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  • Hamilton

    Hamilton

    ★★★★½

    Even to a jaded Brit who had listened all of the hype, read all of the thinkpieces, and weathered 5 years of other people’s praise and backlash, the vitality of Hamilton surprised and delighted me. The music is of course excellent, the lyrical dexterity of the songs being a natural fit for a story in which characters are defined by their philosophy as much as their actions. The staging is simple, making room for the performances. 

    It’s a story that…

  • Jumanji: The Next Level

    Jumanji: The Next Level

    ★★★½

    It bothered me at first that the ostensible quest of the movie - getting the jewel or whatever - was so perfunctory and barely mentioned in order to make space for more wacky character comedy in this 2 hour movie. But it was the right choice. 

    Awkwafina is a star.

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  • Love & Friendship

    Love & Friendship

    ★★★½

    "Facts are horrid things"

    Love and Friendship is truly elevated by Kate Beckinsale's performance as Lady Susan - a mad supervillain dropped into a mannered period drama, firing off venomous one-liners with evident glee. The whole cast seems to have great fun with Whit Stillman's dialogue, with characters straining to express themselves in the decorous language demanded by Georgian society.

    The perfect palate cleanser if you've seen too many corseted, self-serious costume dramas.

  • Monsoon

    Monsoon

    ★★★★

    Monsoon is a quiet, bittersweet gem of a romance, and it’s exciting to see Hong Khaou emerging as one of Britain’s most exciting and consistent directors. His voice, which tells minor-key stories about complicated people, seems to have emerged fully-formed. The narrative doesn’t spell out Kit’s struggle on screen, or hold our hands: it’s defiantly placid. The film’s title could have suggested a climactic outpouring of emotion, a moment of resolution in which Kit tearfully makes peace with his family’s trauma and his own identity in the world. Monsoon isn’t that.

    Full review: flipscreened.com/2019/10/10/lff-review-a-quiet-bittersweet-gem-monsoon-2019/