LIFE! RECOMMENDS

Film picks: Singapore International Festival of the Arts, Love & Mercy, Man Up, Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
Jurassic Park. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
Simon Pegg. -- PHOTO: CATHAY-KERIS FILMS
Simon Pegg. -- PHOTO: CATHAY-KERIS FILMS
John Cusack (left). -- PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION
John Cusack (left). -- PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION
Horse Money. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
Horse Money. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTSPHOTOS: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS, SHAW ORGANISATION, CATHAY-KERIS FILMS, UNIVERS

SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

The impressionistic, surreal Horse Money (2014, 103 minutes) is Portuguese director Pedro Costa's way of making sense of the deep divisions in his hometown, Lisbon, with its African immigrants trapped in a permanent underclass.

Through the eyes of the wandering, ghost-like African blue-collar worker Ventura, fragments of a wider and disturbing political reality unfold.

Where: The Projector, Golden Mile Tower MRT: City Hall When: June 20 - July 4 Admission: Sistic, at sistic.com.sg. $45 for an O.P.E.N. pass, for access to all films.

Full schedule at sifa.sg/theopen

John Lui


LOVE & MERCY (PG13)

120 minutes

4.5/5

This biopic follows the legendary Brian Wilson, singer-songwriter of The Beach Boys, whose creative genius and immense success came at the cost of abuse from certain people around him.

Paul Dano plays the younger Wilson in the 1960s when he is beginning to show signs of being manic-depressive with schizoaffective disorder.

John Cusack plays the older Wilson in the 1980s, whose life is taken over by the controlling therapist Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti).

This biopic takes the unusual approach of casting two different actors to play the same person, never mind that stars Paul Dano and John Cusack look nothing alike.

So it is commendable that despite the film’s constant back-and-forth between two disparate stories set in two time periods – one in the 1960s at Wilson’s creative peak and one in the 1980s when the now semi-recluse is heavily sedated by meds – all of it comes together to form a coherent and compelling story about one extraordinary man.

Yip Wai Yee


MAN UP (NC16)

88 minutes

3.5/5

Thanks to a case of mistaken identity, awkward Nancy (Lake Bell) ends up on a blind date with an older, divorced man Jack (Simon Pegg). They get along swimmingly and, somehow, there is never a right moment for her to confess the error. When he eventually finds out, is there still a chance for them?

Pegg is the everyman you root for, be it in apocalyptic comedies such as Shaun Of The Dead (2004) and The World’s End (2013) or in a romance here.

Bell is gawky, cynical and vulnerable in an endearing way, without quite getting into the cartoonish territory of Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001).

Bland title aside, Man Up is a rom-com that gets both the romance and the comedy right.

Boon Chan


JURASSIC PARK (PG)

127 minutes

The Projector is screening this groundbreaking movie, the first in the series that has culminated in Jurassic World, now showing in cinemas. The first movie has yet to be equalled. In cinematography, story, animatronics, and in that majestic John Williams theme music, director Steven Spielberg in 1993 made everyone feel like a kid again.

When: Sunday, 2pm Where: The Projector, Golden Mile Tower Admission: Tickets by donation at the door.

JL