Film reviews and more

Jamie Neish

Film Review: Astronaut

★★★☆☆ Richard Dreyfuss stars in Astronaut, Shelagh McLeod feature film debut, in which she also doubles up as screenwriter. It’s a low-key affair that made its World Premiere at last year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival. In many ways, it has the look and feel of a TV drama, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Dreyfuss plays Angus, a […]

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 […]

Film Review: Mrs Lowry & Son

★★☆☆☆ Five years after portraying J.M.W. Turner in Mike Leigh’s award-winning biographical drama Mr Turner, Timothy Spall takes on the role of another English painter, this time for director Adrian Noble, well-known in theatre circles. The painter in question is Lancashire-born L.S. Lowry, famed for his urban life paintings. Instead of focusing its attention on his works, however, Noble’s […]

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 […]

Film Review: Skin

★★★★☆ Jamie Bell is phenomenal in Skin, Israeli-born director Guy Nattiv’s harrowing drama. It’s a performance that requires a certain level of depth and power – something that Bell tears into with astonishing ferocity. The man Bell portrays is Bryon Widner, a real-life – now transformed – neo-Nazi who found himself taken in by a makeshift family of supremacists […]

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 […]

Film Review: Pokémon Detective Pikachu

★★★☆☆ Detective Pikachu marks the birth of the Pokémon film franchise in live-action form. The pocket monsters, first established in 1995 by Japanese designer Satoshi Tajiri, have experienced a resurgence of late with the release of Pokémon Go! in 2016, in turn sparking a bidding war between studios for the rights to a new film, based on a Nintendo […]

Film Review: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

★★★★☆ Against all odds, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s The Lego Movie reaped massive successes when it was released five years ago. While Mike Mitchell’s The Lego Movie 2 doesn’t quite come close to the unexpected surprises of its predecessor, it does succeed on being the darker, more serious (and therefore more adult) follow-up. The action picks up where we left […]

Film Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet

★★★★☆ Where Wreck-It Ralph focused on the highs and lows of arcades games, specifically relating to the characters who inhabit them, their lives and individual crises, its sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet lurches forward, opening the world up exponentially as the arcade in which our heroes reside is plugged into the web. The plot sparks to life when the steering […]

Film Review: Patrick

★★☆☆☆ The phrase “man’s best friend” is put firmly to the test in Patrick, a new British comedy from Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie director Maddie Fletcher. Sarah (Beattie Edmondson) is the odd one out of her family. Her life is messy, love life a constant disappointment and feelings of living in her sister’s shadows accentuated by her parents’ disparaging […]