Film reviews and more

Month: August 2018

Film Review: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

★★★★☆ The Coen brothers go West once more with their latest offering The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a Netflix-produced anthology of bizarre tales of the Wild West that are by turns hilarious, macabre and unexpectedly moving. “Out here in the West the distances are great […]

Film Review: A Star Is Born

★★★☆☆ As the third remake, A Star Is Born could have been called A Star Is Born (Again), but Bradley Cooper’s soulful exploration of the depredations of fame is an effective melodrama boasting genuine star turns from himself and Lady Gaga. Cooper plays Jackson Maine, […]

Film Review: The Other Side of the Wind

★★★★☆ We must be reaching Welles saturation point this year. Mark Cousins’ The Eyes of Orson Welles landed on the piles of Wellesaphilia, soon to be joined by Morgan Neville’s They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead. Restorations of all his major works are either accomplished […]

Film Review: The Man From Mo’Wax

★★★★☆ The rise, fall and eventual rise again of James Lavelle, vinyl junkie turned trailblazing record label producer and creative figurehead of musical outfit UNKLE, may be an overly familiar tale of the young ingénue who succumbs to his own bloated ego and lifestyle excesses. […]

Film Review: Roma

★★★★☆ Mexican Academy Award-winning director Alfonso Cuarón returns to his childhood for inspiration with his meticulously beautiful Netflix offering Roma, an autobiographical black and white thank you letter full of warmth and love. Following his triumphant Gravity, which opened Venice back in 2013, Cuarón obviously felt […]

Film Review: Yardie

★★★★☆ Idris Elba’s impressive directorial debut is an adaptation of Victor Headley’s novel Yardie. A hugely successful indie book, sold in hairdressers, clothing shops and nightclubs, it went on to become a cult hit. The book was, at the time (1992), the first populist Black […]

Film Review: The Favourite

★★★★★ Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos returns to screens with his most accessible and enjoyable film to date: The Favourite, an Eighteenth century farce, inked in gall and played with vigour. Think Mean Girls written by Jonathan Swift. Poor cousin Abigail (Emma Stone) – a noblewoman fallen […]

Venice 2018: The Mountain review

★★★☆☆ A troubled young man goes on tour with a renowned lobotomist in Rick Alverson’s wintry new work The Mountain, showing in competition at the 75th edition of the Venice International Film Festival. Andy (Tye Sheridan) lives with his father (Udo Kier) and works at the […]

Film Review: Cold War

★★★★☆ There is a ruined church that appears twice in Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War: once at the beginning and once at the end, which serves as an authentic counterpoint to the fake heritage the new communist government is trying to create. Lacking a roof and strewn […]

Film Review: The Happytime Murders

★★★☆☆ Marking the film debut of Henson Alternative, a banner of The Jim Henson Company that specialises in adult content, The Happytime Murders is a puppet-based black comedy which definitely isn’t for kids. Based in a world where puppets and humans co-exist, the plot centres […]

Film Review: Distant Voices, Still Lives

★★★★☆ Filmed in two separate parts by Terence Davies, Distant Voices, Still Lives explores his childhood and early adulthood in the Liverpool of the 1940s and 1950s through the characters of Tony (Dean Williams), his authoritarian father Tommy (Pete Postlethwaite), loving mother (Freda Dowie) and […]

Venice 2018: Our picks of the festival

This Wednesday (29 August) will see the official opening of the 75th Venice Film Festival. The programme is crammed with internationally renowned directors and stars, boasting its most promising selection in years. Here are just a few of the most eagerly anticipated works on offer. […]