'Gone Too Far!'
I was considerably surprised to hear that director Destiny Ekaragha has been nominated as a Best Newcomer at this year's festival considering the disappointing lack of quality of her latest feature. Supposed comedy 'Gone Too Far!' explores the mix of African and West Indian culture in Peckham, forever resorting itself to tired stereotypes and a frustrating plot.
Teen local Yemi (Malachi Kirby) is forced to chaperone his recently-landed Nigerian brother (OC Ukeje), while juggling his romantic pursuit of the manipulative Armani (Shanika Warren-Markland). Much of the film attempts to address a tension between Africans and West Indians, albeit belitting the subject through crass jokes. Admittedly, the occasional quip does make its mark but 'Gone Too Far!' is far too one note to warrant favour.
'Kill Your Darlings'
An impressively assured debut from John Krokidas as he takes on the Beat Generation, following a freshman Allen Ginsberg (a surprisingly engaging turn from Daniel Radcliffe) at Columbia University in 1944. Ginsberg quickly finds a kindred spirit in the maverick stylings of fellow student Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), who introduces him to William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac.
Krokidas might be guilty of an overly gimmicky style, particularly in the hazier drug-addled scenes, but viewers will find it difficult to avert their gaze for a story that becomes steadily more arresting. It's a pity that the likes of Elizabeth Olsen are reduced to a bit-part, and the soundtrack is confusingly anachronistic, but 'Kill Your Darlings' is
Director Ashgar Farhadi won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for 2011's 'A Separation', and he follows up that work strongly with 'The Past' ('Le Passé'). The film examines the disjointed life of a suburban family, as Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) returns to Paris to finalise his divorce with Marie (a brilliantly impassioned Berenice Bejo) - how seeing Samir (Tahar Rahim), whose son also lives with Marie and her two daughters.
Similarly to Ahmad, Samir has his own difficulties with his former partner but in very different circumstances that are slowly revealed. The manner in which the plot details are drip-fed will either be considered as masterful or tiresome but the unfurling story manages to sustain interest throughout. An engrossing character drama that suffers few flaws.