CineVue

Film reviews and more

Matthew Anderson

Film Review: Hive

★★★★☆ At key moments in first-time writer-director Blerta Basholli’s Hive, windows, mason jars and a picture frame are all broken. Marking significant flashpoints in a simmering narrative, these incidents propel the film towards its smashing of an overbearing glass ceiling.

Film Review: Flee

★★★★★ Flee is a thought-provoking exploration of one man’s flight from the Taliban’s tyranny in Afghanistan. Blurring traditional boundaries of documentary with rich, beautiful animation, director Jonas Poher Rasmussen has a great deal invested in telling this story.

Film Review: Belfast

★★★★☆ Does a filmmaker use cinema as his or her own confessional booth or a darkened space in which to escape the harsh realities of the outside world? When the curtain closes and the lights go down on Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, it’s clear that this deeply autobiographical project is a vessel for both.

Film Review: Mass

★★★★☆ There are no easy answers in Fran Kranz’s Mass – and perhaps no answers at all. One of the strongest debut features to have premiered at last year’s Sundance, it exhibits all of the signs of a very promising career behind the camera lie ahead for the first-time writer-director.

Film Review: The First Wave

★★★★☆ Within the first five minutes of Matthew Heineman’s The First Wave, an elderly man is told “I love you, baby” by his wife via a jittery FaceTime call, goes into arrest, is brought back by a team of medics and then, suddenly, flatlines. It’s March 2020, and this same story will play out with alarming regularity.

Film Review: Petite Maman

★★★★★ A rich, autumnal gem of a film, Céline Sciamma’s Petite Maman effortlessly blends reality with fairytale, past with present, to explore notions of loss, grief and acceptance. At just 72 minutes, it is short and sweet, but yet another exquisitely made, deeply moving feature from the French writer-director.