Film

The Hallow/ The Lady in the Van/ Steve Jobs/ Carol

Unfathomably released right after Halloween is Irish horror flick, The Hallow (November 13).

Conservationist couple, Adam and Clare, plus their newborn Finn, decide to relocate to a remote rural area to study bog bacteria or something. No sooner have they picked a gaff, when scary local, Colm (Game of Thrones‘s Michael McElhatton) warns them about the resident evil spirits who are utterly opposed to gentrification and small children.

Adam and Clare aren’t so easily dissuaded, however, and set about investigating a mysterious black goo that appears around their farm. When they discover the truth behind the goo, the couple’s fortunes and Adam’s mental health spiral down towards a thrilling and chilling finale.

Will the black goo undo the two? There’s only one way to find out!

Also this month is The Lady in the Van (November 13), written by Alan Bennett (The History Boys) and starring the incomparable Maggie Smith.

It tells the (mostly) true story of a curmudegeonly transient, known as Miss Shepherd, who lived in a parked van in Bennett’s driveway between 1974-1989, despite only being only supposed to stay three weeks.

When Bennett and his Camden neighbours become concerned about the noisome nomad hopping from parking space to parking space on their upscale street, liberal guilt and Bennett’s acknowledged fondness for eccentric old ladies prompts him to offer her the temporary use of his off-street parking spot, located in his garden. She stays for 15 years.

All in all, the arrangement didn’t turn out too badly for Bennett: there have been books, radio plays and stage shows, and now a movie of the van lady story, so it was probably worth the decade and a half of someone shitting in your garden cantankerous shenanigans.

Also this month: Steve Jobs (November 13), another film about the world famous polo-neck enthusiast, but this time starring a good actor, instead of a merely handsome one.

Loosely based on Walter Isaacson’s biography, the movie explores the essence of the arrogant perfectionist who revolutionised the computer industry.

Structured in three acts and are framed against the backdrop of three significant product releases (1984’s first-ever Mac, 1988 non-Apple NeXT and the first iMac), Steve Jobs is about as comprehensive a look at Jobs’ legacy as one could hope for. Michael Fassbender does a good Jobs (ha!) as the combative, obsessive Apple titan and the rest of the cast (which includes Kate Winslet and, eh, Seth Rogan) put in capable performances.

Finally this month we have the eagerly-awaited, Carol (November 27), adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel, The Price of Salt.

Set in the 1950s, the story follows upper class socialite Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) as she embarks on a tentative (not to mention taboo) relationship with photographer/ shop girl Therese (Rooney Mara).

After a flirtatious exchange with Therese while Christmas shopping, Carol “accidentally” leaves her gloves behind, and so must return to the shop to retrieve them/ begin an affair with Therese, by way of lunch and excessive consumption of dry martinis.

Lauded as a companion piece to director Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven, Carol is a smoky, sensuous, beautifully-crafted addition to Blanchett’s and Haynes’ body of work. Truly, the stuff awards (and early episodes of Mad Men) are made of.

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