where those films swoon for their put-upon heroines, Krieps brings an unapologetic flintiness. Kreutzer’s inventive fifth feature is complemented by cinematographer Judith Kaufman’s original high-angled dinner tables and low-angled horses. Take that, The Crown. TB

The Kingdom: Exodus ★★★★☆

Directed by Lars Von Trier, Morten Arnfred. Starring Mikael Persbrandt, Bodil Jorgenson, Lars Mikkelsen, Alexander Skarsgard, Willem Dafoe, Udo Kier. Mubi, 312 min.

The concluding five episodes of Von Trier’s spooky hospital series come together as the most unsettling Christmas movie of all time. Returning a quarter of a century after season two, we wind the usual morass of scuzzy, messed-up horror – this time threaded with metatextual gags. Almost everything Von Trier does, even when deathly serious, is some sort of a joke. Indeed, he is, perhaps, at his most jocular when at his most earnest. Boasting diverting, angular performances, The Kingdom: Exodus is mischievousness on a dementedly grand scale. There is nobody quite like Von Trier. DC

France ★★★★☆

Directed by Bruno Dumont. Starring Léa Seydoux, Blanche Gardin, Benjamin Biolay, Emanuele Arioli, Juliane Köhler, Gaëtan Amiel, Jawad Zemmar, Marc Bettinelli. Mubi 133 min

The latest from the endlessly unpredictable Dumont is as broad as the hexagon-shaped country it giddily satirises. Shots are fired at the 24-hour news cycle, embedded journalism, and Macronism in a having-it-all melodrama built around a celebrity journalist bluntly named France de Meurs (Seydoux, never better). Dumont has seldom attempted so many swerves and shifts as he manages here. France, like the director, makes for a pleasing guessing game. The late composer Christophe, whose iconic track Road to Salina enlivened Kill Bill Vol 2 and Let the Bodies Tan, takes his final bow with a superb score. TB

Wildcat ★★★☆☆

Directed by Melissa Lesh, Trevor Beck Frost. Featuring Harry Turner, Samantha Zwicker. Limited release, 106 min

A couple in a remote part of the wilderness make friends with a young wild cat and seek to educate the beast towards a release back into its natural habitat. Sound familiar? This often gripping documentary looks to have translated the story of Born Free to contemporary Peru. Harry Turner and Samantha Zwicker work hard to rehabilitate an orphan ocelot while Harry seeks to process traumas hanging over from his time serving in Afghanistan. The nature photography is strong, but the film is ultimately more concerned with Harry than his charge. An odd beast. DC