REVIEW: Ammonite [LFF 2020]

Francis Lee’s Ammonite plays like a gender-swapped God’s Own Country cast back in time to the mid-19th Century.

Instead of the rolling hills of Yorkshire, the film gives us the raging sea around Lyme Regis. And rather than a nervy fictional farmworker, we have real-life palaeontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet).…

REVIEW: Nomadland [LFF 2020]

In a year that for most people has been largely defined by not leaving the house, Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland is a paean to wide, open spaces.

Based on Jessica Bruder’s non-fiction novel, we follow Fern (Frances McDormand). Uprooted by the 2008 recession – the film opens in 2011 – and by the death of her husband, Fern has hit the road in her camper van; seeking out seasonal employment along along the West Coast.…

REVIEW: After Love [LFF 2020]

What do you do when the person you love isn’t whom you thought?

Mary Hussain (Joanna Scanlan) is a devoted wife and practising Muslim. She and Ahmed (Nasser Memarzia) have been together since their teens. They live in Dover, where Ahmed works as a ferry captain.…

REVIEW: Another Round (Druk) [LFF 2020]

© StudioCanal

Writer-director Thomas Vinterberg reteams with The Hunt star Mads Mikkelsen for Another Round, a boozy reflection on middle-aged boredom and ennui.

Martin (Mikkelsen) is not a fulfilled man.

History teacher at an elite high-school, he is perhaps best described, in the cautious words of one student, as “diffident”.…

REVIEW: Wildfire [LFF 2020]

Wildfire is a film that warns about the impact of unresolved violence.

After years of living hand-to-mouth, under-the-radar, Kelly (the late Nika McGuigan) is going home. Home for Kelly means a small town on the Irish border. The Troubles may have ended, but the wounds have never fully healed – at all, it seems, for Kelly.…

REVIEW: A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood [LFF 2019]

With Operation Yewtree looming large over once-idyllic childhood viewing, in the minds of the British public the last few years have altered what it means to be a beloved children’s entertainer.

As such, it’s understandable that UK audiences might not be entirely comfortable with the notion of Mr.…

REVIEW: The Front Runner (LFF 2018 – Day 4)

Ivan Reitman’s latest, The Front Runner, is an unexpectedly topical account about what we have the right to expect from our politicians – and perhaps what we don’t.

It’s 1988, and Colorado Senator Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman) seems like the ideal candidate for the Democratic nomination.…

REVIEW: The Mercy

Director James Marsh makes domestic drama out of an expeditionary tragedy in this slight but sympathetic biopic.

All Is Lost by way of Theory Of EverythingThe Mercy delves into the ill-fated attempt of amateur sailor Donald Crowhust’s (Colin Firth) to compete in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe race; an unprecedented non-stop, one-man boat race around the world.…

RETROSPECTIVE: The L-Shaped Room [DVD/BluRay]

Edwardian hypocrisy and post-war deprivation are the order of the day in Brian Forbes’ The L-Shaped Room.

Based on Lynne Reid Banks’ book of the same name, the film follows Jane (an Oscar-nominated Leslie Caron), a twenty-seven year-old French émigré who arrives in early-60s London.…