fri 16/04/2021

family relationships

True Mothers review - how many people does it take to raise a child?

On the 30th floor of a Tokyo apartment building, a charming little boy brushes his teeth, watched over by his smiling mother who sings to him gently. He’s full of joy - today his dad’s coming with them on the walk to nursery school. The little...

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Blu-ray: I Was at Home, But...

The term most often used about Berlin director Angela Schanelec’s filmmaking seems to be “elliptical”, and her latest film, I Was at Home, But..., which won the Best Director award at Berlinale 2019, is no exception. Approaching it is like an...

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Sequin in a Blue Room review - soullessness and sex in Sydney

Sequin is the screen name for the questing 16-year-old at the slowly awakening heart of Sequin in a Blue Room, a 2019 Australian film only now reaching the UK. The graduation project of its New Zealand-born director and co-writer Samuel Van Grinsven...

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Andrea Bajani: If You Kept a Record of Sins review - where blame, grief and discovery meet

“I think it happened to you, too, the first time you arrived.” So begins Andrea Bajani’s second novel (Se consideri le colpe, 2007), recently translated from Italian by Elizabeth Harris, with the narrator’s characteristic reserve. “You”, that...

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Memories of My Father review - the richness of childhood, the cruelty of history

Spanish director Fernando Trueba’s Memories of My Father adapts the Colombian writer Héctor Abad Faciolince’s 2006 family memoir, which was published in English as Oblivion: the Spanish-language title of both book and film, El Olvido Que Seremos (“...

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My Father and Me, BBC Two review - Nick Broomfield's moving voyage around his family

Nick Broomfield made his first film 50 years ago, and his career over those five decades (and some three dozen works) has been as distinctive, and distinguished as that of any British documentary maker. It has ranged from early films on British...

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Verdict review - social realism and court procedural combine in powerful Manila drama

There’s something of an anomaly in Filipino director Raymund Ribay Gutierrez’s debut feature between its fast-moving dramatic opening, defined by an agile hand-held camera, and the much slower, more static scenes that follow. That early material,...

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Brenda Navarro: Empty Houses review - the pains and pressures of motherhood

The horror novelist Sarah Langan recently compared motherhood to being treated like a game of Operation. “The point of the game is to correct us by removing our defective bones, to carefully pick us apart. It’s open season.” For the Mexican writer...

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Mouthpiece review - double entendre in Toronto

Cassandra and her sister – or perhaps they’re friends or lovers – seem extraordinarily in tune. Like choreographed dancers, they move precisely in unison, down to tripping over their scarves at the same moment or flopping drunkenly into bed together...

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Kazuo Ishiguro: Klara and the Sun review - what makes us human?

Unsettling, unremitting and psychologically stark, Klara and the Sun has all the hallmarks of a traditional Ishiguro novel. Dealing with his familiar themes of loss and love and the question of what makes us human, the book follows the "life" of an...

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Berlinale 2021: Petite Maman review – magical musings on the parent-child relationship

Hot on the heels of her 2019 triumph Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma’s fifth feature continues a perfect track record; this is yet another gorgeous and perceptive film, told from a determinedly female perspective but with a wisdom...

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Moxie review - likeable if confused high school comedy

A teen comedy with a thematic difference, Moxie has enough memorable moments to firmly establish comedian Amy Poehler as a director worth reckoning with in what is her second film, following Wine Country in 2019. Telling of the teenage Vivian's...

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