Awards Season, Reviews / 19.12.2019

If the last twenty years and five films have taught us anything about Star Wars fans, it's one blindingly obvious fact; you cannot please them all. Serve up too many elements of the films that came before and you're derided for lazily recycling the past. Stray too far away from the tried and true formula and you're vilified for destroying the franchise. There really is no way to win everyone over, particularly with how sacred many rightly hold the original trilogy. In 2015, co-writer/director J.J Abrams was criticised by...

Awards Season, Reviews / 16.12.2019

Let's be honest. Fox News is probably the worst thing to ever happen to broadcast television. While it's always strayed far from its laughable "Fair and balanced" slogan, in the last three years, it's become little more than a farcical propaganda machine for the orange clown in the White House. It's a miracle the "news" network is even still standing, given the sexual harassment scandal it somehow withstood back in 2016. It's that very saga which provides the juicy fodder for director Jay Roach's bombastic and occasionally compelling Bombshell; a...

Awards Season, Reviews / 11.12.2019

You're likely assuming we did not need another film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's seminal classic Little Women. Many consider Gillian Armstrong's 1994 film to be the definitive screen version of the novel, ruling out the necessity for any further remakes. Enter actress-turned-filmmaker Greta Gerwig, whose unbridled love for Alcott's work is the driving force behind one of the year's most beautiful films and a worthy challenger to the high bar set by Armstrong. A faithful adaptation given new life by a daring storytelling technique and an impeccable ensemble cast,...

Awards Season, Reviews / 10.12.2019

After dozens upon dozens of war films since the dawn of cinema, it seems directors now need to consistently find a new contrivance to land any impact in this genre. Working within a storytelling technique few filmmakers have dared to touch, co-writer/director Sam Mendes offers his war drama 1917 in one seemingly continuous take. It's a gimmick, to be sure, but it's one crafted in such meticulous and flawless fashion, creating one of the technically finest war epics there has ever been. An ambitiously daunting task on a scale...

Awards Season, Reviews / 08.12.2019

You're likely assuming you need to be fairly religious to find any pleasure in a film entitled The Two Popes. Of course, those who trundle off to church every Sunday will likely connect with this film on an entirely different level. However, speaking as someone who hasn't paid any attention to religion since mandatory scripture lessons at the age of seven, it's rather unfathomable that I found such tremendous joy within this surprisingly humorous and giddily enjoyable little gem. With one of the year's finest screenplays and starring two...

Awards Season, Reviews / 25.11.2019

Think back to a time before Disney's 2013 box office colossus Frozen became so insanely overexposed and we all started to become entirely sick of it. With a neverending flow of merchandise, "Let It Go" relentlessly playing everywhere you turned, a big-budget Broadway musical adaptation, and that misguided 21-minute-long "short" film that played before Pixar's Coco, it's no wonder Frozen-mania drove everyone a little nuts. With the all-consuming chaos that followed the film, it's easy to forget how sublime Frozen truly was. With a Broadway-style structure which harkened back to the Disney...

Awards Season, Reviews / 13.11.2019

After taking a "divisive" plunge into the Star Wars universe, writer/director Rian Johnson returns to what he does best; richly engaging original cinema, loaded with a whole swag of killer twists to knock you off your feet. With Johnson's own fresh take on the well-worn whodunnit murder mystery genre, the deliciously enjoyable Knives Out is one of the most outrageously entertaining experiences you will have in a cinema this year. With a phenomenal ensemble cast, a pointedly sharp screenplay, and an ingeniously twisty narrative, Knives Out is just good old-fashioned solid...

Awards Season, Reviews / 11.11.2019

Standing as one of the year's more misleading titles, Ford v Ferrari is far from the film you may be expecting. Sure, the inherent plot is the true-life battle of America's mighty Ford Motor Co. versus the Italian goliath of sportscar racing. But at the very heart of this film is an endearing and wildly entertaining tale of the two men behind the machines, played with terrific gusto by two of the best in the game. With plenty of technical motor racing jargon and several exhilarating race sequences, there's...

Awards Season, Reviews / 03.11.2019

Since that fateful September day in 2001, American cinema has offered numerous tales from the months and years following the events of 9/11. Just last year, Adam McKay delivered a divisive portrait of the mastermind of the post-9/11 war effort in Vice. With a narrative flirting on humanising someone many consider a war criminal, it left some with a sour taste in their mouths. How refreshing to have something like The Report come along at just the right time to provide the perfect sobering antidote. A slow-moving yet utterly...

Awards Season, Reviews / 29.10.2019

After his recent comments on Marvel movies sent Film Twitter into a misguided and absurd frenzy, Martin Scorsese is back to grabbing headlines for all the right reasons. With a reported budget of $160 million, a production time of over two years, and a three-and-a-half-hour runtime, The Irishman is one of Scorsese's (and Netflix's) biggest gambles to date. Thankfully, it all pays off handsomely. Returning to the gangster genre his career has been intrinsically linked with, Scorsese proves once again why he's one of the greatest filmmakers of all time....