Movie Diary 3/6/2018

Red Sparrow (Francis Lawrence, 2018). Decent spy-movie doings, Jennifer Lawrence well cast (except as a ballerina in the early going, but we can accept that as a movie thing), and a handful of extremely welcome espionage players, including Jeremy Irons, Ciaran Hinds, and Charlotte Rampling. When Rampling, as the headmistress of a school where recruits are taught to seduce and sleep with targets, declares she prefers to be called “Matron,” your knees get a little shaky. Main problem is F. Lawrence is a designer more than a director, and the unseemly focus of this particular kind of spying can’t help but make the movie-watching experience pretty unseemly itself. (full review here.)

A Gunman Has Escaped (Richard M. Grey, 1948). British B-crime, very cheaply done, with robbery ringleader and incidental murderer John Harvey going on the lam with his skeptical collaborators. They end up doing chores on a farm, a peculiar choice of hide-out, and one of the robbers falls for the farmer’s daughter. Script by John Gilling; a pretty nonsensical plotline, but with quite a bit of violence.