Film · Review

Sweet Country Review: Broke west

Sweet Country is one of those rare films that slides between a few genres without feeling obnoxious in the way that it chooses to do so. It starts out as a racially tinged social picture, 1920s white Australians trying to figure out between themselves their relationship to their aboriginal peoples with whom they share their country. Treading on each other’s toes as they try to navigate each other’s levels of racial resentment while the aboriginal diaspora around do their best to work with, or for, or around the white folk peacefully.

Film · Review

Red Sparrow Review – Boston accent

I don’t think there was ever a time when calling your lead character Dominika would have been subtle, but in a post Fifty Shades world it’s more about setting expectations. Those expectations are ones which the film constantly delights in frustrating. Dominika goes through the entire film without properly domming anybody, instead after receiving extensive training as a sexpionage agent (real term btw) she immediately goes and falls in love with the first man she’s sent to seduce.

Female Filmmakers · Film · Review

You Were Never Really Here Review – Right hand left hand

I think You Were Never Really Here kinda holds up even better on the rewatch. Not to say that the first time viewing is bad in any way, but a mid-production budget cut the necessitated the excision of some fifteen pages of screenplay means that the sense of this adaptation is pushed within an inch of its life. There’s a late game revelation of the real villain of the piece that comes out sorta clunkily, split between some murmured exposition and an incredibly manipulative edit that the film has to then snap freeze for five minutes to allow some tone drama to play out.

Film · Review

Game Night Review – Everyone wins

So this is what happened to all the tightly constructed thrillers that we used to have twenty years ago. They just became the Funny Movies. Like, since the original Hangover they’ve both been cribbing from the same playbook, except instead of waking up with a cadaver and whatever local mob boss gunning for you, it’s just replaced with a series of spiralling comic hijinks. Game Night even draws up its own convoluted web of organised crime, shadowy masterminds who ain’t all that they seem, hard pressed paranoia. The only thing that makes it a comedy is that it’s about the Funny People.

Female Filmmakers · Film · Review

Lady Bird Review: Everything I couldn’t be

There’s mess in the life of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson. Nothing quite adds up for her in the way it’s supposed to, or maybe she’s just getting the sums wrong. It’s telling in a way that the character is bad at maths and you ever really find out what she’s good at. Aside from making a scene, or trying to be about as alive as she can be in any given moment. Her impulses rarely serve her well but they’re hers.

Film · Review

I, Tonya Review – Female pain

There’s something awful fucky about the people who would make a decision to make an uptempo comic drama caper flick about domestic abuse. I ain’t sure if these people even realised the film they were making, but when you’re constructing a montage of a husband beating his wife set some cliché dad-rock needledrop it’s not like you’re missing the forest for the trees. It’s right there in front of you.

Film · POC Filmmakers · Review · Uncategorized

The Shape of Water Review – Merman fantasy

Do you wanna fuck the fish man? Cos I lowkey wanna fuck the fish man. It’s surprising I guess, when I was seeing trailers for The Shape of Water you didn’t see much of the wet dude and I figured they’d make him sexier. Y’all know, help the audience buy into your scaly romance feature by making the romantic hero more human, more a Prince Sidon than some weird primordial beast. But Del Toro calls in his consummate monster man Doug Jones, makes him wear a glorious little rubber suit and puts the character in the most alien and uncomfortable environment to him. A literal fish out of water.