Wild Rose: She can do anything

Glaswegian Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley) has just got out of prison after a 12 month sentence. Returning home, she’s greeted by her mother Marion (Julie Walters), who has been looking after her two young kids. She takes a job as a cleaner, but all Rose-Lynn really wants is to go to Nashville to be a country singer. When her employer Susannah (Sophie Okonedo) offers to help, it seems that opportunities might be opening up, but also that life might get...

The Week in Movies: February 18th – 24th 2019

Happy Death Day 2 UDir: Christopher LandonIt would take only two words to sum up the concept of the first Happy Death Day: “Groundhog Slay”. Taking the time looping concept of the classic Bill Murray comedy and applying it to a homage to post Scream comedy inflected 90s slashers, the initial entry in this now newly minted franchise was warmly received and a sleeper hit. For me, while it had going for it a versatile and highly entertaining final girl...

The Week in Movies: January 7th – 13th 2019

KinDir: Josh and Jonathan BakerI talk about the way films are marketed, or rather mis-marketed, a lot. Outside the cinemas, UK distribution is awash with films you might never notice have been released. Some you might have heard of, except they got released with new titles. Others, like Kin, have DVD art that makes them look like something completely different. At its heart, Kin is about brothers. 14 year old Eli (Myles Truitt) is adopted, and his older ex-con adoptive...

Film Review: Colette

A long cherished project for director Wash Westmoreland and his late husband and writing partner Richard Glatzer, Colette has been over fifteen years in the planning. It’s a bit disappointing, then, to find that it’s a fairly straightforward telling of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette’s (Keira Knightley) life during her marriage to Henry Gauthier-Villars, known both professionally and socially as Willy (Dominic West). During this time she wrote a series of Claudine novels, based on her own life but which, like the work...

Film Review: Bumblebee

I had the toys when I was growing up, but oddly I don’t have any specific memory of the Transformers TV show, the same goes for the animated film that so many fans hold close to their hearts. That being the case, when I saw Michael Bay’s first live action entry in the film series that Bumblebee forms a prequel to, I wasn’t angry, just bored. I got angry come the second and third films, not only because they were...

Film Review: Nancy

For some years now, I have been a frustrated fan of the British actress Andrea Riseborough. She’s clearly a huge talent, but one who always seemed to turn up and be the best thing in movies that were anything from disaster (Madonna’s misbegotten W/E, in which she shone against all odds) to disappointment (Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy, which underused her, meaning that the film’s revenge narrative never connected with me). Finally, Riseborough has a film that can match her. Nancy is...

The Week in Movies: November 19th – 25th 2018

Just a couple of reviews this week, both from my catch up on 2018 titles. Megan Leavey In this fact based drama, Kate Mara plays Megan Leavey, who, at 20, joins the Marines out of a sense that her life isn’t going anywhere. She ends up training as a dog handler, paired with a bomb clearing dog named Rex. Megan and Rex are injured while clearing a field of mines. In danger and with another dog unit hours away,...

Film Review: I Think We’re Alone Now

Del (Peter Dinklage) is pretty sure he’s the last man on Earth. When we meet him there has been an unspecified catastrophe, in which it seems everyone simply collapsed and died. Del, alone, works his way around his nameless town, going house to house, cleaning up and burying the bodies he finds. One day he sees fireworks going off outside the library he used to work at and now makes his home in. This leads him to meet Grace (Elle...

Film Review: Fantastic Beasts – The Crimes of Grindelwald

The second instalment in J.K. Rowling’s five part Fantastic Beasts story sees director David Yates at the helm once again, in this well acted if ultimately lacklustre sequel to its critically acclaimed 2016 predecessor, which saw a welcome return to the magical Harry Potter universe. Set a year on from its predecessor, The Crimes Of Grindelwald opens in late 20s New York, where evil wizard Grindelwald has been languishing in an American Ministry of Magic prison, awaiting his trial. When he uses his dark arts to escape, Grindelwald makes his way...

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