Film Reviews

1020<>40  50  

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

November 8, 2014

Jean-Pierre Jeunet belongs to the other extreme of Francophone cinema to the Dardennes. His films are modern fairy tales with characters that are impossibly charming or grotesque. One of his favourite actors, Dominique Pinon, who has a small role in The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, manages to be both charming and grotesque. Jeunet’s films … More


Whiplash

November 1, 2014

A movie about a young man studying to be a jazz drummer may sound like an entirely resistible proposition, but Whiplash is no lame musical comedy. Rookie writer-director, Damien Chazelle, has said he wanted to make a film about music that was more like a horror or gangster movie. Without including a single ghoul or … More


Kill the Messenger

November 1, 2014

One might assume the public is willing to believe anything bad about the CIA, which has become a byword for clandestine criminality in the modern world, but Kill the Messenger suggests otherwise. It tells the true story of Gary Webb, an investigative reporter on the San Jose Mercury News, who breaks a once-in-a-lifetime scoop about … More


Living is Easy with Eyes Closed

October 25, 2014

Since the end of the Franco era Spanish filmmakers have made many attempts to engage with that time of backwardness and isolation. The Movida that began in the late 1970s, best exemplified by the anarchic sex comedies of Pedro Almodóvar, was an explosive reaction to the greyness of the preceding decades. When the shock waves … More


A Walk Among the Tombstones

October 25, 2014

Lawrence Block is a crime writer whose style seems made for the movies. Flat descriptive passages are punctuated by bursts of terse, witty dialogue. After a few pages the film is already rolling in your head. Add Liam Neeson as Block’s ex-alco, ex-NYPD, private dick, Matthew Scudder, and the package seems close to perfect. All … More


Force Majeure

October 18, 2014

Force Majeure is a clever, ironic title for a Swedish film that was originally called Turist. The legal definition of force majeure is: “an event that is the result of the elements of nature, as opposed to one caused by human behaviour”. It’s a term used in contractual law referring to a situation when one … More


Before I Go to Sleep

October 18, 2014

Rowan Joffé’s Before I Go to Sleep will inevitably suffer in comparison with David Fincher’s Gone Girl, which is currently blitzing the box office. Both films are based on best-selling novels, but the former, by British writer, S.J.Watson, is a more literary affair than Gillian Flynn’s ‘he said, she said’ page-turner. If Virginia Woolf had … More


The Judge

October 11, 2014

If Siddharth is a movie about a father searching for a son, The Judge is the story of a son looking for a father. That’s where comparisons end, because the latter is an old-fashined, pumped-up Hollywood soap opera that provides a star vehicle for two wellknown actors: reformed bad boy, Robert Downey Jr., recently transmogrified … More


Siddharth

October 11, 2014

Indian movies conjure up visions of extravagant song and dance routines, broad comedy and incandescent melodrama. Yet as the subcontinent grows wealthier and more cosmopolitan it is crafting a national cinema that transcends the Bollywood stereotypes. Increasingly it is the realist films of Satyajit Ray (1921-92) that seem to point the way forward, even though … More


Gone Girl

October 4, 2014

Having written a smash No. 1 bestseller, there are not many authors with the discipline – or know-how – to sit down and thrash out the screenplay. This makes Gillian Flynn a rare talent, as she has managed to take a brilliant novel and put it through all those necessary cuts and compressions required of … More


1020<>40  50