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Reviews

Film Review: Borrowed

★★☆☆☆ Carlos Rafael Betancourt and Oscar Ernesto Ortega stage a two-hander about an abusive relationship, in which middle-aged David (Jonathan Del Arco) lures Justin (Héctor Medina) to his home. A strong premise is sadly let down by narrative contrivance and sophomoric psychology.

Film Review: White Noise

★★★★★ “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.

Film Review: Tori and Lokita

★★☆☆☆ 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.

Film Review: Lynch/Oz

★★★★☆ With Lynch/Oz, renowned film studies documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe turns his attention to the celebrated, surrealist oeuvre of David Lynch: in particular, the director’s recurring fascination (arguably, obsession) with 1939’s MGM classic The Wizard of Oz.

Film Review: Utama

★★★★☆ Alejando Loayza Grisi’s award-winning debut feature, Utama is an understated but spectacularly mounted drama about an ageing Quechua couple tending llamas on the edge of civilisation. They live in a very modest stone house that looks out onto the Bolivian altiplano.

Film Review: She Said

★★★☆☆ Maria Schrader’s She Said goes behind the scenes of how The New York Times journalists led the charge in bringing down Harvey Weinstein. One of the most successful film producers of all time, he was also a sexual predator who used his wealth, privilege and power to destroy the lives of countless women.

Film Review: Bones and All

★★★★★ Bones and All is a savage, swooning 1980s-set tale of first love and finding one’s place in the world. Observational but mysterious, also political and anti-nostalgic, Luca Guadagnino’s road trip to the States finds equal amounts of horror and beauty at every turn.

Film Review: Aftersun

★★★★★ Parents are normal people too. They might not seem it but once you have a kid, you become a care provider, a hotelier, a therapist, a nurse, a taxi driver, a chef and a thousand other things. You become mum or dad and the idea that you too might have a life is something that shrinks.

Film Review: Armageddon Time

★★★★☆ Whether it’s the neo-noir of We Own the Night, the ménage à trois of Two Lovers, or the sad-dad-in-space opera of Ad Astra, Gray has managed to pursue an intensely personal vision through a variety of genres. Now he’s back in UK cinemas with a more down to earth offering.

Film Review: Amerikatsi

★★★☆☆ Actor Michael A. Goorjian may be best-known as Neve Campbell’s love interest in Party of Five, but he has been directing independent features since 1997. His paternal grandparents survived the Armenian genocide, and so his latest film Amerikatsi is a deeply personal film.

Film Review: No Bears

★★★★★ Jafar Panahi’s sentence of six years in prison this July is the latest instance of harassment that the director has received from Iranian authorities, stretching back as far as 2010. Panahi has made a film about escaping Iran – in which he plays himself making a film about escaping Iran.

Film Review: Watcher

★★★★☆ Julia (It Follows’ Maika Monroe) has moved with husband Francis (Karl Glusman) from New York City for a new marketing job in Bucharest. Spending her days alone and struggling with the language barrier, Julia starts to feel that she is being spied on from the apartment opposite theirs.