REVIEW: Yours insincerley.... Melissa McCarthy puts her stamp on the role of author-turned-forger Lee Israel in this love letter to New York. Whatever happened to New York movies? Is it the films that have changed or the place itself? Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a reminder of a genre and a place that seems… Continue reading Can You Ever Forgive Me?
REVIEW: Veep Pies – Christian Bale beefs up his gut but nothing else in this thin political satire that is hitting screens ten years too late . Maybe their job offers got mixed up in the post, because it seems like a real missed opportunity that Christian Bale didn’t pile on the pounds to… Continue reading Vice
REVIEW: The Queen's Nose: The cast are upstaged by their own make-up in this soapy historical melodrama from theatre-director Josie Rourke. The pedants have had a field day picking holes in Mary Queen of Scots, a revisionist take on the famous 16th Century rivalry between British monarchs. With its lavish vistas of dramatic Scottish countryside… Continue reading Mary Queen of Scots
REVIEW: A fine mess – Stan & Ollie struggle to capture the old magic in John S Baird’s gloomy recreation of their early 1950s tour of Britain & Ireland. It seems to be the fate of all dead comedians, if they are remembered at all, to be remembered for their failures. Stan & Ollie is… Continue reading Stan & Ollie
REVIEW: Greek absurdist Yorgos Lanthimos makes a characteristically idiosyncratic push for the mainstream in this bizarre period comedy Compared to Yorgos Lanthimos' dystopian previous films, which include The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, it might seem at first that by swerving into that most genteel of genres, the period comedy, the usually… Continue reading The Favourite
The Sixties sink into the abyss in Scorsese's seminal concert film: It’s a common refrain of the serial gig-goer, particularly among those who were around in the 1960s and 70s: 'you had to be there, maaaaan.’ Although probably nothing could match the experience of having a ticket to the Band’s legendary farewell concert on Thanksgiving… Continue reading The Last Waltz
Bringing the Beats Bus to Brexit Britain: A Northern Soul opens on the faces of a group of primary school kids in Hull. Off-screen we hear their teacher introducing a special guest: a man has come to teach them how to write songs. The kids stare at him wide-eyed, stunned to be in the presence… Continue reading A Northern Soul
The year in review: from A Pure Grade Shot of Old Hollywood to Total. Fucking. Wank. in 34 films. That's at least 4,080 minutes sitting in a darkened auditorium; over £400 in ticket stubs; £200 in popcorn. Here's to another year of wasted Friday afternoons! Top Ten La La Land 5/5 A pure-grade shot… Continue reading JamesChart 2017!
Virgin Scary: A little-acknowledged flaw in the great works of cinema’s professional alienators – your Michael Hanekes, your Lars Von Triers – is that they never make it into the multiplexes; their outré antics are confined to the arthouses. There, they play to audiences who are very much in the business of not being alienated;… Continue reading Mother!
Unsentimental Journey: There is nothing festival critics enjoy more in a film than inscrutability, so it’s no wonder David Lowery’s latest emerged as the darling of this year’s Sundance. Lowery has no lack of credibility; his post-modern western Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and downbeat Disney remake Pete’s Dragon were both offbeat enough to stand out… Continue reading A Ghost Story