thu 29/10/2020

Film Reviews

Mogul Mowgli review - displacement and generational trauma

Owen Richards

When Mogul Mowgli was first announced, it was fair to expect something of a realist biopic. After all, you had documentary director Bassam Tariq and actor/musician extraordinaire Riz Ahmed helming a film about a British-Pakistani rapper.

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Shirley review - hothouse art film about American horror writer

Saskia Baron

Shirley is one of those films that the mood you’re in when you watch it will dictate whether you think it’s a great psychological horror movie or overheated and pretentious.

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The Secret Garden review - blooming charming

Owen Richards

With Netflix releasing Rebecca on Wednesday, who’d have thought that a kid’s film would be this week’s best adaptation about an estate haunted by the memory of the deceased lady of the manor?

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Rebecca review - mishap at Manderley

Graham Fuller

When it was announced that Ben Wheatley would be directing a new version of Rebecca, his fans must have wondered what kind of exciting damage he would do to the neo-Gothic template of Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel – and how he might spin the material in a different way than did Alfred Hitchcock...

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One Man and His Shoes review - beautifully crafted, fast-paced documentary

Sarah Kent

“Black people, since the beginning of time, have always made things cool. Jazz, rock ’n’ roll… pick anything from a cultural standpoint and we have always been the arbitrators of cool,” says sports journalist Jamele Hill. “And it was really no different with sneakers.”

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Summer of 85 review - a tender, tragic coming-of-age

Tom Birchenough

Intriguingly, Summer of 85 could have been François Ozon’s very first film.

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Cordelia review – Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Johnny Flynn star in an off-kilter tale of trauma

Joseph Walsh

There's something deeply uncanny about Adrian Shergold's Cordelia. When the film's poster was released on social media, many mistook it for a kinky period drama with the power dynamics reversed. It definitely isn't a costume drama, but there's some kink.

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Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins review - a fitting tribute to a political hellraiser

Saskia Baron

It’s a brave film distributor who releases a documentary about an American journalist in the UK at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a pandemic, so first salute goes to Eve Gabereau at Modern Films for giving Raise Hell a proper launch.

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Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You, Apple TV+ review - his new album is a matter of life and death

Adam Sweeting

Towards the end of this new documentary, an account of how he recorded his new album Letter to You at his home studio in New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen delivers a eulogy to the E Street Band.

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LFF 2020: Nomadland review - Francis McDormand gives a career-defining performance

Joseph Walsh

Chloé Zhao’s The Rider was a film of rare honesty and beauty. Who would have thought she’d be able to top the power of that majestic docudrama? But with Nomadland she has.

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Ronnie's review – fascinating story of the fabled Soho jazz club

Sebastian Scotney

Ronnie Scott was a remarkable man: “Jazz Musician, Club Proprietor, Raconteur and Wit, he was the leader of our generation,” reads the memorial to him at Golders Green Crematorium. Oliver Murray’s documentary film Ronnie’s is an affectionate and portrait of him and of the jazz club he founded.

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The Other Lamb review - a surreal portrait of an abusive cult

Markie Robson-Scott

“Thank you, Shepherd, for allowing us to be your wives. Come down upon me and fill me with yourself.” Collective ecstasy – and a lot of wool – is the order of the day in this cult led by Michael, aka Shepherd (Michiel Huisman; Game of Thrones; The Haunting of Hill House), a handsome, bearded chap who looks soft and likeable but has a sadistic Jesus complex.

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LFF 2020: Never Gonna Snow Again review - mystic masseur with God-like gifts

Adam Sweeting

The 1986 nuclear accident at Chernobyl was brilliantly explored in last years’s HBO series, but here, prolific Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska finds an alternative purpose for the disaster. As a child Zhenia, the Ukrainian protagonist of Never Gonna Snow Again, fell under the shadow of the doomed reactor, as we see in bleak, colour-drained flashbacks.

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LFF 2020: Another Round review – a glass half empty

Demetrios Matheou

In 2012, two great Danes, director Thomas Vinterberg and actor Mads Mikkelsen, teamed up for the powerhouse drama The Hunt, about a teacher victimised by his community when wrongly accused of abusing a pupil.

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Being A Human Person review - enter the surreal world of Roy Andersson

Joseph Walsh

It’s fair to say that the idiosyncratic, surrealist films of Roy Andersson are not everyone’s cup of tea. Whether you find his films impregnable or incisive, it’s impossible to argue with the artistic imprint the Swedish auteur has had on European cinema. Now at the age of 77, he has made his last film, About Endlessness.

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LFF 2020: Supernova review – Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth shine as couple on the road

Joseph Walsh

Unsurprisingly, theres a lot of pleasure to be had watching Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth as a mature couple pootling around the UK in their humble camper van. They bicker about the satnav voice, argue the merits of the shipping forecast, and both give such convincing performances that you’d think they’d been together for decades.

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Mogul Mowgli review - displacement and generational trauma

When Mogul Mowgli was first announced, it was fair to expect something of a realist biopic. After all, you had documentary director...

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Shirley review - hothouse art film about American horror wri...

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Pavel Kolesnikov, Wigmore Hall review - the stuff of dreams

To plan a programme around The Tempest, its symbolism and the idea of evanescence, the fragility of the human condition, is one...

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Among the French composer Claude Debussy’s greatest and characteristically subtle innovations was to put the titles at the end of his pieces. He...

Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review – wide range of American v...

There’s an old rule in the theatre that you don’t have to go on if there are more people on stage than in the audience. Last night I counted less...

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Plenty of pedigree wattage has been packed into this slickly addictive new HBO drama (showing on...