Awards Season, Featured, Reviews / 27.11.2020

Fresh off an Oscar win in 2018 for If Beale Street Could Talk and her recent Emmy win for Watchmen, the legend that is Regina King wraps up 2020 by proving there's seemingly nothing she can't do. Taking a seat behind the camera for her auspicious feature directorial debut, One Night in Miami, King delivers a remarkable piece of cinema that's equal parts enlightening and entertaining. And, just quietly, it's one of the finest films you'll see all year. Crafted with an assured confidence well beyond her directorial experience...

Awards Season, Featured, Reviews / 20.11.2020

In the six long years since his last feature film, Gone Girl, modern-day auteur filmmaker David Fincher has been more intently focusing on the medium of television than the big screen. Fincher helped produce and direct Netflix's masterful serial killer drama Mindhunter (which is now infuriatingly on indefinite hiatus) and dabbled in animation with Deadpool director Tim Miller on the cyberpunk anthology series Love Death + Robots. In an ironic twist of fate, it's highly likely his latest film will be seen by more people on a television...

Awards Season, Reviews / 18.11.2020

It's been nine years of painful waiting for writer/director Sean Durkin to deliver his sophomore effort. The wait was well worth it. After dazzling with his chilling psychological drama Martha Marcy May Marlene (which introduced the world to the other Olsen sister, Elizabeth), Durkin finally returns with a mesmerising slow-burn portrait of a marriage and a family on the verge of complete collapse. Blending elegance and ugliness in captivating fashion, The Nest feels almost like a bloodless Gothic horror movie playing in slow motion, particularly with the bulk of...

Awards Season, Reviews / 16.11.2020

From Woodward and Bernstein exposing the Watergate scandal in All the President's Men to The Boston Globe's damning investigation into systemic child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Spotlight, narrative cinema loves to adapt a true story centred on investigative journalism any chance it gets. While these films give audiences an intimate look at the exhaustive work undertaken by journalists to uncover a headline-grabbing story, they can't hold a candle to the raw power of a documentary seeking to do the same. Such is the case with Alexander...

Awards Season, Reviews / 14.11.2020

In recent years, the term "Oscar-bait" has become a dirty word amongst awards season pundits. And for good reason. Around this time each year, we're served up several pieces of cinema brazenly designed to attract the gaze of Academy voters. As the unprecedented Best Picture victory of an anti-Oscar-bait film like Parasite proved, the Academy isn't quite what it used to be. However, this is still the Academy who fawned over Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody just one year earlier, so it's anyone's guess how they'll respond to this...

Awards Season, Reviews / 12.11.2020

The animated genre has been dominated by the work of Pixar and Disney for years now. All you have to do is look at the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature where these two juggernaut studios have only lost this award five times in 18 years. For just over a decade, independent Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon has quietly delivered three spectacular 2D traditional animated treasures that have each deservedly received a nomination by the Academy. With their latest offering, they just might finally snatch that elusive Oscar...

Awards Season, Reviews / 30.10.2020

After 10 long years, the radiant legend that is Sophia Loren is finally back on our screens. At the age of 86, Loren ably proves time hasn't diminished her star quality one bit, as she effortlessly delivers one of the year's best leading female performances. Directed and co-written (with Ugo Chiti) by her son, Edoardo Ponti, the captivating The Life Ahead stands as the perfect vehicle for Loren's long-awaited return. As a fiercely independent woman with a heart of absolute gold, Loren dazzles like only she can, reminding...

Awards Season, Reviews / 29.10.2020

When an esteemed actor's five-decade-long career includes one Academy Award from five nominations, three BAFTA Awards from eight nominations, and two Emmys from five nominations, you hardly expect to see them deliver their finest performance in the twilight of their career. But Anthony Hopkins' astonishing performance in The Father may just be the greatest he's ever delivered, and that's truly saying something. Is the race for Best Actor over before it's even really begun? Together with a typically magnificent turn from Olivia Colman, Hopkins delivers a career-defining performance that...

Awards Season, Reviews / 23.10.2020

Children's films occasionally have a knack for delivering nightmare-inducing scenes that haunt you for a lifetime. The boat ride in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The "Pink Elephants on Parade" musical number in Dumbo. The flying monkeys of The Wizard of Oz. But the one that has always stuck with this film critic is the traumatising moment in 1990's The Witches when Anjelica Huston's Grand High Witch literally peels back her face to reveal the horrifying demon lurking underneath. It's an iconic sequence that likely had parents...

Awards Season, Reviews / 22.10.2020

Just when you thought you'd seen the last of everyone's favourite mankini-clad Kazakhstani reporter with a penchant for causing all sorts of chaos, Sacha Baron Cohen resurrects his iconic Golden Globe-winning role from the hinterland of the pop culture zeitgeist to remind us all why we fell in love with Borat Sagdiyev. Filmed in total secrecy over the last few months, Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm* has genuinely dropped from nowhere at just the right time. Not only is the entire world in dire need of a good chuckle (which this...