LFF Day 3: La La Land & Manchester By The Sea

Rhapsodic Hollywood dreaming and glacial Massachusetts misery on London Film Festival Day 3.

 

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone soar in Damien Chazelle’s radiant love letter to the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals and those who dare to follow their dreams in the City of Angels.

London Film Festival 2016: 10 films to get excited about

Well, it’s that time of the year again.

It’s a well-known but little commented upon phenomenon that each year Christmas comes to London roughly three months early – at least for capital-based cinema buffs – as, each October, the BFI hosts the London Film Festival.…

The Nice Guys is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with a fun ’70s retrofit

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

The Nice Guys is your standard Shane Black neo-noir buddy comedy with a ’70s retrofit but that’s no bad thing.

The film is a wild and seedy ride from the top of the derelict Hollywood sign, through — occasionally literally — the deluxe shag pads of Beverly Hills, and all the way down through the mean streets of L.A.

The Big Short goes long on edudrama and it pays off – magnificently

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

You wouldn’t think the recent global financial crisis would be the stuff of comedy, but The Big Short makes it funny – and educational, and genuinely moving.

Directed and co-written by frequent Will Ferrell collaborator Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights) and with an all-star cast, including Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, and Ryan Gosling, The Big Short makes for a highly entertaining (and instructive) study of greed, fraud, and three groups of people who sought to profit from the meltdown before it happened.…

Lost River winnows away into nothingness

1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)

 

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.…

Only God Forgives is an unforgivable load of tosh

1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)

 

It’d be easy to dismiss Only God Forgives as Drive in Bangkok: as in his previous collaboration with director Nicholas Winding Refn, Ryan Gosling stars as a laconic, almost too-cool protagonist amidst neon lights and bursts of shocking violence.

The Place Beyond the Pines is a mythic triptych about family that loses itself in the woods

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

A crime drama directed by an obscure American arthouse director, Derek Cianfrance, and starring two hip young Oscar-nominated actors? Sounds like my cup of tea.

On one hand, you’ve got Ryan Gosling as tatted-up carnival motorcyclist Luke Glanton; a bleach-blonde, barely repressed psychopath who develops a penchant for bank robbery in order to provide for his baby mama, an underused Eva Mendes.…

Gangster Squad assembles all the old cliches to little effect

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

Post-war L.A. The glitzy and glamorous City of Angels is under the thrall of brutal mob boss Mickey Cohen, with mob slayings on every corner and half the police force on the make.

Or so Gangster Squad, the third feature of director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less), would have us believe.…