Argo

I can’t remember the last time I felt so tense watching a film!

Reading a synopsis of the story (CIA involves Hollywood in creating a fake film in order to extract Embassy workers hiding from revolutionaries in Iran), you could have expected something unreal and downright stupid.

But the fact that we know this actually happened just ramps up the tension even more.

OK, we can allow that it didn’t happen exactly as portrayed in the film, but it’s testament to the excellent directing skills of Ben Affleck that this doesn’t matter a bit.

He doesn’t allow time to find out too much about the ‘houseguests’, and there is no opportunity to stop and think about what’s happening – but that’s the point.  The CIA man in charge (played by Affleck himself) doesn’t have time for any of that either; he just needs to extract the six people. And we need to watch him succeed.

A tight, excellently constructed film, and the ‘will they, won’t they’ sequence towards the end are some of the most tense few minutes I have ever experienced watching a film.

De rouille et d’os – Rust and Bone

You know when everyone raves about a film and you just don’t get it? That.

I had been looking forward to this ever since its great reviews at Cannes, but I left the cinema feeling, well, a bit cheated to be honest. Maybe I was expecting a totally different film.

The story essentially charts the relationship of a woman readjusting to life after an horrendous accident,and a man struggling to engage emotionally with anyone, including his young son.

Whilst the performances are almost faultless (particularly Marion Cotillard), this was just far too sentimental, and the character metamorphoses were painted with such broad brushstrokes as to be positively cliché.

A huge disappointment, but props to the CGI team who chopped Marion Cotillard’s legs off so convincingly.