Film reviews and more

Month: September 2017

NYFF 2017: Last Flag Flying review

★★☆☆☆ Richard Linklater aficionados will be familiar with the director’s unique ability to conjure up cinematic poetry from a set of trademarked ingredients: actors engaging in endless, often day-long conversations, and a camera following their footsteps.Last […]

Film Review: Daphne

★★★★☆ A young chef tries to booze and bang the pain away in director Peter Mackie Burns’ engaging, charming comic drama Daphne. Set in London, in a largely nocturnal landscape of fleeting pleasures and unacknowledged hurts, […]

Film Review: The Road to Mandalay

★★★★☆ Midi Z’s The Road to Mandalay lacks any of the exotic longing or Orientalism implied by the Kipling poem it derives its name from. Instead, the Myanmar-born director has created a Shakespearean tragedy charting the […]

Film Review: Brimstone

★★★☆☆ Set in the unforgiving American West at the end of the 19th century, Brimstone – the first English language film written and directed by Dutchman Martin Koolhoven – is a tale of one woman’s quest […]

Criterion Review: Certain Women

★★★★★ Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women tells three stories of female malcontent in Montana, one of the least populous states in the United States. Connected by only the thinnest of narrative threads, each story offers delicate, quietly […]

Film Review: The Bad Batch

★★☆☆☆ Following on from her stylish and well-received debut A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, American-Iranian Ana Lily Amirpour returns with The Bad Batch (Netflix, 22 Sep), a post-apocalyptic cannibal movie that devours its influences […]

Film Review: Strong Island

★★★★☆ The anguished gaze and furious composure of bereaved sibling Yance Ford makes his film, Strong Island, a deeply personal essay on grief. Two decades after the fatal shooting of his brother, the restraint he employs […]

Film Review: On Body and Soul

★★★★☆ An older man and a younger woman accidentally discover that, every night, they encounter each other in their dreams as a pair of deer. The premise of Ildikó Enyedi’s On Body and Soul sounds like […]

Film Review: Borg vs McEnroe

★★★★☆ Wimbledon, 1980. John McEnroe (Shia LeBeouf) has reached the final of the men’s singles, despite his short temper with umpires and growing public unpopularity. Facing off against McEnroe is the seemingly unstoppable Björn Borg (an […]

DVD Review: Suntan

★★★★☆ Billed as a “coming of middle-age story”, the first 20 minutes of Suntan is easily mistaken for a charming melodrama about rediscovering one’s youth. But this tale of obsession, emotional immaturity and entitlement is much […]

Criterion Review: It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

★★★☆☆ A critical success on release, the enormous budget of Stanley Kramer’s 1963 epic comedy It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World meant that it only just scraped a profit. The premise: a group of strangers […]

Toronto 2017: Valley of Shadows review

★★★★★ Using the folkloric tropes of a deep, dark wood and tales of a beast terrorising the countryside, with his feature debut Valley of Shadows Norwegian director Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen has crafted one of the year’s […]

Toronto 2017: Lady Bird review

★★★★★ Following her co-director credit on 2008’s Nights and Weekends, Greta Gerwig goes it alone directing Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird. A lovingly observed, pitch perfect coming-of-age comedy, Gerwig’s warm, astute account of the end of […]

Toronto 2017: Dark River review

★★★★☆ Following this year’s The Levelling and God’s Own Country, the decaying farmlands of rural England appear to be replacing the urban concrete high-rise as the preferred setting for British social realism. Clio Barnard’s Dark River […]