thu 20/02/2020

Film Reviews

Gloria Bell review - dancing away the heartache

Adam Sweeting

With Gloria (2013), A Fantastic Woman (2017) and Disobedience (2018), Chile’s Sebastián Lelio has earned a deserved reputation as a sympathetic director of women.

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Sundance London 2019 review - psychotic maniacs and old-fashioned weepies

Adam Sweeting

This fifth edition of Sundance’s London offshoot covered the first moon landing in Apollo 11, probed philosophical pranksters The Satanic Temple in Hail Satan? and took a trip through the alt-right...

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Godzilla: King of the Monsters review – spectacular stupidity

Nick Hasted

Just how many cinematic universes can one planet stand? Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island’s Apocalypse Now/ape mash-up suggested there might be useful room for old-school creature features amidst the superhero surfeit.

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Freedom Fields review - Libya’s next freedom fighters

Owen Richards

Set in the months and years after the Libyan revolution, Freedom Fields follows several women aiming to compete in international football. The documentary finds the players excitedly preparing for their first overseas tournament.

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Thunder Road review - potent and poignant debut feature

Adam Sweeting

This is a painful and poignant study of character-disintegration, and a triumph for its writer, director and star Jim Cummings. He plays small-town police officer Jim Arnaud, a man trying to do his best while a rising sea of troubles threatens to drown him.

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Booksmart review - teen sex comedy with shallow feminist credentials

Saskia Baron

The release of Booksmart is perfectly scheduled for half term, this high school buddy comedy is guaranteed to tempt youngsters away from their exam revision. It’s fast and funny and packed with squirm-inducing sex gags and a peppy soundtrack. Its heroes are Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and her best friend Amy (Kaitlyn Deaver), the class swots who forswore all extra-curricular fun in order to study hard and get into top universities.

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Haley Fohr: Salomé, Brighton Festival 2019 review – potently camp debauch

Nick Hasted

Haley Fohr’s disquiet at the “wildly outmoded” sexual politics of this notorious 1923 Wilde adaptation led her to cut its intertitles, relying only on sometimes delirious imagery and her throbbing live score.

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Cannes 2019: Matthias & Maxime review - a gently charming new drama

Joseph Walsh

It has been ten years since Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan first debuted I Killed My Mother at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Too Late To Die Young review - an absorbing, Chilean coming-of-age

Demetrios Matheou

Chilean Dominga Sotomayor’s third feature is a beautifully crafted example of the kind of Latin drama that is slow-burn and sensorial, conveying emotion through gestures and looks rather than dialogue or action. Nothing much seems to be happening, but before you know it you’ve been completed sucked in.  

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Cannes 2019: Parasite review - hilarious and horrifying

Joseph Walsh

Like Snowpiercer before it, Bong Joon-ho’s rage-fuelled satire Parasite puts class inequality squarely in its sights.

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Cannes 2019: Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood review - sun-soaked black comedy

Joseph Walsh

Moments before Quentin Tarantino’s blistering, outrageous work screened at Cannes, a message was delivered on behalf of the director, asking reviewers to avoid spoilers. It’s easy to see why. There’s a lot of pleasure in the film’s initial shock value, So yes, let’s avoid spoilers. But the surprises aren’t what make this film so good.

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John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection review - a fascinating oddity

Veronica Lee

Film buffs who are also tennis fans (there must be quite a few of us who fit in that particular Venn diagram) will love this quirky and experimental documentary by Julien Faraut, which uses archive footage and narration to examine the idea of a shared passion for cinema and sport, and how they may unite on film.

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Cannes 2019: Diego Maradona review - entertaining but skin-deep

Joseph Walsh

Director Asif Kapadia's documentary on the controversial 1980s sporting legend Diego Maradona premiered at Cannes this week, and there's something unsatisfying about the fact it doesn't have a one-word title.

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Cannes 2019: Too Old to Die Young - nightmarish LA noir

Joseph Walsh

This year, Cannes has been adamantly defending traditional cinema, with more than a few jibes at Netflix (who remain persona non grata at the festival), but that hasn’t stopped them screening two episodes of Nicolas Winding Refn’s new Amazon TV series, Too Old To Die Young.

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Last Stop Coney Island review - the life and photography of Harold Feinstein

Saskia Baron

This is a real passion project; British filmmaker Andy Dunn spent years building up a relationship with the late American photographer Harold Feinstein, filming him at work and interviewing friends, family and colleagues. The result is a loving portrait of a remarkable man.

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Cannes 2019: Pain and Glory review - a dour, semi-autobiographical portrait

Joseph Walsh

There’s a touch of Fellini’s 8 ½ in Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film. It’s a forlorn, confessional tale, with Antonio Banderas starring as Salvador Mallo, a director in the latter stages of his career.

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