The Killing of a Sacred Deer Review

Killing Sacred Deer

With The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos moved his capacity for originality from the bizarre social commentary of Dogtooth into the realm of high-concept sci-fi, with mixed results. Now, with a no less unique and surprising film, Lanthimos turns his eye to something much more traditional, with the superb The Killing of a Sacred Deer turning to Medieval morality plays, Greek tragedies, and the Old Testament for its inspirations. Turning a family inside out to pay for the sins of the father, this taboo shattering and enthralling film unravels its mysteries slowly but ruthlessly, creating a marrow-deep feeling of unease, punctuated by genuine hilarity.  Continue reading

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The Beguiled Review

The Beguiled

Of all the films for Sofia Coppola to follow up The Bling Ring with, a remake of a Civil War-set Clint Eastwood vehicle from the ‘70s might not seem the most obvious choice. Yet, by paring back the misogyny and explicitness of Don Siegel’s 1971 adaptation of Thomas Cullinan’s The Beguiled, Coppola becomes a perfect match for this story of isolated women on the edge, in a grand house driven mad with suspicion and sexual hysteria. She became only the second-ever woman to win Best Director at Cannes with this film, and it’s easy to see why the jury chose it; it’s sumptuous, tense, and completely entertaining.  Continue reading

Lion Review

LION

 

Along with Kubo and the Two Strings, Garth Davis’ Lion might be 2016’s most unhelpfully titled film. Featuring not a single lion, and taking place in India and Australia, two countries famously lacking in the beasts. Adapted from a memoir entitled A Long Way Home, the original name is a far better representation of the story told here, and gives more of the necessary hint that Lion is quite a slog. Starting fantastically, and ending equally as well, much of the body of the film feels like nicely shot filler, featuring a lot of long, dialogue-free walking as our hero, Saroo Brierly (played by Sunny Pawar as a child and Dev Patel as an adult) tries his best to find his true home.  Continue reading

Paddington Review

Paddington

 

Earlier this year, when I went to watch The Lego Movie, I was reminded, in the pre-film trailers, just how awful films for young children can be. What a relief, then, that Lego turned out so brilliantly, and, as a further bonus for family-friendly cinema this year, Paul King’s Paddington is a genuine delight. It’s smart, funny, warm, boasts a great British comedy cast, and has two broad but charming messages – that immigration is an integral part of British culture and, for the kids, that parents can be really cool sometimes, you just have to give them the opportunity. Whilst this had the potential to be a cynical cash-grab, instead Paddington is a great adaptation of the beloved stories, and the best way for a family to spend 90 minutes at the cinema this winter.  Continue reading