Film Reviews

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


The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

August 23, 2014
Robert Gustafsson in'The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared' (2013)

Forrest Gump never made it to Sweden, or else the Swedes loved the film so much they still haven’t gotten over it. Felix Herngren’s The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, takes elements familiar from Forrest Gump (1994), Zelig (1983), and Being There (1979), and adds an extra dose of … More


In Search of Chopin

August 23, 2014
Phil Grabsky’s 'In Search of Chopin' (2014)

One wonders how Frédéric Chopin (1810-49) would have fared in terms of compartmentalisation if Phil Grabsky had been able to sit him down on the psychoanalyst’s couch. Born and raised a Pole, Chopin found his fame in Paris. He fell in love with Polish girls, but the great romance of his life came with the … More


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