Film Reviews

The Post

January 12, 2018
Who will win the staring contest.. Meryl Street and Tom Hanks face off in 'The Post'

Steven Spielberg is to the cinema as Volvo is to the world of automobiles. Everyone recognises that a Volvo is an excellent, well-made car. It’s safe, reliable, high quality… but it will never get your pulse racing. With Spielberg we can be confident that each new feature will be a quality product. He’s too experienced, … More


All the Money in the World

January 5, 2018
No-one does a media feeding frenzy like the Italians.. 'All the Money n the World'

Everything has a price. That’s the philosophy of life put forward by J.Paul Getty – not simply the richest man in the world in 1973, but allegedly the richest man that had ever lived. Getty applied the same principle when he sought to beat down the ransom demands of the gangsters who had kidnapped his … More


Downsizing & Call Me By Your Name

December 30, 2017
Floral tribute.. Downsizing

Last week saw a drought of reviewable films but Boxing Day always brings the deluge. The two most attractive, for me at least, are Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, and Call Me By Your Name by talented Italian director, Luca Guadagnino. The former might be called a comedy of ideas, the second is an unconventional, deeply intimate … More


2017: My Year in the Cinema

December 23, 2017
Paterson.. a man and his bus

Cinema is like painting. Every year it’s said to be in terminal decline but new talents keep emerging and attendance records keep climbing. It could be argued that with both painting and film the greatest success is enjoyed by the most spectacular and gimmicky of products, but has it ever been any different? Public taste … More


The Florida Project

December 15, 2017
Living the high life in Orlando

Jean Baudrillard – not long ago the most fashionable French philosopher in the English-speaking world – once suggested that the purpose of Disneyland was to make Americans believe the rest of the United States was not Disneyland. He phrased it a little differently, but the gist of his argument was that life in America had … More


Wonder Wheel

December 8, 2017
Kate Winslet red-faced in 'Wonder Wheel'

“Oh God!” says Kate Winslet, towards the end of Wonder Wheel, “Spare me the bad drama!” Alas, by then it’s too late. We’ve just endured one hour and 40 minutes of dialogue so wooden and scenes so hopelessly stagey, no actor could survive such a catastrophe. It’s been a long time since I went into … More


The Disaster Artist

December 2, 2017
Oh, Hi Mark.

Tommy Wiseau was not your standard Hollywood male lead. With long black hair, an accent that sounded like Count Dracula, and about six studded belts, he looked like an aging refugee from a heavy metal band. In his mind, however, Tommy was right up there with Brad Pitt and Leo DiCaprio. He was horrified to … More


Goodbye Christopher Robin & The Teacher

November 24, 2017
Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh & Alan the poo

Two films released this week look at the damage that may be inflicted on children by parents and teacher. Goodbye Christopher Robin shows us how A.A.Milne virtually destroyed his son’s life by making him the hero of the best-selling Winnie the Pooh stories. The Teacher, set in Bratislawa in 1983, is a much darker affair, … More


Lucky

November 17, 2017
'Tell me the one about the tortoise again..' Harry Dean Stanton in 'Lucky'

If films were pieces of music the standard Hollywood blockbuster would be a symphony of the most bombastic persuasion. Lucky is a sonata for harmonica. The film is the directorial debut for character actor, John Carroll Lynch, familiar from movies such as Fargo (1996) and The Founder (2016). He’s chosen to begin with something small … More


Detroit

November 10, 2017
Welcome to Detroit. Have a nice day

If ever a film were poised on the edge of the great divide that exists in the United States today, it’s Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit. Like Ava DuVernay’s Selma (2015) it draws on the turbulent history of American race relations to make a not-so-subtle point about the present. After almost two-and-a-half hours, one leaves the cinema … More