On Camera #24: The New Girlfriend / Pitch Perfect 2 / Murder In Successville / Big Hero 6

on Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Words: Saam Das

In Cinemas: 'The New Girlfriend' (2014) + 'Pitch Perfect 2' (2015)

Indie darling Francois Ozon ('In The House', 'Jeune et Jolie') presents 'The New Girlfriend' (French language title: 'Une Nouvelle Amie', ★★★), an adaptation of Ruth Rendell's short story of the same name, starring French stalwarts Anais Demoustier and Romain Duris. Claire (Demoustier) and David (Duris) are respectively the best friend and husband of Laura (Isild Le Besco), who passes away in the film's opening.

The duo are brought closer together by the death, as well as the need to care for the former couple's newly born child. David's grief however is expressed in an unexpected manner and thematically, the film moves toward gender roles and the fluidity of sexuality. There's a sense of unpredictability throughout, which is sadly let down by the rushed and overly melodramatic conclusion.

The first 'Pitch Perfect' proved to be an unexpected smash success both critically and commercially, and star Elizabeth Banks steps up to direct on the follow-up. 'Pitch Perfect 2' (★★★½) is more of the same, following the acapella starlets, now led by Beca (Anna Kendrick) and with new members including Hailee Steinfeld's Emily.

Thrown out of acapella competition following an incident best described as "muffgate", the Barden Bellas look to the World Acapella Championships for a spot at redemption. The fun formula of leftfield jokes and acapella mash-ups returns although the combination feels weaker than its predecessor - the jokes a bit too cliché-driven and the mash-ups musically less engaging this time around. Nonetheless, a pleasant enough sequel, with enjoyably over-the-top antagonists in Das Sound Machine.

At Home: 'Murder In Successville' + 'Big Hero 6'

We're three episodes into the first series of celeb-infused surrealist improv murder mystery sitcom 'Murder In Successville', devised and starring Tom Davis as DI Sleet. He's joined every week by a celebrity to aid him in solving a new case - thus far, we've had Jamie Laing, Greg James, and Deborah Meaden. Their willingness to engage in Davis' leftfield comedic approach has meant that 'Murder In Successville' has been far from the cringefest that may have been expected. Plus, you can play along too. Tune in on BBC Three or catch up on iPlayer.

Considering the perverse exclusion of 'The LEGO Movie' from the Academy Awards, it was some consolation that 'Big Hero 6' came away with Best Animated Feature. Out this week on DVD and Blu-ray, directors Don Hall and Chris Williams deliver a vivid animation featuring a young genius, who transforms his brother's loveable robot companion Baymax into the heroic spearhead of a rag tag team taking on a masked villain. The emotional journey of the film may feel a tad forced at times but the adventure, action, heart, and humour present make this a must-see. Read more in On Camera #15.

TV & Movie News

Much loved previously, but considerably less so now, BBC music panel quiz 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' has been cancelled after 28 series.

Here's the first glimpse from the 'Point Break' remake, which replaces Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze with Luke Bracey and Édgar Ramírez:

The 2015 Cannes Film Festival award winners have been announced, with Jacques Audiard ('A Prophet', 'Rust & Bone') coming away with the Palm D'or for refugee drama 'Dheepan'.

London's Royal Observatory in Greenwich continues its special sci-fi screenings in its Planetarium. Up next, acclaimed doc 'Nostalgia For The Light' on June 6th, followed by 'Silent Running' on the 13th.

Read previous On Camera columns here. Drop us a line at film(at)fadedglamour.co.uk if you have something you think might be worth featuring in a future column.

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