The Fabelmans

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Gabriel LaBelle, Michelle Williams, Paul Dano

Steven Spielberg brings this autobiographical tale to life, telling the story of a troubled family as they are relocated from New Jersey to California. The Fabelmans are made up of Mum (Michelle Williams), Dad (Paul Dano) Son Sammy (Gabriel LaBelle) and three daughters…oh and a monkey!

The story follows Sammy as he discovers a love for filmmaking and begins shooting his own short films with the undying support of his musician mother. His father, although having his reservations, stands by and watches as his son becomes a young man and passionate story teller.

When tragedy hits the Fabelmans home, the family struggle to recover and Sammy puts filmmaking to one side.

After a difficult few years dealing with bullying, his parents marriage crumbling and relationship struggles, Sammy returns to his passion and switches the camera on once again.

Every single shot in this 2 hour spectacle is so intricately thought out that it is impeccably easy to get completely absorbed by the magic of it. The storytelling is beautifully fluent with the narrative of Sammy’s love and heartbreak with his craft that it screams from the rooftops. Spielbergs heart and soul went into this film, that is clear to see, and the moments of his own experiences are vividly charming.

The direction is, as expected, utterly flawless. But a director is only as good as those he’s directing, and the performances shine from the entire cast. LaBelle will be a new face to most but this film will put him on the map as one to watch, his performance is honest and raw. Whilst the film is emotional, the moments of comedy are crafted with perfect skill.

The Fabelmans is both an ode to the beauty of cinema whilst being a powerful coming of age film. Thanks to its beautiful cinematography and stylish editing techniques it deserves to be seen on the big screen.

The Fabelmans

Animation Roundup 2022

2022 has been a great year for film, cinema’s have boomed thanks to the huge release of Top Gun: Maverick, Jurassic World: Dominion and closing the year with Avatar: The Way of Water. But, despite the exciting live action films that have graced the silver screen, I think it’s time we celebrated the explosion of animated films we have been gifted this year. From the return to the Toy Story universe in Disney/Pixar’s Lightyear to the gruesome battle between teddy bears and unicorns in Unicorn Wars, I’m going to delve into some of the animated highlights of the year. 

If you can, I ask you to cast your minds back to the start of the year. We’d just seen Disney’s Encanto take home the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, which came as no surprise to anyone. In an Oscar’s first, Danish animated documentary Flee was awarded Best Feature Length Documentary at the Academy Awards and The Windshield Wiper from Spanish filmmaker Alberto Mieglo wins best animated short. After the celebrations of the 94th Academy Awards we waved goodbye to the animated films of the last 12 months and looked forward to 2022 and what it had in store.

Disney/Pixar were straight off the mark with the release of their highly anticipated coming of age animation about a young teenage girl Meilin who reaches a stage in her adolescence and finds herself turning…ahem…red. Turning Red is up there with my favourite animated films of the year and celebrates everything great, and at times not so great, about being a teenage girl. With the addition of boy band 4-Town and her awkward best friends, it resonated with audiences of all ages and thanks to its stunning CG animation (what else would we expect from Pixar?) Turning Red should be celebrated. 

Turning Red was Pixar’s first outing of 2022, followed just a few months later with Lightyear which was Pixar’s first cinema release since before the COVID pandemic. Lightyear tells the origin story of the beloved Toy Story hero Buzz Lightyear, this time round voiced by the perfectly cast Chris Evans and supported by a gabble of other well known voices. From the likes of Taika Waititi, Kiki Palmer and James Brolin as fan favourite Zurg. Lightyear is great fun, and with the addition of the fun robot cat sidekick SOX, despite slightly lacking the whimsy and nostalgia of the Toy Story series, still managed to capture our hearts.

The end of 2022 has seen the release of Disney’s Strange World, which despite its weak marketing, is absolutely stunning. The adventurous tale of Searcher (voiced by Jake Gyllenhaal) who goes on a rescue mission to save their home with the companionship of his son, wife and three legged dog. Meeting bonkers creatures and fantastical surroundings along the way, Strange World is bright, colourful and vastly enjoyable to watch. Quirky in all the right places with a wonderfully original story that pulls it all together, Strange World is making its way to Disney+ by the end of the year and I highly recommend giving it a watch.

From one major streaming platform to another, Netflix have also had their share of animation releases this year. Apollo 10 ½ : A Space Age Childhood was released in April this year and tells the coming of age story loosely based on the childhood experience of writer/director Richard Linklater. Supported by its stunning visuals and ambitious animation style, Apollo 10 ½ is favourite for an Oscar nomination at this year’s Academy Awards. 

The Sea Beast was also released on Netflix this year and sits as the third biggest Netflix film of the year. The stunning tale of an outcast sea creature who is victim to hunting, only until a bond is formed between it and a young stowaway. The animation is bold and beautiful and, quite frankly, deserved a cinema release. Hopefully in the future, Netflix decides to get their original animations on the big screen. 

With the Christmas season upon us, Netflix have jumped on the bandwagon of retelling the classic Charles Dickens novel, A Christmas Carol in the new animated musical Scrooge: A Christmas Carol. The animation technique of sharp angles and block colours could be considered intelligently creative, however, at times it comes across as lazy and over-stimulated. However, thanks to the musical soundtrack, the voice acting is fantastic. Luke Evans as Scrooge, with his bellowing tones, was a brilliant choice and brings a depth to the ever familiar role. 

2022 was a treat for stop motion animation fans, Henry Selick (director of the stop motion giants The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline) made his long awaited return to the medium in the shape of Wendell & Wild, a stop motion animation horror adventure from writers Keegan Micheal Key and Jordan Peele. Released in time for Halloween, Wendell & Wild bares the same spooky, gothic fantasy style as Selicks previous works whilst incorporating a modern twist with relevant music styles, fashion and character design. 

Jumping back to Disney+, the summer of 2022 was jam packed with fun family friendly films, and Disney+ was the place to be for some of the best of them. May 20th saw the release of Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, a rollocking comedy following the parallel lives of the now retired Chip and Dale after their successful career on TV’s favourite show, The Rescue Rangers. From comic con appearances to reality TV gigs, this part animation/part live action comedy is an absolute blast for all ages.
For the slightly more mature audiences (in age, not sense of humour!), Disney+ released The Bob’s Burgers Movie. A musical animation spin-off of the hugely popular adult animation series, The Bob’s Burgers Movie was loved by critics and fans alike and is looking likely to pick up some nominations in this year’s awards season. 

Although Disney and Netflix dominate the animation circuit year after year, that’s not to say there isn’t room for independent animation studios to make their mark. Irish animation company Cartoon Saloon, who have previously graced audiences with the likes of Wolf Walkers, Songs of the Sea and The Breadwinner, returned this year with their family fantasy My Fathers Dragon. After receiving positive reviews from the London Film Festival, My Fathers Dragon made its way to Netflix in November and is a hidden gem. Beautiful animation, teamed with a stellar voice cast and the whimsy that Cartoon Saloon always brings to their projects makes this fantasy adventure film one to watch. 

Spanish animation studio Abano Productions also brought their most recent project to the London Film Festival. Much less a family favourite, and more a dark adult comedy, Unicorn Wars is a brutal interpretation of the misfortune of war and the battle between…ahem…teddy bears and unicorns. Full of crass humour and gory visuals, Unicorn Wars definitely won’t be for everyone, but is ambitious and should be celebrated for that alone. 

Also released on Netflix this year was Studio Colorido’s Drifting Home from Japanese filmmaker Hiroyasu Ishida. Drifting Home follows a group of school children who find themselves floating in the middle of the ocean on top of a block of flats, between friendship dynamics and coming of age dilemmas, the group must navigate themselves back to land whilst working together as a team to find food and supplies. Powerful, emotional and visually stunning Drifting Home should not be overlooked. 

Saving the best for last, I am finishing my Animation roundup with the hugely anticipated and thus critically acclaimed stop motion animation from Guillermo Del Toro. Pinocchio had its world premiere at the London Film Festival in October and has gone on to receive rave reviews and Oscar predictions since its global Netflix release in December. Del Toro has teased about bringing the story of Pinocchio to life in his own dark fantasy style for some years now and the end result didn’t disappoint. The animation is intricate and beautiful, the changes to the original fairytale are dark and powerful and the voice cast is flawless. Bursting with passion and style, GDT’s Pinocchio is favourite to wipe the board on animation awards this season and rightly so. A huge achievement from everyone involved, and as always with Del Toro’s work, I can’t wait to see what he does next. 

And there we have it, 17 films, multiple animation styles and a shed load of voice acting talent, we have the 2022 round up of animated feature lengths. Bring on 2023.

(Special shout out to A24’s Marcel The Shell With Shoes On which I have already seen but is scheduled for major release in February so will undoubtedly make the list next year!). 

Happy New Year everyone. 

Animation Roundup 2022

Avatar: The Way of Water

Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, Stephen Lang
Director: James Cameron
Writer: James Cameron, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver

Let’s cast our minds back to 2009. The summer blockbuster season is upon us and we have already been transported back to Hogwarts (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince), into the skies with Karl and Russell (Up) and to gloomy Forks in another adventure with Bella and Edward (Twilight: New Moon) and James Cameron hasn’t even made his mark yet. Avatar opens with a groundbreaking opening weekend, with the use of 3D and motion capture technology, audiences are collectively astounded. And rightly so. People go back again and again to be immersed in the beauty of Pandora and all its glory. 

James Cameron’s passion project is ambitious, expensive and fascinating and takes audiences on a rollercoaster of discovery, scientific study and an emotional character journey for lead character Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington), Avatar is a phenomenon. Skirting around the 3 hour run time it falls into the same category as each of the epic Lord of the Rings saga, the cinematic classic Gone with the Wind and Cameron’s previous groundbreaking achievement, Titanic. It is an investment, both emotionally and physically (there’s no time for toilet breaks in this perfectly paced epic!). 

After battling the greed and brutality of the American humans that are attempting to colonise Pandora, we leave Jake and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) in the trusted hands of her people as Jake makes the permanent transition from human to Na’vi. 

13 years later and audiences around the world are being transported back to Pandora to catch up with some old and new friends in Avatar: The Way of Water

From the opening shot to the closing music, Avatar: The Way of Water is everything a sequel needs to be. Cameron hasn’t shied away from the powers of the original whilst injecting the plot with new characters, new settings, new lore and a powerfully emotional story. Jake Sully is back with his young family, sons Neteyam (Jamie Flatters) and Lo’ak’s (Britain Dalton) and young daughter Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss). Also amongst the Sully brood is Kiri, voiced by returning cast member Sigourney Weaver, who, despite her troubled and confused past, has become the adopted daughter of Jake and Neytiri. As well as the 4 Na’vi children, Jake and Neytiri have welcomed nomad Spider to their midst, a human boy that was born on Pandora and despite knowing his father, believes he is to be a part of the Na’vi tribe and lives with the Sullys when he can. 

A family of 7, living at peace with Pandora and their people. Until ghosts from their past show there ugly faces in a plot to seek revenge for Jakes mistakes. Quaritch (Stephen Lang) returns to the Na’vi bodied version of his previous character who was killed at the end of the first film, and finds himself on a revenge mission, to kill Jake Sully. With his family to keep safe, Jake leaves their home in the forest and flee to the water people who after some convincing, welcome the Sullys to their home. 

A bold and ambitious third act allows the family to work together with their new tribe and battle the ghosts of Jakes past. 

After 13 years, a lot rides on this being a successful sequel. And after James Cameron’s success with sequels in the past it seemed like a sure deal. And for me, it is everything I hoped it would be and more. It seems an obvious thing to point out but the visual effects are like nothing seen before, the introduction to the world of water allows the creative team to embellish what we have already seen in the original. New characters and new creatures encourage the vast creativity of this seismic world that Cameron and his team have created. The transition from daytime to nighttime is a feast for the eyes and encapsulated the audience with every frame. 

Powerful performances throughout encourage the audience to suspend their disbelief and fully engage in the dynamics and relationships between the family. Despite the 3+ hour runtime, the pacing of the storytelling is careful and delicate where it needs to be and jam packed with epic action sequences where the story requires it. 

James Cameron holds on to the standard 3 act structure, which helps drive the film in the right direction and allows for immense world building techniques throughout. Just as the first one challenged the way visual effects can be used to tell a story, the sequel continues to hold the mantel for what a blockbuster can be, and what technology allows performers and filmmakers to achieve. 

Avatar: The Way of Water is magnificent, both visually and emotionally. I urge anyone who wants to see this film to see it on the biggest screen possible, and run to the loo as close to the start time as you can! Because you will not want to miss a second of it. 

Avatar: The Way of Water

Tomorrow Morning

Cast: Samantha Barkes, Ramin Karimloo
Director: Nick Winston
Writer: Laurence Mark Wythe

Catherine and Will are a couple very much in love on the eve of their wedding day, until we jump forward in time and see Will as he prepares for the court hearing of their impending divorce. TOMORROW MORNING delves into the emotional turmoil of a modern day family as they battle with their complications whilst considering their 11 year old son. 

The cast is lead by musical theatre superstars Samantha Barkes (Frozen, Pretty Woman, Les Miserables) and Ramin Karimloo (Love Never Dies, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables) as they sing their way through their complicated love story. 

The songs aren’t the most memorable, however, they navigate the plot in true musical fashion. The intricacies of the plot and the time jumping element keep the pace moving swiftly and allow the cast the opportunity to explore the varied emotions of the characters. 

The cast is brimming with exciting names, from Joan Collins to Omid Djalili and a great supporting role from Fleur East. 

This film won’t be for everyone, and it suffers from a clunky production, but the music is charming, the performances are endearing and the plot is intelligent. A perfect cosy Sunday afternoon musical. 

Tomorrow Morning

The Good Nurse

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne
Director: Tobias Lindholm
Writer: Krysty Wilson-Cairns

In a North American general hospital ICU unit a series of mysterious deaths take place much to the confusion of the medical staff. Jessica Chastain plays Amy, a night nurse on the ward who’s excels in patient care and befriends her residents. When the ICU becomes overrun the hospital administer Charlie Cullen (Eddie Redmayne) to provide support for the night ward. Amy and Charlie form an unwavering bond when Amy confides in Charlie about a severe health conditioning she is battling and her chaotic life as a single mother. Charlie provides the emotional and physical support that Amy is yearning for, until the unexplained deaths start taking place. Charlie is investigated and Amy works with the local police to uncover the truth. 

This emotional medical thriller morphs into a police investigative drama at a seamless rate. From emotional death scenes to terrifying interrogations The Good Nurse is a rollercoaster of a film whilst overflowing with quick turns and a perfectly paced plot. 

Chastain and Redmayne give outstanding performances and gel with each other in an unlikely way. When directed by Tobias Lindholm both performers melt into the roles flawlessly and drive the film with intelligence and pure craft. Redmaynes portrayal of serial killer Cullen takes a short time to get going but once he sinks into the characteristics of this complex character he delivered a career best performance. Chastain is always one to watch but the vulnerability she creates when expressing the everyday struggles of Amy, a single mother who is desperate to pass her probation just to benefit from the health insurance owed to her is exquisite. 

In a heartbreakingly powerful climactic scene the whole film takes a tonal shift and is closed by the unimaginable post script which reminds the audience of the reality behind this haunting true story. 

The Good Nurse is a triumph. 

The Good Nurse

My Fathers Dragon

Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Gaten Matarazzo, Whoopi Goldberg, Judi Greer, Leighton Meester
Director: Nora Twomey
Writer: Meg LeFauve

Cartoon Saloon bring their latest animated feature to the London Film Festival in the shape of My Fathers Dragon. A fantasy folk tale based on the book by Ruth Stiles Gannett of the same name, this time collaborating with Netflix. 

Telling the story of Elmer (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) a young boy who has recently relocated to the big city with his single mother from their rural village life. With big dreams of opening their own store in the madness of the city, they struggle to pay their rent and after an argument Elmer runs away in search of opportunities. Elmer meets a friendly cat (Whoopi Goldberg) who tells him about an island off the coast of the city where Elmer will find a dragon who will solve all his problems for him. The star studded cast of fantastic voice acting supports this wholesome tale of friendship, hope and most importantly trust in each other’s strengths. Gaten Matarazzo (Stranger Things) seamlessly provides the voice for Boris, the friendly dragon whom guides Elmer throughout the film. 

Cartoon Saloon have had phenomenal success with their independent animated features over the past 13 years. Academy award nominated films such as The Secret of the Kells, The Breadwinner and most recently Wolfwalkers have paved the way for their unique style of creation. My Fathers Dragon continues their tradition of breathtaking animation style and purely magical substance, with its beautiful storytelling and character development. 

Paired with a picturesque score and a team of celebrated voice actors, it is one for the whole family to enjoy. The plot moves at a quick pace and is bursting at the seams with whimsy and colour. The character designs are nothing short of magical, which just adds to the mastery of the animation. 

Clever, funny and heartwarming, My Fathers Dragon is a masterclass of originality and creativity whilst clinging to the inspiration of the classic fairytales from animation studios such as Disney and Laika. 

A wonderful gift from one of the most exciting animation studios working today, a pure joy. 

My Fathers Dragon

My Policeman

Cast: Harry Styles, Emma Corrin, David Dawson
Director: Michael Grandage
Writer: Ron Nyswaner

Michael Grandage directs My Policeman, the love story of Policeman Tom (Harry Styles), museum manager Patrick (David Dawson) and primary school teacher Marian (Emma Corrin). Set in 1950’s Brighton, Tom and Marian meet, fall in love and get married. What Marian doesn’t know is that Tom is having an affair with Patrick and after catching them as they have a steamy shack up in a …ahem… shack, Patrick gets arrested, Tom loses his job and Marian floats along as a heart broken bystander. 

Running parallel to the 1950s is the 1990s where we see Tom (Linus Roache) and Marian (Gina McKee) living in a sleepy seaside town. When in a peculiar turn of events, Patrick (Rupert Everett) is wheeled into their home after suffering a stroke and Marian becomes his full time carer. 

A plot that shows such promise and potential could have excelled in an emotionally charged romantic drama, sadly, falls short when trying to project any form of emotion or excitement. 

The cast, packed mostly full of celebrated performers, is served a boring and cliched script leaving no room for creativity. Styles, who leads the cast, struggles to control his northern accent and leaves the majority of his scenes dry and lifeless. Everett is completely wasted in his role and is a forgettable addition to the cast. 

The score is unfitting, the plot is completely flat with absolutely no pay off and the character development is missable. 

A failed effort, 1 star because it has a cute dog. 

My Policeman

The Whale

Cast: Brendan Frasier, Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Samantha Morton, Ty Simpkins
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Samuel D. Hunter

Darren Aronofsky brings his new feature film to the London Film Festival in the shape of The Whale. An emotionally charged drama telling the story of Charlie (Brendan Frasier), a morbidly obese online professor who is suffering with chronic depression. After being diagnosed with a fatal heart condition in the opening chapter, Charlie attempts to rekindle a broken relationship with his teenage daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink). 

Adapted from the stage play of the same name, The Whale ventures into dark corners and devastating moments as Charlie’s life is told through a plot that covers 5 days from the confines of his dank, dreary flat. 

Aronofsky directs this gut wrenching tale with creativity unlike any other. The story of Charlie’s character is supported by Lisa (Hong Chau), his best friend and nurse who packs and emotional punch in a flawless performance. Mary (Samantha Morton), Ellie’s mother and Charlie’s ex wife is only on the screen for a short time but steals every moment available to her as she approaches Charlie’s condition from her perspective. And Ty Simpkins who plays Thomas, a local New Church missionary with his own past trauma and sees saving Charlie as his religious calling. 

All the performances throughout this powerful character piece are breathtaking but the film is completely overshadowed by Frasier’s raw acting talent. The nuances in his projection of depression and grief are so perfectly matched with his emotional outrage. The current celebrations surrounding him are not unjustified. 

Various creative decisions throughout the piece help drive the horrors of Charlie’s past and the devastation he has faced but also pick up on the traumatic mistakes he has made throughout his life. His drive to support his daughter at all costs, regardless of how horrendously she treats him, are heartwarming. Aronofsky also makes the visionary decision of when to end the film, right at the crescendo, leaving the audience in stunned silence as a rapturous applause broke out over the closing music. 

An artistic masterpiece. 

The Whale

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical

Cast: Emma Thompson, Alisha Weird, Lashana Lynch, Stephen Graham, Andrea Riseborough, Sindu Vee
Director: Matthew Warchus
Writer: Dennis Kelly. Songs: Tim Minchin

In this brand new on screen adaptation of the West End and Broadway hit we are gifted with a phenomenal cast of new faces and exciting new song and a magnitude of joy. Matilda the Musical (based on the original novel by Roald Dahl) tells the story of the young girl who doesn’t know where she fits in the world. But with the help of her powerful imagination and magic powers she creates quite a stir in her small village. Matilda (played by on screen newbie Alisha Weir) is an unwanted, unloved and neglected child by her devilish parents Mr and Mrs Wormwood (perfectly portrayed by Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough respectively). After befriending the local librarian, Mrs Phelps (Sindu Vee), Matilda discovers a passionate love for storytelling and much to her delight is enrolled at Crunchem Hall, the local school. At Crunchem Hall she meets Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch) who celebrates everything Matilda is and has to offer. But, due to a false warning from Mr Wormwood claiming that Matilda is a foul child, the headmistress of Crunchem Hall has other plans for her. Screen favourite and national treasure Emma Thompson brings the villain Miss Trunchbull to life as she does everything in her power to make the lives of her students a living hell. After teaming up with her classmates Matilda leads the rebellion against Trunchbull in a motivation and emotional climax. 

Alisha Weir brings a fresh face to the much loved character and manages to encapsulate her emotions and whimsy perfectly. For such a young performer to bring such a powerful and heart warming character to life with such style and confidence is worth celebrating. 

The original stage production has always had Trunchbull played by a man in one of the most famous, and highly celebrated, drag roles in musical theatre. However, for the on screen adaptation of Matilda the Musical, the creative choice to use Thompson in the role is inspired. She manages to create the perfect Roald Dahl villain, her comedic timing is visionary and her ability to be gruesome and gruelling, while still showcasing Agatha Trunchbull’s vulnerability, is perfect. 

The supporting cast also manage to embody the whimsy of a Roald Dahl classic, whilst still encapsulating the magic of the stage production. 

The costumes, hair and makeup, visuals and set design surpass all expectations. This film reeks with beauty and craft. 

At the press conference for the BFI London Film Festival, director Mark Warchus, expressed his enjoyment in the creative process of adapting the stage show for screen. Thanking the hard work of his fellow crew members, writer Dennis Kelly and lyricist Tim Minchin. Minchin’s music resonates beautifully on screen, whilst holding on to the perfection of the original stage score. A few songs have been cut from the original soundtrack, however, to create the perfect ending for the film Minchin penned a brand new two handed ballad to provide a beautiful finale for the story. Minchin discussed this at the press conference and explained that due to there being a lack of live audience when watching a film, closing the piece with Revolting Children (as does in the stage production) didn’t feel like the story had finished. 

That being said, at the public screening as part of the London Film Festival, where at least 50% of the audience was made up of school children, the royal festival hall erupted in applause as the credits rolled. A magical experience for such a beautifully crafted film. 

Matilda the Musical is a masterclass in stage to screen adaptations, a blessing in casting and an utter joy to watch. My advice to anyone looking forward to seeing this film is this, go to your local cinema on November 25th, get a big bucket of popcorn, a fizzy drink and shut the world out for 2 hours. It deserves to be seen on the big screen and enjoyed with friends, family or for some independent escapism. Congratulations to all involved for this feet in filmmaking. A pure joy. 

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Evan Rachel Wood
Director: Eric Appel
Writer: Eric Appel, ‘Weird’ Al Yankovic

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, Swiss Army Man) leads the cast in the not-so-true to life biopic of the ever weird and wonderful Al Yankovic. Featuring most of Yankovic’s hit parody covers, and one stellar “original song”, Weird takes audiences on the ride of their lives. Comedic performances aplenty and hilarious sequences that will have audiences roaring with laughter from start to finish. 

Radcliffe holds the entire film together with his fantastical performance and is supported wonderfully by Evan Rachel Wood (True Blood, Westworld) who boasts a fascinating portrayal of rising pop star Madonna. Yankovic‘s band mates are led by Spencer Treat Clarke (Agents of Shield, Animal Kingdom) and don’t miss a beat, literally. The film is jam packed with side splitting celebrity cameos, some more surprising than others. 

The script bends the truth within an inch of its life but the film doesn’t suffer for it, it’s as wacky and wonderful as you’d expect a film about Weird Al to be. With emotional beats which make no sense and drug infused madness that make too much sense. Not enough can be said about Radcliffe’s fascinating performance, an actor that is always worth watching and makes inspired choices in the projects he takes on. When first announced this film seemed like career suicide but Radcliffe manages to pull the whole thing together with style and complete madness. 

Ridiculous, hilarious and in an industry currently obsessed with deep, meaningful and at times harmful biopics, Weird does something fresh, innovative and down right brilliant. Weird is an immediate cult classic and should be seen.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story