Two Days, One Night Marion Cotillard stars as a woman struggling to keep her job in the latest from the Dardenne brothers, which lost out to “Winter Sleep” for the Palme d'Or at Cannes. After her boss decides to sack her and give her co-workers a bonus, she forces a vote and spends a weekend begging for her job back. It's both an intimate portrayal of a desperate woman and a tense countdown to the final vote.
The Trip to Italy
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon swap the Lake District for the Med in their latest gastronomic road trip. A sequel to “The Trip”, also directed by Michael Winterbottom, it's heavy on banter and impersonations: choice moments include Coogan's turn as an incomprehensible Tom Hardy in “The Dark Knight Rises”. Coogan has described the approach as “we drive through the most spellbinding scenery that I've ever seen in my life, and then we diminish it by talking crap”.
One of the oddest pop stars in history is the subject of this comedy drama from director Lenny Abrahamson. Cult British musician and comedian Frank Sidebottom is played by Michael Fassbender – complete with giant plaster head – while Maggie Gyllenhaal and Domhnall Gleeson co-star. Loosely based on the experiences of journalist Jon Ronson who co-wrote the script and was a member of Sidebottom's band, Frank has been praised by critic Mark Kermode for getting "beneath the mask and the skin of its eponymous antihero in a manner that bridges the gap between absurdist laughter and all-too-tender tears".
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller team up again for the sequel to their 2005 surprise hit “Sin City”, bringing more stories from Miller's neo-noir graphic novels to the screen. Jessica Alba stars in the crime thriller, transformed from a stripper with a heart of gold to a woman seeking revenge for the death of her mentor (Bruce Willis). It might not be as long to wait for the next instalment: depending on box office turnout, Rodriguez has said that Sin City 3 “could go as soon as we want to”.
Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard star as three radical environmentalists plotting to blow up a controversial dam in this eco thriller from Kelly Reichardt. Combining suspense with musings on the moral ambiguity of political extremism, it was praised by The Boston Herald for being “an impressive piece of neo-noir filmmaking”.
The Two Faces of January
Screenwriter Hossein Amini makes his directorial debut with a thriller adapted from a novel by Patricia Highsmith. Set in Greece and Turkey in 1962, it follows an American couple (played by Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst) forced to go on the run with a scam artist (Oscar Isaac) after a murder at their hotel. Time Out described it as “an unhurried, louche thriller that gives way to claustrophobia as it starts to get its clammy hands around your neck.”