Film reviews and more

Month: October 2013

#Daniel Green #Reviews

Film Review: ‘Philomena’

★★☆☆☆ Hotly tipped as one of the UK film industry’s main contenders at next year’s Academy Awards, Stephen Frears’ Philomena (2013) certainly has its eyes on the prize when it comes to commercial marketability. In Judi Dench, Frears has a former Best Actress Oscar winner to test Cate Blanchett’s mettle, and in Steve […]

#Ben Nicholson #Reviews

Film Review: ‘The Nun’

★★☆☆☆ French writer Denis Diderot played an elaborate prank on the Marquis de Croismare, penning lengthy pleading letters from Suzanne – a fictional nun – which he forged into a single narrative after the jape was revealed. Guillaume Nicloux’s new adaptation of the controversial novel, The Nun (2013), sees the Marquis incorporated into […]

#Patrick Gamble #Reviews

Film Review: ‘Gloria’

★★★★☆ Chilean director Sebastián Lelio’s Gloria (2013) is a lighthearted examination of a country in a state of flux, told beautifully through the tragic endeavours of its hopelessly romantic protagonist, that’s both charming and culturally enlightening. Gloria (Paulina Garcia) is an ageing divorcee living alone in her one bedroom apartment, who’s determined not […]


Film Review: ‘Drinking Buddies’

★★★☆☆ It would appear that mumblecore is being defanged by the very directors who gave the movement its bite. Like the Duplass brothers’ limp Jeff Who Lives at Home (2012), Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies (2013) is an admirable reach for that elusive crossover audience, but one that’s unable to reconcile the insightful frankness […]

#Daniel Green #Reviews

Film Review: ‘Child’s Pose’

★★★★☆ Winner of the prestigious Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, Călin Peter Netzer’s Child’s Pose (2013) carries on the fine social realist work of fellow contemporary Romanian directors Cristian Mungiu and Cristi Puiu in capturing a country increasingly uncomfortable in its own skin. Featuring one of the year’s best performances […]


DVD Review: ‘Robin Redbreast’

★★★★☆ The BFI has gone into overdrive this Halloween with several classic TV chillers being dusted down for the haunting season. Amongst them is Robin Redbreast (1970), an episode of the popular BBC drama series Play for Today. This story, involving pagan beliefs set in an undisclosed Home Counties village, may not be […]


Blu-ray Review: ‘Red River’

★★★☆☆ Before 1948’s Red River, Howard Hawks had already made half a dozen classics including Scarface, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday and The Big Sleep. A decade later, Hawks would direct one of the great westerns – Rio Bravo (1959). Whilst Red River isn’t quite of the same calibre as these other […]


Blu-ray Review: ‘The Fury’

★★★★☆ In the late 1970s and early 80s, glossy Hollywood horror, though having its fair share of big budget shocks, frequently favoured a subtler, more psychological approach. Where these films were concerned one director reigned supreme – Brian De Palma. Even amongst his films however – renowned for mixing gruesome set-pieces with intense […]

#Daniel Green #Reviews

Blu-ray Review: ‘Creepshow’

★★★☆☆ The horror anthology film has seen something of a renaissance over the past year with The ABCs of Death and V/H/S both proving moderate successes here in the UK. Inspiration for such portmanteau projects may well come in part from Creepshow (1982), a five-strong horror compendium from celebrated genre exponents Stephen King […]


DVD Review: ‘My Amityville Horror’

★★★★☆ The Amityville Horror (1979) and its 2005 remake focused on the supposedly true story of a supernatural attack upon one American family in the mid-70s. After moving into a former murder site at 112 Ocean Avenue, the Lutz family suffered a series of inexplicable and terrifying events. Until their recent deaths, George […]

#Patrick Gamble #Reviews

DVD Review: ‘Twixt’

★★★☆☆ Francis Ford Coppola continues his descent into filmmaking obscurity with Twixt (2011), an intermittently handsome horror starring a waning Val Kilmer and an ashen-faced Elle Fanning that surprised many when included within Cahiers du Cinéma’s rundown of 2012’s best new releases. Described by local sheriff Bobby LaGrange (Bruce Dern) as a “bargain […]


DVD Review: ‘Snitch’

★★☆☆☆ Former wrestler Dwayne Johnson’s name has become synonymous with movies that describe themselves as high-octane and adrenaline fuelled. Ric Roman Waugh’s Snitch (2013), an action-thriller is another one of those films but with its sights set on a moral high ground. Eugene Jarecki’s The House I Live In (2012) brought to attention, […]

#Lucy Popescu #Reviews

DVD Review: ‘Renoir’

★★★☆☆ Renoir (2012), Gilles Bourdos’ sumptuous portrait of the French master’s final years and his filmmaker son Jean’s first creative stirrings, is big on atmosphere but lacks dramatic tension. Father (Michel Bouquet) and son (Vincent Rottiers) fall for the same woman, Andrée Heuschling (Christa Theret), who becomes Jean’s wife and the leading actress […]

#Ben Nicholson #Reviews

DVD Review: ‘Our Children’

★★★★☆ Belgian director Joachim Lafosse seems to lay all of his cards on the table in the opening moments of his fifth feature, Our Children (2012). The action commences with a plaintive Murielle (an award-winning Émilie Dequenne) asking from a hospital bed for her children to be buried in Morocco, before four tiny […]


DVD Review: ‘Drug War’

★★★★☆ Prolific Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To’s Drug War (2012) has sadly become yet another notable work from a respected auteur to go unceremoniously straight to DVD in the UK this year. Like Francis Ford Coppola’s Twixt (2011) (also released this week) and Abel Ferrara’s 4.44: The Last Day on Earth (2011), it’s […]

#Patrick Gamble #Reviews

DVD Review: ‘Call Girl’

★★★☆☆ Mikael Marcimain’s Call Girl (2012) arrives on DVD this week following a fruitful festival run, the highlight of which was bagging the FIPRESCI award at last year’s Toronto Film Festival. Inspired by the 1976 Geijer Affair, this is an earnest yet curiously benign period drama about underage solicitation at the utmost stratum […]