Browsing Tag

film review

LFF 2012 Review: Laurence Anyways

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No-one shoots beautiful, ‘troubled’ people with great hair (in slow-motion, to electronica) quite like Xavier Dolan. For this and other affectations, the young Quebec auteur inspires devotion and derision in equal measure. Incredibly he’s only 23 years old, yet Laurence Anyways is his third feature and another Cannes prize-winner. The most exciting young filmmaker in the world today? Possibly. A great director? No, not yet, but this is a major… Read More »

Review: Silver Linings Playbook

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Silly, sometimes sappy and with a (seemingly) cavalier attitude towards its central themes of bipolarity and depression (Bradley Cooper’s damaged lead appears to have all but forgotten he actually has an illness in the film’s frothy finale), Silver Linings Playbook is nevertheless easily one of my favourite films of the year. David O’ Russell, channelling Hal Ashby vibes, has delivered another of his unlikely romcoms in the vein of Flirting… Read More »

Review: The Master

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Having thrown off the baby Altman-Scorsese tag with the rapturously received There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson returns with another grandiose American epic. Again, strong familial connections (particularly those of surrogate father/son relationships) are evident through its 143 minute running time. But for all the frenzied pre-release chatter concerning scientology, The Master isn’t really about old father Hubbard’s cult collective. Shadow boxing around a lot of potential themes (the birth… Read More »

LFF 2012 Review: Robot and Frank

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The cutesy concept of Robot and Frank – a retired jewel thief teams up with a domestic robot who he uses to help him make one last heist – sounds like a pilot episode for an unmade Glen A. Larson TV show circa 1985 but this neat, elegantly played comedy drama is actually a delightful, astute and surprisingly moving comedy. Set in a near-future that looks very much like now… Read More »

LFF 2012 Review: Beasts Of The Southern Wild

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If there is an unofficial award for most simultaneously brilliant and annoying film of the year this is the runaway winner. Arriving on a tidal wave of critical love, this highly unusual and idiosyncratic film is probably the most distinctive US indie debut since Harmony Korine’s Gummo (1997). It has flashes of absolute genius and a sensational opening. It’s also unfocused, stagey and powered by a relentless (often brilliant) soundtrack… Read More »

Review: Sinister

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This daft but effective chiller from the writer and director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose does nothing ground-breaking and has a truly preposterous set-up. But, thanks to some potent atmospherics, creepy sound design and a performance of intense, near-comical seriousness by Ethan Hawke (ably supported by, indeed encased in, a tremendously comfy-looking grey cardigan, more of which later), even the jaded horror veteran may find themselves a little spooked. I have to… Read More »

Review: Your Sister’s Sister

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I was really looking forward to Lynn Shelton’s film, which has been rapturously received at festivals worldwide. If I am honest though, I found it a bit underwhelming. Along with her previous feature, Humpday (2009), this could play as a double-bill under the heading ‘bizarre love triangle’. That film’s unique premise saw a trio caught in emotional and sexual flux when two straight best friends resolve to make a gay… Read More »

Review: Killer Joe

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Veteran helmer William Friedkin’s latest is less a thriller and more a heightened, melodramatic black comedy. Admittedly that’s a tougher sell – but given the film’s heady swirl of matricide, misogyny and incest this was never going to be an easy movie to market widely. Hopefully the draw of Matthew McConaughey will bring in plenty of unsuspecting viewers (as well as those already primed) for what is one of the… Read More »

Review : La Grande Illusion

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The first foreign language film to be nominated for Best Picture at The Oscars, often cited by Woody Allen as the finest film ever made and featuring on virtually ever best war movies (or any other kind of movie, for that matter) list, it’s easy to see why La Grande Illusion has captivated audiences 75 years after it’s original release. Directed by French master Jean Renoir, La Grande Illusion is… Read More »

Blu-ray Review: The Ides of March

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Based on an existing play penned by Beau Willimon; George Clooney’s forth directing effort – Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Good Night, and Good Luck, and Leatherheads being his others – focuses heavily on American politics, which, for some viewers, might be seen as a turn off. However, if you can look beyond the political premise and initial dialogue, there lies a film that soon spills into thriller territory as… Read More »