Films out this week (TRAILERS)
The Descendants - 115 mins
George Clooney has already started collecting the gongs for his turn as Matt King, a businessman who has to reconnect with his two daughters when his philandering wife is struck into a coma by a boating accident, and must struggle with the decision meanwhile of whether to sell his family's ancient land.
This film is a mixture of things, a soap-style drama as Clooney and the girls go in search of his wife's mystery lover, a more subtle exploration of the hurt family members can cause each other, and a wider tale of how important it is to stay attached to your roots.
This tiny-budget love story caught the imagination of viewers at Sundance, where British actress Felicity Jones was named Best Actress. She and co-star Anton Yelchin play two young lovers besotted with each other, until reality and an ocean come between them. Director Drake Doremus captures perfectly the spell, the delight, vulnerability and pain of first love and creates a strong, thought-provoking mood, that stays around long after the credits have rolled.
Liam Neeson stars in this survival tale of man against the elements when his plane crashes, leaving him and the rest of his team of oil-drillers to the mercy of the Alaskan wilderness, specifically a pack of wolves who don't regard the humans as a bunch of friendly visitors. Neeson reportedly took ice-cold showers during the making of this film - suggest taking a warm blankie and thermos to the cinema.
The sum of the individual parts of idiosyncratic performers Simon Callow, Celia Imrie and Harry Enfield must surely fly off the eccentricity scale in this 'twist on Shakespeare' that started life as a poem, and became a fully-fledged screenplay in verse. Part-thriller, part-love story, part magical mystery, this one probably just needs to be seen to be categorised. And you can, either at the cinema or online here.