★★★★★ “All plots tend to move deathward. This is the nature of plots.” we are told early on in Noah Baumbach’s new film White Noise. Not since Alvy Singer bought Annie Hall all those books about death has there been such a funny and richly intelligent investigation of the particularly American anxiety about death.
★★☆☆☆ We all have directors that we don’t seem to get on with. We might admire their technical prowess or their commitment, but for some reason we just don’t click. For this critic, that’s the Dardenne brothers – Jean-Pierre and Luc – the Belgian filmmaking team that have brought a series of modern classics.
★★★★☆ Oldboy director Park Chan-wook’s new film Decision to Leave is a cinematic psychopath test. Park Hae-il plays Hae-joon a police detective who doesn’t have enough murders to solve in Busan. His wife (Lee Jung-hyun) works in Ipo, a misty seaside town. With his partner (Go Kyung-pyo), Hae-joon finally gets given what looks like an interesting case.
★★★★★ If ‘bromance’ is a thing then it’s only natural that we can have a ‘broak-up’ movie. This is what we get with The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri. The British-Irish writer-director teams up with Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell for an In Bruges reunion.
★★☆☆☆ With a title like Don’t Worry Darling the reviews really write themselves. “Worry, Darling” will no doubt be used in at least half of them. Booksmart director Olivia Wilde’s sophomore feature arrives in cinemas amidst a flurry of negative press and PR missteps which have little to do with the film.
★★★★☆ South Korean-born American director Kogonada’s After Yang is a moving, subtle and grounded work of science fiction that doesn’t necessarily get to the core of its myriad issues, but certainly hits the heart. How refreshing to see a version of the future not dictated by the grim pessimism that Black Mirror revels in.
★★★★☆ On 10 January 2016, everything went wrong. It was reminiscent of the poem The Day Lady Died by Frank O’Hara: “everyone and I stopped breathing”. In the years following the death of David Bowie we’ve had Brexit, Donald Trump as President, a global pandemic killed millions of people and we are now on the brink of a third world war.