Movie Diary 12/7/2015

45 Years (Andrew Haigh, 2015). Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay are in full command of this remarkable character study, about a fissure that suddenly opens up in a long-term marriage. A haunting film.

In the Heart of the Sea (Ron Howard, 2015). Whales and shipwrecks, and a writer named Melville getting the story down. It’s about what you’d expect from a Ron Howard picture. Despite the power of digital, look to John Huston’s Moby Dick for on-sea astonishment. (full review 12/11)

Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014). A genuinely mysterious film with Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart, a movie about art but also about the world today.

James White (Josh Mond, 2015). Hothouse, close-in view of a self-destructing New Yorker (Christopher Abbott) whose mother (Cynthia Nixon in strong form) is dying. (full review 12/11)

The Lady in the Van (Nicholas Hytner, 2015). An Alan Bennett script, based on something that really happened to the writer – but a little too polished around the edges to fall into gear. Maggie Smith is the lady.