mon 25/03/2019

Film Reviews

Ismael's Ghosts review - call me novelistic

Nick Hasted

The literary allusions and aspirations come thick and fast in this roomy, novelistic, most French of films from Arnaud Desplechin.

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Solo: A Star Wars Story review - timid and torpid

Nick Hasted

This is franchise film-making at its worst. A Han Solo: Year Zero origin yarn makes some sense, after Harrison Ford’s piratical hero finished on the wrong end of a lightsaber in The Force Awakens.

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Edie review - Sheila Hancock gets summit fever

Jasper Rees

There have been plenty of films about mountains, and they are mainly about men. The plot tends not to vary: man clambers up peak because, as Mallory famously reasoned, it is there. Whether factual or scripted, often they are disaster movies too: Everest, Touching the Void, the astonishing German film about the race to conquer the vertical wall of the Eiger, North Face.

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On Chesil Beach review - perfect playing in a poignant Ian McEwan adaptation

Tom Birchenough

Ian McEwan has said that he decided to adapt his 2007 novel On Chesil Beach for the screen himself at least partly because he did not want anyone else to do so (with earlier works, including Atonement, he was glad not to have taken on the adaptation). The sensitivity of the...

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The Rosenkavalier film, OAE, Paterson, QEH review - silent-era muddle expertly accompanied

David Nice

Let's face it, Robert "Cabinet of Dr Caligari" Wiene's 1926 film loosely based on Strauss and Hofmannsthal's 1911 "comedy for music" is a mostly inartistic ramble. Historically, though, it proves fascinating.

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Filmworker review - a life dedicated to Stanley Kubrick

Saskia Baron

What would have happened to Leon Vitali if as a schoolboy he had gone to see that other 1968 hit sci-fi movie, Barbarella rather than Kubrick’s 2001? It’s impossible to imagine that a life devoted to the oeuvre of Roger Vadim would have merited a documentary.

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Cuckmere: A Portrait/Environment 2.0, Brighton Festival review - landscape, politics and art collide

Nick Hasted

Sitting between the South Downs and the sea, Brighton’s borders are defined by nature. The Downs’ 2010 designation as a National Park also legislatively limits urban encroachment.

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Anon review - adventures in cyber-noir

Adam Sweeting

Though set in a futuristic (although not by much) world in which information technology has almost taken over the human psyche, Anon still relies on a crumpled whisky-drinking gumshoe for its protagonist.

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Revenge - a blood-soaked joy

Owen Richards

Deep in an unnamed desert, a violent and psychedelic retribution is sought. The aptly named Revenge is a brutally rewarding experience, bringing classic horror and exploitation tropes kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

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Entebbe review – Seventies hijack drama remains grounded

Adam Sweeting

The freeing of a plane-load of hostages by Israeli forces at Entebbe airport in Uganda in 1976 produced an instant spate of movie versions.

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Lean on Pete review - a different kind of road trip

Owen Richards

British director Andrew Haigh's Lean on Pete is a heartfelt and surprisingly stark affair.

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Tully review - Charlize Theron plumps for sentiment

Markie Robson-Scott

Inside Tully – or maybe inside Charlize Theron’s massively pregnant belly – is a darker, more daring film trying to get out.

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Nothing Like a Dame review - actresses undimmed by time

Matt Wolf

If only there were more: that's a first response to Nothing Like a Dame, Roger Michell's affectionate yet clear-eyed portrait of four of Britain's finest actresses, all now in their 80s. As the camera circles around Maggie Smith,...

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Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank review - the artist puts himself in the frame

Sarah Kent

Shot in 2004 when photographer Robert Frank was 80 (main picture), this award-winning film was aired on The South Bank Show the following year, but is only now on release.

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Beast review - mesmerising and murky in equal measure

Matt Wolf

Two fast-rising actors, Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn, lend genuine flair to a thriller that needs its mesmerising star turns to rise above the murk. Densely plotted, if sometimes suffocatingly so, TV director Michael Pearce's...

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The Wound review - gay love hurts in strong South African drama

Tom Birchenough

The title of South African director John Trengove’s powerful first feature works in more ways than one. In its literal sense, it alludes to the ritual circumcision, or ukwaluka, that accompanies the traditional rite of passage for young Xhosa men, and the process of healing that follows....

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