Features · GFF21

Top 5 Must-See Movies of Glasgow Film Festival 2021

Last year, Glasgow Film Festival was one of the few in the UK largely unaffected by the pandemic, sneaking in weeks before the first lockdown. However, their 2021 edition will be 100% virtual due to the current restrictions in place. Despite the challenges, the lineup is as exciting and eclectic as ever, boasting 62 films in total from around the world and boasting a Country Focus strand on South Korean cinema. The opening picture will be Lee Isaac Chung’s highly anticipated autobiographical drama Minari and the event will close with Suzanne Lindon’s coming-of-age debut feature Spring Blossom. I have handpicked some films that I won’t want to miss…

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Features

Top 10 Lockdown Recommendations You Might Not Have Seen: 2021 Edition

Another year, another lockdown, and so for those of us that aren’t home-schooling, another chunk of spare time on our hands. If you’ve already binged on The Queen’s Gambit, Bridgerton, and any other telly you’ve been told you must see, you might be on the lookout for some film recommendations. I’ve scoured Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and All4 to put together another list. Some quite old, some quite new, all absolutely brilliant.

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Features

Top 20 Films of 2020

It’s been a year like no other as we face a global pandemic and cinemas have been forced to close their doors up and down the country. However, despite the incredible challenges, the standard of film has been remarkably high. With a shortage of big screens and most of the major blockbusters delayed for the foreseeable, we’ve seen more pictures head straight to on-demand, onto streaming services, or in Steve McQueen’s case, right onto terrestrial television in the form of a mini-series. My favourites of the year are as follows:

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cinema · Interviews

Lost at Christmas Interview: Kenny Boyle – ‘I don’t want to be the next David Tennant; I want to be the first Kenny Boyle!’

 

Taking place against the snowy vistas of the Scottish Highlands, Lost at Christmas is the second feature film from writer and director Ryan Hendrick. After both suffering personal setbacks and missing the last train back to Glasgow, Rob and Jen find themselves isolated together for a Christmas adventure. I was lucky enough to chat with lead actor Kenny Boyle about this festive, feel-good film…

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cinema · LFF20

Film review: Ammonite

 Following on from the critical success of his groundbreaking debut God’s Own Country, writer and director Francis Lee revisits the theme of repressed homosexual romance with his semi-biographical drama Ammonite. Set on the blustery shores of Lyme Regis in the 1840s, the plot is loosely inspired by palaeontologist Mary Anning. On his European tour, a wealthy fossil enthusiast arrives in town to visit Mary (Kate Winslet) to discuss her geological findings. His young wife Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan) is suffering from severe melancholia and he decides that the sea air will aid her recovery, so he carries on without her, leaving her in Mary’s care. Despite their stark financial and cultural differences, the pair strike up an endearing friendship, leading to a forbidden love that would impact upon their lives forever.

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cinema · LFF20

Film review: Supernova

On his first outing behind the camera, actor turned filmmaker Harry Macqueen crafted an indie hit on a low-budget and played one of the central parts himself. In contrast to this for his sophomore feature, he has brought together two of the finest actors in the business. Relationship drama Supernova stars Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as husbands Sam and Tusker, whose lives are turned upside down due to the latter’s dementia diagnosis. They embark on a road trip in an old RV whilst coming to terms with their situation, visiting old friends along the way.

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cinema · LFF20

Film review: Possessor

Following in the footsteps of his father, the iconic filmmaker David Cronenberg, writer and director Brandon Cronenberg dabbles in the ‘body horror’ sub-genre that his old man pioneered for his grisly sophomore feature Possessor. Revered hitwoman Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough) is at the centre of the sci-fi thriller, working for an organisation that uses brain-implant technology to allow assassins to carry out hits whilst inhabiting someone else’s body. For her latest assignment, she must ‘possess’ Colin Tate (Christopher Abbott) to take out his boss John Parse (Sean Bean), the filthy rich head of a data mining corporate empire.

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DVD · LFF20

DVD review: Shirley

Based on the novel of the same name by Susan Scarf Merrell, the latest drama from director Josephine Decker stars Elisabeth Moss as reclusive horror writer Shirley Jackson. As the eponymous author and her professor husband Stanley (Michael Stuhlbarg) invite newlyweds Fred (Logan Lerman), a fresh-faced teaching assistant, and his wife Rose (Odessa Young) into their marital home, the plot explores the complex dynamics of their relationships. In the beginning, the young and impressionable couple are keen to gain wisdom from their talented elders, but as the situation takes a perverse turn, their marriage is put to the test.

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