Jessica chastain

Why do movies always have to bash the ‘burbs?

Mothers’ Instinct is a psychological thriller starring Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain and it is one of those over-ripe, camp melodramas that, back in the day, would have almost certainly starred Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Or Tippi Hedren and Kim Novak, if we are going to be Hitchcockian about it. Either way, it’s a face-off between two world-class actresses and while it throws plausibility to the winds at the end, it is a delicious ride. And I’ve saved the best news for last: it’s all done and dusted in 95 minutes. Not an ounce of fat here. It is directed by Benoît Delhomme and is a remake of Olivier

A compelling, if pitiless, journey: The Forgiven reviewed

The Forgiven is based on the novel by Lawrence Osborne and stars Ralph Fiennes (terrific) and Jessica Chastain (ditto) as a wealthy British-American couple driving to a weekend-long party in a luxurious Moroccan desert villa when they hit and kill a young local boy on the road. Oops. What the film adds up to, I cannot say, as it isn’t clear. Who is forgiven? Is anybody? It’s ethically ambiguous and you have to do your own moralising, which is always a drag. (Note to filmmakers: I’m old, I’m tired, please spoon-feed me.) But it’s a compelling, tense journey even if it’s a pitiless one. Human nature doesn’t come out of