Film reviews and more

Month: May 2017

DVD Review: George Best: All By Himself

★★★★☆ It’s hard to be objective about George Best. Growing up in the 1970s, Best came to us less as a footballer and more as a cautionary tale. He was a tragi-comic hero of Faustian proportions played out through the […]

Experience Casino Royale with a live orchestra

Casino Royale is widely regarded as one of the most famous casino movies. In fact, you could even say it’s one of the most iconic casino movies of all time. It introduced us to Daniel Craig’s James Bond and was […]

Cannes 2017: The Square, Palme d’Or winner

★★★☆☆ Swedish writer-director Ruben Östlund first achieved international acclaim with his withering wintry take on middle-class masculinity in Force Majeure, causing quite a stir when it showed three years ago here in the Un Certain Regard sidebar.Now competing in the […]

Film Review: L’Amant Double

★★☆☆☆ Prolific French director François Ozon returns to UK screens with his slightly camp psychological thriller L’Amant Double (The Double Lover), a kind of Fifty Shades of Dead Ringers. But will it be pegged back by its now notorious sex scenes? […]

Film Review: In the Fade

★★★☆☆ Head On and Soul Kitchen director Fatih Akin returns to UK cinemas this week with In the Fade, a solid courtroom/revenge drama elevated by a superb performance – acting for the first time in a German production – by Diane Kruger. […]

Cannes 2017: The Day After review

★★★☆☆ With a director as prolific as South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo, it’s not particularly surprising that he has two films showing at Cannes this year: Claire’s Camera, a colourful novella of a movie starring Isabelle Huppert; and, up for the […]

Film Review: War Machine

★★★☆☆ Satire comes in two modes: Juvenalian – harsh, critical and in service of a serious point – and Horatian – light, humorous and affectionate. In attempting to do both, David Michôd’s War Machine doesn’t quite succeed at either, never […]

Film Review: The Red Turtle

★★★★★ The Red Turtle is an animated dream, a transcendent work of beautiful, heart-rending art from Studio Ghibli and Dutch animator Michael Dudok de Wit that features no dialogue but speaks volumes of humanity, an indefatigable spirit and mankind’s inter-relationship […]

Film Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

★★★☆☆ Outside of Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pirates of the Caribbean is one of Disney’s most successful franchises, amassing millions at the worldwide box office over four films. Thirteen years after the first, a fifth is here.Salazar’s […]

Film Review: The Other Side of Hope

★★★★☆ Aki Kaurismäki’s The Other Side of Hope is a funny, heartfelt story about the Syrian refugee crisis that’s not dissimilar to the Finnish director’s Le Havre: a compassionate comedy about the experiences of an African boy arriving illegally in […]

Cannes 2017: I Am Not a Witch review

★★★★☆ The debut from Welsh-Zambian director Rungano Nyoni, I Am Not a Witch created quite the stir on premiering in Cannes. It’s the tale of a young orphan girl played by nine-year-old Maggie Mulubwa, who is accused by villagers of […]

Film Review: I Am Not Madame Bovary

★★★☆☆ Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. However, in Xiaogang Feng’s I Am Not Madame Bovary, amid bouts of understandable fury, it’s more an overwhelming sense of aggrieved betrayal that drives Li Xuelian (Bingbing Fan).Left spurned by her […]

Film Review: Detour

★★★☆☆ Detour is not exactly a remake of the 1945 film noir of the same name, but in making explicit reference to that film more than once, certainly owes it a debt of gratitude. Indeed, Christopher Smith’s teen neo-noir – […]

Film Review: Good Time

★★★☆☆ Robert Pattinson has done his damnedest to lose the fangs from his Twilight fame. Indie credentials have been the crux of the process with the likes of Cosmopolis, Maps of the Stars and The Rover. Now he’s back with Benny […]

Cannes 2017: A Gentle Creature review

★★☆☆☆ Sergei Loznitsa first came to prominence with 2012’s In the Fog, a powerful drama of guilt and suspicion. His new film A Gentle Creature is loosely based on a Dostoyevsky short story and is redolent with the suffering and […]

Cannes 2017: Walking Past the Future review

★★☆☆☆ The only Chinese film scheduled to screen in the official competition at Cannes this year is Li Ruijun’s underwhelming Walking Past the Future, which is being shown – quite rightly, as it happens – as part of the Un […]

Cannes 2017: Rodin review

★☆☆☆☆ Sculpture is the art of turning lifeless stone into something that looks alive, flesh, living bodies and movement. Jacques Doillon’s Rodin, in competition at Cannes, does precisely the opposite, turning living beings – passionate artists, no less – into […]

Cannes 2017: Radiance review

★★★☆☆ In 1997, Naomi Kawase became the youngest winner of the Camera d’Or for her first feature Suzaku. She has returned seven times in total and this year enters the main competition for the fifth time with Radiance, a thoughtful […]