Esther McCarthy reviews Yesterday and Metal Heart
Yesterday (12A) **
DANNY BOYLE and Richard Curtis take an outrageous premise and run a mile with it in Yesterday, a movie whose appeal will rely on how much you’re prepared to believe it.
Boyle is at the helm but this feels very much like a Richard Curtis film. The Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral writer gives us a unique idea then risks squandering it in a problematic second hour.
The idea is this: When a mysterious worldwide blackout combines with an accident on his bike, Jack Malik (Patel) comes to discover that he lives in a world where nobody remembers or has heard of The Beatles.
Upon finding no trace of the Liverpool lads even on a Google search, Jack realises his friends are not just stitching him up and that he lives in a world where The Beatles songs have never existed.
He starts to memorise and perform them, putting him on the radar of Ed Sheeran (playing himself) who is blown away by his talent and promises him fame, fortune and the backing of his feisty manager (McKinnon).
This leaves Jack with a very very big moral dilemma indeed and even Ellie doesn’t know his secret.
As a romance this fares better, and the charming Lily James, who has been harbouring secret romantic feelings for her pal, is the best thing about the movie.
But as Yesterday moves towards resolution it really struggles tonally and one scene involving a Beatle in particular feels strange and poorly judged.
Metal Heart (12A) ***
ACTOR-TURNED-DIRECTOR Hugh O’Connor gets the most out of his fine cast in this slight but charming Irish tale of two warring sisters.
Jordanne Jones, in particular, shines as Emma, a teenage goth struggling to find her tribe in contemporary Dublin. That’s amplified by her tricky relationship with her non-identical - in every way - twin sister Chantal (Leah McNamara), a popular princess who seems to be doing better at life.
When their parents decide to go travelling for an extended stint, the two girls are left to their own devices in their Dublin home, a situation which appears to crank up their differences.
The storyline doesn’t throw up enough surprises, but the story nails the humour, growing pains and challenges of Irish teenage life, and builds into a film that’s charming and true. Aaron Heffernan makes the very most of a supporting role as Chantal’s colourful boyfriend, delivering many of the film’s best laughs.