Category Archives: Drama

Like Father Like Son

Kore-eda Hirokazu can do no wrong! Enthralled by his two recent films, I Wish(2011) and Shoplifters (2018), I sought out Like Father, Like Son(2013) via my Curzon Home Cinema membership (what a joy that is btw). These three form a triptych of movies with the meaning of family as the central theme.

Finding out your beloved child is not biologically […]

Stan & Ollie

Everyone of a certain age remembers Laurel & Hardy’s famous piano removal scene. It comes in the 1932 hit The Music Boxwhen the comic pair were the toast of Hollywood, and of their producer Hal Roach. This film starts a few years later in 1937 when their star is beginning to wane.

Stan Laurel (an astonishing portrayal […]

Shoplifters

The Japanese government, usually so quick to praise its national successes, was mysteriously silent when director Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Palme D’Or at Cannes in 2018.  Kore-eda specialises in taking a long hard look at Japanese society – I Wish (see the review on this site here) is I think his best film and centres around the effect of […]

An Impossible Love

Love is the subject of many films, but the intriguing question here is, what deems it impossible? 

At the start of the film we see luminously beautiful shy Rachel (Virgine Efira) being seduced by intriguing handsome Philippe (Niels Schneider), an intellectual narcissist who tries to control her from the very start, giving her Nietzsche to read.  Haven’t […]

Colette

I saw this at a BAFTA preview some weeks ago, and I was underwhelmed. So I am surprised to read some of the other reviews claiming this as a ‘glamourous gritty biopic’ and the wide applause for Keira Knightley’s performance in the title role. I guess I am just not a Knightley fan – her […]

Roma

The main theme in Alfonso Cuaròn’s epic Romais that life is shit. Especially if you are a woman. From the title sequence where water is being sloshed over a floor, to the recurring metaphor of piles of dog turds that the maid Cleo has to constantly clear up, the message is clear.

It is 1971 in Mexico and […]

The Favourite

The Favouriteis ‘loosely based’ on history. So what of the film is true I wonder? Was Queen Anne really a lesbian? Did the rivalry between Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough and her cousin Abigail really exist? Before writing this, I realised I knew nothing of Queen Anne, save that she was the daughter of James II, […]

Big Eyes

Tim Burton returns to earth in his latest collaboration with Ed Woodscreenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. After his recent horrors – I didn’t see Frankenweenieas I foundAlice in Wonderlandsimply grotesque (read my review here) – he returns to the subject of a much-misunderstood artist, in this case Margaret Keane.

The film is based on the strange-but-true story of […]

Inherent Vice

In a year when movie-makers were challenged by declining viewing figures and were taking no chances with experimental or risky ventures, Inherent Viceshines out as an exception. Paul Thomas Anderson has faithfully adapted Thomas Pynchon’s novel, which has won him a Best Screenplay Oscar nomination. For a stoner novel to morph into a stoner movie is […]

Whiplash

So I called it right on the Oscars – Eddie Redmayne and Birdman. I hadn’t seen Whiplashbefore the ceremony so had no opinion on J. K. Simmons, who won Best Supporting for his bullying, foul-mouthed music teacher.

For a movie shot in only 19 days, it certainly delivers and some of the big blockbusters could learn from the […]