Reviews / 30.09.2021

Trigger warning: this review discusses topics including suicide, depression, and self-harm. Book adaptations are a tricky beast to conquer. Stick too closely to the source material and you run the risk of presenting something that feels like little more than a narration of the text. Stray too far from what came before and you're likely to frustrate those expecting a faithful interpretation. Writer-director Michael McGowan's adaptation of Miriam Toews' semi-autobiographical 2014 novel All My Puny Sorrows falls into the former in a film that feels more literary than cinematic. For...

Reviews / 22.09.2021

A harrowing portrait of exploitation and systemic corruption and a gripping tale of morality, co-writer-director Alexandre Moratto's 7 Prisoners is tense and disturbing but so urgent and necessary. Moratto crafts an unflinching insight into the world of human trafficking and fuses it with a coming-of-age narrative where moral dilemmas abound at every turn. It's still early days, but we may have found Brazil's deserving submission for Best International Feature Film at this year's Academy Awards. Set in present-day São Paulo, 7 Prisoners centres on 18-year-old Mateus (a terrific Christian...

Reviews / 22.09.2021

When American filmmakers get their hands on the rights to remake an international feature film, we're generally served something that's little more than a carbon copy of its predecessor. If you've never seen the original, that's perfectly fine. But if you're familiar with what came before, it's the worst example of cinematic déjà vu. Such is the case with Antoine Fuqua's The Guilty, an almost beat for beat remake of Gustav Möller’s 2018 Danish film of the same name. For those terrified of subtitles and without any previous knowledge...

Reviews / 12.09.2021

As an ardent fan of Riz Ahmed of more than 15 years, the rave response to his revelatory performance in 2020's Sound of Metal was something I felt was long overdue. For more than a decade, Ahmed has been a consistently underrated performer in films like Four Lions, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Nightcrawler. After his first Oscar nomination last year, the film industry finally appears to be paying attention. As such, it should come as no surprise to learn Ahmed delivers another mesmerising turn in co-writer-director Michael Pearce's...

Reviews / 10.09.2021

Inspired by Danish author Maria Bregendahl's breakthrough macabre 1914 novel A Night of Death (En dødsnat), writer-director Tea Lindeburg delivers a quietly intoxicating debut feature with As in Heaven (Du som er i himlen). A tragic portrait of female oppression and the potential perils of religious beliefs, it's compelling, haunting, and hard to shake from your mind. The film centres on Lise (a terrific Flora Ofelia Hofmann Lindahl), the eldest daughter of a farming family in rural Denmark who is preparing to leave the farm to attend school. While her...