Also out in Cinemas: March 2015

We review the month's releases.

The Rest Of March's Theatrical Releases

The big movies out this month include White Bird In A Blizzard, Hyena, Still Alice, Focus, Chappie, The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya, Mommy, The Voices, The Gunman and The Divergent Series: Insurgent. But here we review a selection of the other new releases. Remember to keep an eye out because we'll be adding more each week.

APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR

Starring, written and directed by newcomer Desiree Akhavan, this plays like an Iranian lesbian variant on Lena Dunhams Tiny Furniture. Drawing on her own experience and ethnic background, Ahkavan plays an Iranian-American New Yorker whos just broken up with her girlfriend and is trying to get her life back on track while concealing her sexuality from her family. The structures on the random side, with characters popping up and vanishing but theres an appealing honesty about it, and a freshness to the humour. Akhavan has bagged a role in Girls, so well be seeing more of her. Director: Desiree Akhavan Starring: Desiree Akhavan, Rebecca Henderson, Scott Adsit, Halley Feiffer Theatrical release: 6 March 2015 Philip Kemp

LIFE OF RILEY

More a footnote to a revered career than an epic swansong, the late Alain Resnais final film takes him back to the works of Alan Ayckbourn for a third stab at adapting that most English of playwrights. Set in Yorkshire but with the cast (including Sandrine Kiberlain) speaking French, this tale follows three couples as they react to the news that their (unseen) friend George Riley has cancer. Resnais makes no attempt to hide the storys theatrical origins, placing the action on very artificial sets. Its a distracting, not entirely successful conceit. But then Resnais was never about convention. Director: Alain Resnais Starring: Sabine Azma, Sandrine Kiberlain, Caroline Sihol, Andr Dussollier, Hippolyte Girardot, Michel Vuillermoz Theatrical release: 6 March 2015 James Mottram

DIFRET

The great nation of Ethiopia isnt known as a beacon of womens rights, as Zeresenay Meharis film reminds us. Sadly, though, its default setting is verbalising the issues at hand, rather than dramatising them. Based on a true story, it details the battle of an Addis Ababa lawyer on behalf of a teenage girl following the death of the older man who abducted her into marriage. That such a tradition should even be tacitly tolerated is shocking, but unfortunately, while well-intentioned, Difret lacks the confidence to let the narrative illustrate this, preferring instead to spell everything out. Director: Zereseneay Mehari Starring: Meron Getnet, Tizita Hegere Theatrical release: 6 March 2015 Andrew Lowry

HIGH TIDE

Bethan (Melanie Walters) pulls 17-year-old son Josh (Samuel Davies) out of school one day for a drive to the coast and a revealing, often fraught heart-to heart. Produced, written and directed by first-timers James Gillingham and Jimmy Hay, this Swansea-set drama barely puts a foot wrong featuring naturalistic dialogue and excellent lead performances, its a sad, wise and even quietly hopeful affair. If nothing else, the line I like the Super Furry Animals, the Manics are OK, Stereophonics are crap, is sure to fire debate among aficionados of Welsh rock. Director: James Gillingham, Jimmy Hay Starring: Melanie Walters, Samuel Davies, Claire Cage, Charlotte Mulliner Theatrical release: 6 March 2015 Ali Catterall

DREAMCATCHER

Documentary-maker Kim Longinotto stuck like glue to Brenda Myers-Powell, street-roaming fairy godmother to Chicagos prostitutes, to make this raw but hope-filled portrait of girls at risk. Myers-Powell, a charismatic, bewigged force of nature, put 25 years as a drug-addicted sex worker behind her and now rescues girls who want to quit the life. Winding invisibly through the stories of ravaged women, the wobbly-cam narrative is sometimes patchy, but its aim is true. This unvarnished slice-of-life doesnt match up to Longinottos fierce Sisters In Law, but its quite an eye-opener. Director: Kim Longinotto Starring: Brenda Myers-Powell Theatrical release: 6 March 2015 Kate Stables

KILL THE MESSENGER

Jeremy Renner is solid in this twisty biopic based on the true story of Gary Webb, an investigative newspaper reporter who chances upon the story of a lifetime, writing a hotly contested expose of the CIAs involvement in the crack epidemic that crippled major US cities in the 80s. His post-story life spirals downward as he is systematically discredited by his peers. Director Michael Cuesta (Dexter, Six Feet Under) keeps things moving at a decent clip, and Renners nuanced performance fleshes out the alternately heroic and paranoid Webb. Were left with the unsettling notion that the truth, at least in the media, is a highly subjective matter of opinion. Director: Michael Cuesta Starring: Jeremy Renner, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosemarie DeWitt Theatrical release: 6 March 2015 Ken McIntyre

BAFTA SHORTS 2015

As foolish as it may seem to seek connecting tissue between this years BAFTA-nominated shorts, you cant help notice that three of the eight deal with absent or departing parents and that two feature chickens. There are also three actors from Broadchurch, among them Olivia Colman who, in The Karman Line, is afflicted with an illness that makes her immune to gravity. Elsewhere a boxer turns cross-dresser in the Billy Elliot-reminiscent Slap and wall paintings come to life in BAFTA-grabbing animation The Bigger Picture which also has an Oscar nomination under its belt. Director: Various Starring: Various Theatrical release: 6 March 2015 Neil Smith

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

How Vince Vaughn needs Season 2 of True Detective. After firing blanks with Delivery Man, he here reteams with director Ken Scott for a tonally calamitous comedy that veers from Vaughn bonding with his bullied son to erect penises poking through glory holes at a German gay bar. It also wants to be Up In The Air, with our man quitting his job after refusing a pay cut and going up against his old boss (Sienna Miller) in an attempt to win a make-or-break deal. The wasted support cast includes Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, James Marsden and Nick Frost. Director: Ken Scott Starring: Vince Vaughn, Sienna Miller, Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, James Marsden Theatrical release: 6 March 2015 Jamie Graham

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

With Thomas Vinterbergs take on the Thomas Hardy classic imminent, heres a re-release of the 1967 vintage. Director John Schlesingers regular muse Julie Christie plays Bathsheba, wooed by rival suitors Alan Bates, Peter Finch and malevolent stand-out Terence Stamp. Schlesinger is fussily faithful to Hardy; the downside is a somewhat stolid pace that emphasises melodrama over emotional tragedy. Still, the length gives room for Nicholas Roegs outstanding cinematography, which delivers an authentically rustic English epic. Director: John Schlesinger Starring: Julie Christie, Terence Stamp, Peter Finch Theatrical release: 13 March 2015 Simon Kinnear