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  • The Last Tree

    The Last Tree

    ★★★★

    The fields of Lincolnshire are lensed in a golden light by Shola Amoo in his semi-autobiographical sophomore feature, The Last Tree. A group of young boys is playing, shouting and running with only each other to entertain and worry about. Their smiles are huge. One of these boys is Femi (as a child played by Tai Golding; as an adolescent by Sam Adewunmi), a British boy of Nigerian heritage living happily in foster care, laughing freely in the place he…

  • The Goldfinch

    The Goldfinch

    ★★

    Donna Tartt’s emu-sized, hyper-acclaimed book drills deep into the inner life of Theo, a young man who loses his mother and illicitly gains a famous painting when a bomb goes off in a New York art gallery. John Crowley’s adaptation struggles mightily to translate the novel’s ambition to the screen. Both as bespectacled teenager (Oakes Fegley) and bespectacled twentysomething (Ansel Elgort), Theo is a blank canvas and a deathly bore.

    We know that he has an addiction to prescription drugs,…

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  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★★★★

    1981 in Gotham City. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. There’s a garbage strike, rats rampaging in the piled-up trash, parts of the city are no better than slums and Arthur Fleck, troubled professional clown and wannabe stand-up comedian, sits in front of a mirror, slowly painting his face. He attempts to smile and resorts to holding the corners of his mouth up in a grin that stretches from ear to ear. A single tear…

  • Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    ★★★★

    It feels like we’ve been spoiled by space. Ever since Gravity seemingly changed the game, science-fiction has had to work harder than ever to impress us. It’s almost like the genre’s already peaked. Picking up the space-gauntlet, director James Gray quixotically heralded Ad Astra as being “the most realistic depiction of space ever”. And fair dos, this film is beautiful: from the glistening cinematography to artfully celestial framing to the seamless visual effects (some shots use actual photos of the…