You Won’t Be Alone – first-look review

In many ways, You Won’t Be Alone is a coming-of-age story, but in the same way that is a horror; Stolevski’s debut feature tends to eschew classic genres in favour of a more distinctive, idiomatic kind of storytelling. This ultimately gives way to a gorgeous tale of identity and the interconnectivity of people — what is it like to feel something for the very first time, when you had never ever heard about it before? You Won’t Be Alone – first-look review Goran Stolesvski weaves a strange and sumptuous tale…

God’s Country – first-look review

Her white female colleague bows her head as she votes ‘yes’ to an all-white shortlist for a job at the college, despite the promise that they would work harder at inclusivity, while her boss and neighbour Arthur (Kai Lennox) buddies up with the macho hunters in a display of masculine submission. As snow settles over the rural town, it muffles the landscape—sounds are muted and colours are limited to muddy greys and browns. “Why are you like this?” Sandra asks the younger hunter early on in the film pleadingly, worthlessly.…

Am I OK? – first-look review

“I don’t even know what I am,” cries the 32-year-old, Johnson somehow even makes blubbering beautiful. This navigation of self-acceptance in adulthood is aided by Lauren Pomerantz’s loveable script, based on her experience of self-discovery in her thirties, that expertly hits the beats of sensitivity and sincerity in depicting the anxieties of coming out as an adult. very much stays in its own comfort zone, the tactile comfortability it radiates promises a prevailing lightness even as it confronts the sudden strain on Lucy and Jane’s friendship. The couple met playing…

2nd Chance – first-look review

He pats himself on the back for being a self-appointed, lifelong defender of his country’s boys in blue, even hiring Aaron Westrick, a former cop saved by one of his vests, to work alongside Davis’ father, son, and (first) ex-wife at Second Chance. Instead, he allows Davis to babble about his daddy issues and adulterous urges, his loquacious folksiness failing to cover the core of venal, egocentric conservatism that Bahrani all but takes for granted. Editor Aaron Wickenden includes several instances of Bahrani pressing Davis for certain truths, but the…

Amulet

Yet Garai refuses to take the obvious route, instead tinkering with the context, and picking up on strange threads which lead into a world of high gothic fantasy. Share this Share this Romola Garai’s feature directorial debut is a haunting feminist revenge horror that upturns genre tropes and flouts convention.Way back in 2012, the actor Romola Garai made a startling and accomplished short film called Scrubber, and it suggested she had a viable career both in front of and behind the camera. In all, here’s hoping that it’s not another…

Taming the Garden

Birdsong is lost to the roar of chainsaws and blue sky is replaced by plumes of billowing grey smoke as an ancient, deeply rooted tree is dug from its Georgian homeland. In turn, their unfiltered candour leads to raw admittance of the unethical power imbalance and economic instability that underscores this documentary. Contemplating its subject with an unhurried pace makes for an entrancing watch. Taming the Garden Review by Emily Maskell @EmMaskell Share this Directed by Salomé Jashi Starring Anticipation. Though Jashi’s directorial position is completely rescinded, there remain so…

Sharp Stick – first-look review

Sarah Jo, despite her sheltered outlook and possibly being on the autism spectrum (a detail hinted at but never confirmed) knows her own mind, and although she falsely conflates sexuality with womanhood, Sharp Stick never judges her for it. A coming-of-age story about a naïve young woman’s complicated sexual awakening, Sharp Stick is likely to prove as divisive as all of Dunham’s past work, but thanks to a sympathetic and sweet performance from leading lady Kristene Froseth and a no-holds-barred script which reflects its creator’s outspoken sensibilities, it’s an interesting…

Meet Me in the Bathroom – first-look review

In 1999, the neighbourhood’s grime put most people off. There’s also not much of a payoff when Albert Hammond Jnr reconnects with his Strokes bandmates, having been forced to ditch ‘wicked’ superfan Ryan Adams – presented here as a bad influence. Plus, of course, there is that glorious music – sounding as fresh and vital as it did back then – and plenty of it. As it did for other New Yorkers before them, so London’s music scene provides the golden-ticket – and massive exposure – that these bands need…

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande – first-look review

Not that Good Luck To You, Leo Grande doesn’t have its very own life-affirming epilogue. Leo surprises her with his dapper, professional and self-aware demeanour, paired with a hedonistic approach to life and people. Nancy’s unusual friendship with Leo brings out an almost maternal tenderness, providing her with the chance to explore her complicated feelings towards her two children. Nancy has never had an orgasm, nor does she know what good sex is supposed to feel like. The room is but a stage where the two leads suss each other…

The Cathedral – first-look review

The Cold War ends, the ’90s roll by, 9/11 brings on the War on Terror, Hurricane Katrina exemplifies disaster capitalism, and so on. It mixes elements of the memory play with other elements which deny the subjective mode that genre usually operates within. Within the movie’s objective frame, we are invited to study the stories that families tell about themselves, and how they are miniatures of the stories that communities and nations (imagined communities) tell about themselves. The movie begins a year before his birth, and before that happy moment…

Girl Picture – first-look review

Navigating the influx of adrenaline and oxytocin surging through these young women, all three actors are exquisite. The balancing act is well distributed if only a tad skewed towards Emma and Mimmi’s burgeoning romance leaving Rönkkö’s navigation of sexual pleasure slightly rushed. At once Girl Picture is Mimmi’s romantic drama, Rönkkö’s coming-of-ager, and Emma’s sports thriller. In one scene, the burning red of Emma’s brake lights floods an empty car park as the ice-skater demonstrates her routine on the tarmac. Mimmi and Emma quickly fall head over heels into a…

Alice – first-look review

While Confederate’s announcement and Antebellum’s twist provoked outrage it’s hard to get similarly angry at Alice because it is just so idiotic. So Alice, a film in which an enslaved woman escapes a plantation only to discover it is 1973, isn’t breaking any new ground. Alice doesn’t even mention the whole “I’m an escaped slave” thing to Frank until the third act, which concludes with one of the most pitiful attempts at empowerment imaginable. Joseph makes a plan to escape, and that plan is to wait until broad daylight and…

Cha Cha Real Smooth – first-look review

It’s understandable why Raiff would choose to cast himself in the role of white knight soft boy (He loves kids! He wants to work for a NGO! There’s something of Zach Braff’s Garden State in Raiff’s sensibilities, both while the soft boy and manic pixie dream girl dynamic was de rigueur for 2004, it feels outdated in 2022. Writer/director/star Raiff’s sophomore effort follows on from Freshman Year, in which he played the sensitive, charming young fella who meets the complicated girl of his dreams and seeks to convince her life…

Something in the Dirt – first look review

As filmmakers Benson and Moorhead play men equally engaged in making a film – for which the characters too eventually settle on the title Something In The Dirt, and which was shot in the filmmakers’ actual apartments – the viewer is challenged to sort the real from the fictive in this dizzyingly reflexive hall of mirrors. Not long into Something In The Dirt, those wind chimes heard at the beginning (and end) are shown to be a hanging set of Matryoshka dolls – an apt symbol for a film offering…

Lucy and Desi – first-look review

Similarly, Executive Director of the National Comedy Center Journey Gunderson discusses how in recent decades there has been “disproportionate focus on how hard-nosed” Ball was behind the scenes and she puts it into context with working in that era. It is a partnership that continued after their divorce and the array of talking heads – that includes their daughter Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, Bette Midler, Carol Burnett, Norman Lear and academic experts – paints a vivid picture for new and old fans alike. Famously, the couple toured the US to prove…