With a largely non-professional cast and an improvised script, high school drama Rocks is a daring, some might say risky, third feature from director Sarah Gavron. The London-based plot centres around Shola (Bukky Bakray), a fun-loving teenager whose nickname gives the film its title. On what first appears to be like any other school morning, she wakes up to discover that her mother has absconded, leaving behind only a letter of apology and some cash in an envelope. Fending for herself and her little brother Emmanuel (D’angelou Osei Kissiedu), she is forced to grow up fast and puts on a brave face whilst trying to make ends meet and avoid unwanted attention from the local authorities.
In this strange and uncertain time of Coronavirus-induced isolation, we search for answers, toilet roll, and new things to watch on Netflix. I am here to help distract you from the sickness fears, hand-picking some of the best hidden gems Netflix (UK version) has to offer. Don’t worry, I washed my hands first.Continue reading “Top 10 Netflix Gems You Might Not Have Seen…Volume 3: Coronavirus Special”
Glanbeigh is a fictional small-town on the west coast of Ireland which serves as the bleak yet breath-taking backdrop for a series of short stories called Young Skins by author Colin Barrett. Crime novella Calm With Horses is the bruising centrepiece of the collection and has been adapted for the screen by newcomer director Nick Rowland and screenwriter Joseph Murtagh. The plot centres around ex-boxer turned muscle Douglas ‘Arm’ Armstrong (Cosmo Jarvis) who does the dirty work of Dympna (Barry Keoghan) for the drug-pedalling Devers family. When he discovers that his ex-girlfriend Ursula (Niamh Algar) is moving to Cork with their young son Jack, he is forced to confront his conflicting loyalties head on.Continue reading “Film review: Calm With Horses”
It’s been a decade since Welsh actor Craig Roberts’ breakthrough performance in Richard Ayoade’s critically acclaimed indie film Submarine. Sally Hawkins played the part of his mother back then, and now she takes up the leading role in comedy drama Eternal Beauty, his second feature as writer and director. The plot centres around Jane (Hawkins) who suffered a psychological breakdown years earlier after being jilted at the altar. Diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, we see how she interacts with her sisters Nicola (Billie Piper) and Alice (Alice Lowe), her mother Vivian (Penelope Witton) and her madcap love interest Mike (David Thewlis) who has mental health issues of his own.
Much beloved actor Billy Crystal is best known for his delightful performances in classic romantic comedies, but he started out his career as a stand-up comedian. He makes a return to this area in Matt Ratner’s directorial debut Standing Up, Falling Down. The plot centres around down-on-his-luck jokesmith Scott (Ben Schwartz) who, after an unsuccessful stint attempting to ‘make it’ in on the LA circuit, moves back in with his parents in his hometown. At a local bar, he bumps into his dermatologist Marty (Crystal) who appears to have a drinking problem, and the pair strike up an unlikely friendship.Continue reading “Film review: Standing Up, Falling Down”
Still working at the age of 89, legendary actor turned director Clint Eastwood’s latest piece is Richard Jewell, a true crime drama that revisits one of his recurring themes; the American hero. Set during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, the plot centres around the bomb attack on Centennial Park. Whilst working as a security guard at the event, do-gooder Richard (Paul Walter Hauser) spots the suspicious package and alerts the authorities, saving hundreds of lives from the explosion. After the tragedy, sleazy FBI agent Tom Shaw (Jon Hamm) fronts the investigation into finding the perpetrator and ruthless reporter Kathy Scruggs (Olivia Wilde) will stop at nothing for a front-page exclusive. When the finger of blame starts to turn towards Richard, he calls upon his lawyer friend Watson Bryant (Sam Rockwell) to clear his name.Continue reading “Film review: Richard Jewell”
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”