We've rounded up some of the best things to do in Edinburgh this weekend, so there's no excuse to let your downtime go to waste. Whether theatre is your bag, you're mad for music or you'd rather stroll around an art exhibition, you'll find it all in our list, plus much, much more.
If you're looking for things to do in Edinburgh beyond this weekend, take a look at our events calendar.
Things to do in Edinburgh this weekend
Films showing this weekend
Whether or not you give a mouse dropping about 3D (and Disney has done a smashing job on the refit), what a treat it is to see ‘Beauty and the Beast’ again. It was among the studio’s crop of early 1990s hits, but in look and feel harks back to the Disney glory days, delivering a rush of sunnily confident, cockle-warming innocence. ‘Be nice and nice things will happen’ is the message, as plucky heroine Belle dodges salivating wolves to rescue her dad from the Beast’s castle. It’s witty and charming, with glorious Busby Berkeley-style numbers. And for sheer inventiveness you can’t beat the talking objects in the castle: Mrs Pots, the cockney teapot and her chinaware brood; a stagecoach that scuttles like a spider; the footstool dog waggling his tassels. Magic.
Music sounds better when you’re on the road. In ‘Baby Driver’, ‘Shaun of the Dead’ director Edgar Wright takes the car-chase action film – loaded with tyre squeals – and weds it to a cracking jukebox playlist. The result is the most supercharged piece of motorised choreography since John Landis destroyed a fleet of cop cars in ‘The Blues Brothers’. Wright’s hero, Baby (‘The Fault in Our Stars’ actor Ansel Elgort), still has a hint of peach fuzz on his cheeks, but he’s a genius with a gearstick. A getaway driver with dreams of going straight, Baby needs music to drown out the tinnitus-induced buzz in his head. Unlike the more violent and existential vehicular visions seen in ‘Drive’ or ‘Bullitt’, ‘Baby Driver’ is sweet fantasy. That means its two-bit thieves and criminal masterminds (Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey) are enjoyably cartoonish; the same goes for Baby’s waitress crush, Debora (Lily James), the kind of broad-smiling cutie that filmmakers always seem to dream about. Their romance is nourished with doe-eyed looks and Beach Boys-scored dreaminess, but the movie doesn’t know what to do with it, except hatch a plan to ‘head west and never stop’. The chances are you won’t mind: the action sequences here, imbued with humour and break-on-a-dime timing, are the most beautifully sustained and jaw-dropping of Wright’s career. You’ll be rewinding them in your head for days.
Sad-eyed and possessed of a rare stillness for stop-motion animation, this Oscar-nominated Swiss-French import beguiles you with its look, especially that of its main character. He’s a little boy named Icare, yet he goes by Courgette, and we’re not sure if that’s a term of endearment. His nose makes the sobriquet fitting, but his blue hair and scared expressions hint at a miserable existence. And when his alcoholic single mom yells at him through a beer-soaked slur, we know things are not well in his world. The main reason to commit to this movie’s tough story of orphan loneliness is the screenplay by Céline Sciamma, herself a major French talent devoted to tales of youthful resilience (her 2014 film 'Girlhood' is breathtaking). As directed by Claude Barras, Sciamma’s sense of aching empathy comes through with zero pity and just the right amount of tenderness.
Despite its vibrant, fanciful animation style, this Japanese cartoon is far from lighthearted. Based on a popular, award-winning manga series, ‘In This Corner of the World’ is set in WW2-era Hiroshima and chronicles the life of Suzu, a recently married 18-year-old girl with a passion for drawing. Whatever challenges come her way, plucky Suzu finds a solution that’ll allow her to support her new family. But then August 6, 1945 arrives. Director Sunao Katabuchi worked as a screenwriter and assistant director on anime legend Hayao Miyazaki’s early features ‘Sherlock Hound’ and ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’, then directed his own first film ‘Princess Arete’ in 2001. But this captivating drama exists on another level: the devastating ending left me sobbing. Susanna Huth
Children learn through repetition, something that Hollywood’s animation studios are taking to heart this year. With sequels to ‘Monsters, Inc’ and ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ also on the way, the multiplex is a veritable ‘Sesame Street’ of cuddly familiarity. Quite what kids stand to learn from this loud, broad and disjointedly amusing follow-up to the 2010 surprise hit is open to question. But its repetitive qualities are beyond reproach. Every bit as amiable and disposable as its predecessor, it recycles everything from slapstick gags to its own voice cast (Kristen Wiig pops up again, but as an entirely different character). The first film ended with Steve Carell’s reformed Russian supervillain Gru settling down with his sickly-sweet trio of adopted daughters. Here, he’s still trying to go straight, with an unpromising business making jellies and jams in the pipeline. The MI6-style Anti-Villain League, however, has other plans. Enter goofy secret agent Lucy (Wiig) to whisk Gru into a madcap scheme to take down an unidentified despot with dastardly designs on Gru’s cute, cackling horde of canary-yellow minions. Right down to the closing-credits ‘audition’ for their upcoming spin-off feature, the frantic antics of these critters are scarcely disguised as the film’s raison d’être. The human activity, including Gru and Lucy’s appealing but half-baked romance, is strictly to get us from A to, well, A. Youngsters won’t mind. Their parents will be as charmed or annoyed –
The female of the species is more deadly than the male. Is she really? The heroine of Daphne du Maurier’s 1951 novel is suspected of being a poisoner – a black widow who’s bumped off her husband. But the real killer in Du Maurier’s tale of obsessive love in the Victorian era is the claustrophobically adoring men who want to control Rachel and maintain patriarchal power over women. This clever, well-acted adaptation, written and directed by Roger Michell (‘Notting Hill’), is possibly a little too elegant, all bonnets and breeches and puffy shirts, but it does nail the spirit of the novel. The setting is squally Cornwall, where orphan Philip (Sam Claflin) has grown up as the son and heir of his uncle, Ambrose, a bachelor who marries a distant cousin, Rachel (Rachel Weisz), while abroad. Soon after the wedding, Ambrose’s letters take a turn for the crazy, accusing Rachel of poisoning him. When he dies, Philip suspects Rachel. The trouble is, he falls head over heels as soon as he claps eyes on her. Like the book, the film is narrated by Philip, so we see Rachel through the filter of his possessiveness. Claflin is excellent, portraying Philip as an untrained puppy, sweet but impulsive and bad-tempered. He’s a child playing at grown-ups. He wants to marry Rachel. Why would she refuse him? He’s horrified by rumours of her promiscuity but at the same time desperate to get her alone in a soggy field, the hypocrite. Is Rachel a proto-cougar or a victim of misogyny? Weisz says enoug
Do you have a six-year-old? Are they conversant in office politics? Do they love intricate, mind-scrambling existentialist narratives that lead nowhere? Then hurry them along to this deeply strange but somehow also very dull family cartoon comedy. The setup is just plain odd: before birth, the film reveals, all babies are sorted into two categories. The majority travel to earth, where they become part of a family. The rest are trained as managers in Babycorp, the company responsible for the manufacture of babies (don’t over-think it, because that way madness lies). When promising recruit The Boss Baby (gravel-voiced by Alec Baldwin like he’s reading rejected ‘30 Rock’ scripts) is sent to earth on a secret mission that’s way too silly to go into, he goes undercover with the Templeton family. But their existing seven-year-old Tim (Miles Bakshi) isn’t best impressed with his new baby brother. ‘The Boss Baby’ is one of those snarky, post ‘Shrek’ cartoons that desperately wants to appeal to parents as well as kids, but its snappy, pop-culture-referencing script feels workshopped to death (there’s a running joke about Gandalf that’s bafflingly unfunny). Undemanding kids might get a kick out of its jazzy, restless visual style and poo jokes, but grown-ups may well find themselves taking some impromptu nap time.
It seems third time’s the opposite of lucky with animated franchises. Like ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Ice Age’ before it, the ‘Despicable’ series has made the short trip from lovably madcap to tedious in three films (not counting the actually-kind-of-terrific ‘Minions’ spinoff). This time around, supervillain-turned-superagent Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and his feisty, puts-the-kick-in-sidekick wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are on the tail of ’80s-obsessed diamond thief Balthazar Bratt (‘South Park’ co-creator Trey Parker, adding precisely nothing to the proceedings). Gru also discovers that he has a brother, Dru (Carell again), who lives in a giant gold-trimmed pig farm (it’s that kind of movie). ‘Despicable Me 3’ suffers both from a lack of new ideas – there are no memorable gags or action set-pieces, just a lot of flying about and yelling – and from an assumption that the audience is already invested enough to care about what happens. The lack of consistency in the characters is striking: Dru somehow shifts from successful golden child to hapless hanger-on with zero explanation given. And there’s a strong whiff of xenophobia in the East European-inflected principality of Freedonia (yes, we get the Mark Brothers reference), which seems to be populated entirely with clog-wearing farmers and hairy-nosed gypsy women. Once again, it’s up to the squeaky, banana-obsessed minions to save the day: their subplot, which sees them confined to prison before escaping in a rickety airship, is actua
Fortunately the story of an alternative future is realised with such visual imagination and sparky humour that it's only half way through that the plot's weaknesses become apparent. Like 1984, it looks forward from the '40s to a vast urban society ruled by an oppressive bureaucracy that has developed primitive valve computers. Pryce plays a worker in the all-powerful Ministry of Information, and the best moments arise when his flat's central heating system becomes a kind of spiritual battleground between guerrilla engineer De Niro and his state opposite number Hoskins. Here Gilliam fuses terror and comedy with real brilliance; elsewhere the plot's gaping holes reduce the film to a glittering novelty.
Zac Hobson finds himself the planet's sole reluctant survivor of a catastrophic error in the secret energy project on which he's been engaged, and the combination of guilt and self-delusion soon sends him off his rocker. Murphy starts to develop this idea with a series of delightfully inventive scenes, with Zac proclaiming himself world dictator, trying a little transvestism, and finally challenging God to a duel. But what promises initially to become an SF spoof of genuine oddity, soon degenerates into a merely conventional thriller with the arrival of two fellow survivors. Still, compensation is provided by desolate Auckland locations, some fine sight gags, and the ebullient Lawrence as Zac. The moral: 'Don't fuck with the infinite'.