Sunday, 3 June 2012

The Best Cinema In The North West - That's A FACT

We had a great day in Liverpool yesterday. We started out at John Lewis to try and get a few ideas for the kitchen in the new house in Suffolk. The designer was a lovely lad but his design wasn't a great deal different from the one we came up with and we were hoping for a bit of inspiration. At least we got a good idea of how many units we can have and the appliances available.

From John Lewis it was on to Waterstones for a coffee and a bite to eat. There was another of their lunchtime talks and readings going on but sadly we were too late to listen to it properly. After Waterstones it was time for our favourite cinema - FACT. I don't think we will miss too much when we move down south but we will certainly miss FACT. With its exhibitions, cafe and bar it's so much more than a cinema and it screens such a great range of films. We've got a perfectly good multiplex here in Southport in VUE but there's very little chance of the two movies we chose to see yesterday getting a showing there.

We started with Ken Loach's latest - The Angel's Share. It's a good little film but it does raise a few moral dilemmas. Stealing is wrong - yes? But Robin Hood was good - yes? So stealing is okay if it's only some unfortunate rich guy who loses out and some poor people benefit - yes? If you can go along with that then this tale of a group of young Glaswegian scallies who we meet at the opening of the film as they receive their community service orders is a fun and enjoyable piece of cinema although it also has a dark side. The brains behind the operation Robbie (Paul Brannigan) is a young thug whose girlfriend has threatened to leave with his newborn son if he doesn't end his violent ways (difficult considering half of Glasgow wants to kick seven bells out of him). Introduced to the delights of fine whisky by the affable head of the community service team Harry (John Henshaw), the intelligent Robbie is a fast learner and when the rarest cask ever to come on the market surfaces he sees an opportunity. What follows is an ingenious and very funny plot carried out by by Robbie and his small band of kilted merry men. There are fine performances by the entire cast but even as the film closes with a generous gesture from Robbie you do have to question the ethics behind it.

After The Angel's Share we went straight into Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. If you enjoyed The Royal Tenenbaums you'll appreciate that Anderson's films can be a bit different and different this certainly is. The camera is often straight in front of the subject which Anderson places centre screen and films in such close up as to often become distorted. There's a star cast including Ed Norton, Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray but the film is stolen by Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman as Suzy and Sam. Twelve year old orphan Sam (who looks like a young Johnny Depp) is attending scout camp on the small island where slightly older Suzy lives. They fall in love and run away together. The rest of the scouts headed by scoutmaster Norton, Suzy's family, the police in the shape of Bruce Willis along with Tilda Swinton as social services are in hot pursuit. The love story is charming, the chase is hilarious and the underlying theme of family is beautifully done. If you like quirky you will like this. We both loved it.