Film reviews and more

Day: 20 May 2015

Cannes 2015: ‘Youth’ review

★★★☆☆ Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth (2015), his latest meditation on aging, memory and mortality, premièred at Cannes in competition today to assorted cheers and boos. This review is going to fall somewhere between the two. Retired composer Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) is spending his holiday undergoing a variety of health treatments in a spa resort in the Swiss Alps, along […]

Cannes 2015: ‘Mountains May Depart’ review

★★★☆☆ Following his well-regarded A Touch of Sin (2013), which played in Cannes a couple of years ago, Jia Zhang-ke is back in competition with a new three-part drama, Mountains May Depart (2015). Each section takes on a different period in time starting in 1999. China is moving toward the new millennium with confidence and optimism – ironically underlined […]

Film Review: ‘We Are Many’

★★★★☆ It is difficult to remain withdrawn while watching We Are Many (2014) mostly because this documentary tracks an event that still remains in the collective consciousness of the audience viewing it. This is a film that calls back to a sort of politicised nostalgia and makes an example of one of the most momentous occasions in the canon […]

Film Review: ‘The Supreme Price’

★★★★☆ The wondrously lensed The Supreme Price (2014) is a documentary of particular note. It takes on the threads of the construction of the family unit, the power of the African woman and wife, and the pressures of national history as personal heritage. Director Joanna Lipper provides a crucial window into the lives of politicised women and one woman […]

Film Review: ‘Spring’

★★★☆☆ Variations of metamorphoses are the underlying catalysts in Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s sophomore feature, Spring (2014). It plays like a reinvention of Curtis Harrington’s Night Tide (1961) inflected with modern indie sensibilities and viewed through a burnished Instagram filter. Much like Dennis Hopper’s Johnny in that film, Spring‘s Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) is a young American with […]

Film Review: ‘Return to Sender’

★☆☆☆☆ Rosamund Pike’s first major role following her numerous accolades and nominations for Gone Girl (2014) sees her playing, yet again, another ambitious, multi-talented and gorgeous woman. Yet again, she is the victim of a brutal crime. And, yet again, all is not as it seems when it comes to her involvement. Is this a sequel to her breakthrough […]

Film Review: ‘New Girlfriend’

★★★★☆ François Ozon’s cinematic eye yet again shines very distinctively in The New Girlfriend (2014). He returns to familiar thematic stomping grounds: the rules of gender and identity, immanent sexuality and the propriety of certain constructions of family life. Ozon has always been able to craft sleek, tongue-in-cheek films that span a number of genres. In The New Girlfriend […]

Film Review: ‘Moomins on the Riviera’

★★★☆☆ Nicely timed to coincide with the currently under way Cannes Film Festival, Moomins on the Riviera (2014) – based on Tove Jansson’s beloved books and comic strip – takes the eccentric hippo-like creatures outside of their comfort zone for a softly sweet fantasy adventure. In need of a change of pace and scenery from their idyllic valley home, […]