Acclaimed South Korean writer and director Bong Joon-ho champions the working classes in his movies, but unlike the naturalist filmmakers like Ken Loach or the Dardenne brothers, his work breaks out of the downbeat realms of reality into something more extreme. This can be said of his latest feature Parasite, which explores the social rebellion of the Kim family.Continue reading “Film review: Parasite”
American filmmaker Melina Matsoukas has been a decorated name in the music video industry for a while and has worked with the biggest popstars in the business. In recent years, she’s transitioned into television and has now made her directorial debut in film with romantic crime drama Queen & Slim. The story begins as defence attorney Angela (Jodie Turner-Smith) goes on a Tinder date with Earnest (Daniel Kaluuya) at a grubby local diner. On the drive home, they are pulled over by the police and an altercation with a white male cop rapidly escalates. Impulsively, they decide to run from the law, and a nationwide manhunt for ‘cop killers’ quickly ensues.Continue reading “Film review: Queen & Slim”
In the late 1990s, writer and director Guy Ritchie swaggered onto the scene with his sweary yet stylised brand of black comedy. He married the world’s biggest popstar and managed to carry the Britpop movement forward into movies. Since the turn of the century, his work has been somewhat hit-or-miss but his latest feature The Gentlemen sees him go back to the genre that made him famous.Continue reading “Film review: The Gentlemen”
Since Louisa May Alcott’s seminal coming-of-age novel Little Women was published in 1868, there have been countless adaptations of the material. The latest version is written for the screen and directed by Greta Gerwig, who has recently transitioned from indie actress to award-nominated filmmaker. The plot follows the struggles of the March family during the American Civil War as four sisters near the end of childhood; Jo (Saoirse Ronan) is a budding writer, Meg (Emma Watson) has traditional aspirations, Amy (Florence Pugh) longs for a taste of the finer things in life, while Beth (Eliza Scanlen) is a highly talented pianist but is reluctant to share her music. Together and apart, we see the women contend with love, death, and marriage as they fight for independence in a society dominated by men.Continue reading “Film review: Little Women”
As the third film of the third trilogy of the adored space-opera saga, the pressure and anticipation for Rise of Skywalker was incredibly high. After pulling the strings in The Force Awakens back in 2015, J.J. Abrams takes hold of the directorial reins once again to finish the story he started. Reeling from the loss of her mentor, Rey (Daisy Ridley) continues her Jedi training under General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) while Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) sends her dark signals through the Force bond they share. When a mysterious threat is received from Emperor Palpatine, the Resistance must come together for another battle with The First Order.Continue reading “Film review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
10. Fighting with my Family
“It is far more gripping than its subject matter might suggest. Who ever would believe a story about a wrestling family from Norwich could have quite such heart and resonance”.
9. Ordinary Love
“It’s that evocation of the intangible interface between the mundane and the monumental that lends Ordinary Love such universal appeal – the sense of down-to-earth characters quietly wrestling with the cosmic mysteries of life and death, love and grief, with a mixture of sorrow and laughter”.
8. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
“Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a lively and compelling film with a sharp script and wonderful performances. It offers up no cheap sentiment or overblown emotion but is nonetheless affecting and quietly heartbreaking in its insightful and honest portrayal of loneliness, alienation and unlikely friendships”.
“Amplified by an electric soundtrack that doffs its baseball cap to the likes of techno and happy house, Beats is a taut yet transcendent time capsule of a movie. It’s a rhythmic celebration of our formative years, capturing the reckless essence of youth itself”.
6. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
“The streak of melancholic nostalgia running through Once Upon a Time in Hollywood might have blunted the razor-sharp edge of Quentin Tarantino, but it only emphasises the care he puts into his craft”.
5. Sons of Denmark
“The film’s big moments are amplified by a prominent but unobtrusive operatic score, and the stylish visuals really help to compliment a script which heightens the sense of frustration and unrest caused by government corruption”.
“Hill writes and directs with a personal passion and his influences bleed through onto the screen and into the superb soundtrack”.
3. The Souvenir
“A bleak, but richly textured tale of a toxic, tragic relationship between aspiring filmmaker Julie and her obnoxious boyfriend Anthony. The performances are stellar and nearly every frame is carefully composed like a desolate yet delicate painting”.
2. The Irishman
“Presenting the mobster life as a rich tapestry of violence, corruption, and lingering sorrow, The Irishman marks a reflective curtain call in the Scorsese saga of crime movies”.
1. Marriage Story
“Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver are already held in high regard, and this is arguably the best they’ve ever been. Nicole and Charlie are presented as very real people, both having made mistakes, there’s no immediate side-taking in the couple’s complicated battle”.
Directed by: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Starring: Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Rami Malek
Release: April 2020