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This Week's New Film Releases: Friday 17 April 2015

15 classification The Falling


Ents24 Rating


Genre: Drama
Director: Carol Morley
Running time: 102 mins

Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Carol Morley returns with her second narrative feature film, the mysterious The Falling. It's the late 1960s at a strict English girls school where 16 year olds Lydia (Maisie Williams of Game Of Thrones fame) and Abbie (newcomer Florence Pugh) are the best of friends. However, the differences between the girls are beginning to surface, as Abbie is becoming sexually active and Lydia sinks further within herself; bringing about a schism in their relationship. The secrets that are revealed during these turbulent times, along with the trauma associated with the death of a fellow pupil, seemingly precipitates an epidemic of mass hysterical fainting – the 'Falling' of the title – across the student body. The film that immediately springs to mind by way of comparison is Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock; recalling, as it does, the abstract eeriness that lingers over the girls. The Falling is a compelling coming-of-age psychodrama which sets itself apart with an intriguing set-up and refreshingly intelligent female casting and characterisation.

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12a classification The Good Lie


Ents24 Rating


Genre: Drama
Director: Philippe Falardeau
Running time: 110 mins

The Good Lie highlights the plight of the Lost Boys of Sudan; the generation of boys orphaned and displaced by the Civil War that raged from 1983-2005. Four Sudanese boys forge an unbreakable bond as they flee the death and destruction brought upon their villages by militiamen and begin the long trek towards the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. Thirteen years later, the friends (including real life Lost Boys and former child soldiers Ger Duany and Emmanuel Jal) are relocated to the United States as part of a resettlement programme. Upon arriving in Kansas, they meet Carrie Davis (Reese Witherspoon); an employment agency counsellor tasked with helping the young men find jobs. Increasingly drawn to her new charges, Carrie goes above and beyond to help the men reunite with estranged family members and rebuild their lives in this strange and distant land.

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15 classification Tea & Sangria


Ents24 Rating


Genre: Comedy / Romance
Director: Peter Domankiewicz
Running time: 110 mins

A lovestruck Romeo (David, played by Peter Domankiewicz who also wrote, produced and directed the film) arrives in Madrid to live with Spanish girlfriend Marisa (Angela Boix). When the relationship goes sour, David finds himself with no home and having to get to grips with a new culture and language. Rather than retreating to the familiarity of the UK, David immerses himself in Spanish culture and, with the help of some colourful locals, navigates his way through yet more romance and rejection. Touted as a charming alternative indie rom-com, Tea & Sangria is more successful as a love-letter to the city of Madrid; with the culture clash romance and comedy gaining minimal laughs.

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15 classification Stonehearst Asylum


Ents24 Rating


Genre: Thriller
Director: Brad Anderson
Running time: 112 mins

In 1899, young doctor Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess) arrives at the foreboding Stonehearst Asylum to learn more of the case of female hysteria patient Eliza Graves (the character after which the film was originally titled, played by Kate Beckinsale). He is greeted by hospital superintendent Dr Silas Lamb (Ben Kingsley) who, claiming ignorance of Newgate's expected arrival, welcomes him nonetheless. After witnessing Lamb's unorthodox treatment methods and receiving a warning from Graves to flee the asylum, Newgate finds numerous people imprisoned in the boiler room of the hospital; including Benjamin Salt (a bedraggled Michael Caine) who claims to be the real director of the asylum. Loosely based on a story by Edgar Allen Poe, Stonehearst Asylum plays its 'the lunatics have taken over the asylum' card early on, giving Kingsley, Caine and David Thewlis (as Finn) free rein to chew the scenery.

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Exit


Ents24 Rating


Genre: Drama / Romance / Foreign Language
Director: Hsiang Chienn
Running time: 94 mins

Highly praised on the festival circuit, Exit focuses on a Taiwanese woman's struggle with middle age and early onset menopause. Ling (Chen Shiang-Chyi ) has lost her job at a garment factory and spends her days tending to her hospital-bound mother-in-law, dealing with her rebellious daughter and lamenting the absence of her husband, who is working on mainland China. Ignored, frustrated and drifting into quiet despair, Ling's desires are reignited by a chance meeting with a male hospital patient. Caught between strict societal expectations and a burgeoning sense of self, Ling's struggles are the embodiment of the ever-present clash between traditionalism and modernity. A slow-burner, but an interesting meditation on an oft-overlooked section of society.

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