Directorial indie debuts are packing some real punches in 2017. In the wake of outings from Hope Dickson Leach and William Oldroyd comes Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country, a rural romance of cold winds and warm hearts. Another in a pleasing tide of British features, here is a film of equal profundity and assured cinematography.
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Another tough project from the hard-hitting director of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. Kathryn Bigelow has brought her knack, for capturing the brutally real, closer to home for Detroit and the film’s all the harder to watch for it.
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Were Judi Dench not so frustratingly exceptional in her second turn as the Queen of Britain and Empress of India, Victoria and Abdul might have just about gotten away with being a forgettable cinematic oddity. Unfortunately, for the film, Dench remains here impeachable as ever, effortlessly casting all that around her beneath the dustiest of shadows. Unable to come close to the talent it has secured, Victoria and Abdul is a great disappointment; a film with all of the potential but none of the ambition. It’s fine but that’s all.
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It’s raining, kiddiwinks are singing and expectation is sky high; you could say floating. So far so typical in this second screen adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror It.
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It’s a bleak, cold and accessibly poetic prologue that opens Wind River. A girl is sprinting and staggering for her life across an arctic terrain, with little chance of survival, as verse is dispelled in musical narration. Here is a plot so evil that it is clear screenwriter-director Taylor Sheridan’s Hell in High Water has frozen over.
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‘Here we are again!’ Bellows an, unusually charismatic, Douglas Booth throughout Juan Carlos Medina’s The Limehouse Golem. Booth is playing the real life figure of Dan Leno – a Victorian music hall star, renowned for his drag entertainments – and is one of many players in this, Penny Dreadful-esque, Victorian murder mystery whose delightful performance succeeds in elevating an otherwise fairly predictable film into something really rather smashing. Karl Marx shows up too.
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For filmmakers, an attempt at retiring must echo the plot of His Girl Friday. Try as they might, directors simply can’t escape the attraction of getting behind the camera. First returned Hayao Miyazaki and now Steven Soderbergh is back with Logan Lucky, a fun but bizarrely ill-conceived heist caper from (questionably-real) first-time writer Rebecca Blunt.
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