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If Beale Street Could Talk

This is one of those films where the trailer contains the film’s highlights. When I saw it I thought, ‘Yes please, this looks great – and it’s based on a James Baldwin novel’. And it’s directed by Barry Jenkins who won Best Picture with Moonlight. A lot to live up to.

Stephan James as Fonny and […]

Can You Forgive Me?

I am not a fan of film comedy, but when I saw the slew of Oscar nominations for Can you ever forgive me?, and recalled of Melissa McCarthy’s hilarious performance in Spy, I hastily booked a ticket.

Based on yet another ‘true story’, this time the book Memoirs of a Literary Forgerby Lee Israel, penned after her conviction for […]


It’s amazing what actors will do to win an Oscar. Christian Bale, renowned for his method acting (and good looks), put on 45 lbs to play Dick Cheney; the efforts have resulted in a spot-on resemblance to the real thing, due to the all-over prosthetics and an uncannily creepy performance, but also nominations for both […]

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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, […]