A Ghost Story (2017)

‘Do I have to wear it, mum?’

A film where Casey Affleck spends 90% of the running time dressed like a last-minute Halloween costume and in which a camera sits and focuses on Rooney Mara for nine minutes as she devours a pie could have gone, well, any number of ways to be honest but most of them would be bad. However, if you can stomach the long lingering shots and the Terrence Malick feel to this dreamy reflection on grief, then there is something here. I’m not quite sure what, but it’s there.

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Freak Show (2017)

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There’s something unsettling about this image.

Freak Show takes a well-worn plot and decides to give it a bit of a twisting. Billy Bloom (Alex Lawther) is forced to leave the big city and his beloved Muv (his flamboyant mother played by Bette Midler) behind when he moves in with his dad who he hasn’t seen for seven years. Now living in the Red States, he suddenly finds that being gay with a penchant for drag isn’t the best way to fit in and in fact attracts violence. Billy ain’t no wilting flower, however, and he strikes back by letting his freak flag fly and running for homecoming queen.

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Story Of A Girl (2017)

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Look shocked!

The Edinburgh Film Festival has kicked off and with it the chance to catch a whole bunch of films you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. First up was Story Of A Girl, the debut feature from Kyra Sedgewick which will air on Lifetime after its festival run. With a cast which includes Sedgewick’s husband, Kevin Bacon, it follows Deanna (Ryann Shane) who three years after a sex tape of her and her big brother’s best friend was leaked on the internet, is still dealing with the consequences.

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My Life As A Courgette (2017)

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Meet the gang.

Childhood neglect and abuse are unlikely to be the topic of the next Disney animated smash. Even as Inside Out dives into the child psyche, they tend to avoid such unfriendly children’s fare. My Life As A Courgette has no such qualms. In the opening scenes, we are introduced to Icare (who prefers to be known as Courgette) leaving his alcoholic mother behind to live in an orphanage. There he and his new gang of friends, all of whom come from equally (if not worse) traumatic backgrounds, have to try and find a place in the world without the reassurance of family. It’s all presented in a delightful stop-motion style and Christ, it could have been a disaster.

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