After the not completely successful Route Irish, which bolted a detective-thriller plot on to their trademark social realism, Ken Loach and regular screenwriter Paul Laverty return to the seam of serious comedy they mined in 2009’s Eric Cantona-starring Looking for Eric in their latest effort, The Angels’ Share. Here, though, instead of fantasy French soccer players, we have high spirits — Scotch whisky, to be precise (the title refers to the two percent of each cask lost to evaporation every year). It’s the Glasgow-set story of new father Robbie (Paul Brannigan), who’s determined to turn over a new leaf after a brush with the law. Inspiration comes in the form of a visit to a distillery, the discovery of a new skill and a plan to steal the contents of a priceless barrel of Scotch. The separation of this film of two halves — first the serious stuff, then the caper — helps smooth the discord between Robbie’s violent nature and the humor of the cask heist to create a splendid blend of emotions.
Night finally falls on The Twilight Saga in Breaking Dawn — Part 2, the fifth and final installment in the spectacularly successful series, based on Stephenie Meyer’s spectacularly successful quartet of vampire novels. Transformed by husband Edward (Robert Pattinson) into a vampire, Bella (Kristen Stewart) is getting used to her new life as a bloodsucker and mother to her “dhampir” (half-human, half-vampire) daughter Renesmee. But undead familial bliss is threatened by all-out vampire war when the Volturi clan get whiff of false information regarding the youngster. Again directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), it also features Taylor Lautner, Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning.
The first movie from French filmmaker Leos Carax since 1999’s Pola X, Holy Motors has been gradually acquiring a reputation as one of the most bizarre but also one of the best films of 2012. Regular Carax collaborator Denis Lavant stars as a man being ferried around Paris in a stretch limo to a variety of surreal appointments, for each of which he adopts a different persona. Constantly nodding to film history, these include roles in a gangster movie and a deathbed scene and encounters with an air hostess played by singer Kylie Minogue and a supermodel played by Eva Mendes.
Alex Cross sees Tyler Perry step into the role of bestselling author James Patterson’s psychologist-detective, previously played by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. This time round he is chasing a Special Forces soldier-turned-serial killer (Lost’s Matthew Fox) and ends up paying a tremendous personal toll.