cinema

Film review: Doctor Sleep

When the novels of Stephen King are made for the big screen, the reactions are often mixed, even from the author himself. It’s been well publicised that he didn’t care much for Stanley Kubrick’s terrifying take on horror classic The Shining, so the pressure was always going to be high on whoever would adapt the long-awaited sequel.

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cinema

Film review: Le Mans ’66

 Matt Damon and Christian Bale have been household names in Hollywood for years, and biographical sports drama Le Mans ’66 by director James Mangold sees them come together on the big screen for the very first time. Marketed across the pond as Ford v Ferrari, the plot centres around the feud between the two mammoth manufacturers as they go head-to-head in a 24-hour Grand Prix race.

 After an unsuccessful attempt to buy their Italian competitor’s racing program, Ford recruit automotive engineer Carroll Shelby (Damon) to build their latest vehicle. Shelby asks charismatic driver Ken Miles (Bale) to get behind the wheel of the newly designed car, and the friends must get past personal and corporate hurdles before they’re even at the starting line.

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cinema

Film review: Sorry We Missed You

Veteran filmmaker Ken Loach has teamed up once again with writer Paul Laverty to fight the good fight for the left-wing, looking at broken Britain through a working-class lens in family drama Sorry We Missed You. A damning exposé of the issues surrounding zero-hour contracts, the plot follows hard-up handyman Ricky (Kris Hitchen) as he lands a franchise driving job with a delivery firm. Struggling to make ends meet alongside his wife Abby (Debbie Honeywood) who is a hardworking home-visit care worker, the couple reach breaking point when their financial problems escalate.

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cinema · LFF19

Film review: The Irishman

The ninth collaboration between legendary pairing Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro and their first in over twenty years, mob drama The Irishman has been a long time coming. Based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by true crime writer Charles Brandt, the plot centres around Frank Sheeran (De Niro), the eponymous WWII veteran turned hitman. From meeting mafia kingpin Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) to his complicated friendship with union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), the sprawling epic tracks the life and times of the mercilessly loyal footsoldier.

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cinema · LFF19

Film review: Jojo Rabbit

 New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi has garnered cult status and critical acclaim with his distinctive style of madcap comedy. The controversial premise of his latest feature Jojo Rabbit has caused quite the stir as the Jewish auteur tackles the topic of Nazism. Based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens, the WWII story sees German boy Johannes (Roman Griffin Davis) enrol in a Hitler Youth training camp run by Captain Klenzendorf (Sam Rockwell) and his team of instructors. Meanwhile, Johannes’s mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) is harbouring Jewish girl Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) in their house, presenting a moral dilemma for the young protagonist which he ponders with Adolf (Taika Waititi), his dictatorial imaginary friend.

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cinema · LFF19

Film review: Muscle

 Indie filmmaker Gerard Johnson isn’t content with making simple crime movies. His work to date has blended the genre with other elements, crossing into wider arthouse ideas. With psychological thriller Muscle, he casts his directorial gaze upon gym culture and the toxic masculinity that can come with it. The plot follows Simon (Cavan Clerkin), a schlubby call-centre worker stuck in a rut. In an attempt to better himself, he joins the local gym where he meets Terry (Craig Fairbrass), an intimidating personal trainer who offers Simon a helping hand. They strike up an unlikely friendship, but it soon becomes apparent that all is not what it seems.

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cinema · LFF19

Film review: Marriage Story

 Indie filmmaker Noah Baumbach explores love within the confines of separation with divorce drama Marriage Story. The plot follows actress Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) and her theatre director husband Charlie (Adam Driver) as their relationship is falling apart. With their young son to consider, they want an amicable break-up, but once lawyers get involved, the situation becomes messy and emotionally charged.

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