Film reviews and more

Film Review: ‘Concussion’

★★★☆☆ Stacie Passon’s debut film Concussion (2013) explores the modern ennui suffered by liberal cookie-cutter wives – with a twist that the female in question is a lesbian with her own partner and children. Beginning with […]

Film Review: ‘An Autumn Afternoon’

★★★★★ Familial ties and their effect on our lives were always a chief concern of Japanese master Yasujirô Ozu, specialising as he did in shomin-geki: realist films about ordinary people. His final film, An Autumn Afternoon […]

DVD Review: ‘Veronica Mars’

★★★☆☆ “A teenage private eye. Trust me, I know how dumb that sounds.” Thus begins Veronica Mars (2014), showcasing the sharp combination of silliness and self-awareness that made the original TV series such a winning proposition. […]

DVD Review: ‘The Trip to Italy’

★★★★☆ Reputedly responsible for a sudden spike in sales of irony misconstruing singer-songwriter Alanis Morrisette’s 1995 breakup LP Jagged Little Pill, Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip to Italy (2014) sees Alan Partridge alter-ego Steve Coogan and Neath […]

DVD Review: ‘Man of Marble’

★★★★★ It’s not just examining the realities behind socialist icons that preoccupies Polish director Andrzej Wajda’s 1977 masterpiece Man of Marble, but also the dangers of censorship and the innate deceits of cinema. It took over […]

DVD Review: ‘An Inspector Calls’

★★★★☆ Watching Guy Hamilton’s An Inspector Calls (1954), which stars Alastair Sim, Arthur Young and Bryan Forbes, one is presented with a masterclass in tension and unease. This screen version of J.B. Priestly’s classic play, released […]

DVD Review: ‘Back to the Garden’

★★★★☆ Reuniting the trusted troupe of actors with whom he has now become somewhat known for collaborating, British independent director Jon Sanders returns with his fourth feature, Back to the Garden (2013), a typically sombre treatise […]

DVD Review: ’47 Ronin’

★★☆☆☆ The scene in the first (and what should have been only) Matrix film, where Keanu Reeves – plugged into a training programme – opens his eyes wide and gasps “I know kung fu,” is probably […]

DVD Review: ’12 Years a Slave’

★★★★★ When is an ‘issue movie’ not an ‘issue movie’? In the case of Steve McQueen’s vital 12 Years a Slave (2013), when it comes from a director with bona fide artistic sensibilities who miraculously managed […]

Film Review: ‘The Wind Rises’

★★★★☆ The Wind Rises (2013) is the latest and, so it would seem, last feature from veteran Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki. Following the life of celebrated Japanese aviation engineer Jirô Horikoshi, the film diverts a […]

Film Review: ‘Silent Sonata’

★★★☆☆ A charming slice of magical realism, Janez Burger’s Silent Sonata (2010) comes cartwheeling into UK cinemas this week having first screened at the 2011 Rotterdam Film Festival. The narrative concerns a grieving family caught in […]

Film Review: ‘Frank’

★★★☆☆ Dublin-born director Lenny Abrahamson teams up with Guardian journalist Jon Ronson for offbeat, oddball comedy Frank (2013), inspired by the life and times of the inimitable Frank Sidebottom and a host of other ‘outsider’ artists. […]