Actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje turns his hand to writing and directing for his feature debut Farming, a coming-of-age drama based on his own turbulent upbringing. Born to Yorùbá parents in Nigeria in the late 1960s, Enitan (Damson Idris) was fostered, or ‘farmed’ as it was referred to, by working-class mother Ingrid (Kate Beckinsale) and her husband Jack (Lee Ross) in Tilbury, England. After a difficult childhood, Eni lashes out in his teenage years and becomes embroiled in brutal gang culture.
A decade on from her feature debut, writer and director Nicole Palo revisits the topic of suicide in her faux romantic comedy flick Emma Peeters. The eponymous Emma (Monia Chokri) is a struggling actress living in Paris, making ends meet in retail while she pursues her lifelong dream to be a star. After being knocked back at yet another audition, she decides that enough is enough and that she will kill herself on her upcoming 35th birthday. Whilst making the necessary arrangements, she meets oddball funeral director Alex (Fabrice Adde) who offers to assist her in her suicidal mission.Continue reading “Film review: Emma Peeters”
Robert Budreau’s thriller has travelled the film festival circuit with the title Stockholm since its Tribeca debut last year but arrives in the UK under new guise The Captor. Loosely based on an article from The New Yorker in 1974 by Daniel Lang, it’s the retelling of the bank heist that caused the media to coin the phrase ‘Stockholm Syndrome’; the feelings of trust or affection in cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim towards a captor. Ethan Hawke stars as said captor Kaj Hansson who attempts an armed robbery, with Noomi Rapace taking the part of the victim Bianca Lind.Continue reading “Film review: The Captor”
Writer director Ninian Doff carries forward his filmmaking flair from music videos into his feature debut Boyz in the Wood, a coming-of-age comedy set in the Scottish Highlands. The story follows four teenagers as they embark on an orienteering trip, competing for the coveted Duke of Edinburgh award. Misfits miscreants Dean (Rian Gordon), Duncan (Lewis Gribben), and DJ Beatroot (Viraj Juneja) are joined by do-gooder Ian (Samuel Bottomley) for the great adventure, but they soon run into trouble when they lose their map and encounter some eccentric, unwelcoming locals.Continue reading “Film review: Boyz in the Wood”
Filmmakers Ewa Banaszkiewicz and Mateusz Dymek come together to write and direct indie drama My Friend the Polish Girl. A film about a film, the narrative is told from the point-of-view of American documentarian Katie (Emma Friedman-Cohen) who focuses her lens on aspiring Polish actress Alicja (Aneta Piotrowska) for her latest work. Intended as a study of an immigrant living in a post-Brexit-vote Britain, the project soon takes a dark turn.Continue reading “Film review: My Friend the Polish Girl”
Olivia Wilde enjoyed her breakthrough acting role in The OC back in 2004 and returns to the teen scene with Booksmart, her first film behind the camera. The plot centres around nerdy BFFs Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) on the cusp of high school graduation. Feeling as though it’s been all work and no play in their 12thgrade, they decide to attend the biggest party in the neighbourhood to see off their senior year in style.
The director and actor pairing of Dexter Fletcher and Taron Egerton soared on the slopes for their Eddie the Eagle underdog story back in 2015, and now they’ve reunited to reach for the stars in Elton John biopic Rocketman. After a troubled working-class upbringing, we see Reginald Dwight (Egerton) come of age when he meets songwriter Bernie (Jamie Bell) and they start making music together. When the duo head to Los Angeles to crack America, Elton’s head is turned by hotshot producer John Reid (Richard Madden), and his rock and roll lifestyle soon spirals out of control.