You’re not likely to think of Ridley Scott’s new biblical epic Exodus: Gods & Kings as a Spanish film, but Iberian influences peep out all over its digitally rendered panoramas. Shot in Almería and the Canary Islands, it features Spanish actress María Valverde; the score is by Spanish composer Alberto Iglesias, best known for his collaborations with Pedro Almodóvar; while it’s co-produced by Madrid-based Babieka films. Like Darren Aronofsky’s Noah before, it’s another modern-day retelling of a familiar Bible tale, this time the story of Moses. Christian Bale stars as the prophet leading his people to freedom from slavery under the yoke of Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II (Joel Edgerton) as a barrage of plagues attacks the kingdom. Rounding off the cast are John Turturro, Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelsohn, Sigourney Weaver and Sir Ben Kingsley. What’s more, anyone in striking distance of Madrid will be able to check out costumes from the film at an exhibition at the city’s Museo del Traje that runs until January 16.
The annual effort from Woody Allen, Magic in the Moonlight stars Colin Firth as a 1920s stage conjurer who finds his faith in reason put to the test when he’s dispatched to the Côte d’Azur to debunk spiritualist Emma Stone, who’s been taken in by a wealthy family. Marcia Gay Harden, Jacki Weaver, Eileen Atkins and Simon McBurney also feature.
Staying on the other side, horror flick Ouija sees a group of young friends dropping like flies after they start larking around with one of the famous spirit boards. Already a hit in the US and UK, the movie marks the debut of director Stiles White.
Kevin Kline plays hard-drinking, sword-swinging Hollywood star Errol Flynn in The Last of Robin Hood, a biopic about the scandalous relationship the Tasmanian Devil had with an underage starlet at the end of his life. Susan Sarandon plays the pushy stage mom who encouraged the match-up in writer-directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s drama.
Mommy is already the fifth feature from 25-year-old French-Canadian prodigy Xavier Dolan. The joint winner of this year’s Jury Prize at Cannes (with Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language), it’s the story of a single mom being driven to her wits’ end by her tearaway teenage son who receives help from her lonely neighbor.
The debut of filmmaker Rebecca Thomas, Electrick Children stars Julia Garner as a 15-year-old member of a strict Utah Mormon community who falls pregnant after discovering a cassette of banned rock music, claiming listening to the tape triggered an immaculate conception. After her parents arrange a marriage for her, she runs off to Las Vegas to find the man responsible for the child-spawning tunes.