Skip to content

Screenwords Posts

Film Review: The Vault

Directed by Dan Bush (The Signal, The Reconstruction of William Zero), The Vault is a fast-paced, violent and at times simply baffling heist movie with a twist. Mixing the supernatural with the usual heist narrative fodder, the film attempt a new approach to this tried and tested formula, but ultimately falls at the first hurdle by its inability to offer a compelling or coherent enough story.

James Franco, Taryn Manning and a whole host of brilliantly talented young Hollywood actors are wasted on this deeply confused small budget production, which sadly for its makers can’t quite decide what it wants to be and ends up looking messy and rather confused.

Comments closed

Film Review: Insyriated

Belgian director Philippe Van Leeuw may not seem like the most obvious person to direct a film about the Syrian war, but then again the same could have been said about Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo and his seminal film about the the Algerian war of independence, The Battle Of Algiers (1966), a film which remains to this day one of the most powerful features ever made on the subject. Set inside a solitary apartment in a building in Damascus, Insyriated is certainly not for the fainted hearted, but remains nevertheless essential viewing for anyone wanting to make sense of the horrors taking place daily.

Comments closed

Film Review: mother!

Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! introduces us to one of those golden couples lauded in social media, entertainment news and slavish profiles in Vanity Fair, Vogue or countless colour supplements. Javier Bardem is a celebrated poet trying to crack writer’s block as his new and younger wife, Jennifer Lawrence, works to renovate and redecorate their country house. Into this domestic Eden, disorder arrives in the form of a dying fan, Ed Harris, and his vivacious partner played with a delicious frisson by Michelle Pfeiffer. What happens between this quartet rapidly accelerates into a mash-up of Rosemary’s Baby, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Discreet Charm of The Bourgeoisie and liberal dashes of Pinter, Beckett and Ionesco for any absurdist theatre fans in the audience.

Comments closed

Film Review: The Vault

Originality doesn’t blast through the cinematic vaults often from an industry oversaturated with remakes, reboots and the like, but director Dan Bush has broken free from the mould with his horror/heist hybrid, a combination of these two worlds stands up well on paper but slightly misses the boat, in reality, dipping in and out of scenarios that are all too familiar.

Comments closed

Film Review: Wind River

After the success of his scripts for Sicario (2015) and Hell and High Water (2016), Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River promises to be an innovative mix of genre and social commentary. Despite a timely premise and two charismatic actors playing mismatched heroes in a remote and divided community, Wind River is a frustrating misfire of loose plot threads, confusing editing and a palpable sense unhelpful changes were made to the film’s final cut (The film was produced by The Weinstein Company. Say no more).

Comments closed

Film Review: God’s Own Country

Fresh from wowing the crowds at this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival and going on to win the award for best British Film in the process, Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country finally sees its nationwide release this week. This deeply touching and thoroughly charming first feature has garnered the greatest amount of good will from critics and film fans alike, making it one of the most awaited British films of the year. Set amongst a Yorkshire Dales farming community, and recounting a love story between a Romanian worker and the owner of a sheep farm, the film is predictably being referred to by some as the British Brokeback Mountain, but in reality God’s Own Country has a lot more in common with Barry Jenkins’ surprise 2016 hit, Moonlight than with Ang Lee’s deeply flawed 2005 movie.

Comments closed

Film Review: Patti Cake$

Coming literally out of nowhere to win hearts and souls this summer, Geremy Jasper’s brilliant first feature Patti Cake$ is everything you would want it to be and more. This coming of age story which sees an unlikely white female rapper from New Jersey find her voice, has a punk rock spirit with a power ballad soul and everything else in between. Patti Cake$ is 8 Miles if 8 Mile didn’t take itself too seriously, and if Eminem were a vivacious bigger than life jersey girl with red hair who could spit more rhymes than Drake and had more balls than Kanye. Staring Australian new comer Danielle Macdonald as the fearless Patti, the film mixes social and poetic realism to tell a story of struggle and  triumph whilst seldom falling into the predictable or the facile.

Comments closed

Review: UNA By Benedict Andrews

The repercussions of telling a story of child grooming and abuse and its subsequent fall out in the years after will always be a sensitive and agonising road to venture down. First-time feature film director, Benedict Andrews, has bitten off more than he can handle in his adaptation of playwright David Harrower’s stage drama Blackbird, failing to build the intensity it cries out for.

Andrews gives a valiant effort in trying to build a world outside the four walls the play confines its characters too, but this only enhances Rooney Mara’s character Una’s mental instability, turning the victim of such a heinous crime into an unstable woman reminiscent of Glenn Close’s bunny boiler act in Fatal Attraction.

Comments closed

FrightFest Film Review: 3rd Night

The dark opening sequence hangs heavily over the rural idyll shown in 3rd Night. Somewhere between B-movie and video nasty, a little girl is running around the woods, with the industry standard grisly event; but the soundtrack is brilliantly disturbing and unearthly, and the pace is well-judged. The nursery rhyme the child is singing drives everything else that unfolds in this movie.

Comments closed