sun 03/07/2022

Film Reviews

Nitram review - chilling drama based on the Port Arthur gunman

Markie Robson-Scott

Nitram, Australian director Justin Kurzel’s deeply disturbing film about the man responsible for the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania in 1996, seems especially topical after the Uvalde school shootings, one among several other shootings in the US in May.

Read more...

Moon, 66 Questions review - captivating daughter-father drama

Graham Fuller

It takes some confidence for a first-time feature director to interrupt her essentially realistic first feature with a splash of psychedelic abstraction, but Jacqueline Lentzou doesn’t lack for visual or aural daring. 

Read more...

We (Nous) review - a low-key look at life in the suburbs of Paris

Sarah Kent

Director Alice Diop read an article by Pierre Bergounioux in which he described how he began writing to draw attention to his overlooked neck of the woods – Correze, in central France. It was a lightbulb moment for her: “My approach as a film-maker suddenly became clear to me, I realised I’d been making films about the suburbs in an obsessive way for the past 15 years… to conserve the existence of ordinary lives, which would have disappeared without trace if I hadn’t filmed them.”

Read more...

Eric Ravilious: Drawn to War review - a lovingly crafted documentary portrait

Saskia Baron

There’s a sharp observation, delivered in Alan Bennett’s soft tones, that sums up the reputation of the painter Eric Ravilious: “Because his paintings are so accessible, I don’t think he’s thought to be a great artist. It’s because of his charm. He’s so easy to like and things have to be hard, if they’re not hard, then they’re not great."

Read more...

Elvis review - Austin Butler shines in patchy biopic

Adam Sweeting

Strictly Ballroom aside, I’ve never been entirely persuaded by Baz Luhrmann. Once you rip open the plush packaging of his films, you often just find satin and tissue paper inside. Elvis isn’t his worst movie (they can’t take that accolade away from Moulin Rouge!) but it isn’t the monumental ode to a great American legend that one hoped it might have been.

Read more...

Pleasure review - that Eve Harrington syndrome again

Graham Fuller

The film title Pleasure begs the question, whose pleasure? Since first-time feature director Ninja Thyberg’s cautionary drama depicts the journey of a newcomer intent on becoming the Los Angeles adult film business's top female performer, the pleasure self-evidently isn’t hers, but that taken by the hordes of men who’ll watch her being systematically degraded on Pornhub and its ilk. 

Read more...

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande review - claustrophobic and bland

Saskia Baron

I really wanted to like Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. It’s got a funny trailer and Emma Thompson has been passionately publicising her film. And while our screens are currently full of stories about twentysomething girls and their chaotic love lives, watching a 62-year old woman intent on enjoying sex with a younger man on her own terms seemed promising.

Read more...

Lightyear review - can infinity be a yawn?

Saskia Baron

The animation may be stunning, but in every other department, Lightyear is a disappointment. It’s a crying shame for anyone who loved the original Toy Story and its (mainly) excellent sequels. If you were expecting a buzz from Pixar’s origin story, brace yourself instead for a damp squib. 

Read more...

Everything Went Fine review - classy French family drama

Saskia Baron

French filmmakers do family dramas so well, and none better than François Ozon when he is on form, as he is on Everything Went Fine.

Read more...

Earwig review - Little Miss Saliva Teeth

Graham Fuller

Like her first two features, Lucile Hadžihalilović’s Earwig is an oneiric coming-of-age drama that uses body horror imagery as a metaphor for the daunting unknowns – sexual and emotional – to be encountered in adulthood.

Read more...

Swan Song review - the fabulous Udo Kier as a small-town hairdresser on his last legs

Markie Robson-Scott

The piercing-eyed German actor Udo Kier is best known for his supporting roles in many high-profile films, including those of Lars von Trier, Gus Van Sant and Fassbinder. In Swan Song, he carries off his first starring role magnificently as wry ex-drag queen and Ohio hairdresser Pat Pitsenbarger, though the film itself is rather meandering and has mawkish, saccharine moments.

Read more...

All My Friends Hate Me review - beware of the bilious

Matt Wolf

A birthday weekend in Devon goes rather badly wrong in All My Friends Hate Me, the new film co-written by its leading man, Tom Stourton, that looks guaranteed to make shut-ins of us all.

Read more...

Jurassic World Dominion review - extinction event

Nick Hasted

Franchise burnout continues apace, in this asteroid strike of a finale. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness showed the previously agile and humane Marvel machine weighed down by plot mechanics and fan service, and this Jurassic Park/World trilogy unification bout proves a pointless, often ponderous 146 minutes. As post-pandemic cinema moves to total dependence on such sequels, their creative entropy could be an extinction event for filmgoing itself.

Read more...

Bergman Island review - Mia Hansen-Løve's joyful English-language debut

Markie Robson-Scott

French director Mia Hansen-Løve’s graceful, intriguingly open-ended seventh feature, and her English-language debut, is set on Fårö, the island that Ingmar Berman loved.

Read more...

The Camera Is Ours - Britain's Women Documentary Makers review - four decades of directors rediscovered

Sarah Kent

The Camera Is Ours features films made from 1935-1967 by women like Marion and Ruby Grierson, Evelyn Spice and Margaret Thomson, whose names should be engraved in the history of British film-making.

Read more...

Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts review - she is a human being

Nick Hasted

Roger Michell’s films described a range of Englishness, from Notting Hill’s foppish comedy to acerbically humane Hanif Kureishi scripts (Venus, The Mother, The Buddha of Suburbia), Cornish Gothic (My Cousin Rachel) and his last feature, The Duke, which warmed working-class malcontent Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren’s frozen marriage with Wellington’s stolen portrait.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

Music Reissues Weekly: Ferkat Al Ard - Oghneya

Oghneya opens with the extraordinary “Matar Al Sabah.” Jazzy, with an overt Brazilian feel it gently swings and swoons....

Mick Jagger: My Life as a Rolling Stone review, BBC Two - th...

At the beginning of this film, Mick Jagger says: “What most...

The Making of Pinocchio, LIFT 2022, Battersea Arts Centre re...

Pinocchio is one of our most irreverent metamorphosis stories, and in this visually ingenious blend of...

The Undeclared War, Channel 4 review - how would the UK cope...

As the world lurches ever deeper into multiple manifestations of chaos,...

Katya Adaui: Here Be Icebergs review - odd relations

The title of Katya Adaui’s debut collection in English is taken from one of the 12...

Joe Lycett, Eventim Apollo review - prankster goes long-form

Joe Lycett’s career was on an upward trajectory when he took on hosting duties on The Great British Sewing Bee, and the crafting show...

The Bobby Lees, Hare & Hounds, Birmingham review - rock’...

In a week when all kinds of people were going bonkers over an octogenarian playing songs from over 50 years ago to tens of thousands of people in...

Album: Imagine Dragons - Mercury - Act 2

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” That’s the rule, right? Unless, of course, what happens is that you form a...