Got your social diary sorted yet? We're here to help - there are tons of great things to do in Edinburgh this week. Have a look through our round-up of all the best events and films that Edinburgh has to offer. You'll find theatre, art, music and more in our list, so have a look and plan a week's worth of things to do in Edinburgh.
Things to do in Edinburgh this week
Films showing this week
This is probably one of the few great films of the Seventies. It's the tale of three Pennsylvanian steelworkers, their life at work, at play (deer-hunting), at war (as volunteers in Vietnam). Running against the grain of liberal guilt and substituting Fordian patriotism, it proposes De Niro as a Ulyssean hero tested to the limit by war. Moral imperatives replace historical analysis, social rituals become religious sacraments, and the sado-masochism of the central (male) love affair is icing on a Nietzschean cake. Ideally, though, it should prove as gruelling a test of its audience's moral and political conscience as it seems to have been for its makers.
True originals are hard to come by in cinema, but this heart-on-sleeve, deeply eccentric tale of life, love and loss in the flood waters of New Orleans truly merits the label. First-time feature filmmaker Benh Zeitlin has adapted a one-act play by fellow American Lucy Alibar into a dreamy but strikingly immediate and frayed-at-the-edges, child’s-eye view of life on the margins of America.The child is six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis), a tomboyish girl who lives with her erratic dad, Wink (Dwight Henry), in a remote and wild bayou region of Louisiana – a ramshackle, watery trailer community of hard-living waifs and strays. Humans live cheek by jowl with other animals, and happily kill, cook and crunch them when the time arises.Hushpuppy’s fears of the rising waters and her confused feelings about her parents (her dad is ill, her mum is dead, although she appears as a spirit) mean that she – and so we – slips into a world of imagination that involves strange, menacing prehistoric beasts and melting ice caps. This is a very magical and musical sort of social realism – as if Ken Loach’s ‘Kes’ was given a rewrite by Lewis Carroll. If that still sounds gritty and grim, much of ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ consists of bursts of pure, naked emotion, and it cartwheels along at a cracking pace. It’s fleshy and mucky (and shot on grainy 16mm), but it’s also musical and colourful, with Hushpuppy’s voiceover leading us playfully and innocently through the story and scenes of fir
Brilliant but despicably cynical view of human obsession and the tendency of those in love to try to manipulate each other. Stewart is excellent as the neurotic detective employed by an old pal to trail his wandering wife, only to fall for her himself and then crack up when she commits suicide. Then one day he sees a woman in the street who reminds him of the woman who haunts him... Hitchcock gives the game away about halfway through the movie, and focuses on Stewart's strained psychological stability; the result inevitably involves a lessening of suspense, but allows for an altogether deeper investigation of guilt, exploitation, and obsession. The bleakness is perhaps a little hard to swallow, but there's no denying that this is the director at the very peak of his powers, while Novak is a revelation. Slow but totally compelling.
Never take pity on a film critic. Instead, let it suffice to say that I look forward to you seeing 'Hereditary' and then joining me in having several sleepless nights peering into dark corners and gnawing your fingernails off. A harrowing story of unthinkable family tragedy that veers into the realm of the supernatural, 'Hereditary' takes its place as a new generation's 'The Exorcist' — for some, it will spin heads even more savagely. As with so much inspired horror, from 'Rosemary's Baby' to 2014's psychologically acute 'The Babadook', the movie gets its breath and a palpable sense of unraveling identity from a fearless female performance, this time by Toni Collette, the revered Australian actor capable of sustained fits of mania. (To watch her in 'The Sixth Sense' or 'Velvet Goldmine' is to only get a taste of how deep she goes here.) Collette plays Annie, an artist who constructs uncannily realistic dioramas: miniature rooms that embody the film's theme of a larger, malevolent entity playing with human toys. We zoom into those rooms, where Annie is keeping it together after the recent death of her by-all-accounts severe mother. Dressed in funeral blacks are her husband, Steve (Gabriel Byrne), her oldest child, Peter (Alex Wolff), a teenage stoner, and distracted young Charlie (the awesomely concentrated Milly Shapiro, a Tony winner for 'Matilda: The Musical'). Something is wrong with Charlie. Every head cock, tongue cluck and eerie stare into the middle distance will hav
A cooler-than-thou band of criminals, a smoothly executed grand heist, flawless costumes. Expanding on the handsome attributes of the Ocean’s franchise with a radiant cast and sufficient NYC groove, ‘Hunger Games’ director Gary Ross’s ‘Ocean’s 8’ gives glossy multiplex entertainment a good name. Fully loaded with Anne Hathaway’s (often underutilised) comedic chops – her cunning movie-star character is the film’s secret weapon – and various high-profile cameos (Heidi Klum, Anna Wintour, Kim Kardashian, you name it), it packs in ample carats of glitz beyond its diamonds and sequinned designer gowns.Sandra Bullock plays Debbie Ocean, an ex-con proudly filling the shoes of her brother Danny (George Clooney, here only in spirit). She masterminds a complex scheme to steal a majestic Cartier necklace at New York’s elite fundraiser the Met Gala. Among her recruits are former associate Lou (an impeccably-suited Cate Blanchett) and the eccentric fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), who’s yearning to resurrect her waning career by dressing the impishly seductive Daphne Kluger (Hathaway) for the exclusive event. Also in the squad are Mindy Kaling’s jewellery connoisseur, Sarah Paulson’s Vogue insider, Awkwafina’s sly con and the ultra-charismatic hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna, like you’ve never seen before.)‘Ocean’s 8’ sticks to the formula, though Ross never quite matches the breezy vigour of the Soderbergh-directed trilogy, but the jokes land and there’s a satisfying twist to
Imagine Maggie Smith’s cantankerous dowager in ‘Downton Abbey’ as a bag lady – she's still lording it over everyone, but now she's dressed in a filthy too-big men’s coat with brown sticky tape patching up the rips and unsightly brown smears down the back. Meet Miss Shepherd, an elderly homeless woman who lived in a knackered campervan in playwright Alan Bennett’s front garden in north London for 15 years. Smith played Miss Shepherd in Bennett’s hit 1989 play and takes on the role again in this hugely entertaining, big-hearted and funny film adaptation directed by his long-standing collaborator Nicholas Hytner ('The History Boys'); it’s the movie equivalent of cosying with a warm buttery crumpet in front of a fire on a winter’s day. The film was shot in the actual house on the street, Gloucester Crescent, in London's Camden Town where the real events took place. Alex Jennings plays Bennett, who buys his house in the late 1960s. His neighbours are writers and intellectuals – guilty liberals who put up with Miss Shepherd’s van parked outside their book-lined homes to prove how tolerant they are. When the local authorities threaten to move her on, Bennett offers Miss S the use of his front garden for a couple of weeks. She never leaves. His mum, visiting from Yorkshire, wonders what she does for a toilet. The answer involves ‘Stout carrier bags’, Bennett tells her (not stout enough we soon find out). The film offers glimpses of Bennett’s private life – his crush on a cocky you
The Beatles put their name to no fewer than five films in their quick decade together, and while ‘Yellow Submarine’ isn’t the best of them (surely that’s ‘A Hard Day’s Night’?), it’s the only one to feature their ‘Sgt Pepper’ alter-egos in a trippy animated fantasy that feels like a Terry Gilliam-designed album cover come to life. Now that the title track has become a nursery-school standard, you half expect this to be a kids’ cartoon. But it’s weirder and scrappier than that, pitched somewhere dreamlike between childhood and adulthood. Clearly influenced by Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories, ‘Yellow Submarine’ features a version of the band on the run through a series of hallucinogenic set-pieces involving bad folk called the Blue Meanies who are running riot in the seriously out-there Pepperland. Only The Beatles can help, and so an old sailor pitches up to Liverpool in a Yellow Submarine to collect them and take them on a mission to defeat the Meanies. The fantastical story is happily all over the place, and the handful of songs written especially for the film aren’t especially memorable. But when already-existing songs like ‘Eleanor Rigby’, ‘Nowhere Man’, ‘All You Need Is Love’ and ‘Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds’ kick in, the whole thing soars and makes a strange sort of psychedelic sense. It has flashes of winning silly humour (‘What day is it?’ ‘Sitar-day’), and who can resist the submarine turning into a cigarette lighter to the tune of the Hamlet cigar commercial? The Be
Superheroes may save the world, but parenthood requires skills far more advanced than extendable limbs. Brad Bird’s 'Incredibles 2' – Pixar’s most spirited sequel since 'Toy Story 3' – lovingly expresses this certainty through a bighearted familial portrait wrapped in ’60s-inspired design. But the film’s disarming appeal lies in its simpler moments of domesticity, in which the members of the all-superhero Parr family lift each other up and fight for relevance in a world of indifference. Still underground with criminalised superpowers and a destroyed home, Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), and their children, Violet, Dash and the explosive baby Jack-Jack, quietly live in a dingy motel. Their luck turns when a pair of wealthy siblings – the naive Winston and brainy inventor Evelyn (Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener) – offer them a chance to restore the Supers’ reputation. While the sensible Elastigirl serves as the fearless face of the mission, Mr. Incredible hilariously Mr. Moms his way through the kids’ homework, boy troubles and newly emerging superpowers. When the state-of-the-art villain Screenslaver disturbs the picture, the entire crew, including the previous film’s charismatic ice maker Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), joins the good fight. 'Incredibles 2' comes supercharged with timely, sophisticated themes around societal apathy and gender parity. While slightly overplotted in its finale, the sleek sequel still glows with grown-up wit, with cr
You don’t need Gary Lineker and a fancy graphic to tell you there are no openly gay top-flight footballers in the world right now. The pressures that might inform the decision to keep schtum are acutely etched in ‘Mario’, a conventional but engaging Swiss-German drama that’s as engrossing as it is timely. Golden-boy striker Mario (Max Hubacher) is the captain of a Swiss U21 team in which every player is jostling for a first-team place. These tensions are intensified with the arrival of another forward (Aaron Altaras) who is assigned digs with Mario. Of course, their initial antipathy transforms over pizza and PlayStation into attraction, then affection. Director Marcel Gisler takes his time building the connection, which pays off when their relationship is blown into the open by a jealous teammate. Here the film becomes even more absorbing, the ramifications of the relationship examined through the prism of the club, agents, family, friends and, most importantly, the couple themselves. The themes of love versus career are well-worn, but Gisler’s attention to detail and the winning chemistry between the leads draws you into the story. It’s also a rare big-screen film that mounts football scenes credibly, eschewing slow-motion bicycle kicks for something you might see on a Saturday afternoon at Charlton. But, you know, more exciting.
You don’t have to be a fan of Whitney Houston’s music to love director Kevin Macdonald’s ('Touching The Void') sharp-edged, revelatory and seriously emotional documentary about her life. Even if the very mention of ‘I Will Always Love You’ brings you out in hives, you’ll find yourself re-evaluating your feelings for this still oddly underappreciated talent. Her journey from childhood prodigy – this big-eyed girl, nicknamed ‘Nippy’, lighting up the early part of the film like a firework – to superstar mirrors Amy Winehouse’s in ‘Amy’. But strip away the tabloid tales and excess, and both have one thing in common: a childlike love of music and lungs like bellows. The power of Houston’s music is only amplified on the big screen – heck, even ‘I Will Always Love You’ sounds good here. Of course, you don’t get far into Houston’s life without stumbling on her self-destructive streak. Macdonald doesn’t shy away from the drugs, booze and erratic behaviour that blighted her later years. There’s footage of rooms strewn with drug paraphernalia and painfully candid scenes of her and husband Bobby Brown leading each other to darker and darker places. But the most harrowing revelation of all comes during two of Macdonald’s many interviews with friends, family and associates. It’s a piece of digging that adds investigative weight to the film and a hard-hitting coda to his exploration of the fragile psychology of stardom.