• She Said

    She Said

    ★★★★½

    Mulligan and Kazan play the truth seekers and tellers who give a voice to the wronged and silenced under Weinstein’s tyranny and reprehensible conduct. Films about investigate journalism are my jam and this one is gripping from the outset. As somebody that studied journalism at university, seeing a story like this is what the profession is actually about rather than the exposés, gotcha journalism, and tabloid fodder. I honestly could not care for who’s engaging in a scandalous affair, who…

  • The People We Hate at the Wedding

    The People We Hate at the Wedding

    ★½

    I should’ve realised that the moment the American side of this family touched down into Stansted Airport 🙄 (because…WHY WOULD YOU!?!), this film was immediately doomed.

    What opens with some cutting remarks and the dread of forced family get-togethers, ultimately becomes London through the lens of a lazy location scout and the broad/basic (Paddington even gets a mention!). The film is surface-level Britishness and features painfully unfunny peeing on a person’s shoes, a joke about Bottoms, and a music supervisor…

  • Disenchanted

    Disenchanted

    ★★

    The original Enchanted stunned so splendidly because of its fantasy vs reality setup, the story’s self-reflexivity (including some Disney lampooning), and Adams’ adorable performance of a naïve and optimistic fish-out-of-water - much like Elf and Coming to America…immediately appealing stories. The music was instantly memorable also: That’s How You Know, So Close, and Ever Ever After are all simply brilliant. 

    And yet, the follow-up’s spell wavers way too much, with an unimaginative story, underused characters, and baffling direction. Disenchanted doesn’t…

  • Armageddon Time

    Armageddon Time

    ★★★½

    A tale of childhood mischief, social division, and a Jewish family simply trying to muddle their way through this. Armageddon Time is an affecting piece with stunningly attentive performances from Hathaway and Strong. Gray has written a self-reflective, understated, and nuanced story of race and class in early 80s New York. I loved all the period fashion in this too. 

    The film serves as a thoughtful lesson in acknowledging just how good you have something, until it is gone (and…

  • Aisha

    Aisha

    ★★★★

    This absorbing, bleak, and thought-provoking drama doesn’t shy away from the struggles faced by those seeking asylum and the cruel system operated by prejudicial figures who fail them. There’s an authenticity to the living conditions of the detention centres and lack of compassion by the staff. 

    Although at the heart of Aisha are two empathetically written characters for Letitia Wright and Josh O’Connor. There’s a tender and compelling connection between the two and I found their performances to be filled…

  • Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

    Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

    ★★★½

    As much as this is your textbook senior citizen Sunday matinee showing, Mrs Harris Goes to Paris is a gentle, enchanting, and exquisite excursion to the delectable House of Dior. Ultimately, this is nice and inoffensive, and for somebody like me who groans at the thought of “old peoples’ movies” (I worked at a cinema, a lot of them were grumps and they came in in their droves), this one has much warmth and welcoming accessibility.

    Manville is immensely endearing…

  • Them That Follow

    Them That Follow

    ★★

    The religious rite of dangling rattlesnakes around the necks of churchgoers (for purification purposes) is definitely the USP explored in Them That Follow. This Appalachian-set thriller about a church’s serpent-cleansing rituals appealed purely on a level of my interest in obscure cults. In addition, the worshippers’ stance on refusing medical treatment in such an instance when a snake decides not to play nice, is fascinating (and unsettling) on a psychological level.

    However, it’s a shame then that Them That Follow…

  • Take This Waltz

    Take This Waltz

    ★★★½

    A tale of temptation, deliberation, and the mundanity of marriage. Take This Waltz dances around the notion of being too comfortable in a relationship and the desire to invigorate one’s life through an alluring new flame. 

    The three leads are all really good (I found myself strangely taken by Luke Kirby), although I was especially surprised by just how restrained Rogen was (minus his signature irritating laugh). The film is lengthy and slow, but writer-director Sarah Polley injects some poignant…

  • The Stepford Wives

    The Stepford Wives

    ★★

    Meltdowns, malfunctioning marriages, and made-up spouses. The Stepford Wives offers high-tech solutions to spouses who struggle to get in line. Conceptually, there’s something wicked at play here in the way that women are “fixed” by their husbands. In principle, the idea is good. However, what should’ve been presented as eerie and sinister, is instead framed as overly camp and fairy tale-esque. That early 2000s quality doesn’t help matters either. 

    Several moments in The Stepford Wives are laughable, especially in the…

  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

    Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

    ★★★½

    Coogler’s cathartic sequel reignites the spirit of Wakanda, forging a healing path for its people, and instilling hope by empowering a new warrior to take on the BP mantle. Wakanda Forever’s strengths are in its meditation on loss, legacy, and unification. Wright turns in commendable work here, but it’s the immense talent of Bassett that is especially shattering. She commands a crowd in pretty much everything.  

    Wakanda Forever continues its world-building, the locations are appealingly tropical, and I was…

  • Basic Instinct

    Basic Instinct

    ★★★½

    A gloriously nuts psychosexual thriller about a seductive and manipulative writer who is obsessed with unlikely killer subjects and whose art both imitates life as well as influences it. Stone’s fascinating yet cunning character makes Basic Instinct an entertaining (and trashy) watch. The plot does get a bit too tied up (in the case of bedroom antics, sometimes literally) with numerous characters/suspects and the twistiness of the storytelling does become exhausting. Goldsmith’s score punctuates the scandalous drama and I enjoyed…

  • Paper Moon

    Paper Moon

    ★★★★

    A Depression-era con caper with adult-child squabbling, quick-cash swindling, and bible-sale scheming. Paper Moon’s pretend father-daughter pairing is utterly joyous and a mischievously entertaining partnership to watch. The chemistry between Ryan and Tatum O’Neal is tremendous (their door-to-door bible-selling scenes are so good) and the outbursts between them are a genuine highlight. Tatum O’Neal’s cheeky nine year-old giving some attitude (with cigarette in hand) and regularly acting out especially made me laugh. Paper Moon has a lot of Southern charm,…