Review: Okja (2017)

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Korean director Bong Joon-ho directs this soul-satisfying fantasy adventure that’s as entertaining as it is relevant. Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun, a marvellous discovery) lives in the countryside with her grandfather (Byun Heebong), where she’s been raising Okja, the biggest and most developed of the many superpigs engineered by the Mirando Corporation. Continue reading “Review: Okja (2017)”

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Review: God’s Own Country (2017)

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God’s Own Country – chosen to open this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival – depicts a harsh existence for young Johnny (Josh O’Connor), whose life taking care of his family’s farm on the Yorkshire moors has taken its toll both physically and emotionally. He’s battered, bruised, detached, wiling the lonely nights away with heavy drinking and casual sex. Continue reading “Review: God’s Own Country (2017)”

EIFF 2016 Review: Kids In Love (2016)

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In this vacuous British coming-of-age drama, privilege is celebrated through teens who live hedonistic lifestyles in large, city-centre houses without a care in the world, least of all for money, which seems to be on tap. Jack (Will Poulter) has his life mapped out for him – university, followed by an internship at a law firm. But when he falls for free spirit Evelyn (Alma Jodorowsky), he quickly loses all sense of himself and his future in search of love and freedom. Continue reading “EIFF 2016 Review: Kids In Love (2016)”

EIFF 2016 Review: Adult Life Skills (2016)

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The debut of writer and director Rachel Tunnard is a heartfelt crisis comedy starring Jodie Whittaker as Anna, a soon-to-be-thirty half twin who’s mourning the death of her brother while living in her mother’s shed and shirking responsibility. Tunnard’s writing comes from a place of raw honesty, which makes the issues tackled – that of bereavement and identity crossroads – all the more affecting. Continue reading “EIFF 2016 Review: Adult Life Skills (2016)”

EIFF 2016 Review: Macbeth Unhinged (2016)

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This experimental take on Shakespeare’s famous tale of desire and betrayal from writer, director and star Angus Macfadyen is a deconstruction too far – one that alienates, rather than intrigues audiences. Set almost exclusively within the confines of a limousine as it drives around an abandoned city, confusion arrives early as the familiar story becomes unfamiliar, losing much of its impact – and sense – from the undefined setting and disordered approach. Continue reading “EIFF 2016 Review: Macbeth Unhinged (2016)”

EIFF 2016 Review: The Carer (2016)

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As a slightly modified fictional version of himself, Brian Cox does stellar work in what’s an amiable character study about an ageing actor with Parkinson’s disease who’s difficult to deal with. That is, however, until Dorotyya (newcomer Coco Konig), a Hungarian carer with acting ambitions of her own, finds a way into his heart. Continue reading “EIFF 2016 Review: The Carer (2016)”

EIFF 2016 Review: Finding Dory (2016)

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Finding Dory, a similar-but-worthy sequel to one of Pixar’s most beloved films, is as entertaining as it is soul-stirring, complete with a stellar voice cast and mesmeric oceanic visuals. One year on from helping reunite Marlin (Albert Brooks) with his son, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres in a role she has made her own) starts to experience moments of her childhood through fragmented flashbacks that send her on an adventure across the seas to California in the hopes of not only finding her parents, but herself too. Continue reading “EIFF 2016 Review: Finding Dory (2016)”

EIFF 2016 Review: Slash (2016)

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Clay Liford’s charming and deceptively modest coming-of-age comedy is set within the world of fan fiction, used by awkward teen Neil (Michael Johnston) as a vessel for his own self discovery. His love of slash – writing stories about fictional characters’ sexual relations – attracts the attention of Julia (Hannah Marks), who pushes him to publish his work online. Continue reading “EIFF 2016 Review: Slash (2016)”

EIFF 2016 Review: Tommy’s Honour (2016)

 

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The compelling performances delivered by Peter Mullan and Jack Lowden as Tom Morris and his son Tommy, respectively, are the main draw of this tender tribute of two golfing legends that helped shape the sport to what it is today. It’s directed by Jason Connery from a script by Pamela Marin and Kevin Cook that’s decidedly watery when it comes to dramatics. Continue reading “EIFF 2016 Review: Tommy’s Honour (2016)”

EIFF 2016 Review: Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016)

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Taika Waititi directs this charming coming-of-age comedy set in the lush New Zealand outback, where tearaway kid Ricky (Julian Dennison) has fled with foster uncle Hector (Sam Neill) on the lamb from the law, who are hot on their tail after dubious circumstances and an unfortunate death. Continue reading “EIFF 2016 Review: Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016)”