Review: Last Call

The hook for "Last Call" (2019)  might look like a gimmick; filmed in two simultaneous single takes and presented split screen throughout. But it a strong film with the substance to stand on its own two feet from the script and acting alone. Far more than just a gimmick, it is incredibly skilfully executed and builds on solid foundations to create something quite unforgettable. Beth (Sarah Booth) is a single mum who cleans the local college at night. Scott (joint writer Daved Wilkins) is a grieving and suicidal father at the end of his rope and seeking support. A wrong number brings the two strangers together and for the next hour Beth is faced with trying to save the life of a man she doesn’t know in a desperate situation.

Review: Horsegirl

“Horse Girl” (2020) is an oddity of a film, but a moving and harrowing one at that. Alison Brie stars and co-wrote it with director Jeff Baena, known for his ability to construct a marriage of dark subject matter and comedy. Here, there’s definitely a gloom, and while there is some humor, “Horse Girl” is mostly a rabbit hole down one woman’s detachment from reality. It also provides Brie, an incredibly talented and versatile actress, a chance to embody a role entirely. While I missed the film at Sundance, I was able to chat with Brie briefly, and I know how personal this story was to her. Even without that context, it’s clear. It is a tour de force for Brie, showing her devotion to the performance in every way.

Review: Underwater

“When you’re underwater for months at a time, you lose all sense of day and night.” Kristen Stewart laments in voice-over as the film opens up; a hint at the potentially Lovecraftian elements to follow. Lovecraftian horror, (a subgenre of fictional horror which *checks notes* places an emphasis of cosmic horror of the unknown or unknowable--with big, giant creatures!), certainly puts the vampires and werewolves  Stewart faced in “Twilight” to shame. Admittedly, the thought of Stewart going face-to-face with an enormous aquatic monster--while ruminating on loneliness, the unknowable, the concept of nature getting revenge on man--is ripe for potential. However, all this potential is completely wasted.

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No.19: Cate Blanchett

To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019, we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team has selected 30 actresses. Today, we write about Cate Blanchett - a winner of two Academy Awards, for Best Actress in "Blue Jasmine" and Best Supporting Actress in "Aviator." The actress was additionally nominated in Best Actress category for her phenomenal roles in "Carol" and "Elizabeth: The Golden Age."

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No. 30: Emmanuelle Riva

To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019 we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team have selected 50 actresses. Our first piece is on Emmanuelle Riva, who won a BAFTA for her performance in Michael Haneke's 2012 film "Amour".

Review: Queen of Hearts (Dronningen)

The filmmaking of May el-Toukhy teaches us quite a few things during the 2-hour runtime of her new Danish film "Queen of Hearts," Denmark's now non-shortlisted entry for the 2020 Academy Awards. A harrowing film that darkens with time, "Queen of Hearts" ranges from somewhat displeasurable family drama to sensual tale of power and manipulation.

Review: Judy and Punch

ometimes you see a film that encapsulates something so enraging and freeing and vindicating it’s like a punch in the face and you want to run up to your fellow cinemagoers and shout “wasn’t that amazing!!” “Judy and Punch” (2019) is one such film. It’s darkly funny and a rallying call to a radical revolution of open-mindedness and inclusivity. These things are not the realm of wishy-washy millennial snowflakes as social media trolls would have us believe, but strong people willing to risk their lives standing up to tyranny and braying mobs who are choosing which rocks to stone them to death with.

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