Plus: uncomfortable thrillers, indie rom coms and Miley Cyrus

FILM
Celeste & Jesse Forever
Cert 15 | by Steve Dinneen ***

Celeste & Jesse Forever opens with one of those cutesy “couple bonding” montages familiar to anyone with the constitution to regularly sit through romantic comedies. But ha! It’s not what you think! They are separated!

High flyer Celeste and underachiever Jesse are one of those hideous “in-jokey” couples any sensible person would cross motorways to avoid, and no divorce is going to get in the way of that. Of course, as Abba taught us, breaking up is never easy, and each inevitably struggles to move on.

What could have been a twee rom-com with indie pretensions becomes rather moving as life continues to whistle past the pair, although much of the good work is undone by the seemingly interminable running time.

FILM
So undercover
Cert 12A | by Naomi Mdudu **

Just like the Olsens and Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus is desperately trying to distance herself from the tweeny Disney image that made her. But if So Undercover was supposed to help her establish herself as a legitimate actress, it falls short in spectacular fashion.

We follow her character Molly as she goes undercover in a college sorority for the FBI (to make money to cover her father’s gambling habits, obviously). The narrative is ridden with just about every cliché you could imagine, which will probably keep her fans happy but won’t win her any new ones, nor any challenging roles any time soon. All said, So Undercover fails to add anything to what is already well trodden territory.

FILM
I, Anna
Cert 15 | by Steve Dinneen ***

Barbican Estate, with its warren of concrete walkways and brutalist tower blocks, is the ideal place to film a modern noir thriller. It follows femme fatale Charlotte Rampling, a lonely – but still sexy – older woman who may or may not have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. We know she is sexy because around 30 per cent of screen time features her shapely legs, a fact that takes on a Freudian flavour when you realise it is directed by her son, Barnaby Southcombe.

Gabriel Byrne is the obligatory tired old cop who falls for the charms of the mysterious dame. The entire affair is shamelessly derivative but Southcombe masterfully ramps up the tension, to the extent it becomes almost too uncomfortable to be entertainment. Definitely one for the masochists.