Nine years on from Sylvester Stallone’s return to the role of Rocky Balboa in the eponymous sixth instalment which featured the 60-year-old Rocky’s comeback to the ring and his relationship with son Robert, the franchise has been rebooted, this time by focusing on Balboa’s relationship with another son, Adonis (Michael B. Jordan), the illegitimate offspring of boxing champ Apollo Creed, who died in the ring before the kid was born.
A troubled youngster, raised by Creed’s widow, he grows up in L.A. determined to be a boxer under his mother’s name, Johnson, and takes off for Philadelphia to persuade the long retired Rocky to be his trainer. Naturally, after initially refusing to be drawn back into that world, the pair eventually team up as the predictable plot sets up the inevitable big championship fight, here between Adonis and the defending light-heavyweight champ, volatile Liverpool scrapper “Pretty” Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew). Adding an extra crimp to the narrative is the fact that Rocky’s diagnosed with a potentially terminal condition and, remembering the pain his late wife suffered, refuses treatment – until Adonis delivers his I fight, you fight speech.
Directed and co-written by Ryan Coogler, who made the hugely acclaimed low budget indie Fruitvale Station (in which Jordan also starred), it embraces all the genre clichés and crowd-working sentimentality, but avoids any whiff of stale cheese. There’s a considerable honest and earned emotional charge to many of the scenes, in particular the pair’s first encounter, while Cooley confirms his talent as a director in the way he shoots scenes (the long tracking shot of Adonis’s first big fight, for example, not to mention the electricity shooting from the screen in the climactic and bloody showdown at Goodison Park) and handles his cast.
Although slightly underused as the functional love interest, Bianca, an avant-garde R&B singer who’s slowly going deaf, Tessa Thompson delivers a brash but warm performance, but, as you’d expect, it’s the surrogate father-son relationship between Stallone and Jordan that delivers the knockout punches. Jordan is superb, all coiled anger, frustration, repressed emotions and hurt, digging deep into the script’s examination of young black men and absent fathers and the linked theme of legacy, while a vulnerable and understated Stallone (perhaps fuelled by memories of the loss of his son Sage) turns in one of the finest performances of his career, one that’s already earned a Golden Globes win that’s likely to be echoed by the Academy Awards. I’m not persuaded that talk of a sequel is such a good idea, as it’s hard to where this can go without repeating the Rocky formula, but, there’s no denying his fully deserves to wear its champion’s belt. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Empire Great Park, Sutton Coldfield; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Reel; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
A black and white Mexican coming of age comedy set in 1999 in which, too much of a handful for his mom, teenage Tomás is sent to stay with his elder brother Fede ,who’s studying in Mexico city, and his flatmate Santos. When the trio learn that their former rock star idol is dying in hospital, they pile into an old car to pay their last respects in what becomes, instead, a voyage of self-discovery. (Mon 18-Thu 21: MAC)
The Revenant (15)
In 1823, while out scouting game for the expedition he was with, frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass was attacked and mauled by a bear, Convinced he’d not survive, the expedition leader told two men, Bridger and Fitzpatrick, to remain with him until he died and give him a proper burial while the others moved on. Allegedly attacked by Indians, the pair grabbed Glass’s belongings and left him for dead. However, he regained consciousness and, though mutilated, over the next six weeks he first crawled and then rafted the 200 miles back to Fort Kiowa in South Dakota, his wounds tended by some friendly Native Americans, living on roots, berries and, at one point, after chasing off wolves, raw bison meat. Having recovered, he tracked down the men who had abandoned him in search of revenge, but forgave them.
His experiences made him a living legend, and his story, growing with each telling, found its way into various books, films (loosely inspiring Richard Harris Western Man In The Wilderness) and even a song by Of Monsters and Men. In 2002, it had another fictional retelling by Michael Punke in The Revenant, now brought to the screen in a bravura, gruelling 156 minute epic by director/co-writer Alejandro G. Inarritu.
The story has been added to again and here Glass (a soulful Leonardo DiCaprio) has a half-breed son, Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), his child by a Pawnee woman who, along with others of her tribe, was (as seen in flashbacks) slaughtered by the Army. The pair are guiding a pelt-gathering expedition in the Louisiana Purchase wilderness led by Captain Henry (Domnhall Gleeson) when they’re attacked by Native Americans hostiles after the pelts and searching for an abducted squaw. A handful of survivors escape in a boat, but soon decide to abandon this and trek back to the fort over the snow covered hills and mountains.
Along the way, the grizzly attack happens and the wounded Glass is left in the care of a sociopathic Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) and the younger, more honourable Bridger (Will Poulter).
As in life, they leave him for dead, except now Bridger (who, in real lifem went on to also become a frontier legend) is deceived into leaving by the self-serving Fitzgerald who has also murdered Hawk in front of his father’s eyes. What follows, as Glass pulls himself from his intended grave, is a bleak and often bloody tale of survival, driven by a thirst for revenge for his son’s death.
Although the focus sometimes shifts to follow either Henry’s party or Fitzgerald and Bridger, and Glass has an encounter with a friendly Pawnee who helps heal his wounds (and with whom he shares a marvellous scene as they catch playfully raindrops on their tongues) as well as a bloody run in with French trappers, for the bulk of the running time this is a one-man show, DiCaprio pushing himself to and beyond his limits in what was clearly harsh filming circumstances.
There’s some stunning action sequences, most especially the carnage of the opening attack, while the sequence where Glass rides his horse over a cliff and then guts its corpse so he can shelter, naked, inside the carcass, is a powerful evocation of the man vs. the elements will to survive. The documentary realism of Emmanuel Lubezki’s camerawork means you really feel every inch of the frozen ground over which Glass crawls and the sheer pain and terror when, in a remarkable up close, one-take scene, he’s clawed, bitten and tossed around by the bear like a rag doll, but, with several scenes involving hallucinations and dreams, at its heart this is a haunting, and often spiritual existential drama about a journey (involving some stunning but pitiless landscapes) into the heart of darkness and through to the other side in his quest for revenge.
Relentlessly bleak, harrowing and punishing, watching is almost as much a feat of primal endurance as the story itself, but it holds you transfixed and will stay with you long after the credits have rolled. It scored the big three at the Golden Globes, a feat almost certainly to be repeated at the Oscars. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Empire Great Park, Sutton Coldfield; Everyman; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Reel; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
Although the trailer pretty much gives way the entire arc and plot of the film, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, Emma Donoghue’s adaptation of her own bestseller is worth it for the core performances alone. Seven years after she was abducted as a teenager, Joy (Godlen Globe Best Actress winner Brie Larson), remains imprisoned in a small 10×10 garden shed where she receives regular visits from her sadistic captor, Old Nick (Sean Bridgers).
However, for the past five years, she’s not been alone, having given birth to her son, Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who’s just about to turn six. Jack knows nothing of the world outside the room other than what he’s can see through the skylight, what he’s been told by Ma and the flickering images he sees on their cheap TV, trying to distinguish between the cartoon images and actual people. Each day bidding good morning to the sparse fixtures and fittings he’s anthropomorphized, Room is the limit of his imagination and he finds it hard to believe his mother’s stories, just as he doesn’t fully understand why he has to hide in the cramped wardrobe on the nights that Old Nick visits.
After a lengthy set up that brings home the claustrophobia, both physical and psychological, of the pair’s daily existence, things then open up as Joy coaches Jack in an escape plan that sees their liberation, returning her to the world and presenting it to his naive eyes for the first time, the latter half of the film exploring his response and how he copes with this new life which makes him feel “spread thin all over the place, like butter”, and how Joy and her family handle the media attention.
Real life accounts of similar abductees underline that the premise isn’t that implausible, but it’s the psychological not the practical aspects with which the film’s concerned and it’s at its best in the first half, setting Joy’s fears and frustrations against Jack’s trusting acceptance, a feat that would have been hard to pull off without the astonishing performance from Tremblay who, for most of the running time, sports long hair that makes him appear like a girl.
Not everything is seen from a five-year-old’s perspective (as it is throughout the book’s monologue), and the scenes concerning Joy’s reaction to the media scrum (especially when an interviewer questions her motivations as a mother) and her new freedom feel more forced than those involving Jack, and, despite some terrific moments involving Joy’s now divorced parents (Joan Allen, William H. Macy) and her mother’s new partner (Tom McCamus), other than a heartrending moment when mother and son are separated, the film never quite has the same emotional charge in its latter post-traumatic half as it does in the first.
The score and voiceover don’t do the film any favours, assuming as they do that viewers need cues on how they should be responding, but the script never succumbs to such manipulation, trusting instead in its two stars to tell this story of wonder, hurt, discovery and a mother’s love without resorting to cloying movie of the week sentimentality. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC; Empire Great Park)
Sunset Song (15)
Revered British screenwriter and director Terence Davies comes over all Thomas Hardy with this adaptation of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s rural tragedy coming of age novel set in coastal Aberdeenshire on the eve of World War I. John Guthrie (Peter Mullan) is a volatile, abusive self-loathing farming patriarch with a brutal obsession with sex, religion and the land that sees him whipping his son, Will (Jack Greenlees), for taking the Lord’s name in vain, scorning his daughter Chris (an excellent Agyness Deyn who also provides the narration, much lifted direct from the book) in her attempt to get an education and better herself and regularly forcing himself on his wife whose existence (“like a breeding sow”) seems one long series of childbirths.
When she commits suicide and kills her two new babies, Will finally takes off leaving Chris to look after her father, a task that becomes more demanding when he suffers a stroke. One night, as she locks herself in her room to resist his incestuous efforts, the old man dies leaving Chris, much to her surprise, the entire estate. Now in charge of the ancient land she loves, she’s courted by and marries farm worker Ewan (Kevin Guthrie), but any happiness as a wife and mother is crushed with the arrival of war and her husband being pressured into signing up by pulpit condemnation of pacifists as “pro-German cowards”. A brief return on leave finds him a changed man, almost a mirror of Chris’s late father, and following his return to the front, further tragedy ensues. Yet through all, Chris remains as strong and enduring as the land.
Clearly influenced by Terrence Malick (notably in lengthy tracking shot of the community walking through corn fields to church) but also echoing his own early films, such as Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes, with both it and a later equally long take as the camera pans over the mud of the battlefield accompanied by haunting, hymnal music, All In The April Evening by the Glasgow Orpheus choir for the former and Scottish traditional The Flo’oers of the Forest sung by Ronnie Browne for the latter.
Rapturously photographed by Michael McDonough, it’s turns harrowing and lyrical, warm with fields of gold and bright skies yet also dark with rain and mud, pessimistic about the cyclical nature of man, cursed to repeat the same mistakes, yet also hopeful in the ability to endure, the film ending with a shot of standing stones, Chris framed against the landscape as a silhouetted lone piper plays Flo’oers. It took Davies 15 years to raise the money to make this labour of love, but the wait was well worth it. (MAC)
Black Mass (18) After a string of duds, Johnny Depp redeems himself with a ferocious turn in the ultra-violent true story of Whitey Bulger, a South Boston criminal who, strking a deal with childhood buddy John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) became an FBI informant to help take down the Mafia, the agency turning a blind eye to his activities in return. (Fri 15-Tu1 9: MAC)
Bridge Of Spies (12A) Tom Hanks serves up another decent family man doing the right thing turn in the true Cold War story of how insurance lawyer James Donovan was hired to defend Russian spy Rudolf Abel (Oscar favourite Mark Rylance) and then recruited by the CIA and sent to east Berlin to broker an exchange with the Soviets for captured spy plane pilot Gary Powers. Part written by the Coens and directed by Spielberg, there’s a terrific sense of period and the scenes between Hanks and Rylance are electrifying. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Showcase Walsall; Until Tue 5: MAC)
Brooklyn (12A) Saoirse Ronan is up there among the Best Actress tips for her outstanding portrayal of a young Irish girl who, in search of a better life, leaves her small-minded village in 50s Ireland for the US, boards with a bunch of extrovert girls in a house run by an eccentric landlady (Julie Walters), gets a job in a department store and falls for a young but poor Italian. But then tragedy calls her home, where she’s courted by a well to do local lad (Domhnal Gleeson) and finds herself caught between two worlds and two choices. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull)
Bugsy Malone (U) Alan Parker’s 1976 directorial feature debut, a musical homage to America’s Prohibition era gangster movies with an all child cast (including Jodie Foster) and cream-firing tommy guns. (Sun 17:Electric)
Carol (15) It lucked out at the Golden Globes, but there’s still heavy BAFTA and Oscar talk for both Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in this 1950s period drama with Mara as a Manhattan department store clerk who becomes involved in a lesbian love affair with Banchett’s older, well-to-do New Yorker trapped in a loveless marriage with custody of her daughter at stake. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull)
Daddy’s Home (12A) As expected, the pairing of Will Ferrell as insecure but steady nice guy stepdad Brad competing with Mark Wahlberg as the kids’ unreliable Alpha male biological father, Dusty, suddenly back in their lives after several years absence, is a bland sub-sitcom as the latter seeks to undermine and embarrass the former at every opportunity, Brad becoming ever more erratic in his attempts to measure up. Inbetween predictable knockabout slapstick there’s the equally predictable genitals size comparisons gags and assorted other obligatory raunchy banter (mostly from Thomas Haden Church as Brad’s boss) as well as tired racist misunderstanding set-ups. Avoid. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Empire Great Park, Sutton Coldfield; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Reel; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
The Danish Girl (15)
Having already won an Oscar playing someone physically trapped inside their own body, Eddie Redmayne is sure to be Oscar nominated for doing it again in director Tom Hooper’s classically styled factional story of Lili Elbe, an early receipent of sex reassignment surgery.
A successful Danish landscape artist, Einar Wegener (Redmayne) is married to less successful portraitist Gerda (Alicia Vikander, another Oscar nod); however, when she asks him to stand in for a sitting by prima ballerina Ulla (Amber Heard), Einar’s contact with the stockings and dress unlocks something buried inside.
Initially, his new cross-dressing predilections serve to spice up their sex life, but when first Gerda proposes he attend a reception dressed as Lili, Einar’s supposed cousin, and ‘she’ is propositioned, and then Gerda’s portraits of Lili become all the rage, so his female alter-ego assumes dominance. Seeing himself as a woman trapped in a man’s body, supported by Gerda and childhood friend art dealer Hans (Matthias Schoenaerts), Lili seeks to make the ultimate transformation. Elegant, tasteful and understated, it eschews some of the actual facts and events, but, driven by outstanding performances, it’s an utterly mesmerizing work. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Electric; Empire Great Park; Everyman; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza; Reel; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
The Good Dinosaur (PG) Set in a sort of vague Prehistoric Wild West, Pixar’s latest animation skews young and low on plot in a variation of the boy and his dog chestnut, the difference being that the boy is a dinosaur trying to find his way home and the dog is the feral young human with whom he forges a bond. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Empire Great Park; MAC; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
The Hateful Eight (18)
Channelling Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Westerns via Agatha Christie’s country house murder thrillers, Tarantino’s eighth feature is every bit as graphically visceral, cooly smart and brutally amoral as you’d expect. Snowbound in a Wyoming trading post, you’ve got bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell), his prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), fellow bounty hunter Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), hangman Oswaldo Mowbray (Tim Roth), taciturn cowpoke Joe Cage (Michael Madsen), former Confederate General Smithers (Bruce Dern), Tom (Demian Bichir), the Mexican who claims to be looking after the place while the ownesr are away, and former Confederate marauder Chris Mannix (Warren Goggins), the new sheriff of Red Rock, where Daisy’s to be hung and the hunters will get their bounty. Not unreasonably, given the $10000 reward, Roth’s wary that someone may want to take his prisoner. He’s right, but not for the reasons he thinks. And, among the enforced company of strangers, who might not be who or what they claim?
It’s some 100 minutes before the first bullets fly, but then the blood quickly flows as the body count rises and truth purposes are revealed, the last act delivering reveal flashbacks to earlier that day. Laced with social commentary on America’s racial and political divides, the dialogue crackles with barns and gallows humour, the cast chewing eagerly on the meat it offers. Jackson, Russell and Goggins are terrific, but it’s arguably Jason Leigh who steals the show as the magnificently unpleasant Daisy, strangely unperturbed by her approaching fate. (Electric; Empire Great Park, Sutton Coldfield; Everyman; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (12A) The conclusion to the saga as, part of a propaganda mission, alongside Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), whose conditioning to hate her has still not been fully overcome, Katniss goes against increasingly manipulative District 13 leader Coin’s orders and determines to penetrate the Capitol and assassinate Snow. Intense, dark and with a high major character body count, this bows out in powerful style. (Empire Great Park; Odeon Broadway Plaza; Showcase Walsall)
In The Heart of the Sea (12A) In 1819, under the captaincy of novice George Pollard Jr (Benjamin Walker) and experienced first mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth), the whaling ship The Essex set sail from Nantucket harbour in search of whale oil. Finding the usual area fished out, they headed into the South Pacific where, in November 1820, the ship was attacked and sunk by a giant white sperm whale, the survivors not finding rescue for a further three months at sea in the small row boats, resorting to cannibalism to stay alive.
Their story provided the basis for Herman Melville’s great American novel Moby-Dick and, framed by the last living survivor (Brendan Gleeson) unburdening his soul to Melville (Ben Wishaw), is retold here by Ron Howard, focusing on the clash between Pollard and Chase and the subsequent struggle to survive, stalked (though this never actually happened) by their aquatic nemesis. The onboard scenes are effective, especially as the ship is destroyed, and the performances are perfectly fine, but there’s very little tension, the dialogue creaks and some of the CGI is decidedly subpar. When Melville published Moby Dick it was savaged by the critics. Today it’s regarded as the great American novel. Howard’s resolutely underwhelming film is unlikely to enjoy a similar reappraisal. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC; Vue Star City)
Joy (12A) Her third film for director-writer David O’Russell, casts Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano, a divorced New York mother of three who, sharing house with her ex-husband (Edgar Ramirez) and divorced dysfunctional parents (Robert De Niro, Virginia Madsen), has long since lost sight of the potential she once showed. That is until, cleaning up a broken class on the yacht of her dad’s widowed new Italian girlfriend, Trudy (Isabella Huppert), she comes up with the idea of a self-wringing mop. Persuading Trudy to invest, she eventually manages to get a shot on QVC, a new cable TV shopping channel run by Neil Walker (Bradley Cooper) and, after an initial hiccup, her mop becomes a runaway success. However, the involvement of dodgy business partners, threatens to turn triumph into bankruptcy disaster until Joy finally takes matters into her own hands.
A true American Dream fairy tale with a few bumps in the road along the way, narrated by Joy’s supportive grandmother (Diane Ladd), it’s uneven and at times eccentric, Lawrence delivering a straight and often intense dramatic performance that won her a Golden Globe Best Actress award while those around her are more caricatured, but, as inspirational against the odds entrepreneurial stories go this is like The Apprentice with brass knobs on. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Empire Great Park; Everyman; Odeon Broadway Plaza; Showcase Walsall; Vue Star City)
Singin’ In The Rain (U) Another splash for the classic 1952 musical comedy starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, a send up of the upheaval in the movie biz in the shift from silents to talkies. Kelly’s famous lamppost dance routine is also currently referenced in Brooklyn. (Sat 16: Electric)
Sisters (15) Discovering their folks have sold the family Florida home and are moving into a retirement condo, middle-aged siblings, Kate (Tina Fey) and Maura (Amy Poehler) decide to throw one final house party. Except this time, terminally sensible Maura wants to let her hair down and for party animal Kate to stay sober as the “designated mom”. Add to the mix that, embarrassed by mom’s irresponsibility, Kate’s teenage daughter has been secretly staying with her aunt, but has come to Florida under the impression her mom’s got a job and they’ll both be moving in with her grandparents.
This is basically all a preamble to the party itself where, with their old unfulfilled classmates, nice guy neighbour James (Ike Barinholtz) and Kate’s school nemesis Brinda (Maya Rudolph) indulging in booze and drugs, everything descends into predictable house trashing chaos before more lessons about growing up, facing responsibilities and being who you are not who you think you were are duly trotted out. Not consistently funny, but the central deadpan performances are a treat. (Vue Redditch, Star City)
Snoopy and Charlie Brown : The Peanuts Movie (U) Animation studios Blue Sky affectionately and faithfully revive Charles M. Schulz’s classic characters, following the comic strip formula of running parallel, thematically linked, stories about both Charlie and his pet beagle, Snoopy. Thus, the former shyly tries to get new neighbourhood arrival Little Red-Haired Girl to see him for who he really is, not the loser his friends all regard him as while Snoopy sets about writing a book about himself as a famous World War I fighter pilot battling legendary German flying ace, The Red Baron.
Schulz’s cartoons generally saw the world as one of constant disappointment, the message here is more upbeat, about striving to be the best you can, even if you don’t succeed. Firmly skewed young, its gentle melancholia and ultimate upbeat ending should strike a chord with kids who feel themselves sidelined among their friends but it isn’t going to give the Minions any sleepless box office nights. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Reel; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
Spectre (12A) Overlong perhaps and lacking the emotional gut punch of Skyfall (and without a single BAFTA nomination), but, peppered with allusions to many previous Bond movies, this is still suitably dark and dynamic as Daniel Craig goes maverick in search of the mastermind behind all his torments and funds it closer to home than he’d imagined. Good to see Ralph Fiennes making solid and complex fist of the new M too. (Cineworld NEC; Showcase Walsall; Vue Star City)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D (12A)
With George Lucas taking a backseat, director JJ Abrams and co-writers Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt dispel sour memories of Episodes I-III with a triumphant resurrection that may tread familiar narrative ground, but does so with a fresh heart. Set some 30 years on from the destruction of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is missing and the dark forces have regrouped as the First Order, its stormtroopers led by the mysterious Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) who possesses both the Force and a red light sabre. Built around the search for a map revealing Skywalker’s location, the film’s basically a lengthy chase between Ren and his forces and scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) and renegade stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) who have come into possession of BB8, a droid belonging to Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), a fighter pilot for the Resistance now headed by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), that contains the vital key.
They’re eventually joined by returning legends Han Solo (a soulful Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) as the plot turns into a race against the clock to stop the First Order launching planet-destroying weapon as the force also proves strong in another of the new characters. Rattling along from explosive opening to nail-biting climax by way of a stunning shock revelation and death, the force is strong with this one. (Cineworld 5 Ways, NEC, Solihull; Electric; Empire Great Park, Sutton Coldfield; Everyman; Odeon Birmingham, Broadway Plaza, West Brom; Reel; Showcase Walsall; Vue Redditch, Star City)
Steve Jobs (12A)
Set around three presentations, Danny Boyle’s biopic of how, from fall from Apple grace to rise to Apple and iMac triumph, Jobs became the heart of the digital revolution. Essentially a film of people talking, it is compelling viewing with Michael Fassbender on towering form as the driven and often cold and ruthless Jobs, his relationship with the girl he refused to acknowledge as his daughter especially prickly, with an excellent Kate Winslet is almost unrecognisable as his right hand woman Joanna Hoffman. The final scene between Fassbender and Jeff Daniels as John Scully, the former Apple CEO who was responsible for him being fired, is masterclass cinema. (Showcase Walsall)
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