A Ghost Story Review

Ghost Story

What comes after death? What is the purpose of life? Is there more to time than we can perceive? These are some of the grandest questions of the human condition, and to even tackle them in a film shows incredible ambition. To pose them, and provide emotionally resonant answers in the space of just 90 minutes, is evidence of a filmmaker working at the highest level, which is exactly the space David Lowery occupies with the mesmerising A Ghost Story. Reuniting with his Ain’t Them Bodies Saints stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, Lowery’s work here eclipses the entirety of his back catalogue, as well the vast majority of the other films of 2017.  Continue reading

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Song To Song Review

ASongtoSong

Actors in Terence Malick films have always had to be prepared to have their roles excised from his final edit. His masterful Thin Red Line completely cut out Mickey Rourke and left George Clooney on screen for all of two minutes, and he’s only got more ruthless with his cast in his modern output. Yet, where Malick’s wandering eye once produced gorgeous and profound mediations on nature and man’s place in it, his post-Tree of Life work has found him stuck in a self-indulgent rut, creating films that are nothing more than disconnected tone poems about the alluring emptiness found in wealth and beauty. With Song to Song, it finally feels like Malick has become everything his critics have always accused him of – slow, uninterested in character, and maybe even pretentious. Continue reading

Carol Early Review

(L-R) KYLE CHANDLER and CATE BLANCHETT star in CAROL

With gorgeous craftsmanship, an insightful slow-burn of a love story, and inspired casting, director Todd Haynes and writer Phyllis Nagy have achieved the rarest of things, an adaptation of a classic novel that surpasses its source, itself now a classic staple of feminist and lesbian literature. Written in the early ‘50s under a pseudonym, The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith was revolutionary in that it never presented homosexuality as something to be psychologised. Whilst Todd Haynes’ Carol is deprived of that vital context, it’s more emotionally involving than the book, distilling the essence of the story into a film so rich and sumptuous that the atmosphere and tensions are practically tangible. Incredibly, this is the first film script by Phyllis Nagy, a piece of writing with the assured confidence and skill of a veteran, delivered by the immensely powerful duo of Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.  Continue reading