Film reviews and more

Christopher Machell

Film Review: New Order

★★☆☆☆ Following its premiere in Venice last year, Mexican director Michel Franco’s sixth feature receives its UK release this week. Depicting a fictional uprising in an unnamed Mexican city, New Order ably depicts the terror, confusion and violence of political revolution, but stops short of […]

Film Review: The Fever

★★★★★ The shadow of far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who once compared the indigenous people of Brazil as animals living in a zoo and whose policies have accelerated the decimation of the Amazon rainforest, hangs over veteran documentarian Maya Da-Rin’s first fiction feature like a […]

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: 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: The Truffle Hunters

★★★★☆ A beautiful wide shot of a lush, rain soaked forest painted in deep greens and browns fills the frame. As the camera slowly pushes in, several figures emerge from the morass of leaves and vines: a man and his dogs, slowly making their way […]

Film Review: Sweat

★★★★☆ Swedish director Magnus von Horn follows up his 2015 feature debut The Here After with Sweat, depicting three days in the life of an Instagram influencer. Structured in parts like a thriller, Sweat is truly most successful as a character study, while its representation […]

Film Review: It Must Be Heaven

★★★★☆ Ten years since his last film, renowned Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman makes a welcome return to the fore. At its premiere at Cannes, It Must Be Heaven was selected for the Palme d’Or, garnered a Special Jury Mention and received a standing ovation. It’s […]

Film Review: Shiva Baby

★★★★☆ Adapted from her 2018 short, Emma Seligman’s debut feature is a taut, stressful and brilliantly constructed chamber piece. Set during the first day of a shiva for a recently deceased family friend, Shiva Baby is ostensibly a comedy yet has all the tension of […]

Film Review: The Father

★★★★★ Are any of old age’s trials as terrifying to contemplate or heart-breaking to witness as the gradual erosion of self that dementia wreaks? In his astonishingly assured debut feature, French playwright-turned-director Florian Zeller handles the mental decline of an elderly man with sensitivity and […]

Film Review: The Killing of Two Lovers

★★★★☆ Since 2008, writer-director Robert Machoian has built up an impressive and prolific body of work, largely comprised of shorts and documentaries and peppered with a handful of features. In his fourth feature, The Killing of Two Lovers, Machoian has crafted an intense, moving and […]

Film Review: First Cow

★★★★★ Premiering at Telluride back in 2019 and now finally receiving a theatrical release courtesy of MUBI, First Cow has the honour of being among the year’s finest films three years running. No surprise, coming from Kelly Reichardt, one of the United States’ most brilliant […]