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 …

Review: Ammonite

Director: Francis Lee Stars: Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Alec Secareanu The sky is an endless rubble of grey; a shingled beach all of its own, as though doubling the Lyme Regis coastline where Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) scours for fossils. An intense feeling of cold permeates Ammonite at all times, from it's emotionally frozen protagonist …

Review: Harriet

Director: Kasi Lemmons Stars: Cynthia Erivo, Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom, Jr. Harriet Tubman is one of the great American heroes and a beacon of black history, having devoted much of her adult life to the freeing of slaves along the Underground Railroad in the mid 1800's. She was a lion. American cinema - particularly that …

Review: Judy

Director: Rupert Goold Stars: Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley, Darci Shaw As pandering biopics of singing legends start cluttering award shows, the arrival of Judy seems both fortuitous and unsurprising, but the casual viewer expecting more of the same perhaps ought to be forewarned. Rupert Goold's film - featuring a career-best and maybe the year's best performance …

Review: Vice

Director: Adam McKay Stars: Christian Bale, Sam Rockwell, Amy Adams In 2015 Adam McKay made The Big Short, a smart and savvy reconstruction of what caused the financial crisis. A complicated subject, he broke it down into layman's terms. Used visual aids. Made it funny. That film was and is outspokenly political, fueled by anger at …

Review: Colette

Director: Wash Westmoreland Stars: Keira Knightly, Dominic West, Denise Gough We think that we advance, that society is bettering itself through the generations, that progress is made, but history frequently presents us a different version of events, as though it is the flat circle of which Rust Cohle spoke in the first season of True …

Review: I, Tonya

Director: Craig Gillespie Stars: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney When Craig Gillespie's Lars And The Real Girl landed in the late noughties it secured a safe place among the better twee American indie dramedies that typified the decade. In the subsequent years Gillespie's name has fallen somewhat out of interest, predominantly thanks to a series …

Review: Neruda

Director: Pablo Larraín Stars: Luis Gnecco, Gael García Bernal, Mercedes Morán Hot on the heels of his exemplary English language debut Jackie, Chilean maestro Pablo Larraín returns to home soil for another biopic and again he manages to buck many of the trends that dog the genre and leave it languishing in cinematic irrelevancy. The year …

Review: Christine

Director: Antonio Campos Stars: Rebecca Hall, Michael C Hall, J. Smith-Cameron Antonio Campos' film is the second to appear in the past year devoted to the story of Sarasota television news reporter Christine Chubbuck who committed suicide live on television in 1974. She shot herself in the head live "in living colour". The other film, …

Review: Jackie

Director: Pablo Larraín Stars: Natalie Portman, Billy Crudup, John Hurt In the last 100 years there have been a handful of moments in American history that can be argued to have brought trauma to the collective consciousness. 9/11 is one. The assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy is another. And one can look broadly at …

Review: I, Olga Hepnarová

Directors: Petr Kazda, Tomás Weinreb Stars: Michalina Olszanska, Marika Soposká, Klára Melísková Looking strikingly like a young Scarlett Johansson auditioning for the part of Mathilda in Luc Besson's Leon, Michalina Olszanska stars in I, Olga Hepnarová, a new film which attempts to dissect the life of its focus; a woman who, in 1973, deliberately drove a truck into …

Review: Joy

There's a scene in David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook in which Bradley Cooper's bipolar character Pat apologises to Jennifer Lawrence's Tiffany for his conversational style, explaining that he has "no filter". The same might very well be said for Russell's approach to his new film Joy - the portrait of a woman named Joy Mangano who …

Review: Legend

When I think of great dual performances, there are two that spring instantly to mind. First, Jeremy Irons as the Mantle twins in David Cronenberg's 1988 surgical drama Dead Ringers (one of the best films in a cluttered career), and then also Nicolas Cage portraying both Charlie Kaufman and his fictional brother Donald in Spike Jonze's …