Awards Season, Reviews / 27.12.2021

Absolute power corrupts absolutely and there are few texts in literary history that finer exemplify this statement than William Shakespeare's Macbeth. From Orson Welles and Roman Polanski to Geoffrey Wright and Justin Kurzel, Shakespeare's epic tale of ambition, fate, and witchcraft has seen its fair share of cinematic adaptations over the years. In 2021, we are gifted perhaps the finest interpretation yet. In his solo directorial debut, writer-director Joel Coen strips back Shakespeare's "Scottish play" to focus on the text's darker elements to create one of the most breathtaking...

Awards Season, Reviews / 25.12.2021

Every so often, a film comes along that appears to follow the same well-worn tropes of many films that preceded it, particularly those in the romantic comedy/drama genre with a lost twentysomething protagonist. The trials and tribulations of young adults bumbling their way through life is rarely the most original of narratives. Then something like The Worst Person in the World shatters all expectations and reaffirms your faith cinema can still subvert those clichés and deliver something entirely new and refreshing. Hilarious, heartbreaking, insightful, and sensitive, this film is...

Awards Season, Featured, Reviews / 22.12.2021

A film that won ten Academy Awards (the outright second-highest tally in history) including Best Picture is hardly something you would think requires a remake. Remember how well that 2016 update of Ben-Hur went? To be fair, Steven Spielberg's take on West Side Story is officially an adaptation of Jerome Robbins' 1957 stage musical and not a reimagining of Robert Wise and Robbins' 1961 Oscar-winning classic. Regardless, comparisons will inevitably be drawn. Lucky for us, Spielberg has crafted a gorgeous new interpretation that practically leaps off the screen....

Awards Season, Featured, Reviews / 19.12.2021

The films of writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson typically feature a dark streak bubbling beneath the surface. From the seedy underbelly of the world of pornography in Boogie Nights to the twisted romance of Phantom Thread, Anderson is a filmmaker who isn't afraid of life's nastier elements. Perhaps given the miserable events of the last two years, Anderson has decided to take a refreshingly different route with Licorice Pizza; a film so effervescently joyous that it will likely leave you floating out of the cinema. A wistfully nostalgic portrait of Los...

Awards Season, Featured, Reviews / 10.12.2021

The days of millions of Americans tuning in to watch the same episode of television at the same time are long gone. But, once upon a time in the 1950s, one woman had the ability to draw a television crowd like no one else in the business. After a languid movie career where she became known as "Queen of the Bs" for her affinity for B-movie roles, Lucille Ball finally found her footing in TV as the star of her own wildly successful sitcom, I Love Lucy. It's...

Awards Season, Reviews / 08.11.2021

In the 28 years since Jane Campion became only the second female filmmaker in history to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Director, the writer-director has made just four films. Much like her careful filmmaking and storytelling style, Campion is a director who prefers to take her time. The results are always worth the wait. With her latest effort, Campion may have delivered her greatest work to date and one of the very best films of the year. A slow-burn character study that's as captivating as it is...

Awards Season, Reviews / 06.11.2021

Attempting to capture a figure's entire life in one film is a task doomed to fail. It's an issue we saw just a few months ago with the earnest but conventionally shallow Respect. The best historical biopics understand this and instead choose to limit the focus to one key period of time. It's just one of the elements that make Pablo Larraín's harrowing portrait of a tragic princess such a spectacular success. Another is an actor at the absolute top of their game in one of the finest...

Awards Season, Reviews / 04.11.2021

From Brad and Denzel to Angelina and Nicole, you know an actor has really hit the big time when they're known by just their first name. In the sports world, there are two instantly recognisable first names that have dominated the cultural zeitgeist for more than two decades; Venus and Serena. That's why it may seem strange Hollywood's first attempt to capture their life in an Oscar-bait biopic bears the moniker of their father. After viewing King Richard, you'll completely understand why. An entirely rousing crowd-pleaser that will leave...

Awards Season, Reviews / 20.02.2021

Can a song incite a revolution? That's the inherent question floating behind Lee Daniels' messy, bloated biopic, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, that seeks to capture the troubled life of a music legend but gets lost amongst Daniels' penchant for extravagance and melodrama. The powerful story is there, especially for those unfamiliar with Holiday's battles with drugs, men, and the FBI. But Daniels' frustrating direction, chaotic pacing, and a ghastly screenplay derail what could have been a terrific film. Thankfully, this disappointing biopic is saved by the...

Awards Season, Reviews / 04.02.2021

Even the non-religious are aware of the infamous betrayal of messiah-figure Jesus Christ at the hands of his trusted disciple and eventual saboteur Judas Iscariot. His name has become since synonymous with those who would treasonously sell-out a friend for their own personal benefit. In other words, it's not a moniker you'd be proud to have attached to your name. The biblical tale is the perfect analogy for the tragic true story of Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton and the treacherous FBI informant who infiltrated the...