Review: Rose Plays Julie

Directors: Joe Lawlor, Christine Molloy Stars: Ann Skelly, Aidan Gillen, Orla Brady I've recently been reading the second edition of Alexandra Heller-Nicholas' exceptional book Rape Revenge Films: A Critical Study. Grueling subject matter, for sure, but Heller-Nicholas chisels down into the tropes of the subgenre, its myriad splinters, and its potential to provide therapy and catharsis …

Review: The Nest

Director: Sean Durkin Stars: Carrie Coon, Jude Law, Michael Culkin Carrie Coon had appeared on my radar a couple of times before The Leftovers, but it was her turn as Nora Durst in HBO's extraordinary three-season drama that forever earned her a position, in my mind, as one of The Greats. Everything that made Nora the …

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 …

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 …

Review: Sound of Metal

Director: Darius Marder Stars: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci Isolation is a persistent concern in Darious Marder's seismic awards hopeful, Sound of Metal - one of the more interesting contenders in this year's crop, as its word-of-mouth groundswell trumps the more calculated prestige trappings of most common contenders. It's the underdog in the mix. The …

Review: Rocks

Director: Sarah Gavron Stars: Bukky Bakray, Kosar Ali,  Shaneigha-Monik Greyson Sarah Gavron first came to my attention with her quirky, singular documentary on life in a remote Greenland hamlet, Village at the End of the World. That film prominently featured a young man often dissatisfied and at odds with his environment. Gavron's latest - a narrative …

Review: Bad Education

Director: Cory Finley Stars: Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, Geraldine Viswanathan COVID-19 has been bad for cinemas, undeniably, but also bad for films. While all the summer's planned blockbusters managed to get a pass - delayed until, yknow, whenever - it is most commonly the lower and mid-budget movies that have been allowed to slip through …

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 …

Why I Love… #105: Come Back To The 5 And Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

Year: 1982 Director: Robert Altman Stars: Karen Black, Cher, Sandy Dennis The weather is scorching. Being a hopeless cinephile, a heatwave first and foremost gets me thinking about 'hot' films. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Wake In Fright. Body Heat etc. Movies defined by sweltering climates, in which the air seems sticky and the actors perspire for our …

Review: Disobedience

Director: Sebastián Lelio Stars: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola Hot off of an Oscar win for Best Foreign Language Film (A Fantastic Woman released in the UK earlier this year), Sebastián Lelio cools off considerably with this 2017 holdover; a fatally overwrought tale of forbidden love in the orthodox Jewish community of North London. Community …