Film, Drama

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Interview: Bill Forsyth, director of Gregory's Girl, Local Hero and That Sinking Feeling

24 Apr 2014

The acclaimed Scottish director discusses the guerrilla tactics that formed his career

‘Youth required for film production company,’ was the advert which would shape the course of the young Bill Forsyth’s life. In his final year of school and feeling decidedly unmotivated about the world of work awaiting him in post-war Glasgow, the…

Interview: Juno Temple, star of Killer Joe, Maleficent The Dark Knight Rises

24 Apr 2014

The daughter of Julien Temple also stars in psychedelic drama Magic Magic alongside Michael Cera

Getting work certainly doesn't seem to be a problem for Juno Temple. At 24, the pixie-like daughter of filmmaker Julien Temple and producer Amanda Pirie, has already been involved in around 30 movies, ranging from independent projects including Kaboom…

Noah

1 Apr 20143 stars

Darren Aronofsky's blockbuster bible-story is compellingly weird & occasionally wonderful to behold

2014 box-office hit Son of God was a straight-faced version of the Jesus story that Christian audiences lapped up, but letting a maverick like Darren Aronofsky loose on the story of Noah was always likely to create a controversy of biblical proportions.

My Name is Hmmm... (Je m'appelle hmmm...)

3 Mar 20144 stars

Artist Douglas Gordon stars in the first feature from French designer Agnès Troublé

When anyone asks what she does for a living, Agnès Troublé calls herself 'a stylist', or to be more specific, 'a perfectionist'. Troublé is much better known to the world as agnès b.; a well-respected Parisian clothes designer (she can't stand the word…

Tom at the Farm

9 Apr 20144 stars

Xavier Dolan's fourth feature is insightful, intriguing & darkly lovely, if a little self-important

Filmmaker Xavier Dolan errs a little on the self-important side here, but so might you if you were only in your early twenties, on your fourth feature film as a writer / director (adapting, in this case, from a stage play by Dolan's fellow…

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Ida

28 Feb 20143 stars

Austere drama with striking cinematography set in 1960s Poland

Writer/director Pawel Pawlikowski's career has fizzled somewhat since 2004's My Summer Of Love, with his much anticipated adaptation of DBC Pierre's Vernon God Little now handed over to Werner Herzog. Ida takes Pawlikowski back to his native Poland for…

Divergent

31 Mar 20142 stars

Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet star in this derivative adaptation of Veronica Roth’s YA series

It’s always disappointing when a film that places so much emphasis on the need to be free-thinking and different from the masses conforms so rigidly to other movies. Yet Divergent, the latest adaptation of a young adult book series hoping to become the…

Before the Winter Chill

28 Feb 20142 stars

Discordant drama/thriller from Philippe Claudel, Starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Daniel Auteuil

Writer/director Philippe Claudel enjoyed a successful collaboration with Kristin Scott Thomas in I've Loved You So Long, and they re-team for this domestic drama, in which a family crisis is somewhat awkwardly meshed with thriller elements. In an…

The Robber

18 Mar 20144 stars

Benjamin Heisenberg's minimalist crime thriller is a thought-provoking piece of work

Filmhouse’s distribution arm continues to snap up what the UK’s mainstream film companies have left on the shelf, with a long overdue release for this Austrian thriller. Is thriller the right word? Certainly the material – based on a true story, via a…

The Double

13 Mar 20143 stars

Richard Ayoade undermines some solid performances with airless retro-stylings

After rising to fame through The IT Crowd, Richard Ayoade made an accomplished directorial debut with coming-of-age saga Submarine. Taking on the work of Fyodor Dostoyevsky for his next project suggests a welcome ambition, but despite a good central…

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A brief guide to the many guests at The Grand Budapest Hotel

4 Mar 2014

Wes Anderson's latest stars Ralph Fiennes, Billy Murray, Jason Schwartzman and more

Wes Anderson's latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is 'perfectly realised caper' set in a continental hotel between the wars (at least, that's what our reviewer thought). The hotel setting provides Anderson with an ideal venue for showcasing the…

The Lunchbox

3 Mar 20144 stars

Delightful Mumbai-set drama about an unlikely relationship

This warm and funny Indian film takes a set-up worthy of the great romantic comedies of Hollywood's golden era and develops it into a touching story of connection, with echoes of Lost in Translation in its tone and characterisation. In bustling…

Half of a Yellow Sun

9 Apr 20142 stars

The adaptation Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel is beautiful and well-acted but lacks depth

This adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s prize-winning novel comes unstuck in the same way as many literary adaptations before it, feeling too often like a story that is just skimming the surfaces of its characters and plot-lines, never digging…

The Past

13 Mar 20144 stars

A quietly gripping domestic drama from Asghar Farhadi, director of A Separation

With this quietly gripping domestic drama, Asghar Farhadi once again demonstrates his ability to turn keen human insight into powerfully compelling cinema. As with previous film A Separation, the Iranian writer/director uses the dissolution of a…

Suzanne

10 Mar 20143 stars

Katell Quillevere's French drama lacks the intimacy its title suggests

We first meet Suzanne as a bubbly child, living with her father and younger sister in a motherless but loving blue-collar household. A rebellious adolescence brings problems, however, and Suzanne's life quickly spins off the rails, to the perpetual…

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The Congress

27 Feb 20143 stars

Psychedelic animation/live action hybrid from Waltz with Bashir director Ari Folman

Robin Wright hasn't had a good part in 15 years. Her entire career has been blighted by poor choices – in relationships as well as roles. At this point in time, it'd be better for her if she bowed out of showbusiness entirely. This is the rather…

Interview: Jack Thorne, BAFTA-winning writer of A Long Way Down

19 Mar 2014

The screen writer talks Travolta, taps and extra-terrestrials

First record you ever bought Jive Bunny’s ‘Swing the Mood’. Yes, I know. Last extravagant purchase you made I just bought a house with my wife Rach and we’re currently doing it up. And it turns out taps are really expensive. So, taps. First…

Interview: Ted Kotcheff, director of uncompromising Aussie drama Wake in Fright

21 Mar 2014

The claustrophobic drama is experiencing a resurgence after almost 40 years in obscurity

Wake in Fright is a powerful film. Gary Bond plays John Grant, a teacher who gets trapped in 'The Yabba', a rough mining town in the middle of the Australian outback, where he gets dragged into a world of drinking, gambling and violence. 'It's an…

Russell Crowe: the Noah story 'predates religion... it's more of a shared human experience'

31 Mar 2014

The A-list actor shares his opinion on the historical accuracy of Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic

Biblical blockbuster Noah made its UK debut at a handful of ‘fan screenings’ on Saturday, with star Russell Crowe making a personal appearance. The film, directed by Black Swan helmer Darren Aronofsky, is an adaptation of the story of the great flood…

Profile: Jack O’Connell, rising star of Starred Up

13 Mar 2014

The actor can also be spotted in Skins, '71 and 300: Rise of an Empire

Born 1990, Derby, UK Background O'Connell grew up with ambitions to be a footballer, completing trials with Derby County as a teenager. He later turned to acting, with roles in Doctors and The Bill followed by film work, including This is England…

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WATCH: 'Growth', the new motion poster for Darren Aronofsky's Noah, is a thing of beauty

5 Mar 2014

New gallery and mini-trailer for the ark-based epic, also starring Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins

A new motion poster for Darren Aronofsky's Noah has just debuted and, while 'motion poster' is usually just a euphemism for 'oddly formatted, super-short trailer with no plot details' this one is actually kind of beautiful. It's titled 'Growth', which…

Veronica Mars

13 Mar 20143 stars

There's lots to please Mars devotees in this big screen adaptation of the cult television series

Funded by its fans in a record-breaking outpouring of cash, Veronica Mars is the big-screen outing of Rob Thomas' cult, prematurely axed TV show of the same name, which focused on a teenage private eye. The events of the show's three seasons are…

Back to the Garden

10 Mar 20142 stars

Dull improvised ensemble piece

Anyone with a glancing knowledge of the film industry is aware that in any given year, scores of fine films fail to make it into cinemas, because it's judged that they don't have commercial potential. This happens, particularly in time of recession, not…

Yves Saint Laurent

13 Mar 20144 stars

The ‘official’ biopic of the couturier takes a glossy look at his fascinating, but tragic life

The impeccably styled but tragic life of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent always had ‘screen adaptation’ written all over it. On the surface, there are his glamorous, emancipating designs; the satiny, mannish tailoring and supple styles which helped…

June Squibb can relate to Nebraska

28 Feb 2014

Film gossip

June Squibb's home town helped her relate to the lifestyle portrayed in 'Nebraska'. The 84-year-old actress plays Kate Grant in the Oscar-nominated drama and claims Vandalia, which is located in rural Illinois, has the kinds of people characterised…