Review: Red, White and Blue

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: John Boyega, Steve Toussaint, Antonia Thomas "Is that it?" It's the first thought that clapped into my mind as Steve McQueen cut to black and the credits began, joined by a wave of disappointment and a flutter of longing for greater resolution. It may be your reaction, too. But this sense … Continue reading Review: Red, White and Blue

Review: Monsoon

Director: Hong Khaou Stars: Henry Golding, Molly Harris, Parker Sawyers The past meets the present in Hong Khaou's understated second feature, which has this weekend arrived on BBC iPlayer for easy-access viewing; something I'd actively recommend. This bridging of generations isn't new ground for Khaou, whose previous film, 2017's Lilting, found a grieving Ben Whishaw … Continue reading Review: Monsoon

Review: Happiest Season

Director: Clea DuVall Stars: Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Aubrey Plaza The ratio of good Christmas films to... not? It's not exactly even. What's more, nobody's reasonably expecting any different. Even more-so than the flimsiest of rom-coms, they're the background fodder, the inconsequential ambiance, the backdrop to cosy evenings that are more notably about something else, … Continue reading Review: Happiest Season

Review: Hillbilly Elegy

Director: Ron Howard Stars: Amy Adams, Gabriel Basso, Glenn Close Ron Howard - purveyor of an almost unbroken record of dismally average movies - here outdoes himself, putting to rest the question of which Dan Brown adaptation amounts to his most feeble offering. Now he veers headlong into a career nadir so ill-timed and poorly considered … Continue reading Review: Hillbilly Elegy

Review: Lovers Rock

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn, Ellis George, Micheal Ward The second installment in Steve McQueen's Small Axe strand shows a further loosening of the acclaimed director's composure; it's very flex marking it out as one of the most interesting pivots in his career thus far. It may be half the length of Mangrove, but it … Continue reading Review: Lovers Rock

Review: Possessor

Director: Brandon Cronenberg Stars: Angela Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Tuppence Middleton Living and working in the shadow of David Cronenberg might well be a particularly daunting thing, but son Brandon is gamely stepping up to the task and if the world wasn't won over by his suitably vile debut Antiviral back in 2012, it certainly seems more … Continue reading Review: Possessor

Review: Mangrove

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: Letitia Wright, Shaun Parkes, Malachi Kirby My grandfather was a policeman and lifelong Tory. By the time I knew him as an old man he was defined in my eyes, sadly, as an alcoholic and a racist. So racist that he was even racist in his sleep. I was a child and … Continue reading Review: Mangrove

Review: To the Ends of the Earth

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa Stars: Atsuko Maeda, Ryo Kase, Adiz Rajabov Kiyoshi Kurosawa may have made a name for himself in horror (especially here in the West), but his filmography is far more diverse than one might assume, as anyone who caught the likes of Bright Future or Journey to the Shore can attest. He's a prolific and … Continue reading Review: To the Ends of the Earth

Minutiae: The Rain Dance in Kotoko

The following contains significant plot spoilers for the movie. The link between rain and catharsis is a staple of cinematic storytelling, often representative of a release of tension, a moment of acceptance, or some other instance of resolution. From Rutger Hauer musing on memories like "tears in rain" as his Roy Batty shuts down at … Continue reading Minutiae: The Rain Dance in Kotoko

Review: Train To Busan presents: Peninsula

Director: Yeon Sang-Ho Stars: Gang Dong-Won, Lee Jung-Hyun, Koo Kyo-Hwan Man, zombie movies hit different during a pandemic I guess. As the UK enters its second government-ordered lockdown, its perhaps inopportune timing for Train to Busan presents: Peninsula to reach our shores, but here we are, making the best of things. Peninsula moves time on … Continue reading Review: Train To Busan presents: Peninsula

Review: His House

Director: Remi Weekes Stars: Wunmi Mosaku, Sope Dirisu, Malaika Wakoli-Abigaba Remi Weekes' film, new to Netflix, turns the apprehensions and traumas of two refugees arriving on UK soil into the stuff of empathetic nightmares. It's an odd but welcome get for the streaming service, which more often trades in the kind of louder, brighter material that can … Continue reading Review: His House

Review: Shirley

Director: Josephine Decker Stars: Odessa Young, Michael Stuhlbarg, Elisabeth Moss Fertility courses through the latest feature from Josephine Decker, her first since gathering international attention two years ago with the fierce yet polarising Madeline's Madeline. Rose Nemser (Odessa Young) is pregnant on her arrival at the Vermont home of renowned horror author Shirley Jackson (Elisabeth … Continue reading Review: Shirley

Why I Love… #121: Ginger Snaps

Year: 2000 Director: John Fawcett Stars: Katherine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, Jesse Moss When it comes to teen horrors that writhe exquisitely in the perverse joys of the macabre, few come close to touching John Fawcett's turn-of-the-millennium offering Ginger Snaps. Conceived in partnership with Karen Walton and brought to life from her acidic script (gleefully prefiguring the … Continue reading Why I Love… #121: Ginger Snaps

Review: Relic

Director: Natalie Erika James Stars: Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote, Robyn Nevin With most UK cinemas shuttered, you might be hard-pressed to find a new set of scares this Halloween, but consider the arrival of Natalie Erika James' new Australian offering, which has plenty of chills to suit your needs this October 31st. Indeed, chilly is … Continue reading Review: Relic

Review: On The Rocks

Director: Sofia Coppola Stars: Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans, Bill Murray During the rounds for The Beguiled, the whiteness of Sofia Coppola's cinema became part of The Discourse. Though persons of colour have played minor or supporting roles here and there in her work, it was fair criticism - especially considering that film's setting - and … Continue reading Review: On The Rocks