Best movies out in May 2022: from Nick Cave to Tom Cruise
From the intimate Nick Cave concert movie This Much I Know to be True to Tom Cruise's aerodynamic return in Top Gun: Maverick, here are the best films coming out in May
Since the 70s, Aussie musician Nick Cave has been a dark presence in music: ruminative and spectral, life-affirming and sad, real and mythical. It’s no surprise that one of his most famous tracks, Red Right Hand (composed with his band The Bad Seeds), became the theme for the sooty, hyper-realistic crime drama Peaky Blinders.
This Much I Know To Be True, Cave’s second documentary with filmmaker Andrew Dominik after the grief-stricken One More Time With Feeling, examines an empty concert in Battersea Arts Centre. Cave performs with Bad Seeds collaborator Warren Ellis, with whom he made the recent album Carnage (created after the pandemic cancelled his 2021 tour). Instead of thoroughly examining Cave, this is more of an opportunity to be absorbed (again) by his music.
Photo: Trafalgar Releasing
The multiverse is usually a playground reserved for superheroes and Time Lords, but Everything Everywhere All At Once embraces the everyday hero. In this case, it's Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh), the head of a local laundromat who's enduring a difficult schism with her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu), a potential divorce from her well-meaning husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), and a sordid tax audit conducted by an impatient Jamie Lee Curtis.
But out of nowhere – well, in a lift – her husband’s face changes to that of his ‘Alphaverse’ variant. He tells her to follow certain instructions to save the balance of the multiverse. Within the film's inter-dimensional overload – spread with kung-fu fighting, phallic nunchuks and hot-dog fingers – is a touching, existential story of accepting one’s small place in a massive void. As well as being the craziest movie you’ll see this year, it’s also one of the most heartfelt.
‘To all those whose brains will decompose before their hearts,’ runs the dedication by Gaspar Noé at the start of his gruelling new dementia drama Vortex.
You never leave a Noé film without a part of it seeding and growing inside you, his bleak themes and transgressive style securing himself in the New French Extremity film movement. This latest exercise still writhes in that nihilistic arena. However, there’s an unusually poignant, tragic, and non-violent intimacy about Vortex: showing the auteur in a different shade of horrible.
The film follows the later lives of elderly couple Lui (Dario Argento) and Elle (Françoise Lebrun), the latter of whom struggles with dementia. Noé severs the screen in two: capturing the differing perspectives of the couple at the same time in split-screen. Their mundanity hypnotises and sucks you in – your eyes tracking from one screen to the other like a pendulum grabbing your consciousness. It’s a deep, depressing experience, and close to a work of genius.
Quickly crossing worlds from TV to movies, Slow Horses’ Jack Lowden is now portraying WWI poet Siegfried Sassoon in Terence Davies' new biopic Benediction. This isn't Davies' first examination of a famous poet, after tackling the secluded home life of Emily Dickinson in his previous film A Quiet Passion.
Benediction looks at Sassoon after the war, carrying its casualties and trauma throughout his life. He also struggles as a gay man in a heteronormative world, enduring doomed relationships as well as an unhappy marriage to Hester Gatty (Kate Phillips). Peter Capaldi also stars.
Is there a more 80s movie than Top Gun? The cheesiness, attractive men, and aerodynamic action – bombastically soundtracked with Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins – seems symbolic, now, of Hollywood at the time. The dangerous question must follow: will the upcoming sequel slot comfortably into the 2020s or reanimate a movie relic that’s best left in the past?
More than 30 years since his initial appearance, the classic Tom Cruise hero is back for some more plane-related magic in Top Gun: Maverick. Avoiding the promotion that’ll ground his flying career, Maverick decides instead to instruct the latest Top Gun graduates for a dangerous mission. However, one of the pilots, Rooster (Miles Teller), is the son of the ill-fated Goose from the first movie – making Maverick confront the demons of his past.
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