tue 17/10/2017

Film Reviews

LFF 2017: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool / Professor Marston and the Wonder Women reviews - stellar turns by Annette Bening and Rebecca Hall

Saskia Baron

Screen biographies are tricky things to pull off when the person portrayed has left behind an indelible screen presence. It was hard to love Michelle Williams dragging up for My Week with Marilyn; Grace of Monaco was far from Nicole Kidman’s finest hour.

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LFF 2017: Mindhunter / My Generation - Fincher comes to Netflix, Caine does Swinging London

adam Sweeting

They’re all going into TV nowadays, and here amid the cinematic runners and riders at the LFF is David Fincher directing Mindhunter.

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Loving Vincent review - Van Gogh biopic of sorts lacks language to match its visuals

matt Wolf

Loving Vincent was clearly a labour of love for all concerned, so I hope it doesn't seem churlish to wish that a Van Gogh biopic some seven or more years in the planning had spent more time at the drawing board.

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The Snowman review - Michael Fassbender can't save Harry Hole

jasper Rees

The crime novels of Jo Nesbø are rampaging Nordic psycho-operas. The author's Oslo detective Harry Hole is a lofty alcoholic who takes an outrageous pummelling in his pursuit of deranged serial killers. His many adventures fill the crime shelves in bookshops with their fat spines in flashing yellow upper case, but until now he's been kept from the screen.

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LFF 2017: Blade of the Immortal / Redoubtable - Samurai slasher versus the Nouvelle Vague

adam Sweeting

This is the 100th feature film by Takashi Miike, Japan’s fabled maestro of sex, horror and ultra-violent Yakuza flicks, and here he has found his subject in Hiroake Samura’s Blade of the Immortal manga comics. Manji (Takuya Kimura) is a veteran Samurai haunted by the cruel murder of his sister Machi, but saved from death himself by the “bloodworms” which were fed to him by a mysterious veiled crone and have rendered him immortal.

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LFF 2017: The Shape of Water review – outsider s.f. and inter-species sex from del Toro

nick Hasted

Fish out of water come in various guises in Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War fable, shown at London Film Festival.

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LFF 2017: Last Flag Flying review - anti-war film without a bite

demetrios Matheou

Richard Linklater’s sort-of sequel to one of the great American films of the Seventies, shown at London Film Festival, stars Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell and Laurence Fishburne as old Vietnam buddies reunited as America is embroiled in another futile war...

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LFF 2017: Good Time review - heist movie with standout performance by Robert Pattinson

Saskia Baron

This is not a movie to see in the front row – intrusive close-ups, hand-held camerawork, colour saturated night shots and a relentless synthesiser score all conspire to make Good Time, shown at London Film Festival, a wild ride. An unrecognisable Robert Pattinson plays Connie Nikas, a nervy con artist who enlists his intellectually disabled brother Nick in a bank robbery...

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LFF 2017: Journey's End review - classic play becomes cracking film

adam Sweeting

There have been several film and TV versions of RC Sherriff’s World War One play since it debuted on the London stage in 1928, but Saul Dibb’s new incarnation, shown at London Film Festival, is testament to the lingering potency of the piece.

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On the Road review - engrossing music documentary with a sly B-side

demetrios Matheou

Michael Winterbottom has always been a mercurial director, moving swiftly between genres, fiction and documentary, keeping us on our toes. But with On the Road it’s time to mark the tiniest of trends.

24 Hour Party People is one of the best films about the...

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The Glass Castle review - Woody steals the film by a wide margin

matt Wolf

People who live in glass castles might be wary of throwing stones. That clearly was not the case with American magazine journalist Jeannette Walls, who made of her often harrowing childhood a best-selling memoir that has found its inevitable way to the screen. A would-be Daddy Dearest with a hefty dollop of Captain Fantastic thrown into the mix, what would seem to be a star vehicle...

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LFF 2017: Breathe review - overdosing on good intentions

adam Sweeting

The curtain-raiser for the 61st  London Film Festival was Breathe, not only Andy Serkis’s debut as a director, but also a film based on the family experiences of its producer, Jonathan Cavendish.

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Blade Runner 2049 review - powerful but needs more soul

adam Sweeting

Ridley Scott’s original Blade Runner from 1982 stands as an all-time sci-fi classic, so anybody trying to make a sequel (even 35 years later) needs galaxy-sized vision, an army of high-powered collaborators and balls of steel. Is director Denis Villeneuve the man for the job?

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The Reagan Show review - engaging but frustrating

David Kettle

The Reagan administration produced as much video content as the previous five administrations combined. That’s the claim early on in The Reagan Show, an engaging but ultimately frustrating documentary compiled entirely from archive footage by co-directors Sierra Pettengill and Pacho Velez.

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Goodbye Christopher Robin review - no escape for a boy and his bear

markie Robson-Scott

“Isn’t it funny/How a bear likes honey?/Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!/I wonder why he does.” Those immortal words, said by the bear of very little brain in chapter one of Winnie-the-Pooh, don’t sound quite the same after watching a shell-shocked AA Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) react to bees buzzing when out for walk in the Hundred Acre Wood with his son (Will Tilston, making his debut, pictured below...

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Home Again review - Reese Witherspoon romcom is divorced from reality

matt Wolf

A charming assemblage of performers are left pretty much high and dry by Home Again, an LA-based romcom so determinedly glossy that each frame seems more squeaky-clean and unreal than the next. Intended as a star vehicle for Reese Witherspoon, this debut effort from filmmaker Hallie Meyers-...

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