Ritzy round-up … howls, growls and beasts

At the time of my monthly round-up deadline I was still basking in the innocence of the 2017 Academy Awards, says Nicola Jones

How has it all panned out? Hopefully in a way that regardless of politics reminds us all why we love cinema and why it is so intrinsic that all types of stories get a moment in the spotlight

March is a busy month for the Ritzy and begins with a growl and some howls as Hugh Jackman returns to the claws of Wolverine. LOGAN (from 1 Mar) will be director James Mangold’s take on the famed X-man. This is Jackman’s final bow as the imperviously immortal and cantankerous anti-hero. Joining it is the Michael Fassbender and Brendon Gleeson two-hander TRESPASS AGAINST US (3 Mar). Here’s hoping it’s better than its title suggests. The Sundance festival film CERTAIN WOMEN (from 3 Mar) and VICEROY’S HOUSE (from 3 Mar) are also out.

Isabel Huppert and friend in Elle
Isabel Huppert and friend in Elle

Finally for us cinephiles the masterful ELLE (from 10 Mar) arrives in the UK. Paul Verhoeven directs French grand dame Isabelle Hubbert in what is certain to be a memorable piece of work. Do not miss it.

Big releases also arrive this month. Leading the pack (even over Wolverine) is Disney’s live action adaptation of their 1991 animated hit BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (from 17 Mar). Go, enjoy it – it cannot be as bad as CINDERELLA. A beast of another kind arrives with KONG: SKULL ISLAND (from 17 Mar). If that is not enough exploring for you go see THE LOST CITY OF Z (from 24 Mar) based on David Grann’s book about explorers in the Amazon.

Rounding out the month is director Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE (from 31 Mar). The film is his follow-up to High Rise, last year’s adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel. Free Fire is an original script set in Boston in 1978. Bellbottoms and handlebar moustaches adorn a meeting of two gangs that erupts into a survival shootout. Starring Brie Larson, Armie Hammer and Cillian Murphy to name but a few, the film should make your monthly must-see list.

Also releasing this month is science fiction thriller LIFE (from 31 Mar) starring Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds in space. Controversial GHOST IN A SHELL (from 31 Mar) arrives that weekend as well. Will the Scarlett Johansson film beat out its situation?

The Salesman
The Salesman

Lastly, this month’s international arrivals include the Iranian Academy Award-nominated THE SALESMAN (from 17 Mar).

Nicola Jones is a freelance writer whose website asophisticatednoise.com covers film reviews, trailers, and industry news. She can be found tweeting @MzJones

Do The Right Thing … Ritzy staff and others employed by the giant Cineworld corporation are calling for a boycott of the Ritzy and other cinemas in the Picturehouse chain that do not pay the London Living Wage