My Little Sister

The German title for this film Schwesterlein, with its diminutive form communicating love, is so much more meaningful than the bland My Little Sister. All the more so in the opening sequence with Sven (Lars Eidinger), just recovering from a bone marrow transplant, listening to Brahms’ soppy song ‘Schwesterlein’ through his headphones. Lisa (Nina Hoss), […]

No time To Die

Much has been written about Daniel Craig’s swansong as 007, most of it positive. This review won’t even attempt to outline the plot because, dear reader, it is so complicated and has so many fails, that I couldn’t even begin to explain what the film is about apart from the normal stuff. James Bond […]

I’m Your Man

I’m not usually a sci-fi fan, but to be honest I wasn’t aware that this is a futuristic film – I was swept away by Dan Stevens looking alluring (those eyes!) on the posters. Set in Berlin, Alma (prize-winning Maren Eggert) is a feisty archaeologist desperate to achieve more funding for her work. The quid […]

Falling for Stradivari

We had the privilege of going to a screening of this little masterpiece followed by a Q&A with the film’s director, Gerald Fox,  and the wonderful Antonio Pappano (music director of the ROH) who was Dutch virtuoso violinist’s Janine Jansen’s accompanist and moral support.
Janine’s  musical odyssey is to record pieces on 12 of the world’s […]

The Courier

I love a good spy thriller and The Courier doesn’t disappoint, especially on the big screen (yes, we’re back in the cinema again!). Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a international salesman who comes onto the radar of the CIA, and ultimately MI6, when the former gets intelligence that there’s a senior Soviet official who wishes […]

Night of the Kings

Le Maca is a prison in Cote d’Ivoire, run by its inmates. The prison commander and warders watch them through metal slits in the wall, with the anarchic prison-village being the equivalent of a gigantic cell. King of Le Maca is Blackbeard (Steve Tientcheu, last seen in the magnificent Les Misérables). The tradition is that […]

The Human Voice

 This is Almodóvar’s contribution to lockdown. A short 30-minute film about abandonment, loss, depression and anxiety, all told in a monologue by the immaculate, translucently beautiful and elegant Tilda Swinton. Although the film could have been specially created for her, it is in fact based on a Jean Cocteau play, and was the basis of […]

Martin Eden

This is an adaptation of Jack London’s eponymous autobiographic novel, transported by Italian director/writer Pietro Marcello from California to Naples, although many of the details are kept the same, not least the name of the main character in London’s life retold.

Martin Eden (Luca Marinelli) is an angry young man, with angular and angry features, born into […]

First Cow

This is a western with a difference.  Opening in the present with the gruesome and mysterious discovery of two skeletons buried side by side, we are suddenly transported into the 1820s and a cantankerous beaver-trapping party. Cookie (John Magaro) is failing to do his job and comes across a naked Chinaman King-Lu (Orion Lee) whom he […]

Spring Blossom

How does a 20-year-old girl get to write and direct her own movie (written in fact when she only 15)? I guess it helps if you are Suzanne Lindon and your parents are the French stars Vincent Lindon and Sandrine Kiberlain, but it’s still an extraordinary achievement not only to pull it off but also […]