• Ahed's Knee

    Ahed's Knee

    ★★

    Angry, passionate, heavy-handed.

  • The Skin I Live In

    The Skin I Live In

    ★★★★½

    This time around, at the cinema, with an audience, spellbound. Having watched nearly all of Almodóvar’s films now within the pandemic (and most at the cinema as part of a career retrospective), this one stands out in many ways. It is the most technically ambitious and assured, the camera far more energetic, mobile and confident than in any of the others, and stylistically it makes plays the others don’t attempt. Superficially it’s Almodóvar’s attempt at a genre commercial movie, which…

  • Everything Went Fine

    Everything Went Fine

    ★★★★

    Yesterday euthanasia was legalised in my home state of New South Wales, Australia. Today, thanks to this sublime film, I was able to share a personal journey through that process, told with great warmth, dignity and humour. This is Ozon’s best work.

  • Out of the Past

    Out of the Past

    ★★★½

    Crisply produced, surprisingly lush, quasi-romantic noir plays an ingenious game with your head.

  • Corniche Kennedy

    Corniche Kennedy

    ★★½

    Infuriating as narrative; enticing as Marseilles travelogue.

  • Violet

    Violet

    ★★★

    Imagine taking, say, your ten-year-old to the cinema for the first time, to this, and saying, “This is what movies are.” They may develop in intriguing ways.

  • Kika

    Kika

    ★★½

    Andrea is one of the best characters in the Almódoverse. Unfortunately she’s in the most problematic movie; the central event, played as a comic set-piece, is essentially unwatchable today. As with Tarantino’s ‘N’ word, Almodóvar’s rape fixation is a stain on his body of work, and Kika is most stained by it.

  • The Daughter

    The Daughter

    ★★★★

    Methodically gripping. For the inevitable English-language remake, I suggest Naomi Watts and Tim Roth for the leads. After all, you loved them in the remake of Funny Games…

  • Official Competition

    Official Competition

    ★★½

    With these actors, this script, as flawed and obvious as it is, may have worked. But the direction is so heavy-handed and the editing so labored, the film is devoid of energy. Scenes drag, speeches drag, points are repeatedly pounded on the head. Somehow in the midst of it Cruz gives a great performance, and the framing is occasionally nice.

  • Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451

    ★★★½

    Love the look, love Oskar, love the creepy TV programming. The script is on-the-nose, though, spoon-feeding the audience which I thought was strange for Truffaut.

  • We're All Going to the World's Fair

    We're All Going to the World's Fair

    ★★★★

    This is clearly keenly observant and probably way more clever than I have the history and experience to appreciate. But it’s certainly made me think, and want to know more, and understand more, about the experiences it depicts. I’ve added a star and a half - from 2.5 to 4 - as I’ve thought more and more about the film. It burrows deep.

  • Jules and Jim

    Jules and Jim

    ★★★★

    This, Design for Living and Savages make a good threesome ho ho ho