Category Archives: drama

FILM REVIEW: The Front Runner (2018)

In a time where a man with multiple allegations of sexual assault against him can become president, it’s crazy to think that thirty years ago another man’s presidential campaign could come crashing down so easily because of adultery. In 1987 Gary Hart was considered the frontrunner for the 1988 Democratic Party presidential primaries, but withdrew from the campaign a week after news broke of his alleged affair with his mistress, Donna Rice. George H.W. Bush went on to win the 1988 election for the Republican Party. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Front Runner (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Ben Is Back (2018)

Ben Is Back is a personal film for its writer and director, Peter Hedges. While not based on any one true story, it is reportedly a response to the death of his friend due to a drug overdose, the near death of his niece, as well as the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hedges’ mother, also, is a recovered alcoholic. Given the personal ties, it is only fitting that his film should star his son and man-of-the-moment, Lucas Hedges. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Ben Is Back (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

Having been in the pipeline for several years, Mary Queen of Scots, directed by Josie Rourke, finally makes it to the big screen. Based on John Guy’s biography, Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart, with a screenplay adapted by Beau Willimon, the film sees last year’s best actress contenders, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, star together at last, even if it’s just in one scene that has historical purists all riled up. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Eighth Grade (2018)

For the third year running, the New Year brings us another terrific film centred on a teenage girl. Last year it was Saoirse Ronan in Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, in 2017 it was Hailee Steinfeld in Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen. In 2019 it’s Bo Burham’s Eighth Grade. And that a man has managed to capture the awkwardness of a teenage girl so brilliantly is astounding. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Eighth Grade (2018)

THEATRE ON FILM REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (2018)

Back in 2000, the film gods gave us Billy Elliot, a story about a boy who wanted to break gender stereotypes and be a ballet dancer. In a supporting role, Billy’s friend Michael is revealed to enjoy cross-dressing, with this scene celebrated in one of the best numbers in the stage musical adaptation (which premiered on the West End in 2005), ‘Expressing Yourself’. Elton John’s lyrics include “What the hell’s wrong with wearing a dress, being who you want to be… What the hell is wrong with expressing yourself? For trying to be free”. It’s a beautiful moment but its place in the show is mostly as a comical reprieve from the drama of the main character. Continue reading THEATRE ON FILM REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (2018)

FILM REVIEW: The Children Act (2017)

Ian McEwan’s penchant for fine storytelling is on display once more in The Children Act. Based on his novel of the same name, McEwan has adapted his own work yet again for the screen with terrific results following on from the recent On Chesil Beach. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Children Act (2017)

FILM REVIEW: Beautiful Boy (2018)

Based on the memoirs of David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy portrays a family’s ordeal with drug addiction with grace. Not to be confused with the 2010 film of the same name which focused on the parents of a mass shooter, the title does similarly refer to a well-loved child who hit rock bottom despite support. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Beautiful Boy (2018)

FILM REVIEW: A Star is Born (2018)

Following the 1937 original, and two further remakes starring Judy Garland in 1954 and Barbra Streisand in 1976, the current version of A Star is Born has been in the pipeline for some time. With Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood expressing interest in directing, and Beyoncé attached as the lead for some time, the final product is brought to the screen by Bradley Cooper, with Lady Gaga as its star. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: A Star is Born (2018)

FILM REVIEW: A Simple Favour (2018)

Based on the book of the same name by Darcey Bell, A Simple Favour sees Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick), a mummy blogger, trying to raise her young son (Joshua Satine) on her own while keeping up an Energiser bunny-like enthusiasm. Despite her willingness to get involved she hasn’t made many friends, and quickly becomes enamoured by one of the other mothers, the mysterious Emily Nelson (Blake Lively). After sharing a series of playdates where they drink cocktails and exchange secrets, Emily asks Stephanie for a simple favour while her husband (Henry Golding) is away: to pick up her son (Ian Ho) from school. A few days later, there’s still no sign of Emily. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: A Simple Favour (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Searching (2018)

John Cho takes Facebook stalking to a whole new level in Aneesh Chaganty’s feature debut, Searching. When his daughter Margot (Michelle La) goes missing, David (Cho) goes looking for answers online.

Standing apart from your typical thriller, Searching takes place entirely on a mock computer screen. We see David make video calls, visit websites, check his messages and emails, watch the news, and even film his interactions through the use of spy-cams. Initially it feels like this style of film might be draining – just watching mouse click after mouse click on a screen. Surprisingly enough, it becomes incredibly tense. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Searching (2018)