Mini Review: Two of Us

The person introducing “Two of Us” (aka “Deux”) to audiences at the Glasgow Film Festival made sure to note the film’s confident filmmaking from feature debut writer/director Filippo Meneghetti. This was an incredibly accurate assessment. The film’s extensive use of Spielbergian oners and dramatic push-ins is emblematic of a creator with full control of their toolbox of cinematic tricks without feeling the need to over-indulge or show-off.  Meneghetti deftly uses restraint to create intrigue and suspense in this small, personal story. But key to making this film as engaging as it is are the lead performances of Barbara Sukowa and Martine Chevallier who perfectly play their roles as an elderly queer couple kept apart by tragic circumstance and the bigotry of those around them.

GFF Exclusive Review: Perfect 10

Edinburgh based writer/director Eva Reilly has made a compassionate coming-of-age story that brims with legitimacy with her debut feature, “Perfect 10” (2019). A Brighton-set feature that recalls such films as Andrea Arnold’s “Fish Tank” (2009), this is a confident start to a filmmaking career. It displays natural talent and an abundance of promise for growth, for the director and main star alike. Paralleling Reilly’s debut is star Frankie Box giving her first feature performance. She plays Leigh, a gifted teenage gymnast who is suffering. Her passion for sport has slowly dissipated, drained bit by bit by a broken, neglectful home life and the other gymnasts referring to her as a “charity case”. One day, an older boy named Joe (Alfie Deegan) enters her home and reveals that they are half-siblings. This unexpected development drastically changes Leigh’s life for better and for worse.

GFF Exclusive Review: Zana

Year: 2019 Runtime: 97 Minutes Director: Antoneta Kastrati Writers: Casey Cooper Johnson, Antoneta Kastrati Stars: Adriana Matoshi, Astrit Kabashi, Fatmire Sahiti By Calum Cooper The Kosovan drama “Zana” (2019) is an utterly devastating watch. It is a film that intertwines the past and present to categorically display the long term effects of trauma with blistering... Continue Reading →

Review: Seberg

Jean-Luc Godard’s "Breathless" made her the star of the French New Wave; this star, however, was an image that its actress, Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart) wanted to escape from. ‘Seberg’ is a tale of how she attempted to do precisely that. In her efforts to distance herself from the frivolity of the movie industry, she was punished. She was tormented and harassed by the hands of a paranoid government and their propagandist media counterparts; sound familiar? Stewart is an interesting choice: She isn’t particularly known for the sweetness and perkiness that Seberg is, however, like Seberg, has made a name for herself in French cinema (with some help from Oliver Assayas, she has been given the chance to act alongside and demonstrate her talents with Juliette Binoche).

Review: All Joking Aside

For the last thirty or so years, stand-up comedy has been a massive part of popular culture in the West. On both sides of the Atlantic, comedians transcended their circuits’ clubs and stages and moved into screens both big and small, become household names on a par with the most successful movie stars and television personalities. In all that time though, the biggest names and faces in comedy were rarely women, and even fewer were women of colour; the latter being very much the case to this day, even when female comedians are beginning to get a bigger share of the stage. Enter “All Joking Aside”, the directorial feature debut of Shannon Kohli, which tells the story of Charlene “Charlie” Murray (Raylene Harewood), a young woman with the ambition to become a professional stand-up comedian, a dream she shares with her late father.

SXSW Exclusive Review: My Darling Vivian

Year: 2020 Runtime: 90 minutes Director: Matt Riddlehoover Stars: Rosanne Cash, Cindy Cash, Tara Cash, Kathy Cash By Mique Watson History is replete with stories of the silent women behind their rich, famous husbands; mere specters looming in the background. Likewise, innumerable stories of this sort have been widely ignored--here, we offered remuneration for one.... Continue Reading →

Review: Disappearance at Clifton Hill

The third feature from writer/director Albert Shin, “Disappearance on Clifton Hill”, takes viewers on a moody Niagara Falls mystery that offers a great atmosphere, but a lacklustre conspiracy story. The film follows Abby (Tuppence Middleton), a woman returning to her hometown of Niagara Falls to settle an inheritance she gains from her late mother. Although she’s been away for quite some time, Abby is still haunted by a memory from her childhood of her seeing a young boy with one eye being kidnapped. So, when she makes new connections to the boy’s disappearance, she begins to investigate the town’s history and meets some interesting discoveries that unveil an elaborate conspiracy. With her checkered past rearing its ugly head and her investigation gaining some unwanted attention, Abby must uncover the truth before she’s completely silenced.

GFF Exclusive Review: Radioactive

This historical drama directed by Marjane Satrapi follows Marie Curie from her discovery of radium and polonium to her death in 1934. It merges a range of historical time periods in a blended visual style which leans on its graphic novel roots. It may not work for some but is certainly bold. We meet Marie as Maria Skłodowska (Rosamund Pike), a Polish immigrant living in Paris and "taking up too much space" in a shared laboratory. She is informed by a roomful of men that she is being kicked out and she must find another if she wants to continue her scientific endeavours.

Emma: How I Fell in Love With the Romantic Tale All Over Again

The review of Autumn de Wilde’s “Emma” that I am about to place in your hands is the fourth time (that I can think of) that I have written about Jane Austen. I focused my undergraduate thesis on three of Jane Austen’s novels, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Persuasion. I covered female friendships in a piece featured in Aubrey Fink’s The Bridge, and I wrote “As If!: How Amy Heckerling’s Clueless Pays a Lovely Tribute to Jane Austen’s Emma” for this site a few months back. De Wilde’s “Emma” gives me another unique privilege in that I get to witness Jane Austen portrayed in a new light that I have not witnessed before. I have seen a majority of the previous Austen adaptations and have read almost all of her novels (almost). I also get to write about a Jane Austen marriage that strikes me as incredibly unique. De Wilde’s “Emma” remains historically accurate in matters such as wardrobe and story, with a few twists to this classic love affair.

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