In a week when everything has been pretty terrible, Emmet makes the case for Valérian and Logan Lucky being two films about hope.
While Luc Besson's spiritual sequel (or response to) The Fifth Element has attracted criticism, is this is misreading of the film's naive sincerity?
Dane De Haan plays Valérian as a young man who has read Romantic Heroes for Dummies, partnered with the far more competent Agent Laureline (Cara Delevingne). They chase McGuffins, uncover a conspiracy to destroy the peace enjoyed by humanity's space-faring utopian future - and all the while try to discover the meaning of love.
It's a film that lives or dies on its appeal to the audience's sense of sentiment. Also, it's very pretty.
Logan Lucky is a far more recognizable world of working class Americans ground down beneath corporate greed. Our unlikely Robin Hood is Channing Tatum, whose Jimmy Logan conspires with brother Clyde (Adam Driver) and Mellie (Riley Keough) to rob Nascar. All they need is an explosives expert - enter Daniel Craig's wonderful creation Jimmy Bang.
This is another film with heart and soul, skillfully made by Soderbergh while not eschewing emotion. Strongly recommended.