Film reviews and more

Month: August 2017

Venice 2017: The Insult review

★★★☆☆ In Lebanese-born director Ziad Doueiri’s The Insult, an apparently minor argument on a Beirut street escalates into a full-blown legal battle, which itself threatens to erupt into civil violence as it rips open the festering wounds of historic religious and national resentment. Tony Hana […]

Film Review: First Reformed

★★★★☆ Legendary screenwriter (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) and director (Mishima, Cat People) Paul Schrader returns to form with a startling, sombre and quite extraordinary Bergman-esque portrait of a priest tortured by his own personal demons. “I’m God’s lonely man,” Travis Bickle stated in Paul Schrader’s […]

Venice 2017: Nico, 1988 review

★★★☆☆ Opening the Horizons sidebar, Susanna Nicchiarelli’s Nico, 1988 is a biopic of the German songstress who found fame with The Velvet Underground. Danish singer and actress Trine Dyrholm plays the diva with verve and energy, in a portrait which is also something of a […]

Film Review: Downsizing

★★★★☆ Alexander Payne returns to cinemas this week with Downsizing, a surreal sci-fi comedy starring Matt Damon, Hong Chau and Kristen Wiig, which posits a revolutionary new technology that can shrink people as a way of reducing environmental damage. Following a discovery in a Norwegian […]

Film Review: Patti Cake$

★★★★☆ Patti Cake$ is an inspiring film full of heart and with a banging soundtrack. Chronicling an underdog’s quest for fame, this isn’t so much about one person’s success as it is about overcoming adversity in the pursuit of happiness.Patricia Dombrowski AKA Killa P. AKA […]

Film Review: Moon Dogs

★★☆☆☆ As with most road trip movies, the journey undertaken by quarreling step-brothers Michael (Jack Parry Jones) and Thor (Christy O’Donnell) and lost soul Caitlin (Tara Lee) in Phillip John’s coming-of-ager Moon Dogs is of greater significance than their destination.A cliché, yes, but apt nonetheless […]

Film Review: London Symphony

★★★★☆ Independent filmmaker Alex Barrett has documented the mundanity and the beauty of city life in his silent film London Symphony, a conscious callback to those films of the 1920s which sought to capture the rhythms and experiences of a modern urban existence.The film is […]

Interview: Francis Lee, dir. God’s Own Country

A moving story of self-discovery on the Yorkshire Dales, Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country isn’t your average LGBT+ romance, something the director is keen to reiterate when we sat with him earlier this year at – of all places – the Transilvania International Film Festival.A […]

Film Review: God’s Own Country

★★★★☆ Set on a sheep farm amid the Yorkshire dales, Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country is a simple romance that explores the damaging isolation of life in the country and – in particular – the toll that can take on a young man who has […]

Feature: Earthy pleasures in God’s Own Country

In many ways, the beauty of Francis Lee’s feature-length debut God’s Own Country lies in its simplicity. The plot centres around the inheritance of a farm and a connected romance that might scandalise some of the locals in the remote hills of the Yorkshire dales.It’s […]

Film Review: Una

★★★★☆ Adapted from the stage play Blackbird, Benedict Andrews’ debut feature tells the story of Una (Rooney Mara), a 28-year-old woman who was sexually abused by her neighbour, Ray (Ben Mendelsohn), when she was 13. Now an adult, she tracks Ray down to confront him.Una’s […]

DVD Review: Whitney ‘Can I Be Me’

★★★☆☆ There’s little riper for a heartstring-plucking documentary than the life of a beloved star cut tragically short. In British filmmaker Nick Broomfield’s Whitney ‘Can I Be Me’, he paints a poignant picture but struggles to get to the heart of his subject.This is ironic, […]