Anticipation isn't everything
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released Christmas 2015; the first trailer for the film ran a full year before it was released. Fans knew of the film’s existence earlier still, when its production was announced years before. It’s commonplace now for big studios to advertise their coming blockbusters far in advance to build awareness and excitement. I often look forward to some of these films myself with great anticipation, and sometimes (just occasionally!), the expectation is rewarded.
Often though I reach the end of the year and find that may of the films I‘ve enjoyed the most are those whose existence I wasn’t even aware of in January. This year I’ve been enchanted by a gentle Estonian film about a man escaping from the Russian secret police, ‘The Fencer’, that featured some of the best child performances I’ve seen in a long time; I’ve been moved by the brilliant performance of Annett Benning in the sublime 20th Century Women. Neither of these films was on my radar this time last year, and there are many other films I could mention too. One of the pleasures in helping programme the seasons for Oswestry Film Society are those unexpected gems you stumble across.
Next up for the Society is a home-grown culture clash comedy called Dough (15), starring Jonathon Pryce as a Jewish bakery owner - who reluctantly takes on a Muslim teenager to help run his business. Hilarity ensues when an unlikely ingredient winds up in the bread dough! Following that we have God’s Own Country (15), showing as part of our Pride: LGBT season. This is the moving story of a life changing encounter between a farmer and the Romanian who arrives to help during lambing season. Set against the rugged beauty of the Yorkshire hills this British film has been met with huge critical acclaim. Maybe you’ve heard of one of these films, maybe not. Maybe one of them will turn out to be the best film you see all year.
From our weekly column in the Oswestry Advertizer, published on 21st November 2017.