Review: Still Alice (2014)

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In what has already won her awards recognition, Julianne Moore stuns as a victim of early onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice, a film which struggles to match its stars formidable strength. Alice (Moore) leads a privileged life. Married with three kids and a successful career that’s reliant on her intellect, Alice’s world slowly starts to break down as she’s diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s. Continue reading

Review: It Follows (2014)

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Hot on the heels of The Babadook, It Follows is another low-budget horror that scores big by tapping into the real, underlying fears of everyday life. Nineteen year old Jay (Maika Monroe) is preyed upon by a slow moving, constantly transforming supernatural entity after an innocent sexual encounter with pretty boy Hugh (Jake Weary) turns deadly. Announcing itself with a superb and frantic opening sequence, It Follows is a cut above the average horror film. Even if its narrative isn’t entirely original, the way in which Mitchell executes it is, with teens’ fears of sex, death and the horrors that come with the current generations unhealthy reliance on social media. Mitchell refuses to succumb to typical scare tactics, instead untangling the films core mystery steadily, enabling the audience to feel warmth towards Jay and unpick the pool of subtext contained within. As the haunted victim herself, Monroe is excellent, delivering a wholly natural performance. It Follows, with its pounding electro-score and swelling sense of dread, is a horror film to be thankful for.

Review: Appropriate Behaviour (2014)

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Desiree Akhavan has delivered a candid and sharply funny indie drama in her feature debut Appropriate Behaviour, which she writes, directs and stars in. Shirin (Akhavan), an Iranian-American hipster who also happens to be bisexual, suffers an identity crisis after a break-up. Continue reading

GFF15 Review: Clouds Of Sils Maria (2014)

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Oliver Assayas’ latest Clouds Of Sils Maria is a striking, sharp and particularly well layered meta drama with a pair of high standing performances at its fore. Ageing actress Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) is asked to star in a revival of the play that launched her career twenty years prior, this time in the older role. Her acceptance forces her to question her past, present and overall place within the industry. Continue reading

Review: Focus (2015)

 

Sleek and slick on the surface but shallow underneath, Focus muddles through on the back of its appealing co-stars and brisk pace. Nicky (Will Smith), a proficient con artist, succumbs to the charms of new recruit Jess (Margot Robbie). But when he breaks it off and leaves her heartbroken, Jess re-enters his life at the worst possible time. Continue reading

GFF15 Review: A Little Chaos (2014)

 

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Eighteen years after making his directorial debut with The Winter Guest, Alan Rickman returns behind the camera to direct A Little Chaos, a featherlight period drama. Madam Sabine De Barra (Kate Winslet) is awarded the sought-after task of landscaping the land at Versailles – a prime position that brings her into contact with King Louis XIV (Rickman) and André Le Notre (Matthias Schoenarts), whom she develops a relationship with. Continue reading

GFF15 Review: The New Girlfriend (2014)

 

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Françis Ozon follows-up In The House and Young & Beautiful with The New Girlfriend, a comic drama that starts out well, only to taper off towards the end. Left devastated by the death of her childhood friend, Claire (Anaïs Demoustier) sticks to her promise of looking out for widower David (Romain Duris) and their newborn baby – only to make an unexpected discovery that threatens to further unbalance her life. Continue reading

GFF15 Review: Wild Tales (2014)

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Produced by celebrated Spanish film mogul Pedro Almodóvar, Wild Tales is a pitch black horror anthology that’s both wickedly enjoyable and politically illuminating. Split into six segments that are interconnected through themes and tone instead of narrative, Damián Sczifrón’s unique effort fizzes with originality and snap. Continue reading

Review: Project Almanac (2015)

 

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Michael Bay lends his name and awful sensibilities to Project Almanac, a flat and drawn-out high school drama with added time travel. Science student Jonny (David Raskin) discovers blue prints for a time travel machine, which he builds and takes advantage of with his friends. But when things turn sour, David must try to fix the route of the problem himself, risking his and his friends’ lives in the process. Continue reading

Review: Cake (2014)

 

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The perennially underrated Jennifer Aniston excels in Cake, delivering a topnotch performance in Daniel Barnz’ otherwise half-baked drama. Scarred by a devastating accident, pill-popping Claire (Aniston) hobbles around in constant pain, barking orders at her maid (Adriana Barraza) and ousting everyone else. When a woman (Anna Kendrick) from her support circle commits suicide, Claire is compelled to question her own existence. Continue reading