romance

Spanish Film Festival 2016

April 14, 2016

In the days of the infamous Motion Picture Production Code, which stretched from 1930 until the 1960s, Hollywood’s movie makers were constrained from producing any film that might lower the moral standards of its audience. This meant crime could never pay, while law-breakers always suffered for their sins. Innocence and goodness were invariably rewarded. For … More


45 Years

February 19, 2016

It’s with some reluctance that I turn to Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years as the second review for this week, as it’s hard to recommend a film that is little more than a slow, grinding, self-absorbed portrait of old age and its miseries. There are, at least, a few psychological subtleties to be unravelled, whereas my … More


Brooklyn

February 12, 2016

Brooklyn has arrived at the cinema at the same time as new a Nicholas Sparks romance, appropriately titled The Choice. Yes viewers, if you are partial to a bit of romantic drama there is a clear choice. On one hand the clichéd, cardboard-cutout world of The Choice, with characters that would have been rejected from … More


The Danish Girl

January 22, 2016

When Gore Vidal’s novel, Myra Breckinridge, was made into a truly lamentable movie in 1970, transgender issues were hardly front page news. The idea that someone could feel like a woman trapped in a man’s body, or vice versa, was the stuff of ribald comedy. The wheel has turned so completely that transgenderism now occupies … More


Carol

January 14, 2016

It’s difficult to make a great movie from a great novel. Even the best directors struggle to capture the psychological nuances, the purposeful construction of personalities and subplots. An author can tell us much that a director can only suggest, unless he or she wants to make an unbearably wordy film. In Carol, Todd Haynes … More


By the Sea

December 10, 2015

By the Sea has received such terrible notices I went along with diminished expectations – which was probably the ideal frame of mind in which to view Angelina Jolie Pitt’s third outing as a director. Think: “I know this is going to be bad,” and for a long time you can fool yourself that it … More


Man Up

November 6, 2015

Ben Palmer is another director who has spent much of his career in television, but Man Up has more verve than most romantic comedies. There are moments when this movie becomes genuinely funny and anarchic, but the claims of the genre keep reasserting themselves, allowing the return of the godawful sentimentality that makes such films … More


Freeheld

November 5, 2015

Some actors always get to play the romantic lead, the vamp or the action hero, Julianne Moore should be careful she doesn’t get stuck with another terminal illness. Having gradually succumbed to Alzheimer’s Disease in Still Alice, she now gets the chance to experience Stage 4 lung cancer in Freeheld. Unfortunately she’s really excellent in … More


The Lobster

October 23, 2015

Yorgos Lanthimos could never be accused of a lack of originality. All over the world, one imagines viewers wandering out of The Lobster, asking: “So what was that about?” If I say it’s an allegory, that will do little to ease the confusion. Think of the late, deadpan surrealist comedies of Luis Bunuel and you’ll … More


unINDIAN

October 16, 2015

If there were an Academy Award for product placement, Anupam Sharma’s unINDIAN would be this year’s hot favourite. This self-confessed “frothy” flick is not going to win any awards for acting, directing or scriptwriting, but when it comes to acknowledging sponsors it is in a class of its own. unINDIAN is an attempt to make … More