REVIEWS: Widows (London Film Festival 2018 – Day 1)

A bedroom embrace is wrenched away and instantly replaced with the rear compartment of a getaway van, one door wrenched off its hinge and sparking on the asphalt, as a lover’s playful snarl becomes the shriek of a bullet, ricocheting around the exposed interior.…

REVIEW: The Florida Project & The Killing of a Sacred Deer

The Florida Project

4 Stars (4 / 5)

In his follow-up to 2015’s Tangerine, Sean Baker gives us a confectionary, pastel-coloured ode to the “hidden homeless” in America’s Sunshine State. The gaudy Magical Castle Motel may be located on Seven Dwarves Lane, virtually in the shadow of Disneyland, but life there is no fairy-tale for six-year-old Moonee (Brooklyn Prince, in an astonishingly shrewd performance) and her tatted-up single mum Hallee (Bria Vinaite).…

REVIEW: The Beguiled (2017) replaces melodrama with subtle, sultry power play

4 Stars (4 / 5)
We open on black, as we know all important films must.1

When we fade in, it’s on a little girl in a checked skirt, wandering beneath the hanging moss of a long dark tunnel of oak trees.…

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.…

Saving Mr. Banks is self-serving nostalgia from the House of Mouse… It’s also great, hugely feelgood fun

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Try to think of an occasion on which you’ve seen the celebrated Mr. Walt Disney portrayed in film.

Simply put, you can’t: the Disney corporation has fiercely guarded the image of their founder, almost as fiercely as their iconic mascot.…

Dead Man Down is promising but falls back on genre trappings

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

Genre can be a double-edged sword for even the most talented and versatile filmmaker: hew too close to convention and you risk falling into cliche, stray too far and you risk alienating your core audience.

I think it’s revealing that two of my favorite genre films of recent years – Shane Black’s vaguely satirical crime thriller Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Drew Goddard’s postmodern slasher horror The Cabin in the Woods – both deconstruct their respective genres.…

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is one half poet, one half charlatan, and entirely nuts

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

Okay, let’s get the major issues out of the way: No, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is not former Python Terry Gilliam’s best film.

That honor is reserved for Brazil, Orwell’s 1984 via German Expressionism. Nor is it the late Heath Ledger’s defining performance – whether you prefer Brokeback‘s closeted cowboy or the anarchic philosophizing of his Joker in The Dark Knight, both are, in my opinion, far more notable.…

Seven Psychopaths; or, F**kin’ Hollywood

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Hans: As Gandhi said…’An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind’. I believe that wholeheartedly.

Billy: No, it doesn’t. There’ll be one guy left with one eye. How’s the last blind guy going to take out the eye of the last guy left whose still got one eye left?