Film reviews and more

Month: July 2021

Film Review: The Most Beautiful Boy in the World

★★★★☆ In 1971, 15-year-old Swede Björn Andrésen shot to fame after he was cast as the youthful Tadzio in Luchino Visconti’s Death in Venice. Dubbed by Visconti as “the most beautiful boy in the world”, Andrésen became an overnight worldwide sensation and, through the lens […]

Film Review: Limbo

★★★★☆ Deadpan, absurdist comedy may not seem like an obvious genre choice for a story about the cruel, grinding bureaucracy of the UK’s asylum process. But five years since the playful oddness of his debut feature, Pikadero, Ben Sharrock returns in style with Limbo. The […]

Film Review: The World to Come

★★★☆☆ Schoharie County, the upstate New York setting of Mona Fastvold’s The World to Come, takes its name from a Mohawk word meaning ‘floating driftwood’. It’s an apt starting point from which to view the Norwegian director’s sophomore feature, the term keys into the restless […]

Film Review: Riders of Justice

★★★★☆ The old saying goes that a problem shared is a problem halved. The maths of this is not an exact science in Anders Thomas Jensen’s Riders of Justice, but an unlikely band of misfit brothers in arms – a soldier, hacker, statistician and IT […]

Film Review: Old

★★★★☆ The films of M. Night Shyamalan need little by way of an introduction. In the two decades since The Sixth Sense rocketed to the top of the US box office and made his reputation as a masterful deployer of final-act plot twists, his films have […]

Film Review: Night of the Kings

★★★★☆ A fusion of storytelling, dance, song and mythology, Philippe Lacôte’s Night of the Kings forms a rich, beguiling narrative web. Channelling the gifts of a traditional West African griot, the Ivory Coast filmmaker uses oral histories passed down by the generations to draw upon […]

Cannes 2021: Nitram review

★★★★☆ Justin Kurzel first made his name with his breakout film Snowtown, a true crime murder story that shone an unflattering light on small town Australia. Following some missteps, Nitram is a solid return to form as well as a return to similar territory. It […]

Cannes 2021: Casablanca Beats review

★★★★☆ Positive School is the name of an arts centre in the heart of Sidi Moumen, a suburb of Casablanca. It’s hard to find. New teacher Anas (Anas Basbousi) drives down a labyrinth of small streets before coming across it. Here, he finds a classroom […]

Cannes 2021: Memoria review

★★★★☆ Apichatpong Weerasethakul has been a stalwart of the arthouse circuit since his Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives won the Palme d’Or back in 2010. The Thai independent filmmaker has returned with Memoria, a beguiling and hypnotic and occasionally boring piece of […]

Film Review: Summer of Soul

★★★★★ Recalling the moment she walked out on stage and looked upon the assembled crowd of thousands at the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969, Mavis Staples remembers being “overcome with joy.” The experience of watching Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution […]

Film Review: Nowhere Special

★★★★☆ “This is the most important decision of my life”, single father John (James Norton) pleads to his social worker. “How will I know if I’ve got it right?” The decision in question, and the premise of Italian director Uberto Pasolini’s latest film Nowhere Special, […]

Film Review: Deerskin

★★★★☆ Absurdity and surrealism played with a straight face is Quentin Dupieux’s stock in trade. His latest gonzo reverie Deerskin finds the filmmaker working with major stars Jean Dujardin and Adèle Haenel. The result is predictably crackpot and enigmatic. We meet Georges (Dujardin) driving down the […]