Film reviews and more

Month: March 2016

Film Review: Victoria

★★★★★ The one-shot feature has yet to work its way into the cinematic landscape in the same ubiquitous way that the found footage conceit once did. But even if it grows into a popular storytelling tool, it’s doubtful we’ll see […]

Film Review: Ran

★★★★★ During his illustrious career, when asked what he considered to be his best film, Akira Kurosawa would commonly respond “my next one”. After 1985, however, his answer changed to Ran. At once gloriously epic and deeply personal, there are […]

Film Review: Eddie the Eagle

★★★☆☆ Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Eddie the Eagle, British actor Dexter Fletcher’s third directorial outing after Wild Bill and Sunshine on Leith, is a speedy, light-hearted biopic of the remarkable young lad from Cheltenham who took […]

Film Review: Black Mountain Poets

★★☆☆☆ The last chapter in his ‘Modern Romance Trilogy’ sees writer-director Jamie Adams and a band of British talent take to the hills in quirky, sardonic comedy Black Mountain Poets. Combining a hippy writers retreat with a shambolic Duke of […]

Film Review: Anguish

★★★★☆ The previous credits of Sonny Mallhi, directing for the first time with Anguish, may not have inspired much confidence. Co-producing the Oldboy remake and exec-producing The House at the End of the Street – the one Jennifer Lawrence film […]

DVD Review: The Great Passions

★★★★☆ British director Ken Russell passed away in 2011 leaving behind a life’s work devoted to filmmaking at its most exuberant and vital. Russell made a number of films in the early part of his career which depicted artists brimming […]

DVD Review: Horse Money

★★★★☆ Horse Money is one of those films that makes more sense after watching than during. Pedro Costa’s latest feature has no conventional narrative to speak of, but follows ghostly presence Ventura (an immigrant from Cape Verde living in Lisbon […]

Film Review: Speed Sisters

★★★☆☆ The young ladies of Amber Fares’ Speed Sisters are very much doing it for themselves. Tyres squeal, engines roar, rubber bullets are fired and tear gas canisters thrown in a documentary which charts the pioneering activities of the first […]

Film Review: Mojave

★☆☆☆☆ Pablo Picasso once said that good artists copy but greatest artists steal. Mojave‘s opening moments see noted filmmaker Thomas (Garrett Hedlund) sit in the squared off aspect ratio of an interview. Comparisons are made to Lord Byron and fame […]

Film Review: Iona

★★☆☆☆ Scottish director Scott Graham follows up his impressive, underseen debut Shell with Iona, a similarly sombre tale of isolation and familial relations. A film inspired as much by the dark sophistication of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Ordet as the spiritual […]

Film Review: Disorder

★★☆☆☆ Belgian studmuffin Matthias Schoenaerts is often called upon to bring charismatic, steely-eyed intensity to tough men who possess a principled, protective interior. Well known from Rust & Bone and The Drop, the actor was a natural choice for French […]

Film Review: The Club

★★★★★ Behind the closed doors of the house on the hill lie many secrets. Enveloped in heavy fog, perched above a raging sea, the past sins of four men remain shrouded in mystery. In The Club, Pablo Larraín dives headlong […]

DVD Review: Shooting Stars

★★★★★ An unbroken crane shot in Shooting Stars‘ opening scene, tracking movie starlet Mae Feather (Annette Benson) as she wanders from her own ground-level film set into the first-floor set of her lover’s, easily matches both Goodfellas‘ restaurant scene and […]

DVD Review: Farewell My Concubine

★★★★☆ The aspirations of art pitted against the never-ending flux of politics. That is the underlying conflict driving Farewell My Concubine, a tale of two Peking Opera singers struggling to preserve themselves and their trade during the revolutionary turbulence of […]

Film Review: Risen

★★★☆☆ From Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Waterworld director Kevin Reynolds, Risen provides an alternative viewpoint on the Resurrection and its aftermath. A film that starts out with earnest intentions ends up falling somewhere between a two-thousand-year-old episode of […]

Film Review: The Pearl Button

★★★★☆ With what could be seen as a companion piece to his 2011 documentary Nostalgia for the Light, Chilean director Patricio Guzmán returns to UK cinema screens this year with The Pearl Button. An astoundingly beautiful visual essay which revels […]

Film Review: Marguerite

★★★☆☆ There certainly ain’t no business like show business. Or amateur operatics for that matter. Eccentric, philanthropic baroness Marguerite Dumont (Catherine Frot) has dedicated her life to music and performing for an entourage of vacuous, superficially adoring high society friends. […]

Film Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

★★★☆☆ Holding a mirror to the concerns of contemporary society is a staple of the monster movie. So when Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield arrived on US screens in 2008 it was clear a new breed of monster had emerged to embody […]