Review: Nadia, Butterfly

Director: Pascal Plante Stars: Katerina Savard, Ariane Mainville, Eli Jean Tahchi At the time of writing, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are, belatedly, in full swing, but its a games unlike any other. It's a year late and the bleachers are empty, the audience is missing. Economically, it's a disaster for Japan, as the additional revenue …

Review: The Halt

Director: Lav Diaz Stars: Joel Lamangan, Piolo Pascual, Shaina Magdayao Shot and assembled in 2019 before the pandemic came the dominate the world, Lav Diaz's quasi-sci-fi dystopian epic The Halt (Ang Hupa) now seems phenomenally prescient. Running close to 5 hours, his film documents a tapestry of lives in Manila circa 2034. Volcanic eruptions have blotted …

Review: The World to Come

Director: Mona Fastvold Stars: Vanessa Kirby, Katherine Waterston, Christopher Abbott Like many women of her generation, Abigail (Katherine Waterston) has compartmentalised her wit, intelligence and ambition and accepted the hardened, ring-fenced existence of a farmer's wife. It is 1856 and Schoharie County, New York. A harsh winter causes much suffering for Abigail as diphtheria robs …

Review: Old

Director: M Night Shyamalan Stars: Vicky Krieps, Ken Leung, Gael García Bernal I'm sat looking at this blinking cursor in a WordPress draft, fresh from a screening of M Night Shyamalan's Old and I'm thinking how, in the reality of the film, I'd have lost days of my life already trying to work out how …

Review: Fear Street Part Three: 1666

Director: Leigh Janiak Stars: Kiana Madeira, Elizabeth Scopel, Darrell Britt-Gibson The latest in the unending is-it-a-movie-is-it-TV discourse, Netflix's time travelling teen horror trilogy/mini-series hops further back than before as it reaches its final frontier - or should that be frontier finale? Largely reusing its extant cast, Fear Street Part Three: 1666 takes us back to …

Review: Deerskin

Director: Quentin Dupieux Stars: Adèle Haenel, Jean Dujardin, Albert Delpy As a costume piece that elaborates on character, the jacket has a storied history in cinema that goes back to it's silent days. For modern touchstones - especially in terms of how it is linked to masculinity - consider the ubiquity of Sailor's snakeskin jacket …

Review: The Forever Purge

Director: Everado Valerio Gout Stars: Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, Gregory Zaragoza James DeMonaco's Purge franchise lumbers onward. While it predated and has now surpassed the short sorry presidency of Donald Trump, it is the series that feels most laboriously representative of the whirlwind ills that the disgraced orange bile-pod brought to the Oval Office. …

Review: Undine

Director: Christian Petzold Stars: Paula Breer, Franz Rogowski, Jacob Matschenz In Christian Petzold's latest, Undine, the tension between dreams and reality rarely leaves the screen. We can be steeped in the ostensibly 'real' - the notion of day-to-day truth that Petzold recreates with his characters and settings - only for these parameters to shift. Second guessing …

Review: The Stylist

Director: Jill Gevargizian Stars: Najarra Townsend, Brea Grant, Sarah McGuire Claire (Najarra Townsend) is a lonely hair stylist eager to provide immaculate service to her clients, but who feels alienated from the urban landscape around her. Her position at the lower end of the beauty industry makes her work a commodity, but she clearly wishes …

Review: Black Widow

Director: Cate Shortland Stars: Florence Pugh, Scarlett Johansson, Ever Anderson There are two prominently featured middle-aged white men in Cate Shortland's Black Widow and they nearly capsize the whole thing. I've been stuck on this since leaving the multiplex. For it's entire first act, this feels like a breath of fresh air for the Marvel …

Review: Freaky

Director: Christopher Landon Stars: Kathryn Newton, Vince Vaughn, Celeste O'Connor A common problem in film criticism one finds (and something I've been guilty of several times over) is not being able to separate how enjoyable something is from its inherent flaws. I had a reasonably good time watching Christopher Landon's Freaky; a flick I've been …