Film reviews and more

Joseph Walsh

Film Review: Vita & Virginia

★★☆☆☆ Compared to many authors, Virginia Woolf has fared relatively well on screen. Eileen Atkins’ one-woman stage show, A Room of One’s Own, that was later filmed for TV, was terrific. Then back in 2002, Nicole Kidman gave an Oscar-winning performance in The Hours (the prosthetic nose that aided her has sadly yet to be honoured). More recently, Lydia […]

Film Review: Only You

★★★☆☆ IVF remains a rarely discussed topic in cinema, even though millions of people go through it each year, which makes Harry Wootliff’s debut feature, Only You, all the more refreshing. It all begins, as many romantic dramas do, with a meet-cute. One New Year’s Eve in Glasgow, Jake (Josh O’Connor) a part-time DJ and PhD student, and Elena […]

Film Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp

★★★★☆ Bring It On director Peyton Reed returns with Marvel sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp, a heartfelt family comedy in which the peril lies in a father-daughter plot, rather than the fate of the universe. One of the joys of the Ant-Man movies is its protagonist, Scott Lang, (Paul Rudd). Unlike Black Panther who is king of a wealthy, […]

Film Review: Leave No Trace

★★★★★ Eight years on from Winter’s Bone, director Debra Granik offers up Leave No Trace starring Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie, an intricately crafted and haunting drama, based on the novel My Abandonment by Peter Rock. “Your socks burned you,” scolds Will (Foster) when he discovers his daughter, Tom, hiding in the undergrowth of a sprawling urban park just […]

Film Review: Whitney

★★★★☆ One year on from the release of Nick Broomfield’s Whitney: Can I Be Me, Kevin MacDonald’s Whitney proves that there is always room for another documentary on the pop music icon. With access to close family and friends, MacDonald’s emotional documentary seeks to unearth just how one of the world’s greatest singers came to such a tragic end. […]

Film Review: Girl

★★★★★ Belgian filmmaker Lukas Dhont makes his directorial debut with Girl, a sympathetic and emotionally rich portrait of a 15-year-old girl, born in the body of a boy, who has aspirations of one day becoming a ballet dancer. Taking on the role of Lara is cisgender actor Victor Polster. A trained dancer, Polster offers a compelling performance, expressing the […]

Film Review: Arctic

★★★☆☆ With Arctic, Brazilian director Joe Penna’s debut feature offers audiences a conventional survival thriller of one man pitted against nature, which still manages to deliver the occasional moment of raw tension. Mads Mikkelsen stars as Overgård, a Danish explorer who is forced to crash-land his aircraft in the middle of the arctic tundra. He strips all available equipment […]

Cannes 2018: Rafiki review

★★★☆☆ The Kenyan government had already banned Wanuri Kahiu’s second feature, Rafiki, before it even premiered in Cannes. Telling the story of a pair of young women who fall in love only to be ostracised by their local community, the government feared it would “promote lesbianism” which remains illegal in Kenya. All of which has only added to anticipation […]

Film Review: Everybody Knows

★★★☆☆ Three years on from The Salesman, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi returns with his mystery-thriller Everybody Knows, boasting an attractive trio of Latin performances from Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darín and Penélope Cruz in a compelling drama concerning lost loves and family ties. The opening scene lingers in the dilapidated belfry of a provincial Spanish church where a creaking clock grinds […]

Film Review: Ready Player One

★★★☆☆ There are few directors other than Steven Spielberg that could direct a film like Ready Player One. Based on the novel by Ernest Cline, it’s a story that rides the current slipstream of nostalgia for 1980s pop culture as well as picking up on the recent shift towards a world in which geek is chic and knowledge is paramount. […]

Film Review: The Mercy

★★★☆☆ At first glance, James Marsh’s The Mercy looks like yet another overly polished, stiff upper lip, British biopic. But scratch beneath the surface of Marsh’s latest and you find something much darker and far more melancholic. The Mercy aptly opens with a quote from Sir Edmund Hillary, “Men do not decide to become extraordinary, they decide to accomplish […]

Film Review: Darkest Hour

★★★☆☆ When British director Joe Wright made his feature debut back in 2005 with Pride and Prejudice, he showed he had something new to offer to period dramas. His shots were elegant tableaus, approached from unconventional angels, and the once tired genre felt fresh once again. With his next feature, Atonement, he improved on his craft, taking it to […]