* This review contains spoilers for The Beguiled. *
The Beguiled, directed by Sofia Coppola, is a film that is full of multiple missed opportunities. There were many chances to have some genuinely compelling, stimulating content to this film. Instead we get characters who lack any depth, a plot that almost feels non-existent and just a general lack of anything of real substance. As someone who is a fan of Sofia Coppola’s previous work, I was surprised at just how empty this whole film felt. But is it all bad? Are there glimmering lights of hope within the film that make it worth seeing? Well, let’s explore those questions and more in my review. So, let’s get to it. Read more
20th century Women, written and directed by Mike Mills, is a film so full of life; the vibrant, messy, spontaneity of life. This is a film that juggles a deeply nuanced and unique set of characters who all feel so brilliantly explored and so wonderfully crafted. Though at times I found it to be oddly structured, there was something so magnetic about the experience of watching this film; one that felt freeing in how open and exploratory it was. I could go on gushing about this film, but I’d rather move onto the actual review where I can continue to do so, but also point out a few things that still nagged away at me. And so onto the review we go. Read more
Live by Night, written and directed by Ben Affleck, is a film that somehow manages to achieve nothing of merit or note in its 2 hour-long span. Not in some time have I found myself so disinterested in a film; from set-up, to execution, everything in this film feels rushed and lacking in anything that warrants remembering. This review will probably not be the kindest, in terms if my criticism of, Live by Night, but it has to be said, unfortunately. Read more
So 2016 has been a mixed year in terms of films; the summer blockbuster season was… well a bust, and there have been a lot of films that haven’t fully hit the mark (for me). But, there have also been some real treasures – some films that have been absolutely exceptional; ones that I didn’t see coming. Now of course this is all about the films that for me, just couldn’t escape my head. The ones that burrowed themselves into my memory banks, set up shop, and politely – or sometimes quite forcefully – told me that they planned on being there for the long-haul. This was something I was completely okay with.
I suppose I should lay what you can expect from this piece, as I’m not intending for it to be the usual ‘Top 10’ lists that you’re going to be seeing around this time of year. What I want to do with this is not necessarily focus on what might be considered the absolute best-of-the best from 2016; the films that were perfect in their every effort and deserve to be recognised as the next masterpieces. This is more about me shining a light on some films that, for one reason or another (those reasons will be laid out in detail when I talk about each film) just had an effect on me, made it so that they stuck around and kept me thinking about them. The films are in no particular order, but my favourite film of 2016 will be in there somewhere. But don’t worry, you’ll know when that comes up.
I also want to point out that this list only contains films released in the UK in 2016. So films like, La La Land, Midnight, Manchester by the Sea, etc. films which everyone is singing the praises of, will not be contenders for this list. I want to keep it contained to only films released in UK cinemas in 2016. That way I can give everything a fair shot from this year.
So yeah, that’s what I intend to do with this piece. You’ll definitely recognise a lot of these films, and many other people will assuredly be talking about them, but I’m also hoping there will be 1-or-2 that slipped under your radar, and reading about them here gives you that little nudge to go watch them. So without further-a-due, let’s get into the films that stood out to me, and made their presence known, in 2016. Read more
The Neon Demon, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, can be described perfectly with one word: obtuse. Refn is certainly a polarising director, and so it should come as no surprise that his new film – The Neon Demon – is a film that many will struggle to get through. There are things that I like about Refn as a director, and there are things I don’t like; both are present in this film. Let’s drop ourselves into the immaculately uncomfortable world of, The Neon Demon (through this review) and see what it offers up. Read more
Trumbo, directed by Jay Roach, is a film that feels like a missed opportunity. The sad irony is that this is a film that focuses on a brilliant screenplay writer, yet it is severely harmed by a script that leaves the film an incoherent mess at times; necessary information that is overlooked, characters that exist in underdeveloped obscurity, and a story that feels lost as to what it wants to focus on. There is quite a bit that sadly makes this film a taxing and confusing watch, so let’s explore what those problems are in this review. Read more