CineVue

Film reviews and more

Zoe Margolis

Film Review: Nomadland

★★★★★ Adapted from Jessica Bruder’s non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, the Oscar and Bafta-winning Nomadland is writer and director Chloé Zhao’s third feature-length film and is a beautiful and compassionate portrait of people living on the outskirts of American society. In 2011, after the economy collapsed, it leaves the rural town of Empire in Nevada […]

Film Review: Synchronic

★★★☆☆ Blending science fiction, crime drama and psychedelia, Synchronic is the wildly eccentric fourth film by American filmmaking duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (The Endless, Spring). New Orleans paramedic team and best friends Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) find themselves working a series of strange jobs which involve some bizarre and extreme deaths: they find a […]

Film Review: Long Day’s Journey into Night

★★★★☆ “The difference between film and memory is that films are always false”, muses protagonist Luo Hongwu (Huang Jue) early on in Long Day’s Journey into Night. If what we see, like Hongwu’s own perspective, is unreliable, and if we can’t even trust the narrator of the story, then how can we believe his memories – or more worryingly, […]

Film Review: Judy & Punch

★★★☆☆ Turning the traditional story of Punch and Judy on its head with a joyously feminist reinterpretation, debut writer and director Mirrah Foulkes offers an accomplished delight with Judy & Punch. Set in the anarchic and outlandish town of Seaside – which, ironically, is located nowhere near the coast – puppeteers Judy and Punch are trying to resurrect their […]

#LFF 2019: Blackbird review

★★★★☆ Set around a vast estate on the northeast American coast, in Roger Michell’s Blackbird, a family comes together over one last weekend to say their goodbyes to matriarch Lily (Susan Sarandon). Lily has a terminal illness which causes such physical deterioration that her body will eventually shut down entirely, leaving her unable to even feed herself. Choosing to […]

Film Review: The Peanut Butter Falcon

★★★★☆ A seemingly mismatched road-trip buddy movie, Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz’s The Peanut Butter Falcon is heartwarming and filled to the brim with humour and charm. Mourning the loss of his brother Mark (Jon Bernthal), fisherman Tyler (Shia LaBeouf) is struggling to make ends meet and resorts to stealing the crab catch from other fishermen in order to […]

Film Review: The Flood

★★★★☆ Anthony Woodley’s The Flood follows Eritrean refugee Haile (the extremely impressive Ivanno Jeremiah) on a journey full of hazard over oceans and across borders, as we see him arrive in the UK hoping to find solace and safety. Instead, Haile comes face to face with Wendy (Lena Headey), the hardened immigration officer who clearly is judged on her ability to quickly […]

Film Review: Mari

★★★★☆ An ambitious debut feature by writer-director Georgia Parris, Mari is a tender, intimate exploration of life and death, expressed through movement and dance. When choreographer Charlotte (Bobbi Jene Smith) discovers she is pregnant and that her grandmother Mari is dying, it turns her world upside down and makes her question her own mortality. Charlotte’s relationship with her mother […]

Film Review: Thunder Road

★★★★☆ Opening with an excruciating but perversely funny funeral scene, Thunder Road is unapologetic in showing the rawness and devastation death can have on people. Eulogising his dead mother – via a humiliatingly awful song and dance routine – is Texan police officer Jim Arnaud, a deeply troubled man, who over the slow-build of a 10-minute-long take loses his […]

Film Review: Green Book

★★★☆☆ Exploring the politics of race and class in 1960s America, Green Book attempts to shine a light on the civil rights era through an inspirational buddy drama. It works for the most part, but at best it’s a somewhat sentimental and nostalgic look back on American history, and at worst it’s racism seen through the rose-tinted lens of […]

#LFF 2018: Stan & Ollie review

★★★☆☆ Inspired by the book Laurel and Hardy: The British Tours by A.J. Marriot, who also featured as a consultant on the film, Jon S. Baird’s Stan & Ollie is part biography and part homage to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, arguably the greatest stage and screen comedy performers of their time. Opening mid-shoot on a film studio lot in […]

Film Review: Sorry to Bother You

★★★☆☆ Ambitious. Witty. Original. Surreal. Ridiculous. These all describe writer Boots Riley’s directorial debut Sorry To Bother You, and yet none of them quite encapsulate how innovative and genre-defying it is. It’s a screwball comedy, it’s absurdist sci-fi, it’s a satire on capitalism, and yet it also manages to be a political call-to-arms; a film quite clear in its […]