Dunkirk Review

Dunkirk

Very few other filmmakers working today are as intrigued by time and its workings as Christopher Nolan, and none are as good at integrating this fascination with the sort of bombastic excitement that he so consistently delivers. With his war epic, Dunkirk, Nolan strikes the perfect balance between his typically clever treatment of time’s relationship with stories and a heart on sleeve disaster film, paying tribute to the heroes and survivors of the Miracle of Dunkirk. It’s his shortest film since his 1998 debut, Following, and his first non-sci-fi film in over a decade but no less ambitious for it, entering the canon as possibly Nolan’s best film and one of the greatest examples of the World War 2 genre.  Continue reading

The BFG Review

the-bfg-3634x1920-giant-sophie-ruby-barnhill-best-movies-2016-11562 copy

2016 has been the year in which entitled movie fanboyism has reached its loudest and angriest. Largely in response to the new Ghostbusters, the feeling that all movies should be made for white male nerds in their 20s and 30s has been expressed clearly to a very large audience. Whether a movie is ‘too feminine’ or ‘too childish’, this vocal minority of moviegoers simply cannot fathom why all movies aren’t produced with them as the only target audience. In this context, it’s really wonderful to see The BFG. A Spielberg adaptation of Roald Dahl, written by Melissa Mathison of ET fame, it’s a film for children that never pretends otherwise – funny and joyful, and with a giddy silliness that the kids in my screening of the film really responded to.  Continue reading

Bridge of Spies Early Review

Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies feels like a very natural follow up to Lincoln for legendary director Steven Spielberg. Both films delight in the way human decency can overcome cynical politics and both take place against a backdrop of events that would change the USA forever – the Civil War for Lincoln and the Cold War for this latest effort. Simultaneously, Bridge of Spies also feels very much of a piece with the Frank Capra output of the ‘30s, a testament to the power of the heroism of the everyman, albeit tinged with a more biting sense of social commentary. Based on the real-life exploits of idealistic all-American lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks), we see him first defend the ‘most hated man in America’ Colonel Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) against charges of espionage. Three years after he inevitably loses the case, Donovan is then charged with exchanging the soft-spoken Russian agent, a man who somehow gets smaller when he stands up straight, for captured American spy pilot Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell).  Continue reading