Film reviews: In The Fade, Boom For Real, Freak Show and more… | Films | Entertainment

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As the film opens, Katja (Diane Kruger) is dropping off her son Rocco (Rafael Santana) at the office of her Kurdish husband Nuri (Numan Acar), a reformed drug dealer who is now working as a tax consultant.

She returns from enjoying a Turkish bath with her pregnant sister to discover there has been an explosion and her husband and son are dead.

She suspects this is the work of local Nazis but police believe the bomber was either one of Nuri’s Kurdish associates or a drug-dealing rival.

From here the drama turns into a murder mystery and a courtroom drama. Then after the verdict, it goes off the rails and morphs into a wildly implausible action movie.

Despite the tonal shifts and some sizeable storyline holes, the twisty plot and Kruger’s powerful performance should keep you hooked.

In The Fade is so outlandish that you never know what will happen next.

 

BOOM FOR REAL: THE LATE TEENAGE YEARS OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT ★★★★ (Cert 15, 78mins) 

THIS well-researched documentary provides a fascinating portrait of the artist as a young man.

Director Sara Driver, herself part of the New York art scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s, locates Basquiat’s rise in a DIY movement that gave us hip-hop, New York punk and graffiti art.

Friends, lovers and her partner Jim Jarmusch relate how a homeless 18-year-old harnessed these influences to become one of the most important painters of the 20th century.

The film assumes we understand the importance of his work and does not cover the period between the sale of his first painting in 1981 and his death by heroin overdose aged 27 in 1988.

But this is an engrossing study of a young artist and a vibrant period in American cultural history.

FREAK SHOW ★★ (Cert 12A, 91mins)

“BE a little less fabulous” is the advice given to the flamboyant hero of Trudie Styler’s clunky coming-of-age drama.

Waspish cross-dresser Billy Bloom (Alex Lawther) has been beaten into a coma by some of his classmates so we can see where his devoted best friend Flip (Ian Nelson) is coming from.

But Styler could have done with being a little less fabulous too. The costumes in her debut movie are eye-popping, the cinematography is gorgeous and supporting actors include Bette Midler and John McEnroe.

But she is so obsessed with the way her film looks that she forgets to craft a believable story.

Billy is a rich, Oscar Wilde quoting teenager whose mother has gone into rehab, meaning he has to live with his father and spend a semester at a new school with an assortment of high school movie clichés.

He is ridiculously intelligent, astonishingly confident and an unbelievably accomplished designer of self-made costumes.

And the more he is ridiculed, the more outrageously he dresses. His ensembles become so elaborate that they look like they were created by Hollywood costume designers rather than a teenage boy.

Which is part of the problem. And only after an hour spent watching Lawther strut down the school corridor in slow motion does a plot present itself when Billy decides to run for homecoming queen.

Freak Show is a well-meaning story but the characters don’t behave like teenagers.

Billy’s nemesis is a Biblethumping homophobe (Abigail Breslin) and his instantly devoted best pal Flip is a handsome, straight quarterback who dreams of becoming the new Jackson Pollock.

Unlike Flip’s idol, Styler paints with the broadest of strokes.

OVERBOARD ★★★ (Cert 12A, 112mins)

IF you had to find someone to step into Goldie Hawn’s shoes for a remake of her much-loved 1987 romantic comedy, winsome Anna Faris must feature pretty near the top of your list.

But instead of squeezing into Goldie’s high heels, she wears the battered work boots worn by Kurt Russell’s struggling single parent.

Faris plays a pizza delivery woman, carpet cleaner, trainee nurse and stressed out mum-of-three who clashes with spoilt rich kid Leonardo (played by Mexico’s biggest star Eugenio Derbez) when she is tasked with mopping his yacht after a wild night with a gaggle of models.

Shortly after getting Kate (Faris) fired, Leonardo falls overboard and suffers amnesia. So she hits on a way to pay him back.

She tricks “Leo” into thinking he’s her husband, gets him a back-breaking job on a building site with less well-heeled Mexicans and forces him to run the house while she studies for a nursing exam.

Obviously at no point will he learn the value of family and work and nor will they fall head over heels in love.

Credibility is definitely strained but the gender switch and the Mexican characters freshen it up with Leonardo delivering many lines in subtitled Spanish.

If only the jokes had been a little funnier and Faris and Derbez had a fraction of the chemistry of the still-married Russell and Hawn.

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