Review: Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Director: Bi Gan Stars: Huang Jue, Tang Wei, Sylvia Chang In a very specific but entirely fitting sense, Bi Gan's Long Day's Journey Into Night exists outside of time for me. The film was released in China on the last day of 2018. It received its (very limited) UK cinematic release in the last week … Continue reading Review: Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Review: Eyes Wide Shut (20th anniversary)

Director: Stanley Kubrick Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack If being a cinephile is a form of addiction (and it often feels like it is) then the films of Stanley Kubrick are its gateway drugs. Not Kubrick alone, granted, but there are a clutch of 'great' directors whose work is easily available, who open … Continue reading Review: Eyes Wide Shut (20th anniversary)

Review: The Irishman

Director: Martin Scorsese Stars: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci The futility of gangsterism is the subject of Martin Scorsese's late career epic, arriving via streaming giant Netflix following a limited - cursory - flirtation with cinematic release. The majority of people will experience its 209 minutes on the small screen. It's how I … Continue reading Review: The Irishman

Review: Monos

Director: Alejandro Landes Stars: Sofia Buenaventura, Moises Arias, Julianne Nicholson We in the West, with our soft comforts and first world problems, can grumble about the varying responsibilities resting on our shoulders, but have you ever been entrusted with a hostage in the Colombian wilds at the tender age of sixteen? Thought not. That's the … Continue reading Review: Monos

Review: Booksmart

Director: Olivia Wilde Stars: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Billie Lourd Molly (Beanie Feldstein) is class president and has spent the entirety of her high school life devoted to academia. At the expense of popularity and at the expense of life experience. She has a bestie, Amy (Kaitlyn Dever), who has walked much the same path. … Continue reading Review: Booksmart

Review: Amazing Grace

Directors: Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack Stars: Aretha Franklin, Reverend James Cleveland, Clara Ward In Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film The Shining there is a scene in which Scatman Crothers' hotel employee Dick Halloran talks to young Danny Torrance about his incredible psychic gift. In order to put it into words that the boy can understand, he likens … Continue reading Review: Amazing Grace

Review: Us

Director: Jordan Peele Stars: Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph Dating back to the 16th century, the psychomanteum was a tool used for channeling spirits from the beyond or other realms of being; a room in which the focal point is a mirror, reflecting only darkness. In modern times, in which filmed storytelling is … Continue reading Review: Us

Review: Burning

Director: Lee Chang-Dong Stars: Yoo Ah-In, Steven Yeun, Jun Jong-Seo  The first we know of Lee (Yoo Ah-In) is a wisp of smoke curling out from around a wall in the opening shot. Over the course of two and a half languid, beguiling hours, this sinuous trail will become an emblem of sorts. His chain-smoking travels ultimately take him … Continue reading Review: Burning

Review: If Beale Street Could Talk

Director: Barry Jenkins Stars: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King In 2005 my grandmother succumbed to bowel cancer in our home and I could hear her dying cries. I was laid up at the time following corrective knee surgery. That same summer my sister's partner was murdered. And I got my heart broken, maybe the … Continue reading Review: If Beale Street Could Talk

Review: Shoplifters

Director: Hirokazu Kore-Eda Stars: Lily Franky, Kirin Kiki, Sakura Andô More commonly than not, Hirokazu Kore-Eda's cinema is about family. His recent police procedural The Third Murder merely interrupted an ongoing streak. Shoplifters - which scooped the coveted Palme d'Or at Cannes earlier this year - revives the director's ongoing inquiries. Here, however, family is a broad term, open … Continue reading Review: Shoplifters

Review: Widows

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez There's more than one locked room to crack in Steve McQueen's blistering new heist movie Widows. Viola Davis' Veronica Rawlings is as tough a nut as we've yet encountered from this director, whose work has a thematic through-run of protagonists restricted by bonds, literal or psychological. … Continue reading Review: Widows

Review: The Nun (1966)

Director: Jacques Rivette Stars: Anna Karina, Liselotte Pulver, Francine Bergé Pity the poor, hasty or unobservant fool who snaps up a copy of Jacques Rivette's The Nun - newly restored and available on bluray from Studio Canal - believing it to be the recent travesty of popular horror unleashed on cinemas. You can picture the bewilderment … Continue reading Review: The Nun (1966)

Review: The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Director: Desiree Akhavan Stars:  Chloë Grace Moretz, John Gallagher, Jr., Sasha Lane OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR. The above phrase, commonly stamped on wing mirrors, was made famous as a cinematic punchline in 1993 when Steven Spielberg used it to comic effect in Jurassic Park. In that movie it was a playful wink … Continue reading Review: The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Review: Hereditary

Director: Ari Aster Stars: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro When you first hear it - or notice it - it sounds like something you ought to report to the staff. The movie's playing but there's this sound, as though a party's going on next door. Someone's playing their music too loudly and its interrupting … Continue reading Review: Hereditary

Review: 120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)

Director: Robin Campillo Stars: Arnaud Valois, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Antoine Reinartz We live in a stirring time of protest, but our protests are predominantly ideological ones. Against Trump. Against Brexit. Still, such imagery has become commonplace on the news, on our Twitter feeds, in the streets where we live and participate. Robin Campillo's astonishing 120 BPM … Continue reading Review: 120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)