I probably shouldn’t start the year by thinking about the things I didn’t manage to do in 2022, but logging on to this blog makes it impossible for me to ignore that the film reviews I’d hoped to write never quite materialised. Never mind — the time that could have been spent on updating this site was instead devoted to making progress with the novel. … Continue reading Best Films Of 2022
And so another year comes to an end, this time with a bin full of (mercifully, negative) lateral flow tests. Despite a few difficulties along the way, the film review project survived intact: if we count this post, then every single movie I watched, either at home or at the cinema (when they re-opened) has been written about in some way on this blog.
Continue reading “Best Films Of 2021 and Screen Time December 2021”
Here’s one way to sum up November’s cinematic delights: four films about fascinating, real women, and two films about equally fascinating, fictional women. Tellingly, the latter were far more interesting than the former, with one important exception, as I’ll describe in a moment.
Continue reading “House Of Gucci, Spencer, Respect and others – Screen Time November 2021”
Not the cheeriest of months… well, as long as we don’t count the Paw Patrol movie. Although I am partial to kids’ fare (which, in my view, requires extraordinary skill to pull off well), I must point out that this particular cinematic offering was enforced viewing as part of a childcare stint. But rules is rules, so it must be recorded on these pages. Mind you, it was a more-than-passable time filler, with plenty of vivid, screen-popping visuals to entertain my young companion. It didn’t move me to explore the eponymous pooches’ TV output, although I was pleased to have the opportunity to discover what’s fed to little ones on the small screen these days. But more than anything else, I was intrigued by the curious accent choices of the characters: many spoke with identifiably British voices, but while using American vocab and construction. Some bizarre form of cultural imperialism in action?
Continue reading “Dune, The Silence Of The Lambs, County Lines and others – Screen Time October 2021”
If September’s film viewing was bound together by an overarching theme, it was the idea of integrity. In Annette – Leos Carax’s memorably surreal musical – the main characters grappled with their attempts to remain true to their artistic lives – and their splintering selves – while singing their way through some deceptively banal songs. (Do banalities always achieve profundity if they’re repeated often enough?) Adam Driver was superb here, presenting an image of destructive masculinity that spanned the full range from barely-moving subtlety to limb-flinging ostentatiousness.
Continue reading “Annette, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and A Clockwork Orange – Screen Time September 2021”
Things must be going back to normal if there were only three cinema outings for me in July (and none in August, incidentally). I pray this resumption of regular routines isn’t a short-lived reprieve and that we don’t return to the world of restrictions in the autumn. But no point worrying about that at the moment.
Continue reading “Another Round, Supernova and Summer Of Soul – Screen Time July (and August) 2021”
Strong central performances were the most notable feature of June’s best films. But first let’s get the exception out of the way. Peter Rabbit 2 (Will Gluck) is the very worst sort of children’s film: cynical, unfocussed and completely uninspired. It has no clue who its audience is, and very little interest in attempting to find out. The 2 year old and 3 year old … Continue reading The Father, After Love, A Quiet Place Part II and others – Screen Time June 2021
May 2021 will forever be remembered as the month when cinemas re-opened. So perhaps it was fitting that the first post-lockdown release I enjoyed on the big screen was Nomadland, Chloe Zhao’s much-lauded meander through the unsettled lives of the USA’s itinerant ‘community’, as seen through Frances McDormand’s complex, loveable central character. All films should be watched within the magical space of a picture house, but this is particularly true when it comes to movies such as Nomadland, which convey so much of their power through long shots lingering on gaspingly open spaces. Whether this very curious, idiosyncratic take on modern Americana will stand the test of time remains to be seen, but it was certainly a moving way in which to resume what will hopefully be a permanent return to one of my favourite places in the world.
Continue reading “Nomadland, Mogul Mowgli, Akira and others – Screen Time May 2021”
How to be good? This was the question that seemed to tie together most, if not all, of April’s film viewing. From the sun-saturated capers of Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief (great fun, but certainly one of the master’s less memorable efforts) to the pulse-quickening horrors of Bryan Fogel’s The Dissident (an important piece of work, to be sure, but why do such documentaries have … Continue reading The Mauritanian, Promising Young Woman, Sound Of Metal and others – Screen Time April 2021
Through no conscious planning, March turned out to be a time for extraordinary women, at least as far as film-viewing was concerned. The month’s first movie – Pieces Of A Woman (dir. Kornel Mundruczo) – certainly didn’t shy away from placing the female experience at the centre of its focus, but it was a tediously unconvincing affair, with one of the most laughable childbirth sequences of recent years. The female with whom I watched it doubted whether anyone involved in the production had ever stepped inside a delivery room.
Continue reading “Tina, Ammonite, Midnight Cowboy and others – Screen Time March 2021”