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.…

London Film Festival 2017 – A Rundown (Part 2)

So, here goes it: Part 2 of my three-part rundown of my 2017 London Film Festival experience. Part 1 is available here.

 

Call Me By Your Name

4 Stars (4 / 5)

A story of sex, sculpture, and self-discovery, Call Me By Your Name is the latest in a recent trend of achingly sensitive LGBT romantic dramas that seem to hold such an allure for me.…

My London Film Festival 2017 – A Rundown (Part 1)

So, here goes it: Part 1 of my three-part rundown of my 2017 London Film Festival experience. With 242 films on display, I didn’t quite get a chance to see everything – though I’m hoping to catch a few more on the Digital Viewing Library, so watch this space.…

REVIEW: Mudbound & Wonderstruck (LFF Day 2)

Mudbound

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
“Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of sorrow.”

It’s misery and anguish that are the heart of Mudbound, Dee Rees’ Netflix-bound period drama about farmers in early 20th Century Mississippi.…

REVIEW: God’s Own Country

4 Stars (4 / 5)
Described by some as a British Brokeback, or perhaps a Maltby Moonlight, Francis Lee’s directorial debut has a character all its own: a rough, tender, distinctly Yorkshire love story.

Based partly on Lee’s own upbringing, God’s Own Country follows the travails of Johnny (Josh O’Connor), a nervy, inarticulate young man who’s stuck running the family farm when his dad Martin (Ian Hart) is left debilitated by a stroke.…

REVIEW DOUBLE BILL: Daphne & Final Portrait

Daphne

4 Stars (4 / 5)
The feature debut of filmmaker Peter Mackie Burns, Daphne isn’t so much about finding yourself as just figuring out you’re lost.

Daphne (Emily Beecham) is a stylishly insouciant redhead in her early thirties, living and working in contemporary London.…

FEMINIST GRAB-BAG: The Love Witch & Elle

The Love Witch

4 Stars (4 / 5)
Love is a many-splendoured thing. It can also be deadly, especially when magick’s involved.

Such is the takeaway from The Love Witch, a flawless ’70s-style melodrama from writer-director/musician/editor/set-art-costume-production-designer Anna Biller.

An obvious “passion project”, in more ways than one, the film is a delicious slice of feminist theory masquerading as Technicolour confection.…

CINEMATIC GRAB-BAG: The Great Wall & Trespass Against Us

The Great Wall

2 Stars (2 / 5)
To misquote the film’s tagline, “Three years, $150 million to make, what were they hoping to prove?”.

Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall is at best a misguided curiosity – people kept trooping in and out of my screening like it was a visitor’s ward.…

20th Century Women: sun-dappled reflections on ’70s history; both personal and cultural

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The surrogate bunch in Mike Mills’ latest, 20th Century Women, is certainly unique; if not quite unhappy.

It’s tough being a kid: discovering your sense of self, your place in the world.…

CINEMATIC GRAB-BAG: A Cure For Wellness & Patriots Day

A Cure For Wellness
1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)

A Cure For Wellness is a film I wish was better.

A psychological horror with grandiose ambitions, it stars Dane DeHaan as Lockhart, a callow young stockbroker with ice-chip eyes dispatched to retrieve his company’s CEO from a remote “wellness center” in the Swiss Alps.…