Even an actor as good as Craig struggles to make sense of that more sensitive, more sharing version of Bond. Too many opposing cogs are creaking within a psyche that has never been much at home to contradiction. Then, towards the close, it comes together in such stirring form that only the most awkward customer will leave unsatisfied.
It’s certainly something to see – especially Malgosia Turzanska’s costumes and Jade Healy’s production design – and plenty to mull over but both the viewer and the film-maker should have guessed from the offset that there can only be one Barry Lyndon.
There’s enough drama to hold the film together for the uninitiated, although many fleetingly introduced characters suggest that – for all David Chase’s protests against streaming – we’re watching a pilot rather than a truly standalone project.
What Respect does have going for it is Jennifer Hudson and some stirring musical sequences. Just as these films have become loaded with cliches, the reviews have too often lazily argued that “[Lead Actor X] just about saves the day”. Well, here we are again.
A lively, coming-of-age fable featuring Rockwell’s family – including wife and former Fresh Prince star Karyn Parsons, daughter Lana and son Nico – Sweet Thing has been described by Tarantino as one of the most powerful new films to emerge in years. It’s certainly memorable.
Working from a libretto by the cult band Sparks, cult director Leos Carax’s English-language debut is unlikely to please mayonnaise mainstream tastes. But for those seeking surprises, spectacle, and shadows, Annette is a marvel like no other.
Destin Daniel Cretton, director of Just Mercy and Short Term 12, continues Marvel’s reasonably successful practices of unlikely hires from the indie sector. The dialogue is snappy. The action has real kinetic clatter. What a strange industry this has become.