Film Reviews

In Bloom

September 27, 2014
Mariam Bokeria & Lika Babluani 'In Bloom' (2014)

Family life takes on a different tone in Georgia in the early 1990s, a country freshly separated from the Soviet Union but immersed in a new civil war. In Bloom, co-directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross, is set in the capital, Tbilisi, but everyone is affected by the proximity of violence, by the air … More


The Skeleton Twins

September 27, 2014
Kristen Wiig & Bill Hader in 'The Skeleton Twins' (2014)

Craig Johnson’s comedy-drama, The Skeleton Twins would have us believe that non-identical twins, Milo and Maggie, have not seen each other for ten years. As most twins of my acquaintance are virtually joined at the hip, this seems a trifle implausible. Such a rift would require a trauma of major proportions, and – although there … More


We Are the Best!

September 20, 2014
Sofia Sabel, Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin and Liv LeMoyne in We Are the Best! (2013)

It’s quite an adjustment to leave Frank Miller’s Sin City and arrive in Sweden, where three 13 year-old girls are trying to start a punk rock band. The only point of comparison is that Lukas Moodyson’s We Are the Best!, was based on a comic book produced by his wife, Coco. Moodyson is known for … More


Italian Film Festival 2014 & Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

September 20, 2014
Eva Green in Sin City: A Dame to Kill for (2014)

Masterpieces are by definition rare, and from what I’ve seen so far, this year’s Lavazza Italian Film Festival has nothing to match Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty, which launched last year’s festivities. Aside from that significant absence the mix of films is remarkably similar. Last year we saw Mr. Volare, a feel-good bio-pic of the … More


Night Moves

September 13, 2014
Jesse Eisenberg in 'Night Moves' (2013)

In title and style, Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves pays homage to director, Arthur Penn, whose 1975 film of the same name is now viewed as a minor classic. Penn’s movie was a late example of film noir, with the usual flawed characters, brittle relationships and dark motivations. Reichardt’s story revolves around a group of friends … More


The Giver

September 13, 2014
Brenton Thwaites in 'The Giver' (2014)

Lois Lowry’s The Giver has sold more than 10 million copies, but until the film version arrived many of us will have been completely ignorant of the book and its author. This is because Lowry is an exponent of ‘young adult’ fiction – a genre that can only remain a mystery to people like me, … More


Boyhood

September 6, 2014
Ellar Coltrane in 'Boyhood' (2014)

Richard Linklater was originally known for making films that took place in a single day. This was the case with his first Indie hit, Slacker (1991), and the cult success, Dazed and Confused (1993). The idea is crucial to his popular romantic trilogy – Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight – which charts three days … More


Predestination

September 6, 2014
Sarah Snook in 'Predestination' (2014)

If you haven’t seen enough of Ethan Hawke in Boyhood, he reappears – and disappears, and reappears – in Presdestination, the third feature by identical twins, Michael and Peter Spierig, who were born in Germany but raised in Brisbane. The film is based on Robert A. Heinlein’s All You Zombies (1959), a short story about … More


Magic in the Moonlight

August 30, 2014
Colin Firth in 'Magic in the Moonlight' (2014)

Either the films are getting better or I’m becoming one of those critics who find redeeming features in unlikely places. Most reviewers seem to lose it after about 300 superhero flicks, when they finally begin to believe that someone in coloured leotards may have a rich inner life. My particular Waterloo might be Woody Allen. … More


Locke

August 30, 2014
Tom Hardy in 'Locke' (2013)

If it were a musical composition, Locke might be described as a chamber piece. The action does not take place in a room, but in a car speeding down the expressway towards London in the middle of the night – with every impression being filtered through the character of the man behind the wheel, Ivan … More


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