sun 03/03/2024

Film Reviews

Dune: Part 2 review - sombre space opera

Nick Hasted

Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune sequel is a sombre science-fiction spectacle that insists on the scale of cinema: erupting sandworms are Cecil B. DeMille colossal, the sound design centred on Hans Zimmer’s score thunderously enveloping. In a genre once jokingly called space opera, its grand aristocratic dynasties and passions justify the term.

Read more...

Lisa Frankenstein review - a bitchy trawl through the high-school horror movie back catalogue

Helen Hawkins

Diablo Cody’s biggest screenwriting hit was 2007’s Juno, a larky but tender story of teenage pregnancy. She’s gone back to high school for her latest, Lisa Frankenstein, which focuses on another troubled teen. This one has goth looks accessorised with an axe.

Read more...

Red Island review - Madagascar miniatures

James Saynor

The French military outpost on Madagascar is a “family cocoon, full of love and benevolence”, according to a character in this fictional portrait of the country in the early 1970s. Of course, as soon as we hear this claim near the start of Red Island, we assume we’re about to witness anything but.

Read more...

Driving Mum review - a dark comedy that has you laughing out loud

Sarah Kent

Hilmar Oddsson’s award-winning film Driving Mum is pitch-perfect. Jon has spent the last 30 years looking after his domineering mother. There they sit, side by side, in a remote cottage on Iceland’s western fjords, knitting jumpers to sell to the neighbourhood co-op. And as they work, their skeins of wool become entwined – a gentle reminder of how inextricably enmeshed their lives have become.

Read more...

Wicked Little Letters review - sweary, starry film is mostly strange

Matt Wolf

A splendid cast struggle to make something coherent out of Wicked Little Letters, the latest film from Thea Sharrock who not that long ago was one of the hottest theatre directors in town.

Read more...

Memory review - love, dementia and truth

Markie Robson-Scott

Procul Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” is given a new lease on life in Mexican director Michel Franco’s moving, complex film, full of fine performances.

Read more...

Zineb Sedira: Dreams Have No Titles, Whitechapel Gallery review - a disorientating mix of fact and fiction

Sarah Kent

The downstairs of the Whitechapel Gallery has been converted into a ballroom or, rather, a film set of a ballroom. From time to time, a couple glides briefly across the floor, dancing a perfunctory tango. And they are really hamming it up, not for the people watching them – of whom they are apparently oblivious – but for an imaginary camera.

Read more...

Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind, Tate Modern review - a fitting celebration of the early years

Sarah Kent

At last Yoko Ono is being acknowledged in Britain as a major avant garde artist in her own right. It has been a long wait; last year was her 90th birthday! The problem, of course, was her relationship with John Lennon and perceptions of her as the Japanese weirdo who broke up the Beatles and led Lennon astray – down a crooked path to oddball, hippy happenings.

Read more...

Eureka review - not enough to shout about

Demetrios Matheou

It's been a decade since Lisandro Alonso’s last film, Jauja, which signalled the Argentine's first collaboration with professional actors, notably a magnificent Viggo Mortensen. The pair reprise their collaboration in Eureka, in the first of three stories tenuously connected by dashes of mysticism and the director’s customary interest in the fate of indigenous people.

Read more...

Bob Marley: One Love review - sanitised official version of the Jamaican icon's story

Adam Sweeting

It was only a matter of time before Bob Marley got his own posthumous biopic, and One Love isn’t the worst you’ll see. For instance, it’s miles ahead of the Elton John flick Rocketman, and at least it’s an hour shorter than Baz Luhrmann’s bloated Elvis misfire.

Read more...

The Promised Land review - gripping Danish Western

Graham Fuller

Impassive, immovable, relentless  – Mads Mikkelsen’s Ludvig Kahlen, a fatherless army captain turned sodbuster in Nikolai Arcel’s The Promised Land, recalls the Hollywood Western’s most obdurate “rugged individuals”.

Read more...

The Taste of Things review - a gentle love letter to haute cuisine

Helen Hawkins

Awarded the best director prize at Cannes last year, Anh Hung Tran has served up cinema’s latest hymn to gastronomy, The Taste of Things. Tasting (and smelling) what’s on the screen is obviously impossible, but even so Tran provides as total a sensory experience as a film can of the religion of haute cuisine and its acolytes. 

Read more...

Occupied City review - unquiet Nazi crimes

Nick Hasted

“I feel as if I am live reporting from a shipwreck,” Dutch-Jewish journalist Philip Mechanicus wrote en route to his concentration camp murder. Steve McQueen’s four-hour reverie on Amsterdam’s Nazi occupation teases out the scars of that arbitrary, vicious time beneath his adopted home’s placid streets. Filming during 2020’s pandemic, this becomes a time-jumping double-portrait of his adopted home city, though the inexact mirroring often cracks.

Read more...

The Iron Claw review - pancakes and beefcakes

James Saynor

The Iron Claw is the sort of solid, mid-market Hollywood “programmer” that is often said to no longer exist on the big screen, and this family saga set in the world of Texas wrestling certainly has the feel of a museum piece. Many have warmed to it, perhaps for that nostalgic reason. 

Read more...

The Settlers review - a western populated only by anti-heroes

Sarah Kent

From its opening shot – of a flock of sheep backlit by the sun’s rays – The Settlers is visually stunning. But the beauty ends there; as the narrative unfolds, it becomes clear that everything else about this episode in Chile’s history is cruel and ugly.

Read more...

The Zone of Interest review - garden gates of death

James Saynor

The jokey serious point in Mel Brooks’s The Producers is that you shouldn’t be able to make a musical set among Nazis. But if you shouldn’t make a musical, can you make any fiction?

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

The Creation, Alder, Clayton, Mofidian, LPO, Gardner, RFH re...

Light and grace must flood the concert hall in Haydn’s The Creation, after a striking-for-its time evocation of Chaos, and periwigged...

Dune: Part 2 review - sombre space opera

Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune sequel is a sombre science-fiction spectacle that insists on the scale of cinema: erupting sandworms are Cecil B...

Faust, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - violence and wit in Sh...

The LSO’s apéritif hour “Half-Six Fixes” have an informality that usually works and sometimes doesn’t. But the first of this two-night...

Music Reissues Weekly: Mark Eric - A Midsummer’s Day Dream

In June 1969, The Beach Boys released “Break Away” as a single. A month earlier, they had announced they were leaving Capitol Records, who they...

St Matthew Passion, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Whelan, St Patr...

After last year’s small-scale, big-impact Messiah in the Wigmore Hall, superlatives are again in order for the IBO’s performance of the...

Lisa Frankenstein review - a bitchy trawl through the high-s...

Diablo Cody’s biggest screenwriting hit was 2007’s Juno, a larky but tender story of teenage pregnancy. She’s gone back to high school...

First Person: violinist Tom Greed on breaking down barriers...

For musicians, the period from early 2020 to mid-2021 was one of great reflection, with so many questions to puzzle over. Could we satisfy the...

Album: Squarepusher - Dostrotime

Over the years, Tom “Squarepusher” Jenkinson has covered a lot of ground over three decades, from dank cellar ambience to refined baroque...

Standing at the Sky's Edge, Gillian Lynne Theatre revie...

Can there be anyone from Sheffield who has not seen ...