Most Recent. In Christopher Machell.

Christopher Machell

Film Review: Passages

★★★★☆ American indie director Ira Sachs returns to UK screens with his comic romantic drama Passages, a pointed, revealing study of selfishness and an all-too familiar portrait of emotional indulgence, bolstered by three excellent lead performances.

Film Review: The Innocent

★★★★☆ The long-suffering son of serial monogamist Sylvie (Anouk Grinberg), Abel (Louis Garrel) is immediately suspicious of her new (and third) husband, convict and ex-heist man Michel (Roschdy Zem). His fourth feature as director, Garrel’s The Innocent deftly mixes comic family melodrama with genre thrills in this pacy, emotive thriller with a killer cast.

Film Review: Afire

★★★★☆ Two young friends, Leon (Thomas Schubert) and Felix (Langston Uibel), take a fateful working retreat in a forest cabin on Germany’s Baltic coast. German director Christian Petzold’s latest is a tense, emotionally fraught drama, layered with smouldering internal conflict that – by its incendiary close – invariably catches alight.

Film Review: Lie with Me

★★★★☆ Promoting his latest work, a successful writer returns to his hometown and the site of his first love. Olivier Peyon’s sixth feature is a bittersweet bildungsroman told in reverse; a study of identity reconciled too late. In examining the reflexive, redemptive power of fiction, Lie With Me is a moving story of love lost to time.

Film Review: L’immensità

★★★★☆ After an eleven-year hiatus, Rome-born director Emanuele Crialese returned to the cinema last year with the Venice premiere of this family drama. Now arriving on UK cinema screens, the 1970s-set L’immensità is a multilayered study of family life in disintegration.

Film Review: A Song for Imogene

★★☆☆☆ Trapped in an unhappy relationship and a life going nowhere fast, Cheyenne’s (Kristi Ray) discovery that she is pregnant gives her the kick that she needs to leave her partner, Alex (Hadyn Winston). American writer-director Erika Arlee’s debut feature showcases strong performances and nice visual flourishes, but A Song for Imogene struggles to find an emotional hook.

Film Review: Barbie

★★★★☆ Among the most popular and iconic toys in the world, since its 1959 inception, the Barbie doll has delighted children while embodying unrealistic beauty standards for women. Is Barbie a sexist stereotype or neo-feminist icon? Erstwhile indie director Greta Gerwig and co-writer Noah Baumbach asks, why not both?

Film Review: Oppenheimer

★★★★☆ Christopher Nolan directs his first biopic, depicting the scientist who developed the atomic bombs that would devastate and the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and bring an end to the Second World War. The British director’s twelfth feature is a fascinating and accomplished cinematic object, but as a study of greatness, Oppenheimer’s subject is often obscured by its author’s auteurist preoccupations.