REVIEW: The Phantom of the Open (London Film Festival 2021)

The Phantom of the Open is the ultimate underdog story – insofar as dogs don’t come much more under than Maurice Flitcroft. Eddie the Eagle looks positively overqualified by comparison.

Maurice (winningly playedby Mark Rylance) is a middle-aged crane driver in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, who has deferred his dreams for the sake of his family.…

REVIEW: Spencer (London Film Festival 2021)

In his latest film, Pablo Larraín continues to play out our fascination with private lives and public personas.

Spencer gives us a woman on the verge of a breakdown during one final, terrible Christmas with her forbidding in-laws. It just so happens that the woman is Diana, Princess of Wales, and the in-laws are the British Royal Family.…

Our BAFTA 2018 predictions

By Max Eshraghi

The BAFTA film awards have always been the Oscar’s slightly more unassuming younger sibling.

While it mightn’t be quite as renowned or lavish, we Brits can conclusively make claim to having one thing over on our transatlantic cousins: BAFTA, unlike the so-called Academy Awards, frequently gets it “right”.…

REVIEW: Paddington 2


That adventurous, well-mannered British bear has returned to the big screen… and not a moment too soon!

The first Paddington was, for me, an unexpected delight, delivering one of the biggest laughs of any film in 2014. This sequel is, if possible, even more charming, and all the more comforting in these turbulent times.…

REVIEW: The Shape of Water & Brawl in Cell Block 99 (LFF Day 6)

Okay, so I may have skipped a few days, but both of these films were fresh in my mind and my thoughts on them actually seem to have made it onto the page in semi-presentable form.


The Shape of Water

With The Shape of Water, Guillermo Del Toro has delivered a film that is at once a luminous love letter to ‘50s sci-fi and a pricking commentary on prejudice.

Paddington gets right more than the bear necessities


How exactly do you go about adapting a classic children’s character to the big screen?

Stay too true to the source material and you’ll miss out on the audience of hyperactive tweens; stray too far, however, and you end up with a soulless “product”.…

Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine is redolent of Streetcar but never feels like a ripoff


Cate Blanchett goes Blanche Dubois in contemporary San Francisco.

In Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, Blanchett stars as a fragile, nervy Southern Belle. Her performance seems to have been lifted wholesale from her 2008 appearance in Streetcar – and it’s cracking; an assured Oscar nom.…