Review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Director: Céline Sciamma Stars: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami Walking home from seeing Portrait of a Lady on Fire, I reached the crossing at a roundabout, pressed the small circular button and waited for the lights to change. Shimmying slightly through my glasses, the green man lit up clearly and I stepped onto the … Continue reading Review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Review: Rafiki

Director: Wanuri Kahiu Stars: Samantha Mugatsia, Sheila Munyiva, Nice Ginthinji Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu's second feature film is, in many ways, a very traditional romance picture. So traditional that, for a majority of its running time, it bares close comparison to Romeo and Juliet. Two young lovers are irresistibly drawn to one another with that … Continue reading Review: Rafiki

Review: If Beale Street Could Talk

Director: Barry Jenkins Stars: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King In 2005 my grandmother succumbed to bowel cancer in our home and I could hear her dying cries. I was laid up at the time following corrective knee surgery. That same summer my sister's partner was murdered. And I got my heart broken, maybe the … Continue reading Review: If Beale Street Could Talk

Review: A Star Is Born (2018)

Director: Bradley Cooper Stars: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam Elliott Bradley Cooper, the tall, charming, good-looking Hollywood A-lister here directs the fourth or fifth iteration of A Star Is Born to appear over the past 80 years (depending on your count) and the song remains the same. Established male star discovers a poor, undervalued female talent. … Continue reading Review: A Star Is Born (2018)

Review: Let The Sunshine In

Director: Claire Denis Stars: Juliette Binoche, Gérard Depardieu, Xavier Beauvois I'd like to start, a little recklessly, by talking about the last scene of the movie. I don't feel like this will constitute what is normally referred to as a "spoiler". Let The Sunshine In is a character piece and treatise on midlife love, and so … Continue reading Review: Let The Sunshine In

Review: The Shape Of Water

Director: Guillermo del Toro Stars: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones The cinema of Guillermo del Toro has forever been a realm inflected with the strange and macabre. When captured in interview, the exuberant Mexican auteur often speaks with fondness of the creature features and monster movies that so influenced him as a child, and … Continue reading Review: The Shape Of Water

Review: Call Me By Your Name

Director: Luca Guadagnino Stars: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg Food and sex have long been intermingled in art, with all manner of delicacies plummed for their erotic potentiality; the echoes of bodily shapes keying us in to the artist's intent. With that come the complexities of sexuality; of things deemed acceptable or not, illicit … Continue reading Review: Call Me By Your Name

Review: La La Land

Director: Damien Chazelle Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend Damien Whiplash Chazelle loves jazz and you should too. That's the long and the short of it, and if pushing us through his aforementioned white-knuckle hyper-drama hadn't changed our minds then this time he's turning on the charm. Switching up (considerably), he now presents us... an old-fashioned … Continue reading Review: La La Land

Review: A United Kingdom

Director: Amma Asante Stars: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jack Davenport This year, as one might readily have anticipated, awards seasons is going to be about race. Whether the industry felt shamed by #Oscarsowhite (it should have) or whether this is a genuine reflection of our increasingly fractured times, the divides between us are now being brought to … Continue reading Review: A United Kingdom

Review: Victoria

Before we get started there is a bit of health and safety business worth mentioning that I've not seen anywhere else as of yet, least of all at the top of the film. Victoria opens with an extended sequence of strobe lighting. If you are someone who is adversely affected by such things, you might well … Continue reading Review: Victoria

Review: Nina Forever

Last year veteran genre director Joe Dante attempted a film about a relationship troubled by the baggage of bereavement and managed to bring us one of the worst of the year. Now, a few short months later, British pair Ben and Chris Blaine tread very similar ground, but with mercifully better results. 19-year-old Holly (Abigail Hardingham) … Continue reading Review: Nina Forever

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

Why I Love… #77: Lost In Translation

Year: 2003 Director: Sofia Coppola Stars: Bill Murray (Bob Harris), Scarlett Johansson (Charlotte), Giovanni Ribisi (John),  Catherine Lambert (Jazz Singer), Anna Faris (Kelly), Fumihiro Hayashi (Charlie Brown). Genre: Romance Lost In Translation saw me fall in love with two women. Allow me to try to organise my thoughts on how to express these binding affections, which have grown and … Continue reading Why I Love… #77: Lost In Translation

Review: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

Few films that have appeared on the 2015 UK release sheet have piqued my interest as much as Ana Lily Amirpour's deliciously mysterious A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. First of all in and of itself is that title, which is filled with potential threat while also being guilelessly matter-of-fact. Then there's the rough sell … Continue reading Review: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

Review: Spring

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are on something of a roll. 2012's Resolution was a smart character-driven twist on horror conventions. While it may not have lit up the box office, it was well-received in the circles that care about such things. Think of it as the elitist The Cabin In The Woods. Spring sees them continue to play with … Continue reading Review: Spring