• Raya and the Last Dragon

    Raya and the Last Dragon

    ★★★★

    I've read some of the grumpy reviews (and enjoyed them) but I needed something fun, kind and undemanding. Loved the animation and the cast, plus a little bit of research shows that most are pleased with the representation of Southeast Asia too.
    I really enjoyed it and the time flew.

  • Mare of Easttown

    Mare of Easttown

    ★★★★★

    I couple of dodgy plot holes and a little more melodrama than I would care for in a perfect TV show - I'm thinking Unbelievable or I May Destroy You - but Kate Winslet (and all the acting) make up for it. Plus, the plot is secondary to what is an unusual, layered, state of the nation, character piece about women's lives.
    Loved it ❤💜

  • The Nun

    The Nun

    ★★★★

    This should be on your list of unmissable nun films: there are a LOT of classics - from Beyond the Hills and Ida to The Sound of Music and The Trouble with Angels 😊 to The Magdalene Sisters and Philomena – but Jacques Rivette’s neglected 1966 film belongs in the middle of a lazy Sunday triple bill starting with Viridana (1961) and finishing with The Devils (1971).

    It’s one part prison film, one part horror film and one part….well, I…

  • The Disciple

    The Disciple

    ★★★

    This is getting LOTS of love but was the second film of the weekend that I admired rather than loved. Over the years I have tried to fall in love with Indian classical music - and I really like lots of instrumental music and various classical-inspired songs in Bollywood movies - but this was a step too far. So yeah call me a philistine – I can take it.

    Setting aside the music – which is impossible – the film…

  • The Mitchells vs. The Machines

    The Mitchells vs. The Machines

    ★★★

    A weird reaction, because I loved Katie, her films and all the film references throughout. And the music is fab too obvs.
    BUT.....I realised as I watched, how most - all? - of my favourite animated films eschew nuclear family narratives. I just felt a visceral reaction of distrust towards the concept and couldn't accept how Danny could have been so dismissive of Katie's films. So any emotional connection was lost pretty early on.
    Revealing huh?

  • The Last Days of Disco

    The Last Days of Disco

    ★★★

    I love a good list and recently came across this in Vulture: The 101 Greatest Endings in Movies History (www.vulture.com/article/the-101-best-movie-endings-of-all-time-ranked.html)

    I’ve seen most of them but there are a handful that I haven’t and this was one of them. My record with Stillman is mixed - Damsels in Distress (love), Metropolitan (meh), Love and Friendship (annoyance) – and I’d forgotten all the ingredients – posh idiots, lives full of self-deception with the resulting cruelty somehow transformed into humour, arch and…

  • Proxima

    Proxima

    ★★★½

    I was put off this by some sniffy reviews but I'm glad I finally watched it. It's a calm, measured, emotionally rich, character study about a single mum who is also an astronaut planning to spend a year on the International Space Station.
    Honestly, I had to start again - restless mode, weird expectations, who knows - but when I settled into the second time I really enjoyed it. Eva Green is fab. And I really liked the score.

  • Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable

    Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable

    ★★★★½

    The third in the series has a slightly slower pace - and takes on a gothic sensibility, with even more gore. I'm completely in love with them and slightly sad there's only one left - not even directed by Itõ.
    Meiko Kaji's range of expressions in this - she barely says a word - is even more wide ranging, expressive and wondrous than ever before ❤

  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★½

    Rewatching this after revisiting La La Land - and being wary of Chazelle - was interesting. It's hard not to get caught up in the energy and drama - the adrenaline rush is almost impossible to deny and I like the scenes with Miles at the dinner table - he really has bought into the Romantic - quasi-nihilistic, self destructive - version of the American Dream. J.K. Simons as the Lee Emery or Louis Gosett Jr type of military psycho…

  • Somewhere

    Somewhere

    ★★★

    I'm not sure what i was expecting but this was a calm and gently affecting treat. Dorff and, especially Elle Fanning - inhabiting the film with a huge, beautiful smile and a quiet compelling energy - are wonderful.

  • Queen & Slim

    Queen & Slim

    ★★★★★

    I completely concur with my initial assessment - My ★★★★★ review of Queen & Slim on Letterboxd boxd.it/ZS0Qj
    😍😍😍😍
    Also, and again, another film to think about in relation to this: www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/16/sex-scenes-gratuitous-film

  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★★★

    I suspect most socialists long for radical and political art; nothing didactic obviously – complex, subtle, sinewy responses to the complexity of the 21st century. And yet revolutionaries have long theorised that the chances of revolutionary art, even bolshie political art, during times of bourgeois stability or bourgeois reaction are fairly low – the arts are dominated by the middle classes and owned by the ruling class.

    In the meantime we lionise the latest Ken Loach – (unless you find…