23 March 2017

Beauty and the Beast, 2017 - ★★★½

I'm unsure if there's anything particularly wrong with this remake; it seems faithful, looks great and I enjoyed it but it's lacking any real magic. It feels like an imitation, a pantomime using Disney costumes and I was just left wondering why you'd choose to watch this over the animated version. The moment with the ballgown reveal was quite special though.

March 23, 2017 at 05:24PM

19 March 2017

Our Little Sister, 2015 - ★★★★

Koreeda is becoming one of my favourite directors with each film I see. This is a film where you just enjoy spending time with all the characters. Others have compared it to Ozu but I was mostly reminded of the non-fantasy Ghibli films.

March 19, 2017 at 10:14AM

Warcraft, 2016 - ★★

I really hoped that I'd like this and it wouldn't be as bad as most people were making out. Unfortunately there isn't much to recommend and for me it just came across as fantasy nonsense. Everytime it switched to an animated sequence or back to the humans it threw me out of what little engagement I had. One positive this was the way different languages were portrayed on screen, although I think this was only in one scene early in the film.

March 19, 2017 at 10:07AM

Demolition, 2015 - ★★★★

I had a feeling I'd like this but didn't think I'd like it as much as this. I'm not entirely sure why, it perhaps isn't a great film but something about it just connected with me.

March 19, 2017 at 10:03AM

14 March 2017

Florence Foster Jenkins, 2016 - ★★★

A fairly unremarkable film about a really remarkable character. It's entertaining and amusing with really strong performances from all. However, it's hard to know how to feel about the manipulation and overall tragicness, which is portrayed sympathetically but lacks any real depth.

March 14, 2017 at 06:52PM

11 March 2017

The Greasy Strangler, 2016 - ★★★½


Starts off brilliantly but struggles to keep the momentum for the whole 90 minutes.

March 11, 2017 at 03:55PM

09 March 2017

O.J.: Made in America, 2016 - ★★★★★

Completely fascinating

5 episode TV version on iplayer (although they paired up the first four episodes)

March 09, 2017 at 08:48PM

05 March 2017

The Man from U.N.C.L.E., 2015 - ★★★★

A nice reminder of why people once got excited about Guy Ritchie films. This is slickly put together, stylish, funny and much better than the often overblown nonsense of Bond. I guess a sequel is unlikely which is a shame because I'd like to see more.

March 05, 2017 at 06:19PM

Free Fire, 2016 - ★★★★

After a brief setup up this is essentially a feature length (75 min?) gun fight and it's all incredibly good fun. It's a simple concept, masterfully executed (and mapped out in Minecraft before filming) which I don't remember seeing before.

It did feel like it was lacking something (but I don't know what) to make it truly great. I suspect I'll like it more on subsequent viewings which at 90 minutes I'm likely to do unlike the bloated Hateful Eight.

Q&A with Ben Wheatley and Sam Riley

March 05, 2017 at 06:12PM

02 March 2017

Christine, 2016 - ★★★

It's Rebecca Hall's haunting portrayal of depression that's the reason to see this film. How well it works as a whole is questionable because if you already know what's going to happen it feels rushed and if you don't, it comes out of nowhere. This is one time when I think I would have preferred the film to end much earlier with some title cards explaining what happened next.

March 02, 2017 at 07:25PM

27 February 2017

20th Century Women, 2016 - ★★★★½

Just beautiful. I can't decide if it's life affirmingly brilliant or depressingly sad but it all feels so very real.

February 27, 2017 at 09:16PM

26 February 2017

The Lego Batman Movie, 2017 - ★★★★

Probably the best comic book film of recent years, definitely one of the better Batman (Batmen?) films. It's just a huge amount of fun from the opening studio logos to the closing credits. It occasionally threatens to become too schmaltzy but never crosses the line.

I can't wait to see it again.

There appeared to be no reason (apart from the end credits) to see this in 3D and I wonder if the 2D version also has weird background focussing.

February 26, 2017 at 04:08PM

22 February 2017

La La Land, 2016 - ★★★★

I thought I might like this more away from the expectation and after listening to the soundtrack so much over the last month. However I'm not sure if I did, I still think it's great and was happy to defend it when it didn't go down so well with a lot of the Keswick audience.

February 22, 2017 at 09:53PM

Toni Erdmann, 2016 - ★★★★

Appreciated this a lot more but can't buy the director's comments that we have to put up with so much tedium to be rewarded with the good stuff. The middle 90 minutes could easily be edited down, removing every other irrelevant scene to make a much slicker, leaner and altogether better film.

February 22, 2017 at 09:49PM

White Mischief, 1987 - ★★★

Quite a strange little film but also very enjoyable. Another Q&A with Greta Scacchi was a wonderful experience as well.

February 22, 2017 at 09:45PM

The Salesman, 2016 - ★★★

Festival fatigue set in early for this one, as I sat down I realised I hadn't eaten anything all day and suddenly felt really hungry. That might be the reason why I struggled to engage with this in any meaningful way. It looked like it was a much better film than I was experiencing and think it's one I need to give a second chance at some point in the future.

February 22, 2017 at 09:43PM

The Player, 1992 - ★★★½

I'm not sure how well this has aged. It's still impressively made and surprisingly (yet disappointingly) relevant though.

Followed by a Q&A with Greta Scacchi where she provided wonderful and entertaining insight into working with Robert Altman.

February 22, 2017 at 09:36PM

The Unknown Girl, 2016 - ★★★★

I'm still not sure how much sense any of this made but it didn't stop me enjoying it although that may have just been a result of developing a crush on Doctor Davin.

February 22, 2017 at 09:31PM

Manchester by the Sea, 2016 - ★★★★★

Part of the reason I liked the film so much the first time was the slow reveal behind all the grief. Knowing what happened from the start just made everything more devastating. When it got to the "I haven't got anything big to say" scene I wondered if I could actually sit through it again, I did and it's phenomenally good.

February 22, 2017 at 09:28PM

Tanna, 2015 - ★★★½

One of the reasons why I love film is getting to see parts of the world and cultures without all that travelling malarky. Tanna is a great example of this and it's great to see a glimpse of life on the titular island. Others have commented on how good the non-professional actors were but apart from the leads I thought they seemed a bit off (but that might have been a result of the sound sync problems in this screening). I have to mention the volcano shots just because they are stunning. I wish I hadn't seen the film compared to another famous story because that flagged up how the true story was going to turn out.

February 22, 2017 at 09:22PM

21 February 2017

Mahana, 2016 - ★★★

Great opening film for Keswick Film Festival. Manages to jump between light and dark moments and even makes sheep shearing exciting.

February 21, 2017 at 08:39PM

20 February 2017

The Films of the 18th Keswick Film Festival Ranked

All the films shown at the 18th Keswick Film Festival which I've seen but not necessarily at the festival.

  1. Casablanca
  2. Manchester by the Sea
  3. Son of Saul
  4. La La Land
  5. Arrival
  6. Toni Erdmann
  7. Paterson
  8. Life, Animated
  9. American Honey
  10. The Unknown Girl

...plus 8 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

February 20, 2017 at 06:34PM

My 18th Keswick Film Festival: Ranked

Everything I saw at the 18th Keswick Film Festival.

  1. Manchester by the Sea
  2. La La Land
  3. Toni Erdmann
  4. The Unknown Girl
  5. Raw
  6. Mahana
  7. Tanna
  8. The Player
  9. The Salesman
  10. White Mischief
February 20, 2017 at 06:23PM

16 February 2017

Prevenge, 2016 - ★★★★

A brilliant debut and a hugely satisfying dark horror comedy drama.

Introduced and Q&A with Alice Lowe.

February 16, 2017 at 02:27PM

13 February 2017

Loving, 2016 - ★★★★

I'm just going to agree with Mark Kermode's words "A very very impressively low key work".

February 13, 2017 at 09:46PM