BFI London Film Festival 2019

The Personal History of David Copperfield (Review) – Dickens classic finds a new voice

Placing Charles Dickens’s classic novel David Copperfield into the hands of Armando Iannucci (The Death of Stalin) may sound rather audacious. But Iannucci’s love of all things Dickens found itself highlighted back in 2012. With the fabulous BBC documentary ‘Armando’s Tale of Charles Dickens.‘ In which the writer/director explored Dickens’s work with a contemporary social eye. While equally focussing on …

Marriage Story – The complexities of family breakdown

Arriving 40 years after Robert Benton’s Oscar winning Kramer vs Kramer. Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story may just follow in the award winning footsteps of its predecessor in 2020. By creating a film that not only echoes the character driven drama of Robert Benton’s movie. But also offers both a personal and assured reflection of the complexities of marriage and divorce …

The Irishman – Goodbye to the Goodfellas

It is hard to believe that is was almost 25 years ago that Martin Scorsese brought us Casino, starring Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro. A film that many thought would mark the end of the Pesci – DeNiro partnership born in the 1980 film Raging Bull. While Al Pacino although having worked De Niro on The Godfather, never crossed …

Saint Maud (Review) – Visceral horror of the highest order

Religious fervour mixes with mental illness in a film that takes you to the very edges of psychological horror. Director Rose Glass’ debut feature providing visceral terror of the highest order. In turn, wrapping its audience in a nerve-shredding world of mental decline. The escape door firmly closed as we follow a deeply troubled young care worker into a dark …

Knives Out (Review) – A genre reborn in a sizzling whodunit

Knives Out is a pure joy to watch, as Director Rian Johnson breathes new life into the classic whodunit genre. While celebrating the genius of Agatha Christie in a film that plays homage to her writing. While also treading new ground, with a script that brings the whodunit up to date. In a large sprawling manor house outside Boston the …

This is Not Berlin – Coming of age in a haze of art, sex, music and drugs

‘Esto no es Berlín’ Hari Sama’s semi-autobiographical new film ‘This is Not Berlin’ buzzes with the vibrant and intoxicating energy of 1980’s counterculture. Coupled with the freshly emerging punk and new wave culture of 80s Mexico City. Sweeping two teenage friends into an emerging world of art, sex, risk and liberation. Their friendship challenged and changed as identity, sexuality, music, …

Monsoon (Review) – A journey into cultural identity and belonging

Hong Khaou’s second film ‘Monsoon’ follows on from the themes of grief, cultural identity, and belonging of his first feature ‘Lilting‘. While also charting a different path to his debut feature. As he explores the death of a parent and the need for second-generation children to discover their cultural identity and heritage. The director’s trademark sensitivity and storytelling, matched with …

The Lighthouse (Review) – How long have we been on this rock?

Waves batter an isolated rock, while hungry gulls circle for their next meal. The beaming torch of the barnacled lighthouse providing safety for travelling sailors. While its thick stone walls hold two ‘wickies’ prisoners of the sea. Their relentless maintenance and isolation surrounded by empty bottles of booze. As both men search for meaning and purpose beyond the light of …

Honey Boy – Young fame and the misguided support of a troubled parent

Born in 1986, Shia LaBeouf found fame at a young age through stand up comedy and then the Disney Channel. His talent finding worldwide stardom with the 2007 hit Disturbia. However, as with many child actors before him, the journey to this point was far from glamourous; fraught with alcohol, anger and internal struggle. Written by LaBeouf, ‘Honey Boy’ may …

Jojo Rabbit (Review) – A stunning satirical dissection of hate and fascism

Lampooning fascism and Nazi ideology in a film can be a tightrope walk for any Director. With the sensitivities of history still raw and full of emotion for many viewers. Hence creating a need to balance humour with the real horror of war and hate. And with Jojo Rabbit, Director Taika Waititi manages to walk this tricky tightrope by layering …