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  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★★★

    Far from being the clarion call for incels/the alt-right or whoever that many of the hand-wringing press thinkpieces claimed it would be/was, JOKER is a dour character study about a muddle of many things.
    Chiefly among them, it attempts to tackle the effects government cuts to social services have on those with mental health issues who rely on them, and also depression and alienation in a society where community and opportunity have been stripped away and replaced with consumer culture…

  • Avengers: Endgame

    Avengers: Endgame

    ★★½

    Infinity War was about the big-chinned alien searching all over to find bits of jewellery to go on his glove, culminating in a league of superheroes attempting to stop him from clicking his fingers. This is why these films are the biggest ever - just timeless storytelling.

    This sequel is much more sluggish and drawn-out, though it is still intermittently engaging. Josh Brolin's Thanos is still the only interesting character, however - one of the reasons I like Infinity War…

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  • Broken Blossoms

    Broken Blossoms

    ★★★★★

    You might expect a film adaptation of a story called The Chink and the Child made by Birth of a Nation director D.W. Griffith to be, well, not exactly racially sensitive. And, true, the character of Cheng Huan is played by westerner Richard Barthelmess, who squints his eyes to achieve an oriental look. But, if anything, Broken Blossoms is about tolerance, and in particular racial tolerance, it being the story of two ethnically different star-crossed lovers, whose flowering affections are…

  • Orlando

    Orlando

    ★★★★

    Sally Potter's high camp take on the Virginia Woolf novel is a tale of a gender-bending androgyne who lives for centuries; underneath the film's glossy artifice, though, there's a tragic core. It's like a slightly less gay Highlander, basically.
    Tilda Swinton is superb, and whose incredible face looks like something you would normally find gazing out from an Elizabethan portrait. S/he carries the film, but it is also about the sumptuous costumes and art design, with any sense of precious artiness undercut by a Gilliamesque sense of irreverence and humour. Wonderful.