I, Daniel Blake is a rallying cry for social justice

There’s something strange about reviewing a Ken Loach film in 2016.

When I was born, Kes was already a perennial classic from my parents’ childhoods, and, almost a quarter century on, that film pushing fifty, Loach is still there directing socially pertinent work.…

LFF Day 8: Prevenge & Brimstone

REVIEWS IN 300 WORDS

Prevenge
4 Stars (4 / 5)
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned — though the wrath of the pregnant Ruth (writer-director Alice Lowe) still isn’t half as great as that of her unborn brood.

Ruth has suffered a recent tragedy, one that has the baby inside her baying, albeit sweetly, for the blood of those she holds responsible.…

LFF Day 7: The Birth of a Nation, Dog Eat Dog, & I Am Not A Serial Killer

The Birth of a Nation

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Reclaiming the title of D.W. Griffith’s feverishly racist silent epic, this ardent biography of conciliatory preacher turned revolutionary firebrand Nat Turner — written, directed by, and starring Nate Parker — makes a case for bloody retribution as the necessary, even inevitable, response to institutionalized evil.…

LFF Days 4-6: The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Voyage of Time, Bleed For This, Personal Shopper, & A Quiet Passion

Sorry for the delay if you’re trying to stay up-to-date on the London Film Festival. I’ve been a bit lax in getting it written up.

Even so, enjoy these capsule reviews of everything I saw over the course of Days 4-6.

LFF Day 3: La La Land & Manchester By The Sea

Rhapsodic Hollywood dreaming and glacial Massachusetts misery on London Film Festival Day 3.

 

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone soar in Damien Chazelle’s radiant love letter to the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals and those who dare to follow their dreams in the City of Angels.

LFF Day 2: A Monster Calls & The Handmaiden

Fantastical trauma counseling and opulent Gothic fetishism on London Film Festival Day 2.

 

4 Stars (4 / 5)

The Orphanage‘s J.A. Bayona began his career as an acolyte of Guillermo Del Toro and in A Monster Calls he finds his own Pan’s Labyrinth but one where the monsters make house calls.

LFF Day 1: A United Kingdom

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

In these turbulent and divisive times, what more apposite title could be found to open the London Film Festival than Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom?

However, the film is not an oh-so prescient rebuttal to present-day parochialism, but rather a polished period drama about colonial misdeeds past that nevertheless feels vaguely “state of the nation”.…

Swiss Army Man: not so much Weekend At Bernie’s as Settling Down And Making A Life With Bernie

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Say what you want about Daniel Radcliffe’s acting abilities, but the man who was The Boy Who Lived has certainly branched out.

From his first big post-Potter role in The Woman In Black back in 2012 to his recent turn as an ingenue FBI agent infiltrating white supremacists in Imperium, his is a career defined by interesting choices.…

Empire Live 2016: a rundown of the weekend

In light of proximity to both Raindance and the LFF, late September (23rd-25th to be precise) seems like a weird time to hold a new London-based film event.

That being said, when the event in question is run by Empire Magazine, one of the last bastions of mainstream film journalism in print and an institution in its own right you’ve got to sit up and take notice – even if they did give inexplicably award Suicide Squad four stars.…