Deborah Ross

Deborah Ross is the chief film critic of The Spectator

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

Kaurismaki is the business: Fallen Leaves reviewed

Even though Aki Kaurismaki has won every award going and is a household name in his native Finland, where he is treated like a god, it may be that you’ve never heard of him. He is the business. He specialises in understated dramas about deadpan losers whose hopes are often crushed, but who somehow find

A bit too short: Napoleon reviewed

Ridley Scott’s Napoleon, starring Joaquin Phoenix, has a running time of two hours and 40 minutes, which is scant by today’s standards, but don’t worry: a four hour-plus director’s cut is on its way. So this is Scott’s Napoleon Abridged, you could say, and it does have the feel of a film that’s been scissored

Fearless and intoxicating: Saltburn reviewed

Even if you are suffering from eat-the-rich fatigue (see The Menu, Triangle of Sadness, The Lesson, Parasite, Bait, The White Lotus, Succession etc.) and can no longer work up much of an appetite for wealthy folk being dreadful you must make an exception for the psychological thriller Saltburn. It’s by Emerald Fennell and it’s not

Entertaining. Mostly: Dream Scenario reviewed

Dream Scenario is a high-concept dark comedy about celebrity and cancel culture. It stars our old pal Nicolas Cage who, blame it on what you will – tax bills, divorce bills, the price of butter – has appeared in some abominable dreck down the years but has never turned in a boring performance. Mad, yes.