Wonderfully special: La chimera reviewed

La chimera, which, as in English, means something like ‘the unrealisable dream’, is the latest film from Italian writer/director Alice Rohrwacher (The Wonders, Happy as Lazzaro). Her films are arthouse, in the sense that if you’re in the mood for someone blowing stuff up and escaping by speedboat while enjoying flirtatious repartee with a sexy

A true popcorn movie: The Fall Guy reviewed

The Fall Guy, starring Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling, is a gloriously fun, screwball action film that pokes fun at action films and this, I now know, is my favourite kind of action film. I would even venture that it’s the sort of film that’s crying out to be enjoyed with a big old bucket

Tennis romance that doesn’t contain much tennis: Challengers reviewed

It sounds straightforward enough: a tennis romance starring Zendaya, idol of the mid-teen demographic and last seen riding a sandworm in Dune: Part Two. She plays Tashi Duncan, a junior player tipped for greatness, who finds herself in a love triangle with two other juniors: spoilt-but-roguish Patrick (Josh O’Connor) and nice-but-needy Art (Mike Faist). You

Why do movies always have to bash the ‘burbs?

Mothers’ Instinct is a psychological thriller starring Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain and it is one of those over-ripe, camp melodramas that, back in the day, would have almost certainly starred Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Or Tippi Hedren and Kim Novak, if we are going to be Hitchcockian about it. Either way, it’s a

Readers, I welled up! At a cartoon! Robot Dreams reviewed

Robot Dreams is an animated film from the Spanish writer-director Pablo Berger and while it doesn’t have the production values of something by Pixar or Disney or DreamWorks, it will capture your heart. Sweet, charming, deeply moving…. Readers, I welled up! At a cartoon! This is something we need never speak of again. It is

John Galliano shows the cancelled can be uncancelled

Kevin Macdonald’s documentary High & Low: John Galliano charts the highs and (spectacular) low of the British fashion designer who was fired as creative director of Dior after a number of anti-Semitic tirades came to light. I went into the cinema wanting to hear what Galliano had to say about it all. Why Jews, John?

It should be boring – but it never is: Perfect Days reviewed

Wim Wenders’s Perfect Days is a film about a Tokyo public toilet cleaner and if the gentle, meditative narrative doesn’t grab you, the toilets almost certainly will. (Trust me. They’re incredible.) It stars Koji Yakusho and, as much as it is set in Tokyo, it is also set on Yakusho’s face, which is so expressive

An endurance test that I constantly failed: Occupied City reviewed

Occupied City is Steve McQueen’s meditative essay on Amsterdam during Nazi occupation, with a running time of four hours and 22 minutes. There is no archive footage. There are no witness testimonies. It’s not The Sorrow and the Pity. It is not half-a-Shoah. Instead, this visits 130 addresses and details what happened there between 1940

It’ll haunt you forever: The Zone of Interest reviewed

I don’t know if it’s a Jewish thing, but I’m certainly always bracing myself for the latest Holocaust film. There have been some horribly dim ones, such as The Reader or The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, both of which invite you to sympathise with the perpetrators and you know what? I won’t if it’s

Mesmerising: All of Us Strangers reviewed

Andrew Haigh’s All of Us Strangers is an aching tale of grief, loss and loneliness starring Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal, so I probably don’t need to tell you the acting is off the scale but I will anyway: the acting is off the scale. Scott, in particular, infuses his character with such vulnerability that

Sincere, heartfelt, true: The Holdovers reviewed

The first thing to say about Alexander Payne’s latest, The Holdovers, is that it’s not so much an inspirational teacher film as an uninspirational teacher film. You should know that before attending the cinema otherwise you might sit throughout in the brace position, fearing it could go all Dead Poets Society at any moment. It