Nomadland

Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress: Nomadland won all these in the 2021 Oscars. Did it deserve them?
Nomadland’s docu-fiction classification is unique. It tells the story of Fern (Frances McDormand), a widow who has had to leave her life behind when the mine in her home-town in rural Nevada went bust. With no money […]

Sound of Metal

Ruben and Lou are a heavy-metal duo, musically and romantically, and they tour the US in their luxury RV. Their world falls apart when Ruben suddenly goes catastrophically deaf (hardly surprising really as their ‘music’ is cacophonous). Ruben is determined to save their band and relationship by regaining his hearing; Lou, with the help of […]

Promising Young Woman

I admit to being flummoxed as to why this film has been nominated for Best Picture and Carey Mulligan as Best Actress in the 2021 Oscars. And it’s got three more nods in addition…screenplay, film editing and  best director: Emerald Fennell is better known as being Camilla in The Crown and a showrunner in Killing […]

Quo Vadis, Aida

Twenty-five years after the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the largest civilian massacre since the second world war, writer-director Jasmila Žbanić recreates the event with horrifying historical authenticity.
Interpreter Aida – a haunting  performance by Jasna Đuričić – is caught up in the UN’s betrayal of the Bosnian Muslims. Despite so-called assurances from Serb General  Ratko […]

Palm Springs

I don’t really know why I agreed to see this film: one, I don’t like comedies, or romances and, two, this is a time-loop  movie, another genre I find rather irritating. Persuaded by good reviews in the press I give it a go. The action takes place in one never-ending, but frequently beginning, day at […]

Minari

Minari is a Korean vegetable that grows in damp areas, highly-prized for its culinary use in kim chi and other delicacies. It is also the thread of life, linking the old ways with the new,  in this is beautifully understated family saga of a Korean family who abandon chicken-sexing in California for a new […]

Memories of my Father

This time last year we had just returned form Colombia and were particularly fascinated by the transformation of former cartel-capital Medellin, the setting for this heartwarming family memoir with a hard centre of Columbian politics. It is based on the autobiographical novel by  Héctor Abad Faciolince, son of the Colombian professor, doctor, and human-rights campaigner, […]

Ammonite

After all the hype of pitting these two great actresses in starring roles, and as lebsbians, I found this film a bit of a let-down. It is set in Lyme Regis, where I spent a couple of terms at school and worked in a café on the Cobb, so know its every nook and cranny. […]

Simple Passion

Phwoar! This is one erotic film…so caveat emptor. Based on a 61-page autobiographical novella by Annie Ernaux, about the author’s obsession with Mr A, the film brings it to life – it has to be said – at great length. Helene (Laetitia Dosch) is a forty-something divorcee who, in the opening shot, sets the scene […]

Poly Styrene: I am a cliché

This is a heart-breaking yet inspiring  movie made by Celeste Bell about her mother, Poly Styrene. Poly, born Marianne Elliot-Said to a Somali father and white-British mother, had a Damascene conversion to punk at a Sex Pistols concert in Hastings in the sizzling summer of 1975. Aged only 19 and unashamed of her braces, she […]