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 … Continue reading Review: Harriet

Why I Love… #107: Talk To Her

Year: 2002 Director: Pedro Almodóvar Stars: Javier Cámara, Dario Grandinetti, Leonor Watling Echoes and opposites permeate all facets of Talk To Her, Pedro Almodóvar's slyly coiled melodrama, his first film following the worldwide embrace of All About My Mother. The opening shot of the film sees two dancers on stage; the one in the background an echo of … Continue reading Why I Love… #107: Talk To Her

Review: Transit

Director: Christian Petzold Stars: Franz Rogowski, Paula Beer, Lilien Batman  In spite of the elegant calm of his scenes and the stillness often viewed in his characters, there's a sense of urgency about the cinema of Christian Petzold. Chiefly this comes from his protagonists, who have a habit of restlessly seeking some form of safety … Continue reading Review: Transit

Review: The Perfection

Director: Richard Shepard Stars: Logan Browning, Allison Williams, Steven Weber I've not been well this week, but with flashes of a renewed attention span, I have picked this title at random out of the trash bags of new content heaped onto Netflix on a weekly basis. The Perfection is a riotous misnomer for this scattershot … Continue reading Review: The Perfection

Why I Love… #95: The Tarnished Angels

Year: 1957 Director: Douglas Sirk Stars: Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone, Robert Stack Douglas Sirk is most commonly remembered as a short-circuit to lush, vivid melodramas of the 1950's; a sphere in which he excelled, producing a number of the genre's greatest and most respected pictures. Titles such as All That Heaven Allows, Written On The Wind and Imitation Of … Continue reading Why I Love… #95: The Tarnished Angels

Why I Love… #94: Suddenly, Last Summer

Year: 1959 Director: Joseph L Mankiewicz Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift This essay will contain plot spoilers. It's been 59 years since the film came out, but still, consider yourself warned. Released in 1959 to mixed - if not downright negative - reviews, Joseph L Mankiewicz's exaggeration of a short Tennessee Williams play … Continue reading Why I Love… #94: Suddenly, Last Summer

Review: Nocturnal Animals

Director: Tom Ford Stars: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon Have you ever found yourself at 8 in the evening on a Sunday, feeling like you want to watch a movie before calling it quits on the weekend, but finding yourself torn between the pulpy Texan noir of Cold In July and the weepy melodrama of, … Continue reading Review: Nocturnal Animals

Review: Julieta

Director: Pedro Almodóvar Stars: Emma Suárez, Adriana Ugarte, Daniel Grao Julieta contains one of the simplest, most surprising and most satisfying pieces of editorial trickery you'll find in a film all year as, with the ruffle of a towel, a character is transformed. Told over decades and mostly through flashback, the actress playing the younger … Continue reading Review: Julieta

Review: Carol

Falling in love is awful. That normal, stable person that you used to be disappears, vanished like a dream on waking. Good sense and judgement are temporarily abandoned, or become concepts that require effort to achieve in any credible sense. That other person preoccupies you. To incessant, maddening degrees, either in literal thought or a … Continue reading Review: Carol

Review: Stoker

When a successful and respected director from the world cinema stage makes their debut on US soil there's usually a justifiable sense of unease. Are they selling out? Sanitising themselves? And if not, will the sensibilities of one culture translate into, ahem, American. It's tough to predict, and when it doesn't work it really doesn't work. Takashi … Continue reading Review: Stoker

Why I Love… #37: The Room

Year: 2003 Director: Tommy Wiseau Stars: Tommy Wiseau (Johnny), Juliette Danielle (Lisa), Philip Haldiman (Denny), Greg Sestero (Mark), Carolyn Minnott (Claudette) Genre: Melodrama / Comedy / Disaster Movie A camera pans slowly along the Golden Gate Bridge from one end to the other. The kind of establishing shot you might see in any number of … Continue reading Why I Love… #37: The Room

Review: Rust And Bone

I’m quite partial to an antihero. Usually the murkier a film, book or play’s protagonist the better. I love those grey areas that place a lead player’s fortune in the balance. It’s one of the great staples of drama, inexhaustibly captivating over the years. But it’s also, as director Jacques Audiard has now quite clearly … Continue reading Review: Rust And Bone

Why I Love… #29: The Red Shoes

Year: 1948 Director: Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger Stars: Moira Shearer (Victoria Page), Marius Goring (Julian Craster), Anton Walbrook (Boris Lermontov), Robert Helpmann (Ivan Boleslawsky), Léonide Massine (Ljubov). Genre: Romance / Melodrama "Vicky. Little Vicky. There it is, all waiting for you..." I came to The Red Shoes a couple of years ago mainly because … Continue reading Why I Love… #29: The Red Shoes

Why I Love… #21: Mildred Pierce

Year: 1945 Director: Michael Curtiz Stars: Joan Crawford (Mildred Pierce), Jack Carson (Wally Fay), Zachary Scott (Monte Beragon), Ann Blyth (Veda Pierce), Eve Arden (Ida Corwin), Bruce Bennett (Bert Pierce) Genre: Melodrama / Film Noir Michael Curtiz’s Mildred Pierce is a film of pure class. The kind of film that feels like an indulgence to … Continue reading Why I Love… #21: Mildred Pierce