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 … Continue reading Review: Nadia, Butterfly

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 … Continue reading Review: The Halt

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 … Continue reading Review: Undine

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 … Continue reading Review: The Stylist

Review: Sweat

Director: Magnus von Horn Stars: Magdalena Koleśnik, Julian Swiezewski, Alexsandra Konieczna We are a planet of abundant over-sharers. Culturally, collectively, globally... we're obsessed with self-documentation. From selfies to 'stories', news feeds, tweets and everything in between, this website included. We're habitually cataloging our lives, uploading and updating a persistent stream of information that's too vast … Continue reading Review: Sweat

Review: Censor

Director: Prano Bailey-Bond Stars: Niamh Algar, Sophia La Porta, Michael Smiley In Britain in the early '80s, numerous low-rent horror films became the scapegoat of the Tory government's ills, dubbed "video nasties" and cut to ribbons by the British Board of Film Censors (now the British Board of Film Classification). This in an effort to … Continue reading Review: Censor

Review: In the Earth

Director: Ben Wheatley Stars: Ellora Torchia, Joel Fry, Hayley Squires From one extreme to the other; those keeping an eye on the timeline here at The Lost Highway Hotel will note this is the second review of the day following Jon M Chu's In the Heights. It's a swift move from all-singing all-dancing to Ben Wheatley's … Continue reading Review: In the Earth

Review: After Love

Director: Aleem Khan Stars: Joanna Scanlan, Nathalie Richard, Talid Ariss Actor Nasser Memarzia barely appears in After Love, but his character - Ahmed - is present in every scene. A Pakistani immigrant married to a white British woman Mary/Fahina (Joanna Scanlan), Ahmed lives a transitory life thanks to his work, which sees him spending as much … Continue reading Review: After Love

Review: Shiva Baby

Director: Emma Seligman Stars: Rachel Sennott, Fred Melamed, Polly Draper Emma Seligman's Shiva Baby (which I choose to believe is named as such in a nod of respect to '70s Pam Grier action flick Sheba, Baby) arrives via MUBI in the UK on a promising wave of praise; praise that is (yes!) absolutely deserved. Seligman's debut … Continue reading Review: Shiva Baby

Review: The Father

Director: Florian Zeller Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Imogen Poots, Olivia Colman Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) would be so much more at ease if he knew where his watch was. Time is a great solidifier, you see. We take it for granted, but when you know when you are then the rest all tends to fall into place. … Continue reading Review: The Father

Review: Nomadland

Director: Chloé Zhao Stars: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Bob Wells Thus far in a relatively brief but exemplary career, Chloé Zhao has shown a tenderness and sensitivity to microclimates that typify the American Midwest. Be it the reservations of Songs my Brothers Taught Me or the close-knit rodeo bonds of The Rider, her approach has … Continue reading Review: Nomadland

Review: Black Bear

Director: Lawrence Michael Lavine Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Christopher Abbott, Sarah Gadon If Aubrey Plaza's against-type performance in festive charmer Happiest Season hinted at her abilities in a more serious role, Black Bear brings that promise to fruition. That she appears here in a three-hander with Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon only adds to the film's cache. … Continue reading Review: Black Bear

Review: Promising Young Woman

Director: Emerald Fennell Stars: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Jennifer Coolidge Part of the established contract of rape-revenge cinema is the catharsis offered when the attackers are confronted and justice is meted out. Having endured the ordeal of her experiences, having suffered with her, we're to be sated by this reprisal, by her violence. In the … Continue reading Review: Promising Young Woman

Review: Malmkrog

Director: Cristi Puiu Stars: Frédéric Schulz-Richard, Agathe Bosch, Marina Palii We've seen the abject cruelty of man rendered on our cinema screens in any number of severe, extreme, button-pushing films. Films like Salò. Films like The Painted Bird. With stifling austerity we've witnessed reflections of our worst instincts and actions, and the films themselves have been … Continue reading Review: Malmkrog

Review: Palm Springs

Director: Max Barbakow Stars: Cristin Milioti, Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons The time-loop conceit commonly referred to as the 'Groundhog Day' device endures, enough to be credited as a subgenre in its own right. For a time, any TV show with a remotely fantastical element had a go at it (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, Buffy … Continue reading Review: Palm Springs