Film reviews and more


Film Review: The French Dispatch

★★★★☆ The French Dispatch of Wes Anderson’s latest film’s title is a fictional magazine, set up by proprietor and editor Arthur Howitzer Jr. (Bill Murray), a European supplement for a Kansas newspaper owned by his father. The film is divided into sections, each of which represents a story taken from the magazine and begins with Howitzer Jr’s own obituary. […]

Film Review: Never Gonna Snow Again

★★★★☆ All that glitters is not gold, but there is positivity to be found in radioactivity. Co-directed by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert, the haunting supernatural forces at work in Never Gonna Snow Again are elusive, inexplicable and yet perfectly in sync with reality. They enter and alter the world in which they exist via the hands of Ukrainian […]

Film Review: The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão

★★★★☆ Brazilian-born filmmaker Karim Aïnouz adapts Martha Batalha’s 2016 novel of the same name into a sumptuous and moving melodrama. Set mainly in 1950s Rio de Janeiro, The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão examines the all-encompassing injustices of patriarchy through the story of two sisters’ lifelong dedication to one another. Invisible Life was selected as Brazil’s entry into the […]

Film Review: Pier Kids

★★★★☆ Premiering in 2019 at the LA Outfest Film Festival, Elegance Bratton’s feature debut arrives on UK screens. Following in the footsteps of legendary documentary Paris Is Burning, Pier Kids is a poignant and chaotic study of the community of young black gay men and trans women who congregate at the piers of Hudson River Park, New York City. […]

Film Review: Next Door

★★★★☆ Spanish-German actor Daniel Brühl makes his directorial debut with this delightfully taut, blackly comic satire. Brühl is perhaps best-known to a global audience as the all-seeing, all-scheming Marvel villain Helmut Zemo, but Next Door upends Brühl’s signature cool-headedness by placing his hapless actor Daniel at the mercy of determined and vengeful neighbour, Bruno (Peter Kurth). In Next Door, […]

Film Review: No Time to Die

★★★★☆ Out with the old and in with the new? Well, not exactly. Acutely aware of where it has been but laying the groundwork for where it may go next, No Time to Die marks a significant fork in the road for Ian Fleming’s 007. And yet as one door closes, another opens, and it will be a relief to many a […]

Film Review: Balloon

★★★★★ Pre-eminent Tibetan director Pema Tseden returns to screens with his latest, finally released in the UK after premiering at the Venice Film Festival two years ago. Balloon is a poetic, bleak, funny, and deeply humane portrait of life in rural Tibet. In the early 1980s, Drolkar (Sonam Wangmo), lives in the mountains with husband Dargye (Jinpa), his father […]

Film Review: The Alpinist

★★★★☆ Filmmaking partners Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen, known for their extensive documentary work on climbing and for their Reel Rock Film Tour films, set their sights on Marc-André Leclerc, a legend in the climbing world living in relative obscurity. The Alpinist is a portrait of a disarmingly awkward and charming young man, driven to the most extreme of […]

Film Review: The Story of Looking

★★★★☆ In the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown, prolific director and cinephile Mark Cousins adapts his book of the same name into a visual study of the art of looking at the world. Cousins’ films are always personal, but underpinned by his imminent cataract surgery, The Story of Looking is among his most deeply felt. Cousins frames his film […]

Film Review: Rose Plays Julie

★★★★★ In Rose Plays Julie, the latest from dynamic duo Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor, a child of adoption studying veterinary medicine decides to seek out her biological mother and father. Her journey of discovery and resolution in holding her parents to account makes for haunting viewing. With their regular collaborator Aidan Gillen, Molloy and Lawlor have fashioned a […]

Film Review: Prisoners of the Ghostland

★★★☆☆ Sion Sono’s debut film in the English language is an East-meets-West genre medley centred on the hero monomyth, and crucially the samurai movie’s influence on both the modern western and post-apocalyptic actioner. Meanwhile, Nicolas Cage gets to do his thing, and that’s always welcome. Prisoners of the Ghostland is an oddball movie that leaves you wondering if they […]

Film Review: Herself

★★★★☆ A Dublin-set kitchen sink drama for the modern era, Phyllida Lloyd’s strong third feature, Herself, is as much an indictment of the grinding bureaucracy failing to house and protect women abused at the hands of their partners, as it is the men who inflict such despicable physical and psychological trauma. Fans of social realism will be drawn to The Iron […]