cinema · GFF21

Film review: Black Bear

A filmmaker suffers from writer’s block in jet-black comedy drama Black Bear, the latest effort from Lawrence Michael Levine. The initial plot sees struggling artist Allison (Aubrey Plaza) head to a rural retreat seeking inspiration for her next feature. She is entertained by expectant couple Gabe (Christopher Abbott) and Blair (Sarah Gadon) who own the lake house and after a few bottles of wine, the evening takes an unexpected turn.

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cinema · GFF21

Film review: Jumbo

Premises don’t come weirder or more wonderful than with the feature debut by writer and director Zoé Wittock. Jumbo is a fantasy drama which follows painfully shy Jeanne (Noémie Merlant) as she returns to her summer job at a local amusement park. Still living with her supportive, if a little overbearing, mother Margarette (Emmanuelle Bercot), she struggles with social interactions, but when a new fairground ride opens at her work, her fascination with attractions develops into something more romantic.

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cinema · GFF21

Film review: Riders of Justice

Having worked together many times before, writer and director Anders Thomas Jensen and actor Mads Mikkelsen come together in collaboration again for revenge comedy Riders of Justice. Disaster strikes on a commuter train in the opening act, leaving maths nerd Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) analysing the algorithms of his lucky escape as troubled soldier Markus (Mikkelsen) returns from war to support his teenage daughter Mathilde (Andrea Heick Gadeberg). When a conspiracy suggests the explosion was caused by a local biker gang known as the Riders of Justice, a violent plan for retribution ensues.

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cinema · GFF21

Film review: Minari

Writer and director Lee Isaac Chung revisits his childhood in semi-autobiographical drama Minari. The narrative follows Korean-American couple Jacob (Steven Yeun) and Monica (Han Ye-ri) and their children Anne (Noel Kate Cho) and David (Alan Kim), who move to rural Arkansas to build a new life on a farm. With a lot to learn about the agricultural business, the challenges they face begin to put financial and emotional strain on their close-knit family.

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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

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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