ABR Arts Film

A Fantastic Woman ★★★★

Harry Windsor
Monday, 19 February 2018

There is something about nightclubs that appeals to filmmakers. The work of American directors like Martin Scorsese and James Gray is riddled with them. In 2017, the Cannes-storming AIDS activism drama BPM (Beats Per Minute) featured a group of friends who spent most nights in clubs; places where identities are ...

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Happy End (Transmission Films) ★★★★

Dion Kagan
Tuesday, 06 February 2018

The opening sequence of Happy End, the latest film from French director and provocateur Michael Haneke, is a funny–shocking series of domestic events captured via a livestreaming social media platform like Snapchat or Instagram. It shows the bedtime routine of a depressed, emotionally vacant woman. A pet hamster falls ...

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Lady Bird (Universal Pictures) ★★★★1/2

Anwen Crawford
Tuesday, 06 February 2018

Too often the suburbia on show in American movies feels like a suburbia that only exists in the movies; a fantasy land stocked with preposterously large, catalogue-neat houses populated by families that boast perfect complexions and expensive teeth. Not so in Lady Bird, set in Sacramento, California, where the glitz of Los Angeles and the fashionability of ...

Sweet Country ★★★

Harry Windsor
Monday, 22 January 2018

Sweet Country, the first conventional feature that Warwick Thornton has made since Samson and Delilah (2009), his début, puts the lie to its title. It opens with a shot of boiling tar and only getting angrier thereon...

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Darkest Hour ★★★★

Brian McFarlane
Monday, 08 January 2018

Who knows why, but there have been at least three films in recent months focusing on the Dunkirk evacuation: Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest, Christopher Nolan’s magisterial Dunkirk. and now Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour. Unsurprisingly in view of this, we have also seen a lot of Winston Churchill on our screens ...

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The Post ★★★1/2

Harry Windsor
Monday, 08 January 2018

The Post opens with the sounds of whirring helicopter blades over a black screen, before dropping us into the middle of a jungle sortie, circa Vietnam 1966. Caught in the firefight is military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, played by Matthew Rhys. The vicious attack by unseen Viet Cong is staged by the film’s director, Steven Spielberg ...

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Wonder Wheel 1/2 star

Lauren Carroll Harris
Tuesday, 05 December 2017

Two-thirds of the way through Woody Allen’s new-but-not-really-new film Wonder Wheel, Kate Winslet’s nerve-shot, middle-aged tragic heroine, Ginny, turns to her younger lover, Mickey (Justin Timberlake as a living Ken doll), and says forlornly, ‘Rescue me’. I could not have composed a sadder, more apt summation of the ...

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The Disaster Artist ★★1/2

Dilan Gunawardana
Monday, 04 December 2017

Few bad films have received such prolonged adoration and exposure as The Room. The story of Johnny (Tommy Wiseau), an ‘All-American guy’, and his fiancée, the ‘devious’ Lisa (Juliette Danielle), who cheats on him with his handsome best friend Mark (Greg Sestero), has been screening in cinemas worldwide since its initial ...

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The Killing of a Sacred Deer ★★★

Anwen Crawford
Monday, 13 November 2017

One can pinpoint the moment at which The Killing of a Sacred Deer gets stuck, like a train between stations. It happens midway through the film, during a scene set in a hospital cafeteria, somewhere in Cincinnati. A greying, bearded cardiologist (Colin Farrell) sits opposite a teenage boy (Barry Keoghan) whose gormless, sweaty ...

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On Chesil Beach ★★★1/2

Francesca Sasnaitis
Tuesday, 31 October 2017

On Chesil Beach is not Ian McEwan’s first screenplay, nor his only adaptation for the screen. The Children Act (2017), directed by Richard Eyre and based on McEwan’s 2014 novel, is also due for release in 2018. In an interview he gave at the Toronto International Film Festival, where both films premièred, McEwan ...

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