Le Mans ’66, The White Tiger, Assassins and others – Screen Time January 2021

Seven films in one month is quite a poor achievement for me, and as I type these words, I’m trying to work out why I didn’t treat myself to more in-house cinematic outings. But the reasons aren’t forthcoming. Was it all to do with the extra-grey, Covid-enhanced January malaise by which so many of us seemed to be dragged down? Or was I just a bit too busy with writing commitments? I feel certain that, had we been in the ‘normal world’ (what does that even mean any more?) I would have managed to go to the cinema on more than seven occasions, but in the all-pervading spirit of counting our blessings, I suppose I ought to declare that seven is better than none.

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Best Films Of 2020

Surprise, surprise, my attempts to keep this blog updated with regular posts in 2020 failed. Mind you, I can’t take all the blame this time. A certain microscopic nasty caused what we might call ‘some disruption’ to all our lives last year, and although I had (and continue to have) a great deal to say about the situation, much of it was probably best kept to myself. Or, to be more precise: best relegated to the fiction-forming part of my brain, ready to emerge years from now in a short story or novel.

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My Favourite Films Of 2019 + The End Of The Reviews

The year ends, and so does my little film review project. It started with a pope so perhaps it’s appropriate that it finished with two. Many thanks to those of you who took the time to read these little scribblings. Below I’ve put together a list of my favourite movies of the year. As I watched 71 in total (the lowest number for the last … Continue reading My Favourite Films Of 2019 + The End Of The Reviews

2019 Film Reviews – 71: The Two Popes [dir. Fernando Mereilles; 2019]

If theatre is better at exploring ideas than film is, perhaps that’s why The Two Popes feels as though it would have been slightly more comfortable at The National. Or maybe it’s because it consists of little more than conversations between Pope Benedict and the soon-to-be Pope Francis as they wrestle with their differing views on the role of the Catholic Church. But it would … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 71: The Two Popes [dir. Fernando Mereilles; 2019]

2019 Film Reviews – 70: Little Women [dir. Greta Gerwig; 2019]

Towards the end of this latest, mildly indie-flavoured adaptation of Little Women, Amy berates Jo for always pointing out the former’s flaws rather than appreciating her strengths. With that in mind, I ought to state that Gerwig’s take on the 19th century classic is handsomely-staged, warmly played and mostly engaging — there’s a generous, affectionate Ang Lee-esque, Sense & Sensibility glow over all the characters … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 70: Little Women [dir. Greta Gerwig; 2019]

2019 Film Reviews – 69: Atlantics [dir. Mati Diop; 2019]

It is a stain on our collective conscience that there is still a need for us to tell stories about the current migrant crisis. So large is the problem that it has almost become the stuff of ‘news wallpaper’. So perhaps Mati Diop intended to jolt us out of complacency with her decision to approach the issue in an unusual way: by examining it through … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 69: Atlantics [dir. Mati Diop; 2019]

2019 Film Reviews – 68: Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker [dir. J J Abrams; 2019]

No-one reading a review of the new Star Wars film actually needs any help deciding whether they want to watch it. They’ll leap towards it or avoid it regardless of what anyone else says. For what it’s worth, I found its conclusion of the saga – which sees Rey and Kylo Ren circling ever closer to each other while dealing with the growing power of … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 68: Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker [dir. J J Abrams; 2019]

2019 Film Reviews – 67: Spider-Man: Far From Home [dir. Jon Watts; 2019]

I must have a very perverse take on super-hero films: I didn’t think Dark Phoenix was anywhere near as awful as most people seemed to, and I wasn’t sent into ecstasies by Avengers: Endgame. So perhaps it was inevitable that I’d find myself giving Far From Home a friendly thumbs up. Yes, its high school comedy tone is frothy, but at least it never takes … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 67: Spider-Man: Far From Home [dir. Jon Watts; 2019]

2019 Film Reviews – 66: Marriage Story [dir. Noah Baumbach; 2019]

There’s no doubt that much of Marriage Story is touching and memorable. As it crosses over from America’s east coast to its west, this story of a couple handling the realities of a break-up – and its effects on their child – impresses with its honesty and its refusal to descend into mawkishness. But I’d suggest that its one-sidedness is a serious and fundamental flaw. … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 66: Marriage Story [dir. Noah Baumbach; 2019]

2019 Film Reviews – 65: Tell Me Who I Am [dir. Ed Perkins; 2019]

In 1982, Marcus Lewis was injured in a horrific accident. When he emerged from a coma, he could recognise no-one but his twin brother. All other memories of his life prior to the accident had vanished. He was effectively a blank slate, with no knowledge of his parents or his childhood. His twin took it upon himself to ‘reeducate’ Marcus, giving him a crash course … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 65: Tell Me Who I Am [dir. Ed Perkins; 2019]