REVIEW: The Mercy

3 Stars (3 / 5)
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.…

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.…