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Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin

Posted by Anna at 22:30 on 23 Oct 2011
We Need To Talk About Kevin
The novel that sparked a thousand debates in book groups up and down the land has finally made it to the big screen, and the film manages to be just as devastating as its source material. Eva (Tilda Swinton) is the mother of a mass murderer. Her teenage son Kevin (Ezra Miller) committed a horrific, Columbine-style atrocity at his high school, only Kevin didn't follow the fashion for turning his weapon on himself – Kevin is very much alive.

Review: Win Win

Posted by Anna at 19:05 on 22 May 2011
Win Win
Paul Giamatti is the perfect put upon everyman with his hangdog face, protruding beer gut and sleep deprived eyes. There's nothing remotely glamorous about Giamatti, and yet he’s one of the most watchable actors there is. Win Win is a great vehicle for Giamatti's weary average guy routine; his character Mike Flaherty is like Sideways' Miles in an alternate universe in which he ends up happily married with a family.

Review: Never Let Me Go

Posted by Anna at 12:20 on 12 Feb 2011
Never Let Me Go
It's difficult to know where you stand with Never Let Me Go. It's dystopian sci-fi, yet it's set in the recent past, not the future. There's a timeless quality to the film: it could just as easily be the 1960s as the '80s or '90s - how many sci-fi films are there where the protagonists look like they've tumbled out of a 2-for-1 jumper sale at Oxfam? - but at the same time, it taps into something very contemporary. It contains by no means a far-fetched concept; the technology and knowledge exist to make what happens in this movie a reality. At some point the ethical barrier holding us back will crumble, and then what?

Review: True Grit

Posted by Anna at 19:52 on 11 Feb 2011
True Grit
From time to time a film comes along that marries the perfect story, perfect script, perfect director and perfect cast. Chinatown had it, The Godfather had it and True Grit's got it. Sit back and wallow in its sweet perfection.

Review: Brighton Rock

Posted by Anna at 17:30 on 02 Feb 2011
Brighton Rock
There has to be a very good reason for taking on an adaptation of a beloved book or remaking a classic film - the Coen Brothers doing True Grit makes perfect sense - but I can't fathom the reason for Rowan Joffe reviving Brighton Rock. By any measure it's going to come off badly when compared to Graham Greene's novel or John Boulting's 1947 film. But let's shelve the comparisons for a couple of paragraphs.

Review: Biutiful

Posted by Anna at 20:46 on 25 Jan 2011
As I settle to write this, news of Javier Bardem's Oscar nomination has just broken. So the anticipated paragraph about what a complete tool the Academy is will not feature in this review after all. Congratulations to Javier and his massive face, he might just have made Colin Firth a little bit nervous.

Review: Neds

Posted by Anna at 15:18 on 22 Jan 2011
Peter Mullan is vomit-inducingly talented. Not content with being merely a respected actor, or an acclaimed writer, or a talented director, Mullan is all three. Simultaneously. What a massive show-off.

Review: Coco Chanel And Igor Stravinsky

Posted by Anna at 22:22 on 11 Aug 2010
Coco Chanel And Igor Stravinsky
French biopics, je t'aime. After La Vie En Rose, Coco Before Chanel, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly and most recently, Gainsbourg, the great and the good across the Channel are getting a thorough cinematic seeing to. Carla Bruni better watch out.

Review: Heartbreaker

Posted by Anna at 22:36 on 04 Jul 2010
Heartbreaker is the rarest of specimens - a really great romcom. It nails both the romance and the comedy elements of the equation. The reputation of romcoms is understandably rock bottom as the Aniston-fuelled shit machine continues to churn, so it's good to be reminded that decent romantic comedies are possible and what's more, enjoyable. Remember the heady rush you got after watching When Harry Met Sally? That's what Heartbreaker delivers.

Review: Lymelife

Posted by Anna at 23:51 on 30 Jun 2010
Gervais and Merchant had a crack at it in Cemetery Junction, now director Derick Martini is rifling through the musty brown corduroy of 1970s nostalgia and hanging it out on the line for a good airing.
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