A gem of a British comedy drama, Submarine is the story of Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts), a schoolboy suffering traditional teenage angst in the kind of pretentious existential manner normally reserved for the protagonists of Nouvelle Vague classics. Think American Pie remade in 1980s Wales and directed by François Truffaut and you’re part way there. The actual director is actor Richard Ayoade, who expertly intertwines hilarious comedy, elegant visuals and genuine emotion, while the songs are by the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner.
Only the second released fiction feature from Tony Kaye, who made the excellent American History X (1998), Detachment stars Adrien Brody as a substitute teacher whose normal emotional distance is challenged on his latest assignment in a failing US high school. A powerhouse supporting cast features Marcia Gay Harden, Christina Hendricks, Lucy Liu and James Caan.
After the much-underrated Limitless, Bradley Cooper stars as another character whose ambition is writing checks his talent can’t cash in The Words. He plays Rory Jansen, an author who achieves J. K. Rowling-sized success with his debut novel. The problem is he didn’t write it, but actually stumbled across the manuscript in an old briefcase given to him by wife Zoe Saldana. Jeremy Irons co-stars.
Another author in dire straits is Ethan Hawke in horror tale Sinister. He plays a crime writer who discovers a box of old home movies relating to the murder of the previous occupants of his new home in the attic. After taking the mystery as the subject of his new book, he soon realizes he’s placed his own family in danger.