Misbehaviour, Jawline, Climax, Happy as Lazzaro, Destroyer, Duplicate and Spud – Quick Read Reviews

11 mins read

September 2020 Edition

Looking for something to watch tonight? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our monthly pick of movies old and new, without the long review. Instead, these quick recommendations offer a summary of our thoughts alongside details of the movies length, certificate and genre. So settle back for this months selection, including Misbehaviour, Jawline, Climax, Happy as Lazzaro, Destroyer, Duplicate and Spud.

Misbehaviour (UK, 2020)

Director:  Philippa Lowthorpe

Cast:  Keira KnightleyGugu Mbatha-RawJessie Buckley, Greg Kinnear,

Certificate: 12A

Runtime: 106 minutes

Genre: Drama/Comedy

Suffering from a release date just a few weeks before global lockdown. Misbehaviour offers a classic slice of British issue-based comedy-drama. As the women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s and the global fight for racial equality combine to create a defining moment in social protest; the disruption of the live Miss World broadcast in 1970. While thoroughly entertaining, Misbehaviour also gets lost in an ocean of competing themes, and social commentary. Its compelling discussion on gender, race and media representation lacking the depth needed to find a lasting voice.


Jawline (USA 2019)

Director:  Liza Mandelup

Stars: Nick ChampaJJ HannonAustyn Tester

Certificate: Unrated

Runtime: 93 minutes

Genre: Documentary

In a world of celebrity, instant fame and viral videos, Jawline delicately unpicks the lure of social media stardom for young people. The realities of instant recognition, public scrutiny and financial control meshed within a fantasy world of minor celebrity status. Often uncomfortable, yet also profoundly revealing, the cult of personality and youthful good looks are laid bare. As one young man faces the ultimate truth; fame is fleeting in nature and darker than most expect.  


Climax (France 2018)

Director: Gaspar Noé

Cast: Sofia BoutellaRomain GuillermicSouheila Yacoub, Kiddy Smile, Claude-Emmanuelle Gajan-Maull

Certificate: 18

Runtime: 97 minutes

Genre: Thriller/Dance/Horror

Fame meets drug-fuelled nightmare in Gasper Noe’s trip into the darkest reaches of human experience. With a film full of the heart-thumping energy and complexity we have grown accustomed to from Noe. The audience plunged into a pit of expertly crafted tension and horror, amid the raw, animalistic power of dance. And while not as shocking as the genuinely horrific Irreversible. Climax is full of slow-burning unease as the darker side of each character is illuminated through a haze of sweat. During an intoxicating night of sex, fantasy and tribalism. 


Happy as Lazzaro (Italy 2018)

Director: Alice Rohrwacher

Cast:  Adriano TardioloAgnese GrazianiAlba Rohrwacher, Sergi López

Certificate: 12A

Runtime: 128 mins

Genre: Fantasy/Drama

Expertly crafted with deep humanity and intelligence. Lazzaro acts as a mirror, reflecting timeless social structures of injustice with care, and complexity. It’s stunning cinematography, and 16mm frame bathing the audience in the warmth of our shared humanity. While allowing its social and religious commentary to find an individual voice in the hands of the viewer. In a journey full of heart, magic and meaning.


Destroyer (USA 2018)

Director: Karyn Kusama

Cast:  Nicole KidmanToby KebbellTatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan, Scoot McNairy

Certificate: 15

Runtime: 121 minutes

Genre: Thriller

Gritty and stark, Kidman is all but unrecognisable as a gruff police officer slowly unravelling through guilt. In a slow-burn drama layered with complexity and darkness. And while some may struggle with the melodic pace, the finale is more than worth the journey. Within a compelling and uncomfortable dissection of one woman’s need for justice and closure at any cost.


Duplicate (or ‘Jonathan’ in the USA) 2018

Director: Bill Oliver

Cast: Ansel ElgortSuki WaterhousePatricia Clarkson, Matt Bomer

Certificate: 15

Runtime: 95 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Slipping under the radar here in the UK, Duplicate is a hidden gem of science fiction. Part Jekyll and Hyde, and part The Outer Limits, its tale of two separate personalities inhabiting the same body, delicate, restrained yet complicated. With Elgort beautifully encapsulating the trials and tribulations of allowing both John and Jonathan to run free; one during the day and one during the night. However, where Duplicate truly shines is in its nuanced take on personal belonging and survival; one body unable to hold two distinct personalities, each of whom long to live unrestrained.


Spud (South Africa 2010)

Director: Donovan Marsh

Cast: John CleeseTroye SivanJamie Royal, Sven Ruygrok, Byron Langley

Certificate: 15

Runtime: 103 minutes

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Based on John Van De Ruit’s novel of life in a South African boarding school in the early 1990s. Spud carries many similar trademarks to that of Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole. The story of young John Milton (Troye Sivan) layered in the trials and tribulations of puberty, sexual discovery, friendship, anxiety and confidence. His first year at boarding school wrapped in fear, apprehension and darkly comic moments of wonder. With John Cleese providing a genuinely delightful, grumpy and yet warm mentor to the young, insecure boy. Spud all but disappeared here in the UK, due to a 15 certificate that hindered discovery. But, with moments of wonderful humour and heartfelt emotion, alongside performances that glow with the uncertainty and rambunctiousness of youth. Spud is nothing short of an entertaining and emotional delight.


Quick Read returns with seven more recommendations in October.

Check out last months Quick Read here

Troye Sivan and Nicole Kidman also star in Boy Erased

Ansel Elgort also stars in Baby Driver and The Goldfinch

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