Most Recent. In John Bleasdale.

John Bleasdale

Film Review: Master Gardener

★★★☆☆ A man sits alone in a room with a notepad and begins to scribble down his own voiceover. He only writes on one page and seems to always be starting at the top. His thoughts will be meticulous and he will show a certain expertise. When he’s finished writing he will place the pen on the table, neatly aligned with the pad.

Cannes 2023: How to Have Sex review

★★★★☆ When asked why he called his novel How to Be Good, novelist Nick Hornby replied because having “how” in the title boosts sales significantly. We’re all looking for guidebooks, even when we read novels or see films. The world is a scary and confusing place, and we need someone to show us the way.

Cannes 2023: May December review

★★★☆☆ American director Todd Haynes returns to the Cannes Croisette with the recently Netflix-acquired May December, a Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore two-hander that asks the question: what if Brian De Palma remade Persona but as a comedy?

Cannes 2023: Firebrand review

★★☆☆☆ “An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king,” Percy Shelley once wrote in his sonnet England in 1819. He was firing his barbs at King George III but the words could just as well be used for any number of English monarchs including Henry VIII.

Cannes 2023: Killers of the Flower Moon review

★★★☆☆ We are now deep into the elder statesman stage of Martin Scorsese’s career. Every film comes with a certain weight of expectation, even as it tries to reach the escape velocity from his previous work. The Killers of the Flower Moon, like his Netflix-backed The Irishman, is a lengthy retelling of American history, exhumed and played in the key of true crime.

Cannes 2023: Homecoming review

★★★☆☆ Catherine Corsini arrives in Cannes with Homecoming, an adeptly told family drama which boasts some stand out performances. Fifteen years after a tragic incident, Kheìdidja (Aissatou Diallo Sagna), a single mother, returns to Corsica with her two daughters to look after the children of a wealthy family.

Cannes 2023: About Dry Grasses review

★★★★★ Turkish master director Nuri Bilge Ceylan returns to the Cannes Croisette with About Dry Grasses, a wonderful wintry meditation on male fragility and the way we often make our own hells and then deceive ourselves that we’re trapped.

Cannes 2023: The Zone of Interest review

★★★★★ Theodor Adorno famously wrote that poetry was not possible after Auschwitz, but is cinema? Billy Wilder certainly thought so, getting footage from the camps as evidence as much as anything else. Steven Spielberg, Claude Lanzmann, Alain Resnais and Roberto Benigni have all with differing degrees of success tried their hands.