Julia"s Eyes is a grisly treat that could have been a five-star masterpiece

Julia"s Eyes is a grisly treat that could have been a five-star masterpiece

Julia”s Eyes is a grisly treat that could have been a five-star masterpiece

2:06 AM on 20th May 2011

Verdict: An eye-opener

Rating: 3 Star Rating

Far more impressive than Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is Julia’s Eyes, a Spanish horror movie starring the magnificent Belen Rueda.

She plays a woman going blind and fearing —with excellent reason — that the man who murdered her twin sister may now be after her.

The first hour is as nightmarishly terrifying as another film that starred Ms Rueda, The Orphanage.

Terrifying: Belen Rueda in Julia

Terrifying: Belen Rueda in Julia”s Eyes

Everything is choreographed and lit with sinister expertise by director Guillem Morales — a protege of producer Guillermo del Toro.

Regrettably, the second hour sheds the psychological ambiguities of the early scenes and descends into woman-in-peril cliches.

The identity of the killer and his motivation are disappointingly dull and obvious.

As the grisliness mounts, the film becomes less and less shocking. All the same, anyone who admires stylish direction should give this a chance.

If only the writing of the second half measured up to the quality of Miss Rueda’s performance, this could have been a five-star masterpiece.

Verdict: Hair today, gone tomorrow

The far from ruthlessly analytical tone of director Craig Teper’s Vidal Sassoon: The Movie can be gauged from its opening commentary, which notes that ‘it is impossible to overestimate the importance of Vidal Sassoon’ and compares him to Einstein and, as if that isn’t enough, the Messiah.

A less fawning approach might have carried more weight, since the man himself has been an iconic figure in hairdressing and remains charismatic at 83.

But the extreme seriousness with which this cloying advertorial slavers over the trivia of fashion has unfortunate echoes of Zoolander — people you’ve never heard of are captioned as ‘editorial superstars’ — and there’s something a teeny bit menacing about Mr Sassoon’s crocodilian smile.

The thrice-divorced, transparently vain and dictatorial Mr Sassoon may conceivably be a latter-day saint or even the new Messiah, but good biopics don’t look as though they have just had a super-injunction served upon their makers.

Verdict: Dull and overcast

Ably acted but ponderously paced, Third Star is a British yawnathon about three twentysomething friends (J.J. Feild, Tom Burke and Adam Robertson) taking their buddy (the estimable Benedict Cumberbatch) — who’s understandably tetchy, as he’s dying of cancer — on one last holiday to Wales.

Director Hattie Dalton makes the most of some elegiac sunsets, but slackediting doesn’t do much for Vaughan Sivell’s script, which is morbid, repetitive and unsurprising.

The only real shock comes when Hugh Bonneville turns up in a cameo as a crazed beachcomber in unbecoming shorts and announces: ‘People find me attractive.’
This raised an enormous laugh at the national Press screening.

It’s hard to explain why.