Film reviews and more

Month: January 2016

Sundance 2016: Love & Friendship review

★★★★☆ Whit Stillman’s films are often concerned with the absurdities of human interactions. His latest, Love & Friendship, is no different – except that it’s based on a Jane Austen novella. Yet Stillman, whose previous work like 2009’s Damsels in Distress focuses in a skew-eyed […]

Sundance 2016: How to Let Go of the World review

★★☆☆☆ At the beginning of Josh Fox’s breakout 2010 documentary Gasland, he stated that he was not a pessimist. Further along the same road of ecological activism that he embarked on in that film, his newest endeavour sees him presented with a very real challenge […]

Sundance 2016: Programme preview

The sleepy Utah ski resort of Park City explodes into life once again as Hollywood and the world’s press bombard its slopes. This is the Sundance Film Festival, which despite its modest indie circuit origins (as the Utah/US Film Festival in 1978) is now America’s […]

Film Review: Spotlight

★★★★☆ There’s a sense of the years being rolled back in Tom McCarthy’s gripping, Oscar-worthy journalism drama Spotlight. On the one hand, there’s almost a nostalgia that comes with watching – and participating in – the craft of meticulous, urgent and dedicated long-form journalism. When […]

Film Review: Youth

★★★☆☆ Youth vaunts itself as an unabashedly cinematic film. Paolo Sorrentino’s latest offering knows just how sumptuous and clever it is and is in no way ashamed to flaunt rich colours, startling compositions and overwhelming talent to point a satirical finger at the glitz and […]

Film Review: One and Two

★★☆☆☆ The richly shot opening images of Andrew Droz Palermo’s debut feature hold much promise. Sadly, One and Two doesn’t go on to deliver. From murky depths, light penetrates a body of water which is pierced by two figures. A boy and girl contemplate the […]

Film Review: Innocence of Memories

★★★★☆ Fans of Terence Davies’ heartfelt ode to his hometown Liverpool in Of Time and the City will be drawn to Innocence of Memories, from fellow British filmmaker Grant Gee. A slow-paced yet mesmerising documentary, it interweaves an epic romance and nostalgic love letter to […]

Film Review: Dirty Grandpa

★☆☆☆☆ Dan Mazer’s Dirty Grandpa sets up its stall as an irreverent and defiantly non-PC comedy vehicle for Robert De Niro. At least that’s the idea and intention. And we all know what the road to hell is paved with, right? What actually unfolds across […]

Film Review: Backtrack

★★★☆☆ Adrien Brody has never been one to take the predictable route when it comes to his choice of roles. His body of work encompasses an array of unusual characters found in projects ranging from independent to high-profile outings. He consistently surprises, maintaining a quality […]

Film Review: 13 Hours

★★☆☆☆ Michael Bay dialling it back still leaves plenty of room for bombast, bombs and baloney. 13 Hours isn’t a shrill Fox News version of recent world events exactly, but it makes no bones about the failings of the Obama administration, intelligence gatherings screw-ups and […]

DVD Review: Legend

★★☆☆☆ The latest feature from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Brian Helgeland, whose career has been peppered with a starkly varied series of films, from L.A. Confidential to postmodern period comedy A Knight’s Tale, Legend presents him with a fascinating canvas upon which to paint a portrait […]

DVD Review: Kiss of the Spider Woman

★★★★☆ Thirty years after its Cannes Film Festival debut, Héctor Babenco’s Kiss of the Spider Woman gets a special edition release on DVD and Blu-ray. A gay man accused of ‘corrupting a minor’, Molina (William Hurt), and political prisoner Valentin (Raul Julia) find themselves sharing […]