Film reviews and more

Locarno 2019: Instinct review

★★★☆☆ Fans of Game of Thrones will be used to seeing Carice van Houten as a sexually powerful witch whose actions frequently cross moral lines, but her new film in which she stars with Marwan Kenzari, […]

Locarno 2019: The Girl with a Bracelet review

★★★☆☆ A young girl is accused of a terrible crime and her family must come to terms with how much they really know about her in Stéphane Demoustier’s sober courtroom drama The Girl with a Bracelet, […]

Locarno 2018: Festival roundup

With the 71st Locarno Film Festival coming to a close at the weekend and the prizes awarded, our contributor John Bleasdale notes some of the highs and lows of Swiss based celebration of film. There were […]

Locarno 2018: Our picks of the festival

One of the oldest European film festivals, Locarno celebrates its 71st edition with a vibrant programme of new films featuring 13 world premieres. Artistic director Carlo Chatrain curates his final festival before moving on to take […]

Locarno 2017: Madame Hyde review

★★★☆☆ Isabelle Huppert stars as a beleaguered French science teacher who, following a lightning strike, sporadically transforms into a fire lady. Serge Bozon’s absurdist revision of Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale has some wonderful moments but doesn’t […]

Locarno 2017: The First Lap review

★★★★☆ A young couple Ji-young (Kim Sae-byeok) and Su-hyeon (Cho Hyun-chul) reach a decisive moment in their lives in South Korean Kim Dae-hwan’s impressive slow-burner The First Lap, which received its world premiere at the Locarno […]

Locarno 2017: Sparring review

★★★☆☆ Premiering at this year’s Locarno International Film Festival, Samuel Jouy’s feature debut Sparring sees Mathieu Kassovitz star as an ageing slugger in a boxing movie which mixes up the below the belt pounding of Fat […]

Locarno 2017: Person to Person review

★★☆☆☆ Multiple New York stories interlace in Salt Lake City-born director Dustin Guy Defa’s Locarno 2017 select Person to Person, an ensemble piece which hails back to early John Sayles and Jim Jarmusch for inspiration but […]

Locarno 2017: Good Manners review

★★★☆☆ A beguiling, baffling and occasionally beautiful work which premiered at this year’s Locarno International Film Festival, Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra’s Good Manners is a genre-hopping tale of class, race, sexuality and werewolves in modern […]

Locarno 2017: Gemini review

★★★☆☆ Hollywood is never happier than when looking at Hollywood. From the polished, ironic magnificence of The Player to the lo-fi grunge of The Canyons, the starry side of LA has swallowed its own tail on […]

Locarno 2017: Dog review

★★☆☆☆ When Jacques Blanchot (Vincent Macaigne) loses everything – his wife, his son, his house – he finds comfort first in buying a dog, before increasingly behaving like one. Receiving its world premiere at this year’s […]

Locarno 2017: A Skin So Soft review

★★☆☆☆ Entering the strange world of bodybuilders, Denis Côté’s documentary A Skin So Soft offers a meditative – if at times obtuse – take that is not so much Pumping Iron as Waiting for Glutes. “It […]

Locarno 2017: Three Peaks review

★★★★☆ Alexander Fehling and Bérénice Bejo play a couple trying to make their own personal European Union work against the stunning backdrop of the Italian Dolomites in German director Jan Zabeil’s new thriller Three Peaks.Aaron (Fehling) […]