From India comes The Lunchbox, a lovely, leisurely story about an office worker (Irffan Khan, The Darjeeling Limited) who receives the wrong midday meal yet strikes up a relationship via letters to the talented cook. Also worthwhile, though a little uneven, is Le Week-End, in which a couple (Jim Broadbent and About Time‘s Lindsay Duncan) celebrate their anniversary in Paris.
Here for just one week is 13 Sins, a spellbinding horror thriller about a dangerous though lucrative game. (Think Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with greater stakes.) Less amazing but still kind of haunting in its own way is Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien who lures Glaswegian men back to her flat and disposes of them in a strange way.
Of the new films I’ve not seen, the Johnny Depp sci-fi Transcendence from Christopher Nolan’s go-to cinematographer Wally Pfister looks most appealing. Based on the best-selling child’s memoir, Heaven is for Real may win the Easter weekend box office, but the dreadful-looking and cheap-as-hell-to-produce A Haunted House 2 will probably have the largest profit margin and may take the top spot.
Fleeing the Scene
Stranger by the Lake and the Gloria revival bolt the Fine Arts to make room for The Lunchbox while Muppets Most Wanted, both volumes of Nymphomaniac, and The Face of Love leave The Carolina. Most surprising is that high-quality action flick The Raid 2 has been relegated to One Week Wonder status, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Be honest: which of you didn’t go see it last weekend?
Philomena is easily the best new option, followed by Mike Newell’s Great Expectations, but The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and, surprisingly, The Nut Job are both worth a look. The same may not be said of Ride Along, which of course means that a sequel is already in the works.
On Netflix Instant
Everyone go ahead and add the spectacular Short Term 12 and Insidious: Chapter 2 to your queues and adventurous viewers tack on James Franco’s experimental narrative/doc Interior. Leather Bar. as well. Woody Allen’s underrated Scoop is also available, as is the original Leprechaun, Luc Besson’s terrible The Family, starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, and A Fantastic Fear of Everything, starring Simon Pegg, which is currently in the running for year’s best title.
Hey man — I did my part in seeing The Raid 2. Scott Mendelson had an interesting piece at Forbes, praising Sony for going wide with it, despite its crash and burn.