Loveless ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2

A masterpiece from Andrey Zvyagintsev (he of Leviathan) that explores what happens when loves exits relationships, or was not there to begin with. But it also holds up a mirror to contemporary Russian society, with its materialistic upward-mobility and conflict. Despite its deeply unsympathetic main protagonists, this film had me gripped, sometimes uncomfortably so,  for its […]

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The Death of Stalin ⭐⭐½

A movie where the sum of its parts doesn’t quite make a whole. A fine cast with some great performances, notably a superb cameo from Jason Isaacs as an army general reimagined as a gruff northerner (think Sean Bean with a chest full of military medals) and Jeffrey Tambor’s turn as Stalin’s weak, vain deputy. […]

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Our Time Will Come ⭐⭐½

Lan (Xun Zhao) is a schoolteacher living with her mother in Japanese-occupied Hong Kong.  After helping some intellectuals boarding in her mother’s house escape to mainland China, she is drawn into the resistance movement. The film follows the stories of Lan, her mother, the rebel leader Blackie Lau (Eddie Peng) and Lan’s would-be fiancé, now […]

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The Hungry ⭐⭐⭐½

An elegantly gruesome retelling of Titus Andronicus set in modern-day India.  Sunny Ajuha, the hapless older son of Tathagat Ahuja (Naseeruddin Shah) is about to marry Tulsi Joshi (Tisca Chopra), a woman several years her senior.  It’s a wedding that brings two wealthy Delhi business families together, but the guests are left wondering what the […]

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King of Peking ⭐⭐⭐1/2

King of Peking is an unashamedly nostalgic and delightfully charming film about a father and his young son in 1990s Beijing (Peking for the purposes of this review).  It’s a time when private enterprise is just taking off, but the old Communist-command economy is still very much in evidence. Big Wong is a travelling projectionist, […]

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Have a Nice Day ⭐⭐⭐½

When Xiao Zhan, a delivery driver for a construction company, steals a bag of money from his gangster boss in order to take his girlfriend to South Korea for corrective cosmetic surgery after an original operation went wrong.  Not surprisingly, his boss wants it back and gets his enforcer onto the case. To complicate matters, […]

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Equilibrium ⭐⭐⭐½

Father Giovanni is an idealistic Catholic priest who secures a posting to an impoverished district of Naples.  Believing that a good priest should minister to the community, and at first he is welcomed by the local people. But Father Giovanni (an almost preternaturally calm performance by Mimmo Borrelli) also wants to take practical steps to […]

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The Limehouse Golem ⭐⭐⭐½

An unknown serial killer calling themselves the Limehouse Golem is stalking Victorian London with a series of theatrically gruesome murders.  On the night of the last Golem murder, music-hall star Elizabeth Cree (Olivia Cooke) has been accused of poisoning her husband John Cree and is sentenced to hang. It’s a case for Bill Nighy as […]

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