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Albie has written 76 reviews for films during 2017.

  • Don't Look Now

    Don't Look Now

    ★★★★★

    Nicolas Roeg was, once upon a time, cinema's foremost proponent of the cinematic mantra "show, don't tell", and Don't Look Now is his masterpiece - one of the most disorientating, disturbing and even controversial films of its time, it has lost none of its power. Despite the fact that it's based on a Daphne du Maurier short story that bears little resemblance to this, it's easily also one of the most original (and influential) films ever made.

    We first meet…

  • The Graduate

    The Graduate

    ★★★★½

    AFI Top 100 Club
    boxd.it/1irsW

    A handful of American films appeared in the late 60s which changed the face of Hollywood. While Bonnie and Clyde pushed the envelope in terms of cinematic violence and In the Heat of the Night dared to tackle race relations, The Graduate was busy breaking sexual taboos.

    But just to focus on the way it changed everything (and it still looks extraordinarily ahead of its time) would be to diminish just how stunning a film…

  • Gallipoli

    Gallipoli

    ★★★★½

    A triumph for Peter Weir. Gallipoli is a stunningly photographed, subtle WWI film that gives us sympathetic characters, realistic dialogue - with only the odd moment of pontificating - and emotional heft. You might even call it the Australian Platoon (notwithstanding the obvious discrepancies in time and place).

    The military campaign which serves as the film's focal point was a fiasco; hundreds of Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand troops) were sent to the slaughter at the hands of the Turks…

  • The Madness of King George

    The Madness of King George

    ★★★★★

    The Madness of King George is a touching, funny and warm look at a rather complicated period of British history known as the Regency Crisis, the cause of which is alluded to in the film's title. It is adapted by Alan Bennett from his similarly-titled stage play The Madness of George III.

    Nigel Hawthorne gives an emotionally affecting portrayal of the titular monarch, who begins to exhibit increasingly erratic behavioural patterns and dark blue urine. He is taken away to…

  • L'Avventura

    L'Avventura

    ★★★★½

    100 Greatest Directors Club
    boxd.it/1ea6G

    Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho shares some similarities with another film released in 1960: Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura. For one thing, the female protagonist in both is rendered absent part-way through the film and another female who is close to the absentee takes centre stage. For another, a romance develops between this new heroine and the old one's lover. But that's about it.

    While there's no denying Psycho is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, it's L'Avventura that is the more…

  • Star Wars

    Star Wars

    ★★★★½

    AFI Top 100 Club
    boxd.it/1irsW

    Before money and creative freedom went to his head, George Lucas had all the makings of a great director, and Star Wars shows it. As far as I'm concerned there have only ever been, and will only ever be, three Star Wars films, and their brilliance only serves to show up the sheer stupidity of the following "entries". Why George Lucas saw fit to tamper with his brainchild will forever be a mystery.

    The film…

  • Out of Africa

    Out of Africa

    ★★★

    I've long been an avid watcher of historical epics. I find them pleasant to get into and rarely boring, and I count a certain number of them among my favourite films. Having watched Out of Africa - perhaps the original, and quintessential, Oscar-bait movie - I can't say I'll be adding to that number any time soon.

    Alongside other films of its general sort that happen also to have won the Best Picture Oscar, this one is noticeably inferior. It…

  • Volver

    Volver

    ★★★★

    100 Greatest Directors Club
    boxd.it/1ea6G

    Pedro Almodóvar's Volver is a touching story of female solidarity and resolve which, despite the dark events at its centre, is drenched in an idiosyncratic warmth. With Penélope Cruz at her career-best, as well as Almodóvar's signature colourful widescreen format and nods to classic filmmakers, it is a moving, if undeniably sentimental, experience.

    It depicts of a collection of females at the centre of which is Raimunda, a woman whose dull life is ironically shaken…

  • Talk to Her

    Talk to Her

    ★★★½

    100 Greatest Directors Club
    boxd.it/1ea6G

    Talk to Her sees Almodóvar tackle the subject of male bonding, in strong contrast to the far more female-orientated Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and All About My Mother. The results here are somewhat less strong than in his previous efforts, but the film still makes an impression.

    It tells the story of two men whose lives intertwine as a result of similar medical situations: Marco's girlfriend is bullfighter Lydia who has…

  • All About My Mother

    All About My Mother

    ★★★★

    100 Greatest Directors Club
    boxd.it/1ea6G

    Pedro Almodóvar's tribute to motherhood is a strange story full of colourful characters. A clever tribute to All About Eve, it traces the experiences of a nurse whose 17-year-old son is killed in a car accident; she leaves her life in Madrid and moves back to Barcelona to find the boy's father.

    Her search is diverted by the reappearance of her transgender prostitute friend, as well as a young, pregnant, HIV-positive social worker, a Bette…

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    ★★★★★

    AFI Top 100 Club
    boxd.it/1irsW

    Stanley Kubrick is not my favourite director; in fact I doubt he would make my top 10. Nevertheless, he is responsible for some of the most transcendent, visionary works ever seen; true works of art most of them. In the late 1960s, he crafted a masterpiece, the like of which has never been seen since.

    The way it tells its story is one of the most inventive methods ever utilised in mainstream cinema. It has…

  • Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

    Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

    ★★★★

    100 Greatest Directors Club
    boxd.it/1ea6G

    Written, produced and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown delivers just what its overblown title promises. It follows two days in the life of Pepa, a TV actress who, jilted by her lover, makes a desperate attempt to contact him before he disappears. When she has given up hope, she prepares to commit suicide, but is interrupted by her agitated and furtive friend. Before long, a young couple who…