All posts by thefilm.blog

At Eternity’s Gate | Review

★★★★

With more biopics to his name than any other artist in history, one would expect Van Gogh’s cultural currency to have been spent up by now. Not so long in the wake of the gorgeous Loving Vincent, however, At Eternity’s Gate sees director Julian Schnabel prove that there is still mileage in this post-Impressionist tank. Dizzying visuals and a show stopping turn by Willem Dafoe – who was presented an Oscar nomination for the part – are the film’s chief pleasures, whilst its support of one controversial theory about the artist’s life does much to stand it apart.

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Destination Wedding | Review

★★★

Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder together again? Really? Clearly, Victor Levin hasn’t watched their grandiose Dracula, else he’d know this pair of 90s faves can’t muster the slightest crackle of on-screen chemistry. Admittedly, their pairing in sci-fi head-scratcher A Scanner Darkly wasn’t egregious, but assessing the chemistry between drugged-up animated performers is challenging at best.

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Us | Review

★★★★

Would Get Out have turned out to be the Oscar-winning, pop culture sensation it was in 2017 had it not come as a surprise? It’s an intriguing question. Jordan Peele’s sophomore film, Us, hadn’t the luxury of relative anonymity. Whilst it will be remembered well, Get Out levels of success are unlikely. Critically speaking, Us is a solid early entry in Peele’s promising career, boasting stellar visuals and a tremendous leading turn by Lupita Nyong’o. If the film doesn’t quite crawl under the skin, it certainly screams out for admiration.

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Fisherman’s Friends | Review

★★★

From the producers of Finding Your Feet, Fisherman’s Friends tells the quirky true life story of a group of Cornish trawlers who found their voices. It’s also the tale of a slick city executive – the sort in need of a strong word and redemptive arc – and of how small town singers became a viral smash. You know the type of film this is. Throw in a handful of well-liked Brit flick stars for bait and it’s a case of hook, line and feel good sinker.

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The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part | Review

★★★★

Perhaps the most surprising critical hit of the past decade, The Lego Movie did the impossible in 2014 by disproving the cynical rule that commercial product movies have to be soulless. Sugary to the extreme, the film launched a yellow brick franchise that in just five years transgressed from novel to tired. To this end, Mike Mitchell’s follow up to the original – The Second Part – has some major ground to regain for the sake of the franchise’s ongoing longevity. Oddly – for what is essentially a rehash – he’s managed a very genuine success.

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Ben is Back | Review

★★★★

In much the same way that Boy Erased curiously paralleled The Miseducation of Cameron Post months later, Ben is Back sees arthouse starlet Lucas Hedges lead a belated companion piece to Felix van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy. Both features concern the strain of parental connection in the face of a crippling drug addiction. Whereas the latter told the tale of father and son, the former offers the perspective of a mother. It’s moving stuff, very well directed and performed with outstanding nuance by a tremendous cast.

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‘I wanted to create a middle-aged, female Rocky’ – Jessica Hynes Interview

Bless Jessica Hynes. Our interview with the star of Spaced, The Royal Family and Twenty Twelve was moved last minute from midday to the end of a long afternoon of media coverage. And, in the nicest way possible, you can tell in her voice that it’s been a long afternoon of media coverage. Despite this, Hynes only grows in animation as we discuss her new film – The Fight – and the Kent town at its beating heart.

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