While every Palme d’Or winner generates its fair share of hype, the hubbub surrounding this years’ Cannes favourite was particularly deafening due to its three hour runtime and graphic lesbian sex scenes. Yet however memorable – or controversial – such sequences may be, they pale in comparison to the power of the drama that surrounds them. Resting on the shoulders of two stunning lead performances, Blue Is the Warmest Colour [...]

By on February 17, 2014 in

More tonally and stylistically akin to his pensive, child-unfriendly children’s film (Where the Wild Things Are) than his earlier, zanier collaborations with surrealist screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation), the fourth film from director Spike Jonze, about a man who starts dating his computer, is a lot of different things at once. It’s a wry, insightful commentary on modern life, and how technology affects the ways we interact. It’s [...]

By on January 20, 2014 in

With his new film, a 70s set con caper titled American Hustle, director David O. Russell feels very much at home. Infused with the same restless energy that has, through films like Three Kings, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, become his stylistic signature, his latest outing is likewise rich in many of his favourite themes, including love, insecurity and the desire to be better than one’s circumstances. With a [...]

By on December 14, 2013 in

Hollywood money-grubbing has a new name. Or rather, it has stolen an old one. Kimberly Pierces’ Carrie probably isn’t the worst film of the year, but it might be the most unnecessary and unwelcome. A beat-for-beat remake of Brian DePalma’s seminal Stephen King adaptation about an alienated high-schooler who develops telekinetic powers, the movie is an unimaginative husk, one that will leave horror fans outraged and casual viewers bored. There [...]

By on December 1, 2013 in

Amidst the tweenage hysteria that surrounded the Twilight saga, Gary Ross’ adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games offered young adult filmgoers a well-conceived female protagonist capable of thinking and fighting for herself, who didn’t swoon at the first sight of a boy. Katniss Everdeen, played with steely defiance by the gifted Jennifer Lawrence, was by far the most memorable aspect of the otherwise merely decent action-sci-fi-drama, and [...]

By on November 22, 2013 in

A quick glance at the description of Pieta, the new film from director Kim Ki-duk, might cause casual cinephiles to expect the kind of bad-ass butchery and retribution we’ve come to expect from the Korean New Wave. Certainly, South Koran cinema has since the late nineteen nineties been synonymous with ultra-violent crime films, with names like Bong Joon-ho (Mother), Kim Ji-woon (I Saw the Devil) and Park Chan-wook (The Vengeance [...]

By on November 17, 2013 in