19 January 2015-01-19

Ellar Coltrane as Mason, from five to 18

Out in the UK This Week Boyhood (Universal, cert 15) As I write Richard Linklater’s ambitious drama is picking up Golden Globes like it was made of Velcro and looks like it’s heading for Oscar glory too. So what’s the deal? At first glance it looks like a gimmick, following the same actors for 12 years, Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette from their lush prime into early middle age, Ellar Coltrane as the boy of the title, who is five when Linklater turns the camera on, 18 by the time he’s done. So is Boyhood drama or structured reality? It’s actually another go at the sort of freewheeling relationship drama of Linklater’s Before … Read more

Stations of the Cross aka Kreuzweg

1. Jesus is condemned to death – Lea Van Acken and Florian Stetter in Stations of the Cross

A powerful and formally austere German drama that does exactly what it says on the label, Stations of the Cross charts the sad journey of one vivacious Catholic girl to an early grave in 14 grim instalments which echo those of Jesus Christ on the way to Calvary. The Catholics also knew the Stations as the Via Dolorosa, or the Way of Sorrows, the Latin name doubly appropriate here since devout, cusping-on-puberty Maria (a remarkable Lea Van Acken) is being prepared for her confirmation by the charismatic Father Weber (Florian Stetter), a priest in a breakaway part of the Catholic Church that still uses Latin. This branch of the Church is also positively … Read more