Review: Personal Shopper (2017)

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Kristen Stewart continues to distance herself from Twilight, reteaming with her Clouds Of Sils Maria director Olivier Assayas for this unusually fascinating drama. Her role here is similar to that film; she plays Maureen, a psychic-cum-celebrity’s assistant who’s haunted by the death of her twin brother, while running errands. Continue reading “Review: Personal Shopper (2017)”

Review: The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)

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Kristen Stewart is out and the A-list duo of Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt are in for The Huntsman: Winter’s War, the prequel-cum-sequel to Snow White And The Huntsman that no one asked for. Save for the talent, this is in no way an improvement on what came before – if anything, it’s a duller and more muddled affair that quickly loses attention. Continue reading “Review: The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)”

Review: American Ultra (2015)

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After their successful pairing in Adventureland, Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg reunite for a ropey stoner comedy that coasts on their individual wits and chemistry rather than its own thrills. Perpetual stoner Mike (Eisenberg) – who is in fact a sleeper operative – has plans to propose to his girlfriend Phoebe (Stewart). But when he’s targeted for elimination, his program is activated, leaving him battling for survival. Continue reading “Review: American Ultra (2015)”

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: Still Alice (2014)”

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 “GFF15 Review: Clouds Of Sils Maria (2014)”

Lionsgate Schedule U.K. Release, Unveil New Poster And Trailer For On The Road

Lionsgate, via the Film Distributors Association release schedule, have revealed that On The Road will hit U.K. cinemas on September 21, and unveiled a new poster to coincide with the announcement. A co-production between American Zoetrope, MK2 and Film4, On The Road is poised to become one of the biggest independent films of 2012.

Helmed by Walter Salles, the director of The Motorcycle Diaries, On The Road is an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s famous road novel of the same name. Featuring Continue reading “Lionsgate Schedule U.K. Release, Unveil New Poster And Trailer For On The Road”

Review: Welcome To The Rileys (2010)

Welcome To The Rileys is a promising debut feature from music video director Jake Scott about tossed souls learning to overcome sorrow and loss.

The film follows Doug Riley (James Gandolfini), a damaged plumbing-supply salesman who struggles to find his place in the world after the death of his daughter, Emily. Things start to look up for Doug when he goes to New Orleans for a conference and meets an underage stripper named Mallory (Kristen Stewart). When Doug tells his wife, Lois (Melissa Leo), he’s not coming home, her response triggers a change for all three characters.

Essentially the film is made up of two parts: the first is the odd, father-daughter relationship between Doug and Malorey; and the second centers on Lois as she is forced to overcome her agoraphobia to save her marriage. When the two worlds are brought together, there’s an initial reluctance from all side, beautifully played by each actor, before they slowly begin to accept each others flaws and mould together.

The narrative is driven by the quieter, intimate moments shared between the characters, rather than relying on brash, noisy confrontations to propel events forward. This technique makes the film more realistic and raw, allowing audiences to understand the characters’ pain and disparity, but also, mainly towards the end, makes the film feel too bitter-sweet, like it’s trying to hard to wrap things up in a neat, content bow.

Gandolfini plays Doug as a benevolent, caring father-figure to Malorey and honest, earnest husband to Lois. Leo is exceptional as the troubled, lost soul Lois, who is pushed to reclaim her life and sense of being through events out of her reach. Stewart brings a naked vulnerability to her performances as Malorey, crafting her into a realistic and vibrant character, haunted by her loneliness and troubled upbringing.

Welcome To The Rileys is a solid debut piece of filmmaking from Jake Scott, driven by its honest script and three brave and charismatic performances.

Review: The Runaways (2010)

The Runaways, although heavily advertised around Kristen Stewart’s uncanny resemblance to Joan Jett, centres upon Dakoka Fanning’s turn as Cherie Currie and her sudden rise to fame in the first all-female rock group, The Runaways.

Fanning, now a 16-year-old, embodies the reckless character with sheer determination and passion, distancing herself greatly from her childhood roles in such films as Charlotte’s Web and The Cat In The Hat, whilst cementing her transition from childhood sweetheart to a grown-up, serious actress.

Stewart, with her almost uncanny resemblance to her character, takes on the role of Joan Jett, proving to audiences and critics alike that there’s a lot more to her than weak, moody character of Bella from the Twilight films.

In terms of supporting cast, it has to be noted that Michael Shannon fits the role of Fowley perfectly, verging on the brink of total insanity, while Stella Maeve, Scout Taylor-Compton and Riley Keough all give strong performances as the other members of the band.

Floria Sigismondi displays true potential with her particular style of cinematography and attention-to-detail, framing the action beautifully, illustrating the growth both lead characters experience with a sense of ambiguity, which helps keep the film light-weight, and it’s all the best for it.

The Runaways may not be one of the best biopics ever made, but it gives a fun, electric and gritty glimpse into the lives of a group of five teenagers being rocketed to fame in the first female punk band.