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John Bleasdale

Venice 2022: The Eternal Daughter review

★★★☆☆ Celebrated British director Joanna Hogg is back on the Venice Lido with The Eternal Daughter, a film shot in secret in lockdown and starring The Souvenir’s Tilda Swinton in dual roles as a mother and daughter heading to a hotel in the countryside for a much-needed birthday vacation.

Venice 2022: The Son review

★★★★☆ “Love is not enough,” is the advice given to the parents in French playwright Florian Zeller’s sophomore feature film The Son, which closes the diptych begun by The Father. It is wise advice and goes against so much that we instinctively feel about parenting and childcare. All we need is love, surely? Unconditional love.

Venice 2022: Master Gardener review

★★★☆☆ A man sits alone in a room with a notepad and begins to scribble down his own voiceover. He only writes on one page and seems to always be starting at the top. His thoughts will be meticulous and he will show a certain expertise. When he’s finished writing he will place the pen on the table, neatly aligned with the pad.

Film Review: Hit the Road

★★★★★ A family car journey isn’t always an enticing premise – either for a film or in real life. But in Panah Panahi’s feature debut Hit the Road, the ride is one that both the audience and the family featured probably wish would last forever. It’s an intimate, frequently funny, poignant and deeply moving piece of work.

Film Review: Nitram

★★★★☆ Justin Kurzel first made his name with his breakout film Snowtown, a true crime murder story that shone an unflattering light on small town Australia. Following some missteps, Nitram is a solid return to form as well as a return to similar territory. It’s based on the Port Arthur massacre that cost the lives of 35 people.

Film Review: Everything Went Fine

★★★☆☆ A bland title – much like a bland line of conversation – can hide an abyss the way a household fridge can hide a corpse. François Ozon is a master at this kind of observational understatement that touches on something deeper. In his new film Everything Went Fine, it is the fine details that holds weight.

Film Review: Men

★★★★☆ Following Ex Machina and Annihilation, writer and director Alex Garland returns to the green, green pastures of home with a new chiller on just how toxic masculinity can be. Jessie Buckley plays Harper, a woman in need of a retreat following the tragic end of her relationship with James (Paapa Essiedu).

Cannes 2022: Ruben Östlund wins second Palme d’Or

Cannes’ 75th edition came to a close with a Palme d’Or for Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness. It was a fittingly ironic moment for the wealthy, star-studded audience to applaud a satire that eviscerates the wealthy and celebrity-obsessed upper-classes. It was Östlund’s second Palme d’Or and, although well-deserved, felt symptomatic of a festival which was fine at best.

Cannes 2022: Close review

★★★★★ Léo (Eden Dambrine) and Remi (Gustav De Waele) are best friends. At 13, they are intelligent and autonomous enough to be allowed a certain freedom, but still full of the childish and spontaneous joy of being and imagining. They pretend villains are attacking the castle, run through the flower fields, and have so many sleepovers together that Leo’s mum wonders aloud if he’ll ever come home.

Cannes 2022: Broker review

★★★☆☆ “Family isn’t a word…it’s a sentence”. So ran the tagline to The Royal Tenenbaums. For Hirokazu Kore-eda it could be argued that it’s a whole career. From Still Walking to the Palme d’Or-winning Shoplifters, the Japanese auteur has spent the greater part of his career delineating the lines of attraction and repulsion, the dynamics of duty and care that make up families – both real and alternative.

Cannes 2022: Showing Up review

★★★★☆ If there has been a characteristic that sums up this 75th edition of Cannes, it has been that the festival has been small. Partly because of Covid still affecting the way films are produced – yachts seem to be half-staffed and worlds depopulated: cinema downsized. So it is fitting that one of the last films to screen in the competition is Kelly Reichardt’s determinedly minimalistic Showing Up.

Cannes 2022: When You Finish Saving the World review

★★★☆☆ A gauche young man plays guitar and sings a song he wrote to the devoted pleasure of his parents. That was The Squid and the Whale, Noah Baumbach’s 2005 acerbic comedy of family disintegration. Jesse Eisenberg played the young man, while the song was actually by Pink Floyd which the boy was trying to pass off as his own.

Cannes 2022: Final Cut review

★★★☆☆ There’s something fitting about a zombie movie remake. To paraphrase Vic Reeves, “You wouldn’t let it die”. And if you’re going to remake a zombie film, why not pick one of the best of recent years. That seems to be the thinking behind Michel Hazanavicius’ Final Cut, a zom-com that faithfully replays Shinichiro Ueda’s One Cut of the Dead, which made a crimson splash in 2017.

Cannes 2022: Our picks of the festival

The Croisette is teeming, the red carpet has been unrolled, and the ticket system is up the spout. In other words, Cannes is back. After the Covid-inflected – if not infected – July 2021 version, there is a sense of renewal as the film industry bounces back with the blockbuster delights of Top Gun: Maverick and a familiar roster of auteur talent.