Force Majeure

October 18, 2014
Lisa Loven Kongsli in 'Force Majeure' (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

The Judge

October 11, 2014
Robert Downey Jr. in 'The Judge' (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


October 11, 2014
Rajesh Tailang in 'Siddharth' (2013)

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
Rosamund Pike & Ben Affleck in 'Gone Girl' (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

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

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


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

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