CineVue

Film reviews and more

Christopher Machell

Film Review: Happening

★★★★☆ French director Audrey Diwan adapts Annie Erwaux’s 2001 autobiographical book about her traumatic experience of an abortion in 1963 France. Happening is a naturalistic, heart-breaking and relentless account of the multiple traumas and injustices that cascade when women are denied their basic bodily autonomy.

Film Review: Playground

★★★★★ For most children, school is a frightening wilderness of social injustice and unchecked danger. With her first feature, Playground – part of last year’s Un Certain Regard lineup – Belgian filmmaker Laura Wandel captures this universal ordeal with a masterful sense of perspective and empathy.

Film Review: The Northman

★★★☆☆ Based on the Norse myth that inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Robert Eggers’ third film is a rollocking, rampaging Viking romp. The Northman is Eggers’ most ambitious project to date, but for all its howling spectacle and ultra-violent elemental machismo it is also his least successful.