Wild Rose (2018)

Wild Rose (2018). Directed by Tom Harper. Starring Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters and Sophie Okonedo. **** A troubled upbringing rooted in a working class, Scottish environment proves to be surprisingly fertile ground for the artistic development of an aspiring country musician in this deeply rooted, realistic and inspiring tale of chasing your dreams and becomingContinue reading “Wild Rose (2018)”

The Red Shoes (1948)

The Red Shoes (1948). Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Starring Moira Shearer, Marius Goring and Anton Walbrook. ***** Ballet on film has never looked as stunning as it does in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s classic cinematic take on Hans Christian Andersen’s story of The Red Shoes.  Creating a potent tale of obsessionContinue reading “The Red Shoes (1948)”

The Shape Of Water (2017)

The Shape Of Water (2017). Directed by Guillermo Del Toro. Starring Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones and Octavia Spencer. **1/2 The Creature From The Black Lagoon meets Amelie by way of glossy Douglas Sirk-lite melodrama in a heavily stylised version of 1950’s Baltimore for a tale which sets itself up as aContinue reading “The Shape Of Water (2017)”

Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)

Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017). Directed by S. Craig Zahler. Starring Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Udo Kier and Don Johnson. *** S. Craig Zahler follows up his cracking horror-western Bone Tomahawk with a morally dingy, uber-violent dive into the grindhouse neo-noir prison flick in Brawl In Cell Block 99. Sticking with the same genre-collisionContinue reading “Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)”

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). Directed Frank Capra. Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore and Henry Travers. ***** So intense is the finale of this picture that it is always a surprise to me that the sequence of this movie which everyone remembers – George’s breakdown, wish that he had never been born andContinue reading “It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)”

Dangerous Moonlight (1941)

Dangerous Moonlight (1941). Directed by Brian Desmond Hurst. Starring Anton Walbrook, Sally Gray and Derrick De Marney. **** This tale of a shell-shocked amnesiac Polish bomber pilot and ace classical pianist might hang its hat on a particularly melodramatic framing narrative but within that it spins a pretty interesting tale, asking some pretty pertinent questionsContinue reading “Dangerous Moonlight (1941)”

The Ward (2010)

The Ward (2010). Directed by John Carpenter. Starring Amber Heard, Mamie Gummer, Danielle Panabaker and Jared Harris. Mad Women in a Psychiatric Hospital would probably have been the title had Roger Corman produced this as John Carpenter returns after a 9 year break from movie-making to create this female-centred supernatural-inflected, psychological horror flick. Working fromContinue reading “The Ward (2010)”

Sixty Glorious Years (1938)

Sixty Glorious Years (1938). Directed by Herbert Wilcox. Starring Anna Neagle and Anton Walbrook. Sadly, there isn’t even close to sixty glorious minutes in Herbert Wilcox’s hurriedly made sequel to 1937’s smash hit Victoria the Great, completely in glorious Technicolor this time – although it has to be said that the palette is pretty mutedContinue reading “Sixty Glorious Years (1938)”