Amour (2012)

“Things will go on, and then one day it will all be over. ” ‘Amour’, directed by Michael Haneke in 2012, is a French drama following the story of an elderly couple whose lives are turned upside down when one of them suffers from a debilitating stroke. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva play Georges and…

Wadjda (2012)

“If you set your mind to something, no one can stop you.” ‘Wadjda’, directed by Haifaa al-Mansour in 2012, is a Saudi Arabian drama depicting the life of an eleven year old year in Riyadh. The girl, Wadjda, played by Waad Mohammed, is headstrong and rebellious. She decides she want a bike so she can…

The Red Turtle (2016)

‘The Red Turtle’, directed by Michaël Dudok de Wit in 2016, is a French animated fantasy. A man is shipwrecked on an island. He finds wood and makes a raft to escape, but his raft is destroyed by a creature in the sea. After this happens a number of times, the man discovers the creature…

The Handmaiden (2016)

“You’re asking me about how I think? You think that all I’m interested in is your body? Is that so? You definitely have been reading too many of those erotic writings! If there’s anything I do want from you it’s not your eyes, hands, or ass, but your money. You having the first is money….

Best Films – 2017

2017 has been (another) year of political upheaval and personal wobbles. Life and work have meant that, towards the end of the year, I have stopped blogging once a day, but shifted to two or three times a week. Despite this, I continue to discover films that chime with me personally, emotionally and academically. Some…

Le Harve (2011)

“L’argent circule au crepuscule.” ‘Le Harve’, directed by Aki Kaurismäki in 2011, is a Finnish comedy drama set in the French coastal port. André Wilms plays Marcel Marx, a former writer who has turned to shining shoes for money. He lives with his wife who looks after him and keeps his money safe. When she…

Silence (2016)

“I do because you are just like me. You see Jesus in Gethsemane and believe your trial is the same as His. Those five in the pit are suffering too, just like Jesus, but they don’t have your pride. They would never compare themselves to Jesus. Do you have the right to make them suffer?…

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

“Every memory has a piece of its artist.” ‘Blade Runner 2049’, directed by Denis Villeneuve in 2017, is an American dystopian science fiction thriller. A sequel to the 1982 movie ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Blade Runner 2049’ takes place thirty years later. A cop, played by Ryan Gosling, has the special responsibility of hunting down and killing…

Okja (2017)

“Fuck off! We’re extremely proud of our achievements. We’re very hardworking business-people. We do deals, and these are the deals we do. This is the tenderloin for the sophisticated restaurants. The Mexicans love the feet. I know. Go figure! We all love the face and the anus, as American as apple pie! Hot dogs. It’s…

Dunkirk (2017)

“Commander Bolton: You can practically see it from here. Captain Winnant: What? Commander Bolton: Home.” ‘Dunkirk’, directed by Christopher Nolan in 2017, is a British and American war movie focusing on the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from mainland Europe in the summer of 1940. The film is divided into three narrative strands: the…

Baby Driver (2017)

“He had an accident when he was a kid. Still has a hum in the drum. Plays music to drown it out. And that’s what makes him the best.” ‘Baby Driver’, directed by Edgar Wright in 2017, is an American crime comedy drama. Ansel Elgort plays Baby, a young man whose parents were killed years…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

First published in the British Fantasy Journal. 17 (26-9). ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’, directed by David Yates in 2016, is a British and American fantasy movie, and a further instalment in the ‘Harry Potter’ film franchise. Eddie Redmayne plays Newt Scamander, a British wizard who arrives in New York City with a…

American Sniper (2014)

“There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn’t exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn’t know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep.” ‘American Sniper’, directed by Clint Eastwood in 2014, is an American biopic…

Force Majeure (2014)

“There’s nothing in your head that you haven’t said!” ‘Force Majeure’, directed by Ruben Östlund in 2014, is a Swedish domestic drama. A businessman called Tomas, Johannes Bah Kuhnke, is spending the week skiing with his family: his wife Ebba, played by Lisa Loven Kongsli, and his two children. One lunchtime, they are outside on…

Inception (2010)

“I’m going to improvise. Listen, there’s something you should know about me… about inception. An idea is like a virus, resilient, highly contagious. The smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.” ‘Inception’, directed by Christopher Nolan in 2010, is an American science fiction movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio…

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

“It’s Guardian! Why would I be a Garden of the Galaxy?” ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’, directed by James Gunn in 2017, is an American fantasy comedy. Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill, a human who was kidnapped by aliens when young and brought up with bounty hunters lead by a Fagin-like character called Yondu…

The Great Beauty (2013)

“We’re all on the brink of despair, all we can do is look each other in the face, keep each other company, joke a little… Don’t you agree?” ‘The Great Beauty’, directed by Paolo Sorrentino in 2013, is an Italian art-house drama set in contemporary Rome. The film focuses on the life of Jep Gambardella,…

Victoria (2015)

“No, it’s not amazing… I don’t know. I’ve been sixteen and a half years practicing playing the piano. every day, like seven hours every day. Seven is the maximum. You cannot play more, because you’re gonna hurt your arms. And it’s a really hard life, because you have no… you have no life. You have…

The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

“Yes, and I’m not an asshole. And since you want an asshole, my not being an asshole makes me more of an asshole than the assholes that you normally date, because they’re giving you exactly what you want, whereas I, by not being an asshole, am not. Which makes me an asshole.” ‘The Fundamentals of…

Moonlight (2016)

“Running around, catching a lot of light. In moonlight, black boys look blue. You’re blue. That’s what I’m gonna call you: ‘Blue’.” ‘Moonlight’, directed by Barry Jenkins in 2016, is an American drama focusing on the life of Chiron, a Miami schoolchild who is bullied for being gay and becomes a drug-dealer. Played by three…

Citizenfour (2014)

We all have a stake in this, this is our country and the balance of power between the citizenry and the government is becoming that of the ruling and the ruled as opposed to actually, you know, the elected and the electorate.” ‘Citizenfour’, directed by Laura Poitras in 2014, is an American documentary following the…

Under the Shadow (2016)

“Under its scares, Under the Shadow serves as an impassioned allegory for female oppression – but Anvari doesn’t short-change horror fans. He delivers an entertainment that’s fun to watch, and subversively incisive for those willing to read between the lines.” ‘Under the Shadow’, directed by Babak Anvari in 2016, is a horror movie set in…

Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013)

“My ambition with Dune was tremendous. So, what I wanted was to create a prophet. I want to create a prophet… to change the young minds of all the world. For me, Dune will be the coming of a god. Artistical, cinematographical god. For me, it was not to make a picture. It was something…

Two Days, One Night (2014)

“I don’t want the kids to see me crying.” ‘Two Days, One Night’, directed by the Dardenne brothers in 2014, is a Belgian movie starring Marion Cotillard. Cotillard plays Sandra, a worker at a solar-panel factory who suffers from depression and has been forced to take time off work. Whilst she is absent, her fellow…

Pride (2014)

“I don’t mind taking more, Hefina. Not the lesbians so much, because of their cuisine, but I’ll take an extra gay.” ‘Pride’, directed by Matthew Warchus in 2014, is a British comedy drama that tells the story of the support given to Welsh miners by a group of lesbian and gay activists and their unlikely…

Of Gods and Men (2010)

“Should it ever befall me, and it could happen today, to be a victim of the terrorism swallowing up all foreigners here, I would like my community, my church, my family, to remember that my life was given to God and to this country. That the Unique Master of all life was no stranger to…

By Our Selves (2015)

“I found the poems in the fields, And only wrote them down.” ‘By Our Selves’, directed by Andrew Kotting in 2015, is a British experimental docudrama about the journey of poet John Clare from Epping Forest to Northamptonshire. The film stars Toby Jones as the poet, silently wandering through woodland, whilst Freddie Jones, his father,…

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

“What will you do when they catch you? What will you do if they break you? If you continue to fight, what will you become?” ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, directed by Gareth Edwards in 2016, is an American science fiction fantasy movie and part of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise. The story takes place…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

“You’re an interesting man, Mr. Scamander. Just like your suitcase, I think there’s more to you than meets the eye. Kicked out of Hogwarts for endangering human life with a beast, yet one of your teachers argued strongly against your expulsion. I wonder… what makes Albus Dumbledore so fond of you, Mr. Scamander?” ‘Fantastic Beasts…