These uneasy riders are like Goodfellas on Harleys: BRIAN VINER reviews Bikeriders

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The Bikeriders (116 mins) 

UK merchandise date: December 1 

Rating:

The 67th London Film Festival ends this play not pinch a bang, not pinch a whimper, but pinch a squawk.

Among nan concluding treats is tomorrow's world premiere of nan Chicken Run sequel, nan gloriously titled Chicken Run: Dawn Of The Nugget.

My reappraisal will person to hold until adjacent week, but I person already seen it and tin study that nan clever people astatine stop-motion workplace Aardman person struck aureate maize again. It's wonderful.

Of nan films already unveiled, I loved The Bikeriders, an absorbing play pinch echoes of awesome mob pictures specified arsenic Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, isolated from that nan mob depicted present is simply a motorbike nine successful late-1960s Chicago. They telephone themselves The Vandals.

Jodie Comer, Tom Hardy and Austin Butler lead a terrific cast, but astir of nan plaudits beryllium to writer-director Jeff Nichols, whose past picture, 2016's Loving, besides delved into 1960s America, telling nan existent communicative of a mates whose interracial matrimony fell foul of Virginia's grotesque anti-miscegenation laws.

Austin Butler arsenic Benny successful 20th Century Studios' The Bikeriders 

Damon Herriman arsenic Brucie and Tom Hardy arsenic nan motorcycle gang's their laminitis and leader Danny successful nan movie The Bikeriders which is directed by Jeff Nichols

Butler's characteristic Benny alongside Jodie Comer who plays his woman Kathy

Yet title scarcely features successful this film, a fictional (and, beryllium warned, often violent) communicative dreamt up by Nichols aft he became fascinated by nan striking black-and-white images of bikers and their girls successful a 1968 book by photo-journalist Danny Lyon. With Mike Faist playing Lyon, nan communicative springs episodically from his interviews pinch biker's 'moll' Kathy (Jodie Comer, nan superb Liverpudlian character present talking successful an accent that mightiness person been hauled from nan depths of Lake Michigan).

She recalls really The Vandals sewage started, really they expanded into different U.S. cities, and really their laminitis and leader, Johnny (Tom Hardy), maintained his supremacy. 'Fists aliases knives,' he says almost wearily, whenever anyone challenges him.

Kathy's recollections are powerfully reminiscent of nan voiceover instrumentality provided by Ray Liotta arsenic Henry Hill successful Goodfellas. Indeed, I was reminded again and again not conscionable of that masterpiece, but besides The Godfather trilogy and TV deed The Sopranos, for this is simply a communicative of difficult men functioning extracurricular normal nine successful their ain sub-culture, governed by their ain laws.

As successful those mob narratives they are rogues and rascals, yet we find ourselves rooting for them, particularly successful nan lawsuit of Kathy's ineffably cool, incomparably laid-back, infuriatingly laconic hubby Benny (Austin Butler), to whom Johnny, who regards him arsenic a son, wishes to walk his crown.

By nan way, you don't request to emotion motorbikes to emotion this film, which is conscionable arsenic well, arsenic I for 1 hardly cognize a Harley-Davidson from Jim Davidson. But it helps to emotion 1960s music. The soundtrack, featuring Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and The Shangri-Las among galore others, is magnificent.

Saltburn (127 mins)

Release date: November 17

Rating:

I liked nan Festival's opening movie Saltburn, but not rather arsenic overmuch arsenic I was hoping to. The 2nd characteristic from writer-director Emerald Fennell (after 2020's well-received Promising Young Woman), it stars Barry Keoghan arsenic first-year Oxford undergraduate Oliver Quick, whose ain apparently deprived inheritance connected Merseyside helps to substance his infatuation pinch rich | chap student Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi).

Fennell has oodles of nosy satirising her ain hugely privileged upbringing, and location are immoderate priceless moments erstwhile Oliver is invited backmost to nan Catton family pile, pinch Richard E. Grant and Rosamund Pike arsenic Felix's parents Sir James and Lady Elspeth ('Darling, where's Liverpool?'), and Carey Mulligan arsenic family friend 'poor dear' Pamela, each thoroughly enjoying themselves.

But what originates arsenic an amusing tragi-comedy of manners lurches a small uneasily into thing overmuch darker: a psycho-sexual thriller that alternatively shamelessly flaunts its inspirations — among them Brideshead Revisited, The Talented Mr Ripley and Kind Hearts And Coronets.

Saltburn stars Barry Keoghan arsenic first-year Oxford undergraduate Oliver Quick (pictured)

A still from Saltburn pinch is nan 2nd characteristic from writer-director Emerald Fennell

The Holdovers (133 mins)

Release date: January 19

Rating:

Alexander Payne's The Holdovers is different communicative of privilege. It's group successful 1970 successful a boys' boarding schoolhouse successful New England where, complete nan Christmas holidays, crusty classics coach Mr Hunham (the superb Paul Giamatti) gets nan unenviable occupation of supervising nan 'holdovers', nan lads who for immoderate logic can't spell home.

Eventually, he is near pinch only 1 holdover, nan smart but sullen Angus (newcomer Dominic Sessa, besides excellent), which develops into a funny menage-a-trois: world-weary teacher, recalcitrant pupil and African-American schoolhouse cook, Mary (Da'Vine Joy Randolph), trying to incorporate her condolences pursuing her only son's decease successful Vietnam.

This mightiness not sound for illustration a look for comedy, but past Payne could find nan humour successful a bedewed flannel. 

The laughs are carried along, though, by a beardown undercurrent of sadness arsenic this trio of misfits effort to find their way. It's a tremendously poignant story, beautifully presented successful muted colours and a grainy texture, arsenic if to springiness nan belief that it was made astatine nan clip it is set.

Dominic Sessa stars arsenic Angus Tully, Paul Giamatti arsenic Paul Hunham and Da'Vine Joy Randolph arsenic Mary Lamb successful a segment from The Holdovers

Dame Maggie, 88...Singing on to The Chiffons? She's s fine! 

The Miracle Club (12A, 90 mins)

Verdict: Marvel astatine Dame Maggie

Rating:

Sumotherhood (15, 97 mins) 

Verdict: Saved by nan cameras 

Rating:

Dame Maggie Smith tin still present nan overseas surprise. I ne'er expected to find her, aged 88, arsenic a jaunty backing vocalist performing a type of The Chiffons' opus He's So Fine, but location she is, up connected shape successful The Miracle Club, doing precisely that. It mightiness beryllium worthy watching nan movie for that segment alone.

Otherwise, seasoned head Thaddeus O'Sullivan's patchy drama is simply a predictable ragbag of Irish Catholic cliches and sentimentality, albeit greatly enriched by a whopper of a cast. 

Kathy Bates, Laura Linney and Agnes O'Casey prima alongside Smith successful a communicative of 4 working-class women who successful 1967 return a coach travel from Dublin each nan measurement to Lourdes, 3 of them having won tickets successful a religion talent contest. 

The overseas 1 retired is Linney's characteristic Chrissie, who emigrated to America successful ugliness decades earlier, and still hasn't been forgiven.

Returning to Dublin for nan ceremonial of her estranged mother, who was awesome friends pinch Eileen (Bates) and Lily (Smith), she has immoderate activity to do to redeem herself successful their eyes.

Some of nan accents veer backmost and distant crossed some nan Atlantic and nan Irish Sea (I ideate location are a fewer ageing Irish actresses who raised eyebrows erstwhile nan formed was announced), but it's a gentle capable film, and we should each bask nan awesome Dame Maggie while we can.

I didn't bask Sumotherhood 1 bit. Adam Deacon's brash comedy, group successful East London, is astir a mates of hapless layabouts (one of them of them played by Deacon himself) who move to crime.

It's not very funny, though it does person immoderate notable cameos, from Jennifer Saunders, Ed Sheeran (playing a bum drug-addict who takes awesome offence astatine being labelled 'ginger') and, wearing his Bolshevik headdress and ranting astir nan Tories, Jeremy Corbyn.

Even playing himself, I tin study that Corbyn's acting is astir arsenic beardown arsenic his credentials to beryllium Prime Minister. Let's time off it astatine that.


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