Film reviews and more

Edinburgh 2019: Synonyms review

★★★★☆ Golden Bear-winning cultural assimilation drama Synonyms is expertly handled by its director Nadav Lapid. That of relocating, whether it be by city, country or even school, is an unsettling experience most can relate to, though it’s heightened – and duplicated – for that of lead character Yoav (Tom Mercier). Having travelled from Israel, where he’s lived since he […]

Edinburgh 2019: End of Sentence review

★★★☆☆ The strained relationship between a father and his son is tenderly observed in End of Sentence, the debut feature film from Elfar Adalsteins. Predominantly set against the backdrop of Ireland, this drama – starring John Hawkes and Logan Lerman – treads a familiar path, and yet still manages to engage with its assured performances and winning balance of […]

Edinburgh 2019: Schemers review

★★★☆☆ Filmed in and around Scotland’s fourth largest city Dundee, Schemers – receiving its World Premiere at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival – makes up for in rough-and-ready charm what it lacks in technical finesse. It’s a film backed by community spirit; Dundee-born David McLean acts as writer, producer and director, while the cast is predominantly made up […]

Edinburgh 2019: Get Duked! review

★★★☆☆ The curtain rose on the 73rd Edinburgh International Film Festival last week with music director Ninian Doff’s feature debut Get Duked! (aka Boyz in the Wood). Set in the Scottish Highlands, this inspired mashup of comedy, thriller and social satire is an unexpected delight that really comes alive in its second half. When a trio of tearaway teens – Dean […]

Edinburgh 2019: Programme highlights

The full programme for this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival has been revealed, bolstering 18 world premieres and 72 UK premieres of films brought to the Scottish capital from countries all over. Now in its 73rd year, the world’s longest continuously running film festival is back and ready to take film lovers on a voyage of discovery. Kicking off […]

Edinburgh 2018: Meeting Jim review

★★★☆☆ Jim Haynes is the focus of Meeting Jim, an unexpectedly captivating documentary by Ece Ger that’s been nominated for the Best Documentary Feature Film award at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival. Quite rightly too, as Jim spent a large portion of his life in the Scottish capital, attending university and running a number of controversial and influential […]

Edinburgh 2018: Calibre review

★★★★☆ Matt Palmer’s debut feature Calibre is a tense, brutal thriller set in the rural Scottish Highlands. It boasts meaty performances from local talent Jack Lowden and Martin McCann as Vaughn and Marcus respectively, two childhood friends reunited for a weekend hunting trip. Vaughn is hesitant, now settled with a child on the way, while Marcus is raring for […]

Edinburgh 2017: The Little Hours review

★★☆☆☆ It’s a who’s who of comedic talent in The Little Hours, which puts a modern spin on The Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio’s collection of 14th century tales that is said to have inspired Chaucer and Shakespeare, amongst other celebrated writers.Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie and Kate Micucci star as Fernanda, Alessandra and Genevra, respectively, three bawdy nuns living in a […]

Edinburgh 2017: Halal Daddy review

★★★☆☆ This culture clash comedy in the vein of late 1990s classic East Is East is warm-hearted, funny and light-footed. Raghdan (Nikesh Patel) lives in Sligo, where he moved from Bradford a few years ago to live with his uncle Jamal (Paul Tylak). He leads a quiet life, staying out surfing and drinking with his mates, and trying to […]

Edinburgh 2017: The Dark Mile review

★★☆☆☆ Up in the Scottish highlands on a break to try and rescue their fledging relationship, Louise (Rebecca Calder) and Claire (Deirdre Mullins) endure difficult occurrences in Gary Love’s less-than-inventive thriller.It starts out well enough. Louise, clearly experiencing a level of past trauma teased out through short memory bursts of hospital lights and needles, has dragged Claire onto a […]

Edinburgh 2017: London Symphony review

★★★★☆ Honouring and recognising the city of London through the power of images set to a beautifully orchestrated score, London Symphony – the crowdfunded documentary film from critic and filmmaker Alex Barrett – is an ode to a bustling, diverse and ever-changing capital.It’s a move to recapture the symphony films of the 1920s, when such metropolitan cities as Berlin […]

Edinburgh 2017: Where is Kyra? review

★★★☆☆ Michelle Pfeiffer delivers one of her best performance in years in Where is Kyra?, director Andrew Dosunmu’s follow-up to Mother of George. It’s a dark, often suffocating character study that revels in misery, barely a hint of levity in sight as a woman spirals into desperation.Pfeiffer plays Kyra, who lives in a pokey flat in New York City […]