drama

Testament of Youth

April 25, 2015
Alicia Vikander in 'Testament of Youth' (2014)

Lest we forget it’s Anzac Day here’s another movie about the First World War, albeit far from the shores of Gallipoli. Testament of Youth is based on the war-time memoirs of Vera Brittain (1893-1970), first published in 1933, 15 years after the end of hostilities. Having begun the project as a novel Brittain struggled with … More


The Age of Adaline

April 25, 2015
Blake Lively in 'Age of Adaline' (2015)

Anyone who is still meditating on the fragility of life after watching Testament of Youth, may not be in the most receptive mood for The Age of Adaline. The story concerns a woman named Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) who is permanently fixed at the age of 29 due to a freak – and utterly unconvincing … More


While We’re Young

April 18, 2015
Ben Stiller & Naomi Watts in 'While We're Young' (2014)

We all know the story of the fan that secretly hungers to supplant his or her idol. Look no further than All About Eve (1980), one of Hollywood’s finest moments. Noah Baumbach, the son of two film critics, can be relied upon to know all about this movie, and countless others. He also seems to … More


Mommy

April 11, 2015
Antoine-Olivier Pilon in 'Mommy' (2014)

Mommy is every mother’s horror movie. The story begins with a single mum crashing her car while on the way to collect a son who is being expelled from a special needs school. He has, apparently, set fire to a kitchen and put another boy in hospital. When the son arrives on the scene, ecstatic … More


X + Y

April 11, 2015
Asa Butterfield in 'X + Y' (2014)

You’ve probably seen him in Hugo (2011), Martin Scorsese’s sole foray into the ‘young adult’ genre. Asa Butterfield is now 17, and much taller, although this doesn’t mean he has escaped the frail and sensitive roles. In Morgan Matthews’s X + Y, Butterfield plays the second disturbed child to be seen at the movies this … More


Samba

April 4, 2015
Omar Sy in 'Samba' (2014)

Four years ago, French filmmakers, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano had such a huge hit with The Intouchables, it left one wondering what they could possibly do for an encore. The answer is Samba, another humanistic comedy-drama starring Omar Sy, the giant-sized wheelchair-pusher from the previous movie. The paradigm may be slightly different but the … More


A Little Chaos

March 28, 2015
Kate Winslet in 'A Little Chaos' (2014)

After watching Leviathan, a present-day tale with overtones of the Old Testament, it is almost a light relief to turn to A Little Chaos, Alan Rickman’s period drama of the Ancient Regime. Set in the court of the Sun King, Louis XIV, it is the story of a fictional landscape gardener, Sabine De Barra, and … More


Leviathan

March 28, 2015
Elena Lyadova in 'Leviathan' (2014)

If you’ve ever wondered why the Russians drink so much, Leviathan has all the answers. No nation does ‘bleak’ so well, but the art lies in creating something both bleak and magnificent at the same time. Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Chekhov were exemplary, while Tarkovsky managed the feat better than any other modern Russian director. Enter … More


Big Eyes

March 21, 2015
Amy Adams in 'Big Eyes' (2014)

When New York Times art critic, John Canaday, wrote a scathing attack on the directors of the 1964 World’s Fair for choosing to hang a gigantic picture of 100 big-eyed children as a “theme painting”, the offending item was quickly removed. Those were the days! Art criticism (and the New York Times) were taken seriously. … More


‘71

March 21, 2015
Jack O'Connell in ''71' (2014)

Yann Demange’s ’71, begins with two soldiers in boxing gloves beating each other to a pulp. This proves to be a relatively gentle opening for a relentless, heart-in-mouth thriller set in Belfast during the period euphemistically known as “The Troubles”. The movie follows a young British soldier, Gary Hook (Jack O’Connell), who finds himself trapped … More