Once in a while a film comes along which affects you in more ways than you could have ever imagined. Heralded by some as one the best movies to come out of Sundance this year, David Lowry’s A Ghost Story is an incredibly well executed exercise is subtly and an engenoius masterclass in clever filmmaking. Centring around ideas of loss, legacy and the need for human connection, the film is sure to leave its audiences stunned and in awe of its simple yet highly effective premise. Written by Lowry himself and staring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, A Ghost Story never resorts to predictable tropes nor does it go out of its way to alienate its audiences with an overly complicated narrative arc. Lowry’s ability to normalise allegory and symbolism is a testament to his sublime writing credentials.
Reviewed By Linda Marric
In what could be considered the best instalment yet of the ever growing conjuring universe, Annabelle: Creation arrives at UK cinemas this weekend, and it would be a surprise to no one to say that it isn’t terribly clever, nor does it win in the subtlety stakes. Having said that, it would however be disingenuous to pretend that the film doesn’t have its moments. With predictable jump-scares and needless thuds and crashes, the makers bring nothing new or challenging to this very popular franchise, but if it is predictable you’re after, then by all means look no further.
Chartering the life of folk artist Maude Lewis and the romance which blossomed in later life between her and taciturn fish peddler Everett, Aisling Walsh’s Maudie is moving without ever being schmaltzy and gripping without having to resort to a superfluous narrative arc. Staring Sally Hawkins as the Nova Scotia artist known for her infantile drawings of cats, flowers and colourful landscapes, the film is not only likely to move its audiences to tears, but also manages to tell a beautifully nuanced story without ever sugar-coating some of the more unsavoury element of relationship between the two protagonists.
Just like its title, The Ghoul, despite all its intricate twists and clever ideas, is a completely dumbfounding piece of cinema for even the most seasoned cinema goers to get their head around without inducing the mother of all headaches.
This British psychological thriller dares to be different; it pushes the boundaries from what the typical narrative one would expect from the genre, mixing a murderous investigation with a devilish fantastical reality, which, on paper, has a real originality you want to root for. However, in reality, this mind-bending trip of confusion leaves you constantly in a fog of bewilderment.
Directed by Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer) and written by real life couple Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, Portlandia), the highly anticipated The Big Sick finally makes its way to a cinema near you this week. Staring Nanjiani himself, the film centres around real life events in the life the Pakistani born comedian during his courtship with his now wife Emily (played in the film by Zoe Kazan). After all the praise heaped on it at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, one would have been forgiven to approach the hype with a certain amount of trepidation. But fear not, because this gem of a romantic comedy is everything you might have heard and hoped it would be. It is edgy without being kookie and touching without ever resorting to schmaltz.
Wish Upon is a funny and interesting reminder that we all hope for a touch of magic in our lives. The trailer surely smells like teen spirit. You will have fun if you are young, or if you are still connected with your inner child.
Teenager Clare (Joey King) is given an old music box that promises to grant the owner’s wishes, and, to her surprise, when she makes her first wish, it comes true. Before long, she finally has it all: money, popularity and her dream boy. Everything seems perfect — until the people closest to her begin dying in the most gruesome and twisted ways.
In the early summer of 1940, 400,000 British and Allied troops are stuck on the beach at Dunkirk. While they await rescue from the British Navy, the town is being littered with leaflets, reminding the locals and the soldiers that they’re surrounded. The situation looks – and is – hopeless.
Okja looks for all the world like a heartwarming family film about a little girl’s friendship with an adorable giant pig and that’s exactly what it is… for about twenty minutes. Director Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Snowpiercer) uses this time to lay the pipework of the plot. The multinational Mirando corporation has sent out 26 ‘superpigs’ to be raised by farmers around the world., After ten years, the healthiest and biggest pig will win a prize. We get to know 14-year-old Korean girl Mija (An Seo Hyun), who has grown up alongside her grandfather’s superpig, Okja, on his farm in rural South Korea.
As intelligent horror movies go, It Comes At Night isn’t so much senseless blood and gore, but rather a film which will inject a sense of fear, paranoia and utter despair in its audience. Written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, the film manages to play on its audience’s deepest fears by using clever devices which will make even the most seasoned horror fans jumped out of their skin. Playing on the whole tried and tested “cabin in the woods” trope, Shults manages to bring something fresh and classy to the proceedings without ever resorting to cheap tricks or tired clichés. Borrowing from Romero, Carpenter and even from John Hillcoat’s The Road (2009), the film cleverly plays on the idea of trust in a bleak post-apocalyptic envirement, all the while treating its audience like adults and never spoon-feeding them.