Opening this week in cinemas on a wide release are the 3D animated family film Gnomeo and Juliet, and Unknown, an action film starring Liam Neeson that seems to closely resemble his work in Taken, from a few years ago. Gnomeo and Juliet appears to be a cute makeover of Shakespeare's master work, but this time, with garden gnomes. It is directed by Kelly Asbury (who directed Shrek 2), and features the voice-cast of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine and Maggie Smith. Unknown (directed by Jaume Collet-Serra) is an action thriller which finds Liam Neeson waking up from a motor vehicle accident in Berlin to discover that his wife (the lovely January Jones) doesn't recognize him, and his identity has been assumed by another man (Aidan Quinn). He finds himself hunted by unknown assassins, and alone on the run. Sounds fairly ridiculous and implausible, and only 29% of critics have rated it 'fresh' at Rotten Tomatoes.
With a more limited release we have the John Cameron Mitchell film, Rabbit Hole, starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest, Certified Copy starring Juliette Binoche, and the Oscar nominated political documentary, Inside Job. For the first time since the global financial crisis in 2008, comprehensive analysis of the crisis is tackled in Inside Job. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, journalists, politicians and academics, the film traces the rise of a rouge industry which has corrupted politics and financial regulation. It has near-unanimous praise (97% at RT), and is sure to leave you squirming in anger. I intend to see it this weekend. I haven't heard anything about Certified Copy but Juliette Binoche always makes great films, so it could be worth a look if you can find a cinema playing it. Rabbit Hole, which features Nicole Kidman's Oscar nominated performance, tells the story of a formerly happily married couple (Kidman and Eckhardt) who try and return to their normal lives following the tragic shock death of their son. This sincere and honest screenplay is adapted by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire from his Pullitzer-Prize winning play, and directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch). It has been well-received, but is certainly not a film that will appeal to everyone.
So, there you have it for this weeks releases. What are you going to see this weekend?