Favorite films

  • The Souvenir: Part II
  • The Father
  • Parasite
  • Roma

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  • Vortex

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  • Stoker

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  • Total Recall

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  • The Quiet Girl

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  • The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

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    4.5/10

    Watched at Odeon Wimbledon

    The goofy chemistry between Cage and Pascal (who's totally innocent here) just about keeps this clumsily written and surprisingly beige action-comedy afloat. The meta elements are a lot more annoying than they are amusing, and Cage himself doesn't even seem to be having much fun. It's not awful, just really disappointing.

    Read my full review

  • Happening

    Happening

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    8.0/10

    Watched at Barbican Centre

    Happening is an unflinching and immersive portrait of unplanned pregnancy and the perils of a society in which a woman doesn't have the right to choose.

    Diwan's claustrophobic framing and taut camera movement really adds to the building pressure of the protagonist's situation, while the final portion of the film plays out like a horror film (in this case, a very real horror film that women the world over are forced to experience).

    Read my full review

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  • Vortex

    Vortex

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    6.1/10

    Watched at Barbican Centre

    The most extreme aspect of Gaspar NoΓ©'s latest film is arguably the length; not only the duration of the film itself, but the excruciating pace at which these difficult, emotionally punishing scenes play out.

    Vortex is all about the state of dislocation caused by the decay of body and mind, highlighted by its dual frames that often echo one another but rarely match up.

    While I appreciate what NoΓ© is going for, and the performances…

  • Stoker

    Stoker

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    6.3/10

    An enjoyable Hitchcockian frolick from Park Chan-wook, but hardly his best work. Mia Wasikowska's performance is interesting, and the sexually charged atmosphere of the drama is quite potent, but I wasn't absorbed by the mystery elements.

    If anything, it's a little too schooled and precise in its construction and you can see its twists coming from afar. That being said, Park's craft is undeniable, while the score by Clint Mansel channels the morbid but sultry energy of the piece. I wish they cast someone a bit better than Matthew Goode.

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  • Total Recall

    Total Recall

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    8.8/10

    Watched at Odeon Wimbledon

    A sweet dream or beautiful nightmare, depending on your perspective, Total Recall is an uncompromising blast of a dystopian adventure, with Arnold Schwarzenegger on top form as Quaid/Hauser.

    There's at least a handful of gloriously kinetic set pieces, a campy sense of fun that never compromises the high stakes of the narrative, and some subtly clever sci-fi plotting that keeps you in limbo throughout, along with the protagonist.

    Largely practical in design and execution (one…

  • 1917

    1917

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    I have always admired Sam Mendes as a director, even as the Spacey scandal seemed to coinicide with a retroactive dismissal of his seminal work, and one of my favourites, American Beauty. Suffice to say, his latest is a very different beast.

    For all the technical mastery involved in 1917, a film chiefly set during WWI instead of about it, the emotional swell of its crescendo, its deft understanding of war's brutal spontaneity, and those moments in which beauty and…