In GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE, Emma Thompson plays an unhappy 55 year old widow who hires a handsome young man from a high end escort service. That might sound like the setup for a bad pornographic romance fantasy, but I can assure you it’s not. Instead it’s a surprising coming of age comedy-drama about a woman who finally learns to accept herself. Anyone expecting something lewd from this thought provoking comedy-drama will be disappointed. Conversations between Nancy and Leo as they get to know each other make up most of the film. What little sex there is takes place near the end and is not graphically depicted. It’s one of the year’s best films. (Streaming on HULU)
THE MENU is advertised as both a comedy and a horror film. It cleverly satirizes pretentious fine dining chefs and their snobbish, wealthy customers. But as its story gradually unfolds, the movie turns into a disturbing horror film.
The ensemble acting is top notch, the directing is crisp, and the script is skillfully written. But because I’m not a fan of horror films, I enjoyed the film’s humor but didn’t appreciate its shocking violence. (only in theaters)
Big budget blockbusters including superhero movies attract big audiences. Their domination at the box office means that creative, original dramas get limited showings in Hawaii and almost no publicity. On Oahu if you want to see compelling original dramas, check the online listings for Consolidated’s Kahala and Koko Marina theaters. No other theaters show these kinds of films consistently. And you have to be quick about it, because many of them are gone after just one or two weeks. I can’t tell you how often a movie I’ve been writing about disappears before my little review can air. That was the case this week for a powerful drama called ARMGAMEDDON TIME, starring Anthony Hopkins, Ann Hathaway, Jeremy Strong and young Banks Repeta. Another strikingly original movie called THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN is still playing at Koko Marina, but it will end this coming Tuesday. It’s an intense comedy/drama, staring Colin Farrell as Padraic a lonely farmer whose best friend, Colm played by Brenden Gleeson, suddenly wants nothing to do with him for no obvious reason. The two are reunited for the first time since 2008’s IN BRUGES. Writer-director Martin McDonagh directed both films as well as THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. (Koko Marina only)