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11 articles


Film Review: 'Life of Riley'

2 hours ago

★★★☆☆ The play was once again the thing for Alain Resnais, as theatre serves as the backcloth for The Life of Riley (2014), his final film and the follow up to follow-up to 2013's Cannes Competition entry You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet (itself based upon Jean Anouilh's Eurydice). This time around, Resnais chose to rework British playwright Alan Ayckbourn's The Life of Riley, with the story's comedy about middle-class infidelity translating well into French. A curious overture places the audience in the Yorkshire Dales as the nonagenarian takes us on a tour through the area's twisting roads before the confines of a sound stage.

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- CineVue UK

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Glasgow 2015: 'Warsaw Uprising' review

6 hours ago

★★★☆☆ There are a number of dichotomies at the heart of Warsaw Uprising (2014), a new film directed by Jan Komasa and masterminded by the Warsaw Uprising Museum. The most pronounced of these is its blend of documentary and fiction, and the effects of both. The former comes through six hours of footage mined from the Polish Propaganda Bureau which has been painstakingly colourised, and an immaculately accurate soundscape added, to provide a frankly astonishing visceral reportage account of the titular Second World War combat. Juxtaposed with it is a overcooked fictionalised narrative, told through voiceover, detailing a trio of cameramen capturing the action.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'White Bird in a Blizzard'

19 hours ago

★★★☆☆ "In a blink my virginity disappeared just like my mother." Delivered with raw teenage cynicism by rising star Shailene Woodley's Kat, this line of voiceover perfectly encapsulates the primary dynamics of Gregg Araki's White Bird in a Blizzard (2014). An adaptation of Laura Kasischke's novel of the same name, the film almost disregards the mystery at the narrative's centre in favour of exploring the intertwined sexuality of Kat and her mother, Eve (Eva Green), who walks out on husband (Christopher Meloni) and daughter at the film's opening. The setup is summed up in eloquently economical prose by the protagonist. "Just when I was becoming nothing but my body, she stepped out of hers and left it behind."

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- CineVue UK

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Glasgow 2015: 'The Falling' review

3 March 2015 1:14 PM, PST

★★★★☆ Carol Morley's follow-up to the lauded Dreams of a Life (2011) shares a thematic through line with its predecessor. That documentary investigated the story and circumstances of a young woman who was found dead and alone in a North London flat in 2006. Morley's new film once again mines a central mystery, this time a fictional one based on real life phenomena. The Falling (2014) is a slowly beguiling drama that revolves around an unfathomable spate of collapses occurring in a girls school in leafy 1960s England. It's a singular and enthralling work that may have flaws, but overwhelms them with a palpable atmosphere both alluring and strangely disconcerting.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Still Alice'

3 March 2015 10:00 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ It's impossible to pinpoint the first memory embezzled under Alzheimer's rampage through the tangled web of neurons and chemical pulses of the human brain. Since even the healthiest of minds can find itself prone to moments of absent-mindedness the illness looms large over all of us, especially in an ageing society that clings to individualism. In Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's adaptation of Lisa Genova's novel Still Alice (2014) this increasingly prevalent fear is confronted head-on, sidestepping the well-trodden route of similar dramas and choosing to inhabit the deteriorating world of the sufferer, played in this instance by recent Academy Award winner Julianne Moore.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Sea Without Shore'

3 March 2015 8:00 AM, PST

★★☆☆☆ The endless oceans of love and grief are plumbed in esoteric and emotive fashion in André Semanza and Fernanda Lippi's flawed and ambitious art film, Sea Without Shore (2015). Coming over a decade after the duo's first feature collaboration, Ashes of God (2003), it sets out a similar stall, seeking to fuse together interpretive dance and formally experimental cinema into cogent and affecting visual poetry. Whilst the result on this occasion is certainly striking, it ultimately fails to elicit the desired effect on the big screen. Rather than working as a film in its own right, it feels like a short stretched that little bit too far, or a hypnotic sequence in a longer denser film.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Hyena'

3 March 2015 5:43 AM, PST

★★★☆☆Opening films at festivals are often easygoing curtain-raisers that provide a bit of glamour before guests scatter into all manner of inevitable industry after-parties. But guests at last year's 68th Edinburgh International Film Festival stumbled out of a violent, cerebral, police noir. It was a brave choice, that never quite convinced as the right fit (it appears to have no relation to Scotland and its film industry) but Hyena (2014) is a cut above the average London gangster flick all the same. Gerard Johnson's sophomore feature might look on the outset like the type of London crime thriller usually populated by Jason Statham, but it's more emotionally complex than its outset gives it credit for.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Difret'

3 March 2015 2:00 AM, PST

★★★☆☆ Zeresenay Mehari's directorial debut Difret (2014) is a captivating story about a revolutionary period of feminism in Ethiopia as the battle between traditional sacraments and modern ideologies climax over a murder trial and a young girl's right to self defence and freedom to choose. Based on a true story, tensions become calamitous in Ethiopia when a 14-year-old girl, Hirut (Tizita Hagere), murders the man who abducted and raped her. Not only is such abduction widely accepted as a grand romantic gesture, but it's openly encouraged for considerably older men. According to tradition, the woman must accept being taken, held with little food and water, and be prepared for her future husband to rape her.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Appropriate Behaviour'

3 March 2015 12:00 AM, PST

★★★★☆ Neurotic self-analysis and a growing sense of entitlement have become a staple of the New York comedy scene. From Woody Allen's Manhattan (1979) to Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture (2010) the city that never sleeps would appears to be tossing-and-turning over a deep-seated sense of insecurity. Desiree Akhavan (creator of the cult web series The Slope) is the latest voice for these hordes of irreverent twentysomethings with Appropriate Behaviour (2014) an endearingly frank, and bittersweet self-portrait of life as a bi-sexual Iranian-American Brooklynite. "The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else."

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Dreamcatcher'

2 March 2015 5:27 PM, PST

★★★★☆ The lives of women in prostitution trying to survive in Chicago and young girls at risk of taking the same path, is revealed with compelling sensitivity in Kim Longinotto's latest documentary, Dreamcatcher (2015). The film follows co-founder and executive director Brenda Myers-Powell as she works and volunteers tirelessly for the Dreamcatcher Foundation to help the lives of women and girls whose lives so closely resemble her own past. Early on in the film, Brenda tells the story of a child who was raised by her grandmother, was abused from the age of four, and who, having observed the women standing in the street, just wanted to be as glamorous as they.

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- CineVue UK

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DVD Review: 'The Judge'

2 March 2015 3:36 AM, PST

★★☆☆☆ On more than a few occasions during the big screen promo trail for The Judge (2014), star Robert Downey Jr. cited the character-driven Us films of the 70s as his inspiration behind the project (a labour of love for the actor; his wife Susan has a producer credit). What might have looked promising on the page (although some of the overwrought dialogue can't have been too easy on the eye) fails to translate successfully to screen. The potentially dynamic tête-á-tête between Downey Jr. and on-screen father Robert Duvall has to compete with a flabby running time and a wrong-footed approach to material which, in the right hands, could have transformed a conventional pot-boiler into a solid mainstream drama.

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- CineVue UK

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11 articles



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