Arts

Also released: The Meddler and Remainder

Susan Sarandon and JK Simmons in The Meddler

The Meddler (12A, 103 mins)

Starring: Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, JK Simmons, Jason Ritter, Cecily Strong, Michael McKean

Director: Lorene Scafaria

Rating: 3 stars

SIXTY-SOMETHING widow Marnie Minervini (Susan Sarandon) is a well-meaning New Yorker, who drives her screenwriter daughter Lori (Rose Byrne) to distraction with frequent telephone calls.

The matriarch misses her late husband Joe and invests her time and energy into Lori as her connection to the past. When Lori breaks up with her boyfriend Jacob (Jason Ritter), Marnie transplants her life to Los Angeles to offer emotional support to her child.

Unfortunately, Lori feels like she is being smothered, so Marnie bathes new acquaintances and neighbours with her maternal warmth, including a young mother called Jillian (Cecily Strong), whose dreams of a fairy tale wedding have been scuppered by her precarious financial circumstances.

As Marnie rebuilds bridges to her daughter, she also enjoys romantic dalliances with two divorced suitors, Zipper (JK Simmons) and Mark (Michael McKean), who have very different outlooks on life in a bittersweet comedy drama written and directed by Lorene Scafaria.

:: Released June 24

***

Remainder (15, 103 mins)

Starring: Tom Sturridge, Arsher Ali, Cush Jumbo, Ed Speelers

Director: Omer Fest

Rating: 3 stars

BERLIN-based contemporary video artist Omer Fast makes a stylish feature film debut with this mind-bending psychological thriller filmed on location in London.

Adapted from Tom McCarthy's debut novel, Remainder centres on a young man called Tom (Tom Sturridge), who is struck by falling debris from a building.

A lawyer negotiates a sizeable settlement of almost 10 million US dollars with the understanding that Tom will forget about the accident and never mention it again.

He agrees – the trauma of the accident has almost completely wiped clean his memory, so he is a blank slate.

However, Tom does experience fragmented flashbacks, so he decides to use the compensation payout to rebuild his old life. Aided by a fixer called Naz (Arsher Ali), Tom buys a building that he believes was his old home and hires actors to play neighbours, who must perform specified actions and lines of dialogue on cue.

As Tom's artificially fashioned reality expands, he calls on old friends Catherine (Cush Jumbo) and Greg (Ed Speleers) to help him make sense of his memories and piece his life back together.

:: Released June 24

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