Christopher Abbott emerges from the shadows, after abandoning his role in HBO’s Girls, with a bristling, raw performance as the title character in James White. This opportunity to venture into a far darker and troubled role has paid dividends as he displays an incredible range.
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With award season looming I’ve compiled a catalogue of the must see films this winter, from the possible award winners to the 3D adventures, I’ve left no stone left unturned. A trailer accompanies each summary so you can pick and choose what you’d like to see before venturing out to the cinema.
Hats off to director Colin Trevorrow, who has managed to rejuvenate the Dino-franchise to somewhere close to its original former glory. Borrowing from it’s predecessor Jurassic Park (1994) it addresses the same simple premise. Just because mankind can, doesn’t mean it should. After a long wait the park is once again open for business.
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Noah Baumbach’s latest solo effort since 2012’s Frances Ha, While We’re Young is a portrait of a middle aged couple stuck in a generational rut. Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts play a couple who befriend twentysomethings Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried in an attempt to recapture their youth.
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Based on a novel by Marco Franzoso, Hungry Hearts is a riveting, relentless film. A psychological thriller that takes an unusual look at how the arrival of a child can tear a couple apart.
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One of the most original short films I’ve seen in a long time. The Kármán Line takes a vivid image of a floating woman and creates a powerful story that explores loss, vulnerability and grief all in the space of twenty –five minutes. Olivia Colman is simply superb as a mother who is plagued by an illness that makes her levitate upwards, over the course of two weeks, into orbit. Director Oscar Sharp’s willingness to take a sensitive subject and turn it on its head has created a poignant and memorable piece of film.
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The Muse is a deeply mesmeric venture into film for fashion photographer Tim, as he seamlessly blends the concept of the muse and the mythology of mermaids with a little help from the intriguing Ben Whishaw along the way.
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America’s most influential film critic is treated with great humility in this window into the final days of his life. His determination and love for film are felt whole-heartedly in this fitting tribute from Steve James who ensures Robert Ebert gets one last ‘Thumbs Up.’
Continue reading “Life Itself (2014) Review”
Director Damien Chazelle still isn’t 30 years old, and he’s written and directed the Sundance smash and Oscar contending feature Whiplash. After adapting the film from an initial short he made in 2013, Chazelle’s second feature brims with an electric all or nothing tension, where the stakes are high and failure is unthinkable. Chazelle owes more to films like Darren Aronofksy’s ‘Black Swan,’ or Kubrick’s ‘Full Metal Jacket’ then it does the musical themed film lineage, as it focuses on the intensity of it’s subject rather then the music itself.
The film is a sharp and electric tale of a young talented jazz drummer Andrew (Miles Teller), who studies at the best all male music school in the country “Shaffer Conservatory”. When he attracts the attention of Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) and gets a spot in Fletcher’s prestigious jazz band, he thinks his potential has been recognised, and he is on the verge of greatness, but Simmons abuses his musical prodigies mercilessly in an attempt to bring out the genius.
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In January 2013 Laura Poitras received an email that would change her life forever. The email was from an anonymous stranger who had taken note of Poitras latest film project on surveillance in the USA. He requested a secure link for which they could communicate through and insisted she had strong pass phrases, strong enough to withstand a brute-force attack by networked computers. “Assume that your adversary is capable of a trillion guesses per second,” the stranger wrote. That stranger would turn out to be the single greatest whistleblower in American history, Edward Snowden.
Continue reading “Citizenfour: Review”