• Squid Game

    Squid Game

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    “A player is not allowed to stop playing.”

    Squid Game is a Korean miniseries clearly inspired by Parasite, which takes capitalism to its extreme in order to critique it. From a Marxist perspective, the games themselves are an allegory for the lives of the proletariat under capitalism. The players are specifically selected because they are all in debt, and therefore desperate enough to consent to such brutality. Interestingly, there is some class, gender and racial diversity amongst the players -…

  • Help

    Help

    ★★★★½

    "No one is coming."

    Initially I thought it might be too soon to create a drama depicting the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Jack Thorne's script is astute in its depiction of the chaos of its beginnings. Help is deeply political, and by depicting the outbreak through the lens of a care home, embroils itself in class politics, or by this television film's standards, perhaps warfare would be the more appropriate term. The film ends with Comer's character Sarah…

  • Barrage

    Barrage

    ★★★

    "But no, I'm okay. I'm here."

    Barrage is an intimate family drama about the inevitability of parents damaging their children, and the subsequent collective trauma. As my mother always says, "having children doesn't come with an instruction manual", and nobody embodies this more than Catherine. Portrayed by Lolita Chammah (Isabelle Huppert's real life daughter, as well as in this film, on-screen), Catherine unexpectedly returns into her daughter Alba's life - who has been left in the care of her mother,…

  • Black Bear

    Black Bear

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    "I've been lying since the second I got here."

    A film of two halves that never quite connects into one cohesive whole - Black Bear is metatextual mayhem, buoyanced by a career best performance by Aubrey Plaza. The first part of the film, titled 'Part One: The Bear in the Road' - features Aubrey Plaza as Allison, a writer who has come to a remote cabin to work, staying with a couple, Blair and Gabe, whose relationship is clearly strained.…

  • Eighth Grade

    Eighth Grade

    ★★★★

    "Do I make you sad? I don't know. Sometimes I think that when I'm older, I'll have a daughter of my own or something... and I feel like if she was like me, then being her mum would make me sad all the time. I'd love her because she's my daughter, but I think if she turned out like me that being her mum would make me really sad."

    "You're wrong. If you grow up to have a daughter like…

  • Bo Burnham: Inside

    Bo Burnham: Inside

    ★★★★★

    "You know, I've learned something over this last year which is pretty funny: I've learned that real world human-to-human tactile contact will kill you, and that all human interaction, whether it be social, political, spiritual, sexual, or interpersonal, should be contained in the much more safe, much more real interior digital space; that the outside world, the non-digital world, is merely a theatrical space in which one stages and records content for the much more real, much more vital digital…

  • Shiva Baby

    Shiva Baby

    ★★★

    " You look like Gwyneth Paltrow on food stamps--and not in a good way."

    Shiva Baby is Emma Seligman's directorial debut, extended from her short film of the same name made two years earlier, with influencer turned actress Rachel Sennott at the forefront of both. With a short 72 minute run time, the feature struggles to justify its own extension, with a story stuffed full of frenetic emotion, confined to mostly one location, rather than any meaningful plot. Seligman's inexperience…

  • The Woman in the Window

    The Woman in the Window

    ★★½

    "You don't think it's paranoid if I wanna change the locks. Do you?"

    The Woman in the Window is a frenetic adaptation of its source material, filled with high interiors, mercurial performances and violent tension. Amy Adams plays Anna Fox, an agoraphobic child psychologist living in a beautiful New York brownstone, who fills her days with self-medicating and spying on her neighbours. A domestic thriller like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train before it (notice how most domestic…

  • It's a Sin

    It's a Sin

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    "I thought I'd stop, and I did a lot of times. I stopped. A million times, I wonder how many I killed. I knew it was wrong, and I kept on doing it. Do you hate me now?"

    Equally fun and political, It's a Sin is a miniseries spanning a decade, from 1981 to 1991 in London. It features a cast of four gay men and their straight friend, Jill, navigating their way around the capital and transitioning from their…

  • Jane Eyre

    Jane Eyre

    ★★★★½

    "Am I a machine with out feelings? Do you think that because I am poor, plain, obscure, and little that I am souless and heartless? I have as much soul as you and full as much heart. And if God had possessed me with beauty and wealth, I could make it as hard for you to leave me as I to leave you... I'm not speaking to you through mortal flesh. It is my spirit that addresses your spirit, as…

  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★★

    "You know, when you were growing up, you were eccentric to other people. You maybe seemed weird, but it was just because you were braver and more honest than everybody else. And you could see me when I was hiding from everybody. And sometimes you could see me before I saw myself. I needed that in my life. And you are my sister. I would have loved having you around all these years. You left a big hole by leaving."

  • Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts

    Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts

    ★★★★

    "I wish Katya and I were still friends. I don't care about the TV show or anything as much as I care about... Of all the people in the world to hate me, I hate that that person hates me. Everybody keeps being like, 'Oh yeah, you're fine without her!' Yeah, that's not the point, you know what I mean? The point isn't whether or not I can continue to have a career without her - that's never been the…