ABR Arts Film

If Beale Street Could Talk ★★★★

Patricia Maunder
Friday, 08 February 2019

There is an inordinate weight of expectation on Barry Jenkins’s third feature, If Beale Street Could Talk. His previous film, Moonlight, won three Oscars in 2017, including Best Picture (after La La Land’s mistaken-award chaos), and was nominated in five other categories. Furthermore, this is the first English-language film ...

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On the Basis of Sex ★★★

Patricia Maunder
Monday, 04 February 2019

Recent years have highlighted the politicisation of appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States, and how consequential these judgeships can be. Following the death in 2016 of arch-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, Barack Obama, in his final months as US president, nominated moderate Merrick Garland ...

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Green Book ★★★

Barnaby Smith
Monday, 21 January 2019

To browse through an edition of The Negro Motorist Green Book in 2019 (as can be done through digital library archives) is a disquieting experience. These books, written by Victor Hugo Green in 1936 and published for thirty years, offered advice to African Americans travelling in the segregated American South ...

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Loro ★★½

Anwen Crawford
Friday, 11 January 2019

Though it begins with an elaborate disclaimer regarding its status as a work of fiction, Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro (aka Them) is manifestly a portrait of Silvio Berlusconi, former prime minister of Italy, media tycoon, populist, authoritarian, and playboy. Befitting its subject, the film is showy and often crude ...

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Cold War ★★★★1/2

Des Cowley
Thursday, 20 December 2018
Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War picked up a slew of prizes at the recent European Film Awards, and is already being talked about as a major contender for this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, a prize he won with his previous film, Ida (2015) ... ... (read more)

Lean on Pete ★★★1/2

Anwen Crawford
Monday, 26 November 2018

Charley (Charlie Plummer), the vulnerable teenage protagonist of Lean On Pete, is always on the move. We first see him jogging at dawn, past suburban streets and out towards to the local racecourse. The morning light is benevolent; the camera keeps a smooth distance: all is promise and potential in Charley’s life, or should be...

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Peterloo ★★★★

Brian McFarlane
Tuesday, 20 November 2018

What I’ve come to expect of a new Mike Leigh film is, above all, the unexpected. His first feature, Bleak Moments (1971), of which there were quite a few in that contemporary study of urban, lower-middle class life, made him a potent force in British film. Think of Naked (1993) and Secrets & Lies (1996) ...

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Boy Erased ★★★★

Dennis Altman
Wednesday, 07 November 2018

We all love redemption movies. The twist in Boy Erased is that redemption comes by escaping religion rather than discovering it. Garrard Conley is a nineteen-year-old college student who grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist family in Arkansas. When his parents discover his homosexuality ...

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Suspiria ★★★1/2

Andrew Nette
Monday, 05 November 2018

There is a sense of tension and anticipation around any film remake, especially when the original is well known and received. So is the case with Luca Guadagnino’s version of his countryman, Dario Argento’s cult horror, Suspiria (1977). There has been intense on-line debate about the movie from the moment the ...

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Wildlife ★★★★1/2

Barnaby Smith
Monday, 29 October 2018

Paul Dano, one of the most soulful and intense actors of his generation, has appeared in a number of films over the last decade in which rupture and dysfunction serve to undermine a family unit. In Little Miss Sunshine (2006) he famously played the voluntarily mute Dwayne, while the elegant and underrated For Ellen (2012) ...

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