Opening the month in muscular style is Legend of Tarzan (July 8) starring the delightful Alexander Skarsgård and a menagerie of CGI creatures.
For those unfamiliar with the story (perhaps you were raised by tree-dwelling mammals?), it centres on the titular Tarzan, (played by True Blood’s viking vampire, Skarsgård) who is raised by gorillas and other a number of other wild beasts after his mother and father perish.
In an new twist on the much-filmed tale, the film begins with Tarzan, now going by John Clayton III/ Lord Greystoke living the gentile life of an English aristocrat. Instead of showing the hackneyed ‘taming of the beast’ story arc, the opening focuses on a very tame Lord Greystoke strutting around London with his spiffing wife Jane (played by Suicide Squad’s Margot Robbie), ten years after leaving the jungle.
After being appointed trade emissary to the Congo by the British Parliament, Lord Tarzan is pitched back into the jungly life he left behind, without realising that he is a pawn in the evil schemes of dastardly villain Captain Rom (played by the always-excellent Christoph Waltz). Can the very ripped Tarzan save Jane, foil Rom’s evil machinations and still have time for Leg Day? Hop the nearest vine down to your local cinema to find out.
Out on the same day is Maggie’s Plan (July 8), which begins as a generic rom-com but turns into a comedic caper.
The story is thus: meticulous teacher Maggie (Greta Gerwig), ever the practical soul, decides that she cannot depend on Mr Right showing up and impregnating her, so she turns to artisanal pickle entrepreneur Guy to help her. Then, as is wont to happen, life throws her a curve ball in the form of hunky, but married John (Ethan Hawke, who only gets cast in rom-coms these days).
Soon enough John leaves his crazy, but brilliant, wife Georgette (Julianne Moore, with a comical Danish accent) for a life with Maggie, and the live happily ever after. Just kidding! After a few years of marriage to John she discovers that he is in fact, a bit of a dick. In a quirky, if not unexpected turn of events, Maggie decides that the best way to unburden herself of John is by foisting him back on his ex-Georgette. Luckily, Georgette is on-board and so, comedic capers ensue. Will she succeed? And will Ethan Hawke ever get cast in a non-rom-com again? Only time will tell!
At the tail end of the month is French indie flick Summertime (La Belle Saison) (July 15). After doing the festival rounds for a while now this quirky coming of age tale is final being granted a cinematic release (though probably not beyond the IFI).
Set in the 1970s, Summertime follows country girl Delphine who leaves her rural home for the bright lights of gay Paris. Once there, she promptly replaces her farmer’s dungarees and piece of chewing straw with a leather jacket and a Gauloises, before joining a radical feminist group.
Before long, Delphine finds herself irresistibly drawn to the group’s charismatic leader Carole, and when it becomes clear that the attraction is mutual, the two connect.
However, when Delphine’s father falls ill (quelle Domage!), a difficult choice presents itself: should she stay in Paris or follow her family’s wishes to remain on the farm and marry the boy next door?