Welcome back to my Home Movies! This week, we have two very different films competing for top honors in The Menu and Till. Today also brings an unusual little comedy in Spin Me Round, as well as a new Criterion Collection release to shelves. Which movie did I go with for my pick? Read on to find out…
When I first saw The Menu at the Toronto International Film Festival, it mostly bounced off of me, aside from Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy being pretty great. A recent revisit, however, clued me in more to what everyone else was so gaga over. I still don’t love it, but it’s a much more interesting film than I initially gave it credit for being. Even back at TIFF, when I was much more lukewarm on the movie, I was into the performances, as you can see here:
Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy lead an admittedly game cast. Fiennes is a mad scientist of a chef, delighting himself throughout, while Taylor-Joy does the best at hiding her motivations. Their scenes together crackle like bacon. They’re the highlights, pretty clearly. Among the supporting players, Nicholas Hoult has some great douchebag moments, while Hong Chau is a strong ice queen.
If not for the work of Danielle Deadwyler, I’m not sure Till would be on anyone’s radar. The film is the sort of historical biopic the industry seems to have grown tired of, outside of incredible acting. So, without question, Deadwyler is the highlight, so much so that the movie demands your attention because of her. Back at the New York Film Festival (here), I said almost the exact same thing:
Till is the Danielle Deadwyler show, playing the mother of the tragic figure at the core of the film. She’s terrific, while the movie is just mostly solid. So she elevates the picture, though the less charitable description would be that the flick doesn’t aptly support her work. Essentially, you have a performance impossible to forget, within a biopic that may prove somewhat hard to otherwise remember.
Also Available This Week
Detective Knight: Redemption
Speak No Evil
Lars von Trier’s Europe Trilogy
From The Criterion Collection: “With his dazzling first three features, Lars von Trier sought nothing less than to map the soul of Europe—its troubled past, anxious present, and uncertain future. Linked by a fascination with hypnotic states and the mesmeric possibilities of cinema, the films that make up the Europe Trilogy—The Element of Crime, Epidemic, and Europa—filter the continent’s turbulent history, guilt, and traumas through the Danish provocateur’s audacious deconstructions of genres including film noir, melodrama, horror, and science fiction. Above all, they are bravura showcases for von Trier’s hallucinatory visuals, with each shot a tour de force of technical invention and dark imagination.”