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  • Boyhood 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 24 Jan, 2015 2

    The irony of Boyhood is that it has had grand words lavished upon it for such an understated work. It invites superlatives while being staunchly mundane. It’s not about people of renown or fame. It doesn’t aim for heightened drama or great emotional epiphany. But you will end this film with a real and genuine affinity for its subject, and his family. You will be moved, and you will have laughed, maybe cried (I did), but you will have connected.…

  • Tom at the Farm 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 24 Jan, 2015

    He's a bit precocious this Xavier Dolan isn't he? Tom at the Farm was the Qubecois wunderkind's (or enfant terrible might be more appropriate) fourth film by the age of twenty four. That's some going.

    I haven't seen any of his previous three (or his most recent, Mommy) but on the basis of this I'll definitely be tracking them down. Tom at the Farm is a taut, spare adaptation of Michel Marc Bouchard's stage play of the same name. Dolan…

  • What Maisie Knew 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 20 Jan, 2015

    This is a film I’ve had floating around on my watchlist for a while. It always seemed that there were other films that were taking precedence, but thanks to some unexpectedly good reviews on this hallowed site I decided to give it a go.

    I’m very glad I did.

    What Maisie Knew is about the breaking up of a marriage seen through the eyes of the titular six year-old. Her parents (Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan) are irresponsible and feckless…

  • Mood Indigo 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 19 Jan, 2015

    Whatever Michel Gondry does in the future, he has a free pass from me purely for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, easily one of the best films of the 21st century so far. Even with slightly middling reviews I was looking forward to Mood Indigo.
    I mean, this is some checklist:

    Michel Gondry and his inimitable visual flair
    Audrey Tautou (*sigh*)

    The ever-dependable Romain Duris and his long-standing screen chemistry with the above object of my adoration

    Omar Sy’s…

  • Godzilla 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Jan, 2015

    Ah, now this is how a blockbuster should look. Gareth Edwards impressed with his low-budget debut Monsters, in which he made a little budget go a long way.

    Thankfully, handed a huge budget, he’s made a film that has a similarly human focus, which is a brave move for a monster movie. Of course we want to see ol’ Gojira stomp his way around again, but establishing a human connection with characters that are just rounded enough for us to…

  • August: Osage County 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 17 Jan, 2015

    “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Tolstoy

    It seems that Tracy Letts was setting out to make his own truth of old Leo’s celebrated maxim when he wrote the celebrated play August: Osage County. Here he adapts his own work for the screen with John Wells directing. I had heard mixed reviews but having been very taken by previous Letts adaptations Killer Joe and the astonishing chamber piece Bug I decided…

  • Oculus 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 17 Jan, 2015

    I was intrigued to see Oculus after having been quite taken by Mike Flanagan's previous film Absentia. Just like in his earlier film Flanagan goes for atmosphere and a sense of dread rather than out and out gore.

    The film concerns a mirror that contains a malevolent force, that has been killing its owners for at least 300 years, including the parents of Tim and Kaylie (Brenton Thwaites and Karen Gillan). Kaylie has managed to track down the mirror and…

  • Ida 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Jan, 2015 2

    Wow! Rarely have I seen a movie this beautiful. Every frame of Ida is a crisp, stark snippet of pure and austere gorgeousness. It is utterly entrancing. But oh, it's a harsh mistress.

    Nothing is easy in Ida. The subject matter, the oblique approach writer/director Pawel Pawlikowski takes to it, the lead performance from Agata Trzebokowska as Anna the novice nun who discovers a devastating truth. That it is so seductive is a little miracle because it is an exercise…

  • Two Days, One Night 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 13 Jan, 2015 2

    A simple tale with great weight and a lot to say, Two Days, One Night is the first film I’ve seen by the Belgian brother Dardennes.

    Marion Cotillard plays Sandra, a worker at a factory in Liege, who has had a leave of absence due to depression. On returning she finds that a ballot has been taken. Her bosses believe that the work of their team of seventeen can be achieved with the sixteen that managed during Sandra’s illness, and…

  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 10 Jan, 2015

    I had read the Jonas Jonasson's novel a mere week or so before the film adaptation, so I can say with some degree of confidence that The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the a Window and Disappeared or 'Old Guy Fucks Off' as I will now rename it for brevity's sake, sticks quite closely to the source material.

    Starring 'Sweden's Funniest Man' (I don't know how accurate this claim is), Robert Gustafsson as Allan Karlson, the titular old geezer who…

  • The Quiet Ones 2014

    ★★ Watched 10 Jan, 2015

    Either I'm being becoming immune to the quiet quiet quiet LOUD school of horror filmmaking, or this was just a really poor example. I've rather enjoyed the films that have been released from the revitalised Hammer studio, but The Quiet Ones failed on pretty much every level.

    Jared Harris is a college professor who wishes to prove that the paranormal doesn't exist. He seeks to show that a troubled and 'haunted' young woman is creating the haunting with her mind.…

  • J.S.A. Joint Security Area 2000

    ★★★★ Watched 10 Jan, 2015

    I wasn't sure what to expect from Joint Security Area. I'm. Huge fan of Park Chan-Wook ( who in their right mind isn't?) but this was one that had passed me by until now. I was expecting a political thriller. What I got was rather a lot more.

    Sure, it's a film about a politician situation. It's set in the demilitarisation zone between North and South Korea. Two Northern soldiers are killed in their border house and a Southern soldier…