CineVue

Film reviews and more

Lucy Popescu

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Film Review: Amanda

★★★★☆ Mikhaël Hers’ sensitive, heartfelt third feature Amanda is about loss and bereavement in the aftermath of a brutal terrorist attack in a Paris park. David (Vincent Lacoste), twenty-four, loses his sister Sandrine (Ophélia Kolb) and has to decide whether he can take on the care of her seven-year-old […]

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Film Review: The Souvenir

★★★★★ Joanna Hogg’s semi-autobiographical feature The Souvenir introduces Honor Swinton Byrne in a tour de force performance. It’s a stunning evocation of a young woman’s rite of passage in 1980s London, and a poignant exploration of an artist’s early foray into film. When Julie (Swinton Byrne), an earnest film […]

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Film Review: The Current War

★★★☆☆ A stylishly shot period drama, charting the race to provide the world with electricity, should have been compulsive viewing. Instead, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s The Current War, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Nicholas Hoult and Michael Shannon, fails to ignite. Inventor Thomas Edison (Cumberbatch) has already stunned America with his light […]

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Film Review: Bel Canto

★★★★☆ Paul Weitz and Anthony Weintraub’s screen adaptation of Ann Patchett’s novel Bel Canto deftly weaves romance into a taut hostage drama. Roxane Coss (Julianne Moore), an international opera star (vocals courtesy of Renée Fleming) has been asked to sing at a diplomats’ dinner in an unnamed South […]

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Film Review: Red Joan

★★★☆☆ Based on a true story, Trevor Nunn’s Red Joan is an absorbing wartime drama about a spy ring. It opens in 2000 with Joan (Judi Dench), a pensioner happily tending her roses. Shocked by her unexpected arrest for alleged treason, she is forced to recall her Cambridge […]

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Film Review: The White Crow

★★★★☆ Ralph Fiennes’ third directorial feature, The White Crow is an evocative portrait of Russian ballet star Rudolf Nureyev’s early career and defection to the West in 1961. Inspired by Julie Kavanagh’s biography, David Hare’s perceptive screenplay takes us from Nureyev’s birth aboard a Trans-Siberian train to his […]

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Film Review: Foxtrot

★★★★☆ Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz’s heart-rending family drama Foxtrot, starring Lior Ashkenazi, Sarah Adler and Yontan Shiray, explores the futility of war, love and loss. An ambitious melding of three distinctive parts, it opens with a middle-aged couple receiving devastating news. Two army officers turn up on their doorstep […]

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Film Review: On Her Shoulders

★★★★★ The subject of Alexandria Bombach’s On Her Shoulders is an extraordinary woman, Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad, and her tireless campaign for justice for the Yazidi people. Bombach demonstrates how Murad’s selfless devotion to the cause win hearts and minds and leads her to become the United […]

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Film Review: The Seagull

★★★★☆ Michael Mayer takes something of a gamble bringing Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull to the screen and it doesn’t entirely pay off. This is very much an American, celebrity driven rendition of a Russian classic and the stellar cast, including Annette Bening, Billy Howle, Elisabeth Moss and the ubiquitous […]

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Film Review: The Children Act

★★★★☆ Ian McEwan’s poignant screen adaptation of his 2014 novel, The Children Act, directed by Richard Eyre, stars Emma Thompson in a career-best performance as a level-headed high court judge facing a crisis in her personal and professional life. Fiona Maye decides the legal fate of children and […]

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Film Review: That Good Night

★★★☆☆ There is the uncanny sense of art imitating life in Eric Styles’ poignant, end of life drama, featuring John Hurt’s swansong. That Good Night is about a man dealing with his impending death and Hurt was himself terminally ill when the film was shot. Ralph Maitland (Hurt), […]

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Film Review: Custody

★★★★☆ In France, a woman dies every two and a half days as a result of domestic violence. Xavier Legrand’s feature debut, Custody, a hard-hitting social drama and winner of the Silver Lion, attempts to raise awareness of this harrowing subject through the powerful medium of cinema. Legrand […]

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Film Review: Hotel Salvation

★★★★☆ Set in Varanasi, Shubhashish Bhutiani’s remarkably assured debut feature, starring Lalit Behl and Adil Hussain, has already won plaudits and awards on the festival circuit. Shot when he was just 23, Hotel Salvation is a bittersweet meditation on life, death and salvation. Haunted by a recurring dream, […]

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Film Review: Land of Mine

★★★★☆ Inspired by true events in 1945, director Martin Zandvliet’s powerful Academy Award-nominated film about Denmark’s treatment of German prisoners, Land of Mine, demonstrates that the aftermath of war can often be just as brutal as the bloody conflict itself.Fearful of an allied invasion, Nazi forces left behind […]

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Film Review: Lost in Lebanon

★★★★★ This heartbreaking film by Sophia and Georgia Scott follows four Syrian refugees as they struggle to rebuild their lives in Lebanon. Syria’s neighbour has had to cope with a massive influx of refugees – Lebanon’s population of 4.4 million now comprises 1.5 million Syrians.Lost in Lebanon was […]

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Film Review: A Quiet Passion

★★★☆☆ Terence Davies is no stranger to biographical film, having mined his own life story to great effect in Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes. The overall tone of his sensitive Emily Dickinson biopic mirrors the great American poet’s contemplative style. The languorous pace may […]