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  • (500) Days of Summer

    (500) Days of Summer

    Romantic comedies are often known for having a predictable story of boy meets girl, illustrating a pleasant picture of how love can blossom despite differences, how a couple’s love can surmount all of life’s troubles. As anyone that has loved someone only for it to end in heartache knows, relationships can have their bitter moments. Even the most successful ones can take work so it may be some comfort to those who have suffered a breakup to be told within…

  • Lars and the Real Girl

    Lars and the Real Girl

    Lars Lindstrom (Ryan Gosling) lives in a small Wisconsin town. He doesn’t engage in much human interaction despite having a job and thus chooses to live with his brother Gus (Paul Schneider) and his pregnant wife, Karin (Emily Mortimer), in their garage. They are acutely aware of Lars’s antisocial behavior, particularly Karin, who attempts to involve him by inviting him for dinner and breakfast (of which he finds ways to avoid attending). After briefly being introduced to the concept by…

  • Wildlife

    Wildlife

    I admire filmmakers that use film as a medium to make audiences contemplate their own lives. Paul Dano has demonstrated this ability with great strength in his directorial debut and is the latest established actor who has turned his hand to directing with this wonderful adaptation of Richard Ford‘s novel Wildlife.

    The film’s story is told from the viewpoint of Joe (Ed Oxenbould) a mature fourteen-year-old boy who admires his encouraging parents, Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Jeanette (Carey Mulligan), Jeanette,…

  • Widows

    Widows

    Since the turn of the decade, there has been a rise in the popularisation of television series and films from the 1970s and 80s receiving modernised adaptations. Steve McQueen’s Widows is based on a British crime drama series from this period, telling the story of a group of women whose bank-robbing spouses are killed during a heist and are then forced to take on a job in order to pay off their late husbands’ debt.

    Widows opens with a juxtaposition…

  • Black Swan

    Black Swan

    Darren Aronofsky has many distinctive traits as a filmmaker. His films almost always center on self-destructive personalities that are not only obsessive in their own right but are also compulsive for an audience to watch. Black Swan is no different and expertly displays Aronofsky’s style.

    Nina (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina that strives for perfection. She devotes every living second to her profession and anything she does is because of it or for it. Being part of the prestigious New…

  • Gremlins 2: The New Batch

    Gremlins 2: The New Batch

    The 1980s brought the popularization of both comedy-horror and puppetry in film. Gremlins combined the genre and use of such special effects with considerable effort. Despite Gremlins receiving critical and commercial success, some also branded it as being too violent. Even though director Joe Dante thought this element of the original film was tonally appropriate, he decided to include an even more comedic and playful approach in Gremlins 2: The New Batch, resulting in a more conventional, family-friendly film.

    The…

  • Tau

    Tau

    As each year draws to a close every December there is one event in the film industry calendar I like to keep an eye out for amongst the awards nominations. The annual unveiling of The Black List has occurred every year since 2004 and highlights the most liked yet to be produced screenplays. The reason it interests me is that some of the best films of recent times have been made from these scripts. However, for all the great films…

  • A Kid Like Jake

    A Kid Like Jake

    With Claire Danes and Jim Parsons television shows both potentially coming to an end next year people might wonder what’s next for these two stars of Homeland and The Big Bang Theory, respectively. Intriguingly with A Kid Like Jake the two have paired up as married couple Alex (Danes) and Greg (Parsons) Wheeler in a film that challenges social norms.

    A Kid Like Jake begins with the Wheelers having difficulty in finding a school for their son. Naturally, like any…

  • Borg vs McEnroe

    Borg vs McEnroe

    The start of the Open Era of tennis helped the sport spread globally and has produced some of the most competitive sporting rivalries of all time, Bjorn Borg’s (Sverrir Gudnason) encounters with John McEnroe (Shia LaBeouf) being regarded as one of the fiercest.

    Borg McEnroe briefly begins with an introduction into the infamous match between the two players that took place in the 1980 Wimbledon Final. Throughout the 1970s, Borg had established himself as the best tennis player in the…

  • Isle of Dogs

    Isle of Dogs

    Wes Anderson last dabbled with stop-motion animation with his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox almost a decade ago. When the auteur announced he would be returning to the genre with Isle of Dogs, fans of his work were quick to generate anticipation for the film. The title of this latest feature may derive from an area of London in the River Thames, but the film takes place in a dystopian Japan and follows a young boy, Atari (Koyu…

  • You Were Never Really Here

    You Were Never Really Here

    When Jonathan Ames wrote You Were Never Really Here it seemed he intended it to be adapted for the big screen. The novella has an engaging story of a traumatized war veteran who earns a living tracking down missing girls, who willingly takes a job that escalates out of control. It is also a narrative that suits Lynne Ramsay’s cinematic style. The director’s films frequently involve children and the themes of grief, guilt and death, which all feature prominently in…

  • The Death of Stalin

    The Death of Stalin

    Most audiences will be familiar with Armando Iannucci‘s work as the writer and creator of hit comedy series Veep. Now his efforts as a writer-director make a welcome return to the big screen nine years after his feature debut In The Loop with The Death of Stalin, a film based on the eponymous graphic novel from Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin.

    The opening of The Death of Stalin immediately establishes the repressive rule that Joseph Stalin had implemented during his…