Edgar Wright Presents Car Car Land @ The BFI

What is it about the image of a lone professional sat behind the wheel of a car that’s so damn cool?

Laconic, self-sufficient, in control. The timeless masculine elegance of a classic American muscle car certainly doesn’t hurt none.

Of course, they’re not always alone.…

REVIEW: Baby Driver is a stylish but forgettable remix of the classic getaway movie

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
Meet Baby (Ansel Elgort).

He’s not quite your average wheelman.

He looks like the lovechild of Ferris Bueller and a young, slightly goofier Harrison Ford (right down to the Han Solo waistcoat), and always has a pair of sunglasses at the ready.…

BFI & Radio Times Festival: a write-up

Is TV as we knew it dying?

What was once a communal experience – households across the nation gathered before the glow of the cathode ray tube – has now become a more private experience.

It seems not to matter how you consume the latest episode of must-watch telly, be it Broadchurch or Bake Off, alone or in company, live or via catch-up, so long as you’re able to take part in the water-cooler discussion come Monday.…

Remainder is an open-ended tale of obsession and recreation

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

A pale, distracted young man (Tom Sturridge) limps across a busy road, leaving a wheelie case behind him.

No sooner has he crossed, however, than there’s a shower of glass from a nearby skyscraper. A moment later he’s creamed by a plummeting mass of wires and plastic — his blood pools around him.…

Victoria: a one-take thrill ride through night-time Berlin

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

One take, 138 minutes. From a strobe-lit club to a pale Berlin dawn, Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria plays out in real time over the course of a single eventful night.

Twenty-something Spanish barista Victoria (Laia Costa), drinking alone at a bar, hooks up with a gang of happy-go-lucky chancers, including punch-drunk Brando-alike Sonne (Frederick Lau).…

Green Room is gut-wrenching, sometimes literally

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 

Blue Ruin, Green Room. 

Writer-director Jeremy Saulnier is certainly not a director afraid to deal in primal colors: the bright green woodlands of Oregon into which down-on-their-luck punk band The Ain’t Rights stray, playing an impromptu gig to an audience of neo-Nazis; the visceral red of the horrific gore that results when band member Pat (an endearingly mumbly Anton Yelchin) stumbles upon a murder.…

Son of Saul recasts the Holocaust as Bruegelian nightmare

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 

In Son of Saul, first-time director László Nemes gets us right up in the face of Saul Ausländer (poet-turned-actor Géza Röhrig).

Saul’s powerful features and dark eyes give him a sharp, watchful look. As a Hungarian Jew, and member of a Sonderkommando work unit at Auschwitz, it pays to be watchful.…

Youth captures some of the mixed magnificence of life

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

One of the few statements you can make about life as a whole is that it’s much of a muchness— and that it ends.

The counter-intuitively titled Youth sees two older gentlemen, a retired composer and Stravinsky pupil, Frank (Michael Caine), and still-working director (Harvey Keitel), Mick, both coming to terms with this while on holiday at a Swiss spa; a spa inhabited by red-robed Buddhist monks, a Middle Eastern woman in a hijab, a morbidly obese celebrity with a Karl Marx back tattoo and Maradona hair.…

The Lobster is a blackly heartfelt chimera of a romcom

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 

You wait for one comedy about men being transformed into animals then two come along at once — a non-mating pair, if you will.

But where Kevin Smith’s Tusk was about a vicious comic forcibly losing his humanity due to a mad experiment, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster is altogether more social and universal.…

Partisan is a film with allegory issues

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

A grey curve of mountain road. A forested valley overshadowed by dilapidated tower blocks. A dog howls, off.

Nonspecific in its exact time and place, though vaguely Baltic in its devastation, the inhospitable landscape into which Partisan immerses us makes a strong case for any sort of alternative, as offered by Vincent Cassel’s Gregori.…