Moonlight

Three faces, one character

Early on in Barry Jenkins’ poignant, intimate and introspective Moonlight, the line ‘At some point you have to decide who you want to be’ is dropped  – Moonlight focuses on what happens when society doesn’t allow you to do that and the internal dilemma and struggles which follow.

Chiron, a young 1980s Miami school boy, is riddled with confusion, self-doubt and crying out for guidance and support, all of which are sadly lacking from his crack-addict mother (a transformative Naomie Harris). (more…)

Edge of Seventeen

 

Teenage kicks.

What comes to mind when you think of a teen film? Prom, ponytails, clichés and well, John Hughes for starters. It is worth saying upfront that Edge of Seventeen has none of these, but it has what most others don’t – a refreshing combination of relate-ability and authenticity, alongside committed and engaging performances, which makes it worth bunking off school for.

I have always been a fan of teen films. Not because they are relatable, as I don’t think anyone who went to school in South London will find much in common with an onscreen depiction of an American high school, but because they seemed so exciting compared to my school years. (more…)

La La Land

‘I guess I’ll see you in the movies’

Director Damian Chazelle (Whiplash) launches us into La La Land, with ‘Another Day in the Sun,’ a sweeping and epic opening number, set on a gridlocked LA freeway overpass, where the drivers leap out of their vehicles to sing and dance about chasing their dreams. It is big, bold and brass and when it reaches its crescendo, you will need all your self control not to burst into applause.
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Nocturnal Animals

The eyes don’t lie

Nocturnal Animals, the second film from fashion designer Tom Ford, is a stylised yet substantial thriller, in which LA art gallery owner Susan Morrow’s (Amy Adams) world is shattered by the arrival of a dark and violent manuscript written by her ex-husband. It forces her to confront some disturbing and troubling truths.

Many have said that they would pay to see Amy Adams read the telephone directory, and this is perhaps the closest we may ever get to witnessing this. On paper, a film about a character reading a manuscript over a weekend is not entirely cinematic, but Ford takes this premise and through a series of extended flashbacks, coupled with Susan’s visualisation of her ex-husband’s words, brings the story hurtling into life. (more…)

I, Daniel Blake

When you lose your self-respect, you’re done for.

After watching I, Daniel Blake, a friend asked: ‘Did you enjoy it?’ My first thought was, does anyone actually enjoy Ken Loach films, a director who over the past 40 years has tackled some of the grittiest social economic problems of the UK?  My answer though, was yes.

While I, Daniel Blake may at times be a hard watch, it is an important and furious film – fully deserving of Loach’s second Palme d’Or from this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
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