Film reviews and more

Month: January 2019

Film Review: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

★★★★★ In her excellent adaptation of Lee Israel’s literary fraudster memoir Can You Ever Forgive Me?, director Marielle Heller takes viewers on a hilarious tour of New York’s memorabilia dealers, blending a mixture of heist comedy with a sensitive character study of Israel herself: “bitter […]

Film Review: Bergman: A Year in a Life

★★★★☆ After the recent centenary of Ingmar Bergman and Criterion Collection’s release of a mammoth thirty-nine film Blu-ray box set, the appeal of Bergman as a definitive auteur feels reborn in this moment. Affirming audiences with piercing observations on human nature, Jane Magnusson’s follows up […]

Film Review: Vice

★★★★☆ When historians look back at the rise of populism and anti-establishment feeling in the early years of the 21st century, they will almost certainly ascribe it to two central events. The first is the Iraq War, and the loss of faith it engendered in […]

Film Review: On Her Shoulders

★★★★★ The subject of Alexandria Bombach’s On Her Shoulders is an extraordinary woman, Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad, and her tireless campaign for justice for the Yazidi people. Bombach demonstrates how Murad’s selfless devotion to the cause win hearts and minds and leads her to […]

Film Review: Destroyer

★★★☆☆ In Karyn Kusama’s LA-based noir Destroyer, Nicole Kidman stars – and startles – as desiccated detective Erin Bell, revived by the possibility of vengeance against a past foe encountered while undercover seventeen years previously. Despite committed performances and an appealingly pulpy voyage through LA’s […]

DVD Review: Orphée

★★★★★ The second film in Jean Cocteau’s Orphic Trilogy, Orphée’s textural and thematic richness is matched only by its enduring technical innovation. A loose adaptation of the Greek myth of Orpheus, Cocteau’s masterpiece uses classical mythic structure and archetypes to explore post-war French rehabilitation and crisis. […]

Criterion Review: Panique

★★★★★ In post-war Paris, an elderly woman is murdered apparently without motive. As the locals puzzle over the identity of the culprit, bafflement soon turns to panic as their unfounded suspicions turn to the eccentric Jewish man, Monsieur Hire (Michel Simon), who lives in an […]

DVD Review: Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte

★★★★☆ Two years after the release of his classic, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, director Robert Aldritch revisits psychosis with Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, a chilling tale about the madness of grief and guilt told in the Southern Gothic mode.  In 1927 Louisiana, the married John Mayhew (Bruce […]

DVD Review: Under the Tree

★★★☆☆ Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s Under the Tree makes its UK debut on DVD. A social satire with a shade of black humour wide enough to almost fill the frame, the Icelandic director’s 2017 film posits a cynical and often cruel vision of staid suburban existence and neighbourly […]

Film Review: Mary Queen of Scots

★★☆☆☆ Josie Rourke’s Mary Queen of Scots is the latest attempt to tell the well-worn story of Mary Stuart, who challenged the protestant hold on the English throne under Elizabeth I. Starring Saoirse Ronan in the titular role and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth it is, […]

Film Review: Glass

★★☆☆☆ Tying the worlds of Unbreakable and Split together, M. Night Shyamalan brings us a film that serves as direct sequel to both previous stories. Glass unites the invincible David Dunn (Bruce Willis), DID sufferer Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), and the brittle-boned mastermind Elijah, now going by […]

SAG Awards 2019 preview

The beauty of the Screen Actors Guild Awards is that it is actors lauding actors in both motion pictures and television. Not only do they honour individual achievement but there’s also the prestigious ensemble honour which takes note that the work the actors do also […]