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: Say Your Prayers

British indie comedy Say Your Prayers locates itself comfortably in the tradition of inept Brits making a mess of rural idylls – in this case, violently.

The idyll here is the rugged landscape of West Yorkshire. The blokes in question are Tim (Harry Melling), permanently ensconced in a Tibetan earflap, and Vic (Tom Brooke), hatchet-faced and angry.…

REVIEW: Host

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, but it’s some relation to the tried-and-tested, too.

With most of the global population on lockdown for some portion of the last six months, we’ve all got used to seeing our friends virtually.…

PODCAST: The Vast of Night (feat. Tessa Scott) [Movie Robcast]

Episode 93 of The Movie Robcast sees our intrepid Robs looking to the skies to discuss The Vast of Night, now streaming on Amazon Prime.

On this quest they are joined once again by Tessa Scott, back after a triumphant appearance on the Whiplash episode.…

REVIEW: Days of the Bagnold Summer

Director Simon Bird brings his own childhood growing up in Guildford to bear in a charming, low-key encapsulation of a long summer in the suburbs.

Based on the 2012 graphic novel by Joff Winterhart, Days of the Bagnold Summer follows teenage metalhead Daniel (Earl Cave), frustrated to discover that he won’t be spending the holiday in Florida with dad and dad’s pregnant partner, and his mum Sue (Monica Dolan).…

Adult Life Skills neatly sidesteps the trap of the twee


Adult Life Skills is one of those low-key, quirky dramedies that, if executed poorly, has the potential to be be near enough unwatchable.

Fortunately, as executed by first-time writer-director Rachel Tunnard and her more than able cast, the film is instead a mopey, mirthful study of making magic out of mundanity.

Orthodox is too by-the-book to make much of an impact

 

Is there any sport so cinematic as boxing?

Its grace and brutality lend themselves to celluloid, and especially the breed of tormented protagonist that tends to accompany them. Far from the glossy Hollywood melodramas that have defined the genre in recent years, the astutely named Orthodox counterpoints the sweet science with a new subject: faith.…

The Messenger delivers some originality from a hackneyed premise

 

In a world of heavyweight prestige pieces, like the upcoming Suffragette, and straight-to-Sunday-evening light dramas, like the charming but forgettable Mr. Holmes, the British film industry does seem to be lacking in low-budget genre (excluding the ever-present straight-to-DVD Mockney gangster contingent.)

Lost River winnows away into nothingness

 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a lost river as “a surface stream that flows into an underground passageway.”

Appropriately, Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut of the same name is all about the lurid surfaces and obscure depths, and cuts a wide and muddy channel across the cinematic landscape.…

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is on a quest for oblivion

 

As cinematic provenances go, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter has a fairly tortured one.

A “true story” based on an urban legend based on events that took place in Minnesota in 2001, the film follows the misguided adventurers of the eponymous Kumiko (Babel’s Rinko Kikuchi), an office drone in Tokyo who becomes obsessed with finding the treasure buried at the end of Fargo.…