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Top Film Releases in May: Go Big or Go Home

13 May 2019 | Daniel Pateman

Go big or go home. That’s the ethos of this month’s films, with Avengers: Endgame continuing to dominate the box-office. Though the below movies don’t come close to matching the Avengers $365 million-dollar budget, they offer their own exhilarating instances of individuals facing incredible odds: whether these be monolithic industries, social norms, or highly-trained bounty hunters.

Long Shot, in cinemas now, could have easily been named “she’s out of your league”. What are the chances the geeky, tracksuit-wearing journalist will get it together with the glamorous polymath and presidential nominee? We find out when Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) crosses paths with writer Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) on the campaign trail, whom she used to babysit in her teens. Despite their differences, circumstances draw them into intimate orbit: leading to a union her publicist equates with Kate Middleton dating Danny DeVito. From the makers of This is the End and Bad Neighbours, Long Shot is a surprisingly sweet romcom (“It’s Pretty Woman…except she’s Richard Gere and you’re Julia Roberts”) that also riffs on contemporary politics.

While scheduling five minutes with the Secretary of State is Seth’s biggest challenge, John Wick 3: Parabellum sees Keanu Reeves fending off a gang of sword-wielding Yakuza on motorbikes. After killing a member of crime syndicate the High Table in John Wick 2, a $14 million-dollar bounty has been put on his head and every contract-killer wants to cash in. Nothing that ‘baba yaga’ can’t handle. With some help from Halle Berry as Sofia, the two of them kick ass in this ballet of bullets and broken glass. With a great cast and the stakes higher than ever, I think it’s fair to say that John’s back…in cinema’s 15th May!



With a surprising amount of action itself comes Icelandic comedy-drama Woman At War (Kona fer í stríð). An absurd yet galvanising look at impending climate catastrophe, it echoes the call for individual and collective action that we’ve seen so frequently in the media lately. Halla is a fifty-year-old choir conductor leading a double-life as a climate activist: taking down power grids and disrupting the aluminium industry’s designs on her native highlands. She reappraises her increasingly dangerous schemes however when her dream of adopting a child becomes a reality. Director Benedikt Erlingsson delivers “an intelligent feel good film that knows how to tackle urgent issues with humour” (The Hollywood Reporter), driven by a striking performance by Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir.



As Kayla Day explained to viewers in last month’s Eighth Grade, sometimes being yourself is, like, the hardest thing in the world. Those that manage it, however, sear themselves onto the public imagination forever. Released on 24th May, Dexter Fletcher’s Rocketman is an “epic musical fantasy”: charting Elton John’s meteoric rise to fame with hits like ‘Bennie and the Jets’ and ‘Tiny Dancer’. Taron Egerton exudes the man’s impish charm and colourful bravado, with the film addressing both struggles and triumphs in a wild celebration of his life and music. “Maybe I should have tried to be more ordinary” Elton suggests while dressed in a red devil outfit. “You were never ordinary” Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell) reassures him. Like Bohemian Rhapsody, but less whitewashed, Rocketman looks certain to astound the crowds.

 
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