Road movie

Green Book

January 31, 2019

This year’s Academy Awards is generating several fascinating dilemmas. First up, could the Academy give the prize for Best Picture to a film as frivolous and patched-together as Bohemian Rhapsody? Let’s not even get started on the sexual harrassment allegations levelled at director, Bryan Singer. Secondly, what has everybody got against A Star is Born? … More

On My Way

November 30, 2013

Watching Catherine Deneuve in On My Way, there were times when it seemed the film should be called Bad Grandma, or perhaps Mauvais Grand-mère. Like the revolting Irving Zisman in Jackass’s hit comedy, the elderly Bettie sets off on a rambling road trip to deliver her grandson to another relative. Her estranged daughter, Muriel, (played … More

Silent Souls

May 19, 2012

Look no further, the sleeper of the year has arrived. Aleksei Fedorchenko’s Silent Souls is a sparse, beautiful film filled with the bare, frozen landscapes of west-central Russia, and rough-hewn characters that hold the viewer spellbound. Cinephiles will recognise the atmosphere of an Andrei Tarkovsky film with its scenes of mesmeric dilapidation, but this is … More

This Must Be the Place

April 7, 2012

Sean Penn has had more dynamic roles, but he can hardly have played a weirder character than Cheyenne, a living relic of the post-punk era, complete with porcupine hairdo, lipstick, and the kind of eyeshadow usually found on Egyptian tomb paintings. Think of Robert Smith from the Cure. When Cheyenne talks, he enunciates every word … More