cinema

Film review: The Nest

Writer and director Sean Durkin made an impact with his acclaimed cult thriller debut Martha Marcy May Marlene, and remarkably, a decade has gone by since. His long overdue sophomore effort is psychological relationship drama The Nest, which explores the gradual decline of a middle-class marriage.

Rory O’Hara (Jude Law) is a smooth-talking trader who has left his lowly London roots behind, now living the American dream in New York with wife Allison (Carrie Coon) and their children. Eager to grasp his next big opportunity at the height of Thatcherism, he convinces his family to move with him across the pond to an English countryside manor, but his motivations soon become unclear.

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cinema · EIFF21

Film review: Annette

The artistic style of French critic turned director Leos Carax has divided audiences for a while, the most notable example being his 2012 fantasy effort Holy Motors which was hailed a masterpiece by some but left others bewildered by the acclaim. His latest piece is romantic musical drama Annette, marking his English-language debut and with a screenplay penned by musicians Ron and Russell Mael, the idiosyncratic brothers behind the band Sparks. The bizarre plot follows comedian Henry (Adam Driver) and opera singer Ann (Marion Cotillard) as they begin a very public courtship. However, when they marry and have their daughter, the eponymous Annette, their relationship soon hits the rocks.

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cinema · EIFF21

Film review: The Night House

Of all the genres of cinema, horror arguably contains the most trademarks and tropes, whether it’s basement-based jump scares or a hapless prey running from an attacker in the woods, only to inevitably trip and fall. In his latest effort, director David Bruckner subverts the expectations of the haunted house movie whilst playfully pandering to cliché. 

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cinema

Film review: Censor

Writer and director Prano Bailey-Bond plunges into the wacky world of video nasties for her feature debut Censor. Penned with her regular co-writer Anthony Fletcher, the psychological horror centres around Enid (Niamh Algar), a reticent film censor who spots something in a movie which triggers dark memories from her childhood. The shocking discovery prompts her to dig deeper into the works of controversial filmmaker Frederick North (Adrian Schiller) and his creepy producer Doug (Michael Smiley) as she becomes increasingly obsessed with the mystery surrounding her younger sister’s strange disappearance.

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cinema

Film review: Zola

It’s the norm for screenplays to be adapted from novels, plays, short stories, and other mediums, but writer and director Janicza Bravo has broken new ground by developing her latest picture from a series of tweets. The 148-tweet thread in question was posted in 2015 by Aziah “Zola” King and went viral, starting with now meme-famous line ‘Y’all wanna hear a story about why me and this bitch here fell out? It’s kind of long but full of suspense’. If you haven’t already read the now-deleted chain of events, the black comedy plot follows the titular Zola (Taylour Paige) who works as a waitress and part-time stripper. One day, she serves sex worker Stefani (Riley Keough) who invites her on a wild weekend of ‘dancing’. A little reluctantly and rather naively, she takes her up on the offer, joining her, her gormless boyfriend Derrek (Nicholas Braun), and her apparent roommate who goes only by the name X (Colman Domingo) on a tempestuous road trip to Tampa Bay, Florida.

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cinema · DVD & Digital

Film review: Settlers

Writer and director Wyatt Rockefeller boldly embarks onto the Martian frontier for his feature debut Settlers, a dystopian sci-fi western. The plot centres around parents Reza (Jonny Lee Miller) and Ilsa (Sofia Boutella) as they seek refuge whilst striving to build a prosperous life for their young daughter Remmy (Brooklynn Prince). When their home is threatened by the mysterious Jerry (Ismael Cruz Cordova), the family face a desperate battle for survival.

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cinema

Film review: Another Round

Writer and director Thomas Vinterberg reunites with actor Mads Mikkelsen for their latest effort which studies binge drinking in Denmark. Comedy drama Another Round, also known as Druk in its native language, follows old pals who work together at the local school. Whilst out celebrating at birthday dinner, Martin (Mikkelsen), Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Peter (Lars Ranthe), and Nikolaj (Magnus Millang) discuss psychiatrist Skårderud’s theory that maintaining a low but steady blood alcohol content helps us live more creative, fulfilling lives. Willing to give this unconventional lifestyle a try to shake up their middle-aged existence, they embark upon a social experiment.

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cinema

Film review: In the Earth

After earning a reputation for his unique brand of violent, satirical films, writer and director Ben Wheatley went off-piste for a couple of years to make a Shakespeare-inspired family drama and a glossy, Netflix-produced romantic thriller. His directorial tangents have been met with mixed critical response but for his latest effort, he returns to his indie horror roots with a point to prove and an axe to grind.

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cinema · GFF21

Film review: American Badger

 Kirk Caouette has a wealth of film industry experience in a multitude of roles, most notably as a stuntman and fight choreographer. With hitman drama American Badger, he writes, directs, and takes on the leading role, playing ruthless gun-for-hire Dean. When he is assigned the task of befriending call girl Velvet (Andrea Stefancikova) and then subsequently ordered to take her out, he is faced with a dilemma that challenges his immoral attitude.

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cinema · GFF21

Film review: Shorta

Police corruption stories have emerged as their own sub-genre of crime films of late, and due to the actions which reignited the Black Lives Matter movement last year, these reactionary tales are unlikely to stop anytime soon. The writer-director duo Frederik Louis Hviid and Anders Ølholm join forces to address some of these societal issues in Danish drama Shorta, a common Arabic word for police.

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