MEGAN FURNISS  travelled to New York and back last month and caught up on a few movies she would probably never have watched otherwise. Here are her thoughts:

  1. The Circle

Emma Watson and Tom Hanks star in this unendurably boring movie about the evil potential of merging technology, lack of privacy and social media. Innocent girl goes to work at Google-esque corporate and gets her hippy parents, best friend and ex-boyfriend into trouble before vaguely understanding what she has done. Emma Watson’s pain-to-pleasure facial expressions are a 10 to 1 ratio, in a 30° range. Tom Hanks is so creepy there is no twist to the story. You know right from the beginning that he is an evil, power hungry, touchy-feely creep. I am surprised this movie didn’t put me straight to sleep.

2. The Hippopotamus

This one I started watching because it was based on a novel by Stephen Fry and I do adore him. It is a comedy starring Roger Allam, Tim Charles, Rod Glenn to name a few of the men (as IMDB does) and a lot of women who are only named in the full cast list. A disgraced, alcoholic poet goes off to “investigate” a miracle healer at his friend’s country manor. This comedy starts off really well but then fizzles out; it is as if it gets a little too serious and preachy for its own good. Still, it helped to pass the time.

3. My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel was immediately attractive; a period drama starring Rachel Weisz, based on the novel by Daphne Du Maurier. A young, innocent Englishman plots revenge against the widow of his late uncle, until he too falls under her spell. The setting is dark and brooding, the performances are really good on the whole, with a stand out performance by Weisz, and it is a twisty and intriguing plot, but there is something missing, something stereotypical about the characters that needed to live more fully beyond the plot. Still, I enjoyed watching the acting, scenery and costumes.

4. Wonder Woman

I must have been exhausted, but this movie irritated me from the get go. Those weird Greek Amazonian accents? Honestly, I don’t know which part was more boring, the Amazonian Island hideaway or the dull as dishwater World War II. Ok, so Gal Gadot is gorgeous, and sexy and languid. But, Wonder Woman? Not for me.

5. The Queen of Spain

The Queen of Spain, starring Penélope Cruz, a cast of superb Spanish actors and Mandy Patinkin was the strangest movie I watched. Billed as a comedy/drama this film is about the return of a Spanish actress to Spain to play Queen Isabella in a movie, written by an American who has come to Spain because he is on the McCarthy blacklist. Deeply political, strangely sad and bitingly funny, this movie straddles too many genres, too many plot twists and too many issues. There are also too many complicated relationships and back stories to follow. But the acting is superb, and the styling magnificent. Weirdly enjoyable but also frustrating.

WS