In Time (12 – Dir: Andrew Niccol – Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Justin Timberlake)
Andrew Niccol, writer, producer and director, has added another sharply observed social commentary thriller to a list which already includes The Truman Show, Gattaca and Lord of War.
In a future word life-time is rationed. The Haves have lots of it. The Have-nots queue at time banks to get their daily allowance.
The Haves are filthy rich and live for hundreds of years. The richest have an immortality which is spectacularly privileged but emotionally stunted.
The Have-nots live day-to-day in ghettos, literally on the edge of life with just hours of existence remaining, and if they miss their daily top up they are timed out ... dead.
The Haves ration life-time to keep the mob in its place. Their rational: many have to die so that some, the elite, can live properly. Read whatever socio/political analogy into that you like.
Seyfried and Timberlake are good as the two rebels, each from opposing camps, who set out to bring the injustice crashing down. They rob banks, and in the vaults are millions – not dollar bills, but years of life.
Win Win (15- Dir: Tom McCarthy – Stars: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale)
Mike Flaherty (Giamatti) is a fair-minded lawyer whose business is about to collapse, along with his family, when he sees a way out, even though it’s not strictly honourable.
He becomes the guardian of an old man suffering from Alzheimers, takes the monthly cheque, puts him in a care home and banks the profit.
When the old man’s runaway teenage grandson arrives Mike feels honour-bound to offer him a place in the basement. The kid turns out to be an ace wrestler, and as Mike happens to coach a wrestling team, the wins start to clock up and everyone’s future looks promising.
Then the kid’s drug addict mum turns up demanding her share of the money and Mike’s slightly compromised act of kindness begins to unravel.
Win Win is an unusual and charming play on doing the right thing and failing, and doing the slightly wrong thing and succeeding.