Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 584

33 13 J ANUARY 202 2 Latest reviews from the film critic SEE IT NOW Anna Smith BEST BOOK CHOSEN BY BOBBY GILLESPIE Songwriter and lead singer of Primal Scream Wise Blood FLANNERY O’CONNOR I’ve read this more than once, and really enjoy her language and portraits of characters in the Deep South. I grew up in Scotland in a very austere, religious, sectarian society, so I can relate to the extreme Presbyterianism in the book. oscar contender Emilia Jones ( left) and Marlee Matlin in CODA January is a great time of year for watching quality, critically acclaimed movies, and there’s one key reason for this – awards season. With the Oscars and the British Academy FilmAwards both taking place inMarch, the race is on to release the biggest contenders of the year. So if you’re sitting around at home and hoping to catch the next big thing, there’s plenty out there for you. Last year’s major winner was Nomadland fromChloé Zhao, and it looks set to be another strong year for female directors. Now onNetflix, Jane Campion’s western The Power of the Dog has topped the nominations for The London Critics’ Circle FilmAwards and is one of my films of the past year, with its stunning cinematography, observant storytelling and compelling performances. Watch out for rising star Kodi Smit-McPhee in the supporting actor category – and for Campion herself to become just the third woman to win the best director Oscar (I know – it’s still staggering). A genuinely uplifting contender is SianHeder’s CODA, which stands for Child Of Deaf Adults. Emilia Jones stars as the daughter of deaf parents (MarleeMatlin and Troy Kotsur) who struggle to relate to her desire to be a singer. With cheerfully irreverent characters and feelgood vibes, this is also notable for casting deaf actors in the roles, which hasn’t happened nearly enough sinceMatlin won her Oscar for Children of a Lesser God in 1987. There’s an increasing awareness of deaf representation, not least due to deaf actor Rose Ayling-Ellis’s incredible victory on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing last year. But there’s still a long way to go, and films like this represent important progress. You can watch CODA on Apple TV+. This is also a terrific year for actors who have gone behind the camera: Rebecca Hall has proved her skills with the thoughtful period drama Passing (Netflix), which features an e ervescent turn fromRuthNegga, who could be eyeing an Oscar nomination when they are announced next month. Meanwhile, Maggie Gyllenhaal proves herself an exceptionally talented director with The Lost Daughter, which was in cinemas in December and is now onNetflix. Olivia Colman seems sure to bemultinominated for her turn as a characterful holidaymaker pondering on her relationship with her children, her parenting, and her past. I was deeplymoved by the period drama Mothering Sunday in Cannes last year, and it’s now available on all digital platforms. It’s beautifully directed by Eva Husson, with awards-worthy work from iconic costume designer Sandy Powell. And while Odessa Young and Josh O’Connor are wonderful in the lead roles, it could be Colin Firth who scores for his supporting turn as a grieving father. Finally, from20 January, you’ll be able to watch the thought-provoking drama Mass, on Sky Cinema and streaming service Now. It’s a riveting four-hander about two couples meeting after a tragic incident. The performances fromMartha Plimpton, Jason Isaacs, Ann Dowd and Reed Birney will have you gripped. Mark Kermode is away @annasmithjourno Anna hosts the Girls On Filmpodcast HELP PROTECT THE ARCTIC Remember the ice bucket challenge for charity in 2014? Expect to see social media åooded with more shiver-inducing images and videos this month as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) launches its Brave the Chill campaign, asking people to take a cold dip to raise money for and awareness of climate change in the Arctic. The challenge covers anything from a swim in the sea to a cold shower at home. Safety guidance and fundraising materials are available when you sign up. Louise Hall of the WWF says: “The Arctic might seem a remote and intangible place to us, but Scotland is the Arctic’s closest neighbour. The Arctic is in our backyard and what happens there affects us all.” wwf.org.uk Twyford Code by Janice Hallett (author of 2021 bestseller, The Appeal) looks set to gain traction once again with this addictive mystery. It’s a tale revolving around a secret code uncovered in a famous children’s author’s work by an English teacher who subsequently disappears, and her former pupil who, years later, decides to discover what really happened to her. SHOP FOR A NEW SCENT One of this year’s beauty trends is one you can’t even see. Sales of perfume rose 24% last year despite lockdowns, reminding us just how e ective amood lifter the right scent can be. The key is to layer scent, with products like Diptyque’s zesty Eau des Sens HairMist rather than traditionally dabbing behind the ears. Perfume is going gender neutral too. Le Labo’s Rose 31 andMaisonMargiela’s Beach Walk work for everyone – after all it’s about what you like. So it’s time to go shopping for some new scent for the new year. johnlewis.com