I, Daniel Blake

Shame on those people who say this film is not realistic, is boringly moralistic or - most shockingly - is poverty porn. I have known these people. If it weren't for the opportunities afforded me by a free (at the time) education system together with a wodge of good luck, I would be these people. So … Continue reading I, Daniel Blake

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

In which Tom Cruise tries to prove to both himself and viewers that he is still capable of doing the same action movie stuff. Well I'm here to issue a cease and desist notice, Tom. It's time to move on to other things. We know you can do them (Magnolias, Tropic Thunder). You just have … Continue reading Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Neruda

Director Pablo Larraín gives Chilean poet Pablo Neruda a taste of his own magical reality by mixing elements of Neruda's real life with a fictional police officer who is on his trail. As can be expected, Gael García Bernal beautifully inhabits the self-aware, self-aggrandising fictional sleuth, hot on the trail of Neruda, a fugitive in … Continue reading Neruda

El hombre de las mil caras – Smoke and Mirrors

I detest when people in the cinema talk during the film. But when it happend this time, it had an interesting effect on my perception of the film, another 'based on a true story' tale of a man who fooled the entire Spanish government over a period of years with fraud, lies and stories. Inevitably … Continue reading El hombre de las mil caras – Smoke and Mirrors

Réparer les vivants – Heal the Living

A  fabulous, almost dialogue-free, opening section with some stunning visuals sets up one side of the story, and we only meet the protagonists of the other side much later, when their story is told separately. Obviously, the two threads are intertwined by the end, but I don't wish to give too much away so I'll say … Continue reading Réparer les vivants – Heal the Living

Juste la fin du monde – It’s Only the End of the World

This was the film I had built my entire (if short) London Film Festival experience around. As soon as I knew I was going to be in town on the evening of the UK premiere, I booked my ticket. Director Xavier Dolan is currently one of my favourite directors. His films aren't always easy to … Continue reading Juste la fin du monde – It’s Only the End of the World