Review: Uncut Gems

Directors: Joshua Safdie, Benny Safdie Stars: Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Lakeith Stanfield Anyone familiar with the cinema of Joshua and Benny Safdie might well feel a sense of dislocation at the opening of their latest, Uncut Gems. The boys have come up and made a name for themselves with a brash, guerrilla-style of filmmaking back and … Continue reading Review: Uncut Gems

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: Black Christmas (2019)

Director: Sophia Takal Stars: Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Cary Elwes In an early scene of Sophia Takal's unfairly derided Black Christmas, Imogen Poots' Riley is selected in her classic literature class to suppose a writer's intention. She responds that the context-free quote speaks of how men think and women feel; that because of this it is a man's … Continue reading Review: Black Christmas (2019)

Review: Little Women

Director: Greta Gerwig Stars: Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson There's a scene in Noah Baumbach's Mistress America in which Greta Gerwig's character Brooke has to pitch her idea for New York restaurant called Mom's. The place would have big chunky furniture; where at the end of the night the chef and the service staff joined the … Continue reading Review: Little Women

Review: Atlantics

Director: Mati Diop Stars: Mame Bineta Sane, Amadou Mbow, Nicole Sougou The Senegalese peninsular city of Dakar is one of West Africa's extremities, reaching out to the Atlantic. The city itself is eager to broaden its appeal to the developed world. In this earnest endeavour, disparities between rich and poor are ripe for observation, and … Continue reading Review: Atlantics

Review: Marriage Story

Director: Noah Baumbach Stars: Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Scarlett Johansson Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) were a happily married couple living in New York, until they weren't. Noah Baumbach's latest film - a mix of emotionally wrought drama and excruciating farce that plays out like a career summation - unpicks a marriage as … Continue reading Review: Marriage Story

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: Knives Out

Director: Rian Johnson Stars: Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Toni Collette I had a disquieting experience going to see Knives Out which I think I want to talk about if you'll indulge me. Before the feature started, during the previews of coming attractions, the trailer for Taika Waititi's Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit played. A man - bald, … Continue reading Review: Knives Out

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: Zombi Child

Director: Bertrand BonelloStars: Wislanda Louimat, Mackenson Bijou, Louise Labeque,  "Listen, white world... as our dead roar..."One of the more complacent - yet valid - truisms of western cinema might just be that the zombie movie has been "done to death". And if overexposure hasn't killed it on the big screen, The Walking Dead has left practically … Continue reading Review: Zombi Child

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: Ready Or Not

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett Stars: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Andie MacDowell Throughout 2012's past-lives cascade Cloud Atlas, a recurring phrase bounces into the mouths of some of its many characters; "The weak are meat, and the strong do eat." It's a neat catchphrase for the theme of exploitation coursing through the intermingled narratives. Ready Or … Continue reading Review: Ready Or Not

Review: Ad Astra

Director: James Gray Stars: Brad Pitt, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland We all live, for the most part, on the surface. We deal with what's in front of us and we get through the day and we enjoy the people we decide to share our time with. There's a world underneath that, though. That inner place, … Continue reading Review: Ad Astra

Review: Hustlers

Director: Lorene Scafaria Stars: Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B Hustlers has been called 'the female Goodfellas' which assumes that the two films and their audiences ought to be delineated by gender, which therefore does a disservice to both. Just as women can take pleasure and nourishment from Goodfellas (a film which I, a man, have … Continue reading Review: Hustlers

Review: Her Smell

Director: Alex Ross Perry Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Gayle Rankin, Agyness Deyn Brady Corbet's self-serious essay on stardom Vox Lux culminates with Natalie Portman's Celeste powering out her greatest hits, letting all of the carnage of her personal life fall away in a dance of pop purity. Now imagine that instead of cutting to credits, a … Continue reading Review: Her Smell