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This Month’s DVDs...


Director Steve McQueen’s acclaimed follow-up to his 2008 debut, Hunger, Shame is an exploration of sex addiction. Brandon (Michael Fassbender) plays a successful man unable to commit to a relationship, instead choosing endless sexual encounters. His sister (Carey Mulligan), decides to crash at his apartment and his sexual freedom is curtailed. Great adult drama. Out: 14 May


Sometimes a film comes along that’s so uniquely affecting, unapologetically brutal, and fearlessly executed that it can’t help but take the world by storm, no matter how humble its beginnings. The Raid is one such film. An Indonesian action movie written and directed by Welshman Gareth Evans, it’s already blazed through the festival circuit (it premiered in Toronto in September 2011, where it won the Midnight Madness Award), and is so bruising an experience it’ll leave you in need of a good lie down. The titular raid takes up the bulk of the running time as an elite police team break into a derelict Jakarta apartment block. This warren of grungy corridors is home to a dangerous drug lord and his crew of pushers/protectors, all of whom are prepared for anything the police might throw at them. Among the cops is rookie SWAT Rama (Iko Uwais). He’s got his own ulterior motive for taking part in the raid – somebody he knows is living in the high rise, and he’s determined to rescue them – or die trying. Our underdog hero Uwais is both likable and easy on the eye. He’s also more than up to Evans’s rigorous demands. The director dreamt up The Raid as a gnarly showcase for the martial art form Pencak Silat, and his film succeeds as an exhausting sequence of innovative fights that will have you variously twisting yourself into knots, screaming with delight and laughing your head off. That’s in no small part thanks to Uwais, who smashes his way enigmatically through more fights than Mohammad Ali. The Raid is raw, dangerous and exhilarating. This won’t be the last you’ll hear of it, either. An Indonesian sequel and a Hollywood remake are already on the way. Don’t miss out on the madness! JW Out: 18 May


A slow-burner of a hit in its native France, Angel and Tony is a small-scale drama about an oddball romance. Angel (Clotilde Hesme) is a young woman attempting to rebuild her life. She has been in prison but is now on parole, living near her estranged young son (who is being raised by his grandparents) on the Normandy Coast. It’s here, through a personal ad, that she meets Tony (Gregory Gadebois), an older fisherman who lives with his mother. At first, the two appear to have nothing in common – Angel is troubled and struggling to get her life together. He is settled and a creature of routine. However, at some deeper level they clearly see something in one another. Perhaps Tony is the anchor that Angel needs in her life? This debut feature from writer/director Alix Delaporte is a slight little movie. Not a huge amount happens, and some may find the pace a little on the languid side. However, there’s something authentic and real in its tale of everyday romance and the meeting of two lonely souls. You can’t help but find yourself rooting for the couple, despite Angel’s sometimes misguided behaviour. The ending may come across as a little too convenient and contrived, but nonetheless, this remains a bittersweet Gallic drama. DH Out: 4 May


The Descendants had good reviews and a clutch of award nominations, but we’ve lost count of the number of people who don’t think they’ll like it. Listen up, people! This movie is one of the year’s most heartwarming dramas. George Clooney plays an Hawaii-based lawyer who only discovers his wife has been having an affair when she’s in a coma and near death, leaving him to take on full responsibility of his two daughters. Out: 21 May


Pierre Perrier and Lizzie Brocherè star as Chris and Aurore in this challenging, provocative and French drama. Like a Bonnie and Clyde, the two fall passionately in love (plenty of sex), before the tone turns decidedly dark. The fly in the ointment is Chris’s murderous obsession with gay men, which leads him to recruiting Aurore’s assistance in the murder of young male escorts. Odd, disturbing film. Out: 14 May


The latest in Peccadillo’s Boys On Film series packages gay short films making waves at international LGBG film festivals. The latest release showcases work by up’n’coming Brit talent. Favourites: Man and Boy (starring Eddie Marsan) and What You Looking At? where Michael Twaits, playing a drag queen, is stuck in a lift with a burka-clad Muslim neighbour. Out: 28 May


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