There’s a moment in Roman Holiday, roughly two thirds of the way through, that always sticks in my mind. Hepburn and Peck have just spent an afternoon sightseeing in Rome, and are about to go dancing by the river. Off camera we hear a horse-drawn carriage, and our couple both turn to look at it. Peck twists back to meet Hepburn’s eyes, which light up instantly as she flashes her million-dollar smile. He asks her a wordless question, and her…
The Age of Innocence 1993
Quite possibly Scorsese's best film. I know that's a bold statement, but Taxi Driver aside, I can't think of another film of his that's as masterfully crafted as The Age of Innocence. The man himself has described it as his most violent movie, and he really isn't wrong. Scenes drip with hostility, with ill-intent and conspiracy, just as much as any of his crime stories. Only here, guns are replaced with words. Passion and romance falls victim to idle gossip.…
The Passionate Stranger 1957
The British answer to a Douglas Sirk film. Muriel Box directs a flowing, gorgeously designed, culturally conscious genre romp. It plays to comedy and melodrama in equal measure, and despite a few slightly hokey moments largely remains compelling. Very glad to have caught this one.
The Mother of Tears 2007
This is more of what I expected from the Argento films I've seen this month. Bloody, gory, salacious, ridiculous. While I can't argue that the plot is especially complex, or that the acting is of a higher quality than any of his other features, something about the general occult-y, satanic vibe of this supernatural murder-fest made it far more entertaining than I was expecting. The effects are fittingly gruesome and the whole thing moves along at a fairly punchy pace.…
The Menu 2022
I now know what an Adam McKay version of The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie would look like. Yes, it’s about as bad as it sounds.
This year’s LFF Surprise Film is a real dud. Messy, lightweight, with an overblown sense of its own importance. Director Mark Mylod may be one of television’s darlings right now, but when it comes to feature films he feels woefully out of his depth. The Menu’s satire is just so banal, and the comedy…
Early on in Spencer, there’s a brief shot that sums up all the fragility we have come to associate with the tragic Princess Diana. Clad in characteristic high fashion, the titular royal trudges across a muddy field just outside of Sandringham Estate. Captured in long shot, she seems jarringly out of place against the landscape, the vast grey sky and muddy earth engulfing her dainty figure. Her chic footwear clearly struggles against the unrelenting Norfolk surface; a head-over-heels tumble seems…