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 – 59: By The Grace Of God [dir. Francois Ozon; 2018]

There is a great deal to admire in François Ozon’s level-headed presentation of a real, recent case which saw the Diocese Of Lyon having to address several instances of historic child abuse. But I suppose one of the main aspects of the film that struck me was the skill with which the director showed disparate, visually distinct stories come together – as the victims drew … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 59: By The Grace Of God [dir. Francois Ozon; 2018]

2019 Film Reviews – 33: Tell No One / Tylko Nie Mów Nikomu [dir. Tomasz Sekielski; 2019]

I struggle to understand why the makers of this film – and of several other modern documentaries – felt the need to dress up what is indisputably a serious, upsetting, far-reaching subject with melodramatic music, portentous drone shots and ‘edgy’ camera placements best left to hokey police procedurals. But that aside, this expose of the Polish church’s attempts to cover up the abuse of children … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 33: Tell No One / Tylko Nie Mów Nikomu [dir. Tomasz Sekielski; 2019]

2019 Film Review – 2: Pope Francis: A Man Of His Word [dir. Wim Wenders; 2018]

One wonders what promises were made by Wim Wenders and his team to persuade the Vatican to grant them access to Pope Francis. Or maybe they were just charmed by what is admittedly a winning smile and a compelling warmth. Whatever happened behind the scenes, Wenders has created an unsubtle, largely interview-led documentary which systematically lists the world’s woes and then presents Francis as the … Continue reading 2019 Film Review – 2: Pope Francis: A Man Of His Word [dir. Wim Wenders; 2018]

Film Review: Brighton Rock [dir. Rowan Joffe; 2010]

I suppose this new adaptation of Graham Greene’s 30s novel deserves some credit for having ambitious intentions. It shifts the action to the early 60s, thereby placing it against the backdrop of the Mods and Rockers conflicts. It features heightened, starkly lit visuals. And it attempts to draw intense performances from its actors. But somehow, the disparate elements never gel. For a start, the pacing is poor. Once the … Continue reading Film Review: Brighton Rock [dir. Rowan Joffe; 2010]