• Tomboy

    Tomboy

    ★★★★

    Gorgeous. How you cast and direct that, with the unfussy (on the surface) realism is quite a feat. I'm impressed with how deeply relatable it was despite not having this experience. To regard the children so fully - I'm not sure I've seen a film that has done this before truly wonderfully realised.

    Would make a great pairing with Saint Frances

  • The Deer

    The Deer

    ★★★½

    Scratchy, very patchy subtitles - but I enjoyed that. There was a disarming sincerity in the male leads, often felt like they were on the cusp of crying in every scene. Faramarz Gharibian is so watchable. Seething social commentary; no pretence in that whatsoever.

    *In as close to its original format before the censorship and eventual ban

  • The Long Walk

    The Long Walk

    ★★★½

    Walking in endless circles. Will probably have to look at that one again. The horror elements were sparse but affecting from afar. The overall concept was the real horror, and Sad too.

    3.75*

  • Scales

    Scales

    ★★★★

    Hayat's endurance, the ticking clock of adolescence (when she got her period was underplayed with a hint of shame) and incrementally forcing the hands of patriarchy to see women as equals. Absolutely sublime photography - I was in awe for the duration.

  • Made in Bangladesh

    Made in Bangladesh

    ★★★★½

    "What kind of women are you?!"

    That was brilliant. There are moments where you're swept up in Shimu's headstrong command, but it only takes a scene to be quickly humbled. Didn't expect that delicious ending tho. Called to mind the procedural realism and hopelessness of Chaitanya Tamhane's 'Court'

  • Delfín

    Delfín

    ★★★★

    Quiet portrait of outcasts trying to get ahead. There was a feeling of nostalgia, wanting to be noticed, to fit in - maybe a feeling that doesn't ever go away, evinced in the dad's life choices. The score was swoon-worthy. The photography was gorgeous

  • Moxie

    Moxie

    ★★

    Weak with no concern for interesting visuals. Could have done without the romance (they were cute but should've been a separate film)

    The pacing/energy sagged quite quickly for me and got a little lost in formula (not bagging on formulaic storytelling, just do it well); I feel like that last 10 minutes did more than the preceding 30 or so.

    I appreciated The Linda Lindas doing The Muffs. Hiraga can pull a nice treflip

  • Arab Blues

    Arab Blues

    ★★★

    Poking fun at itself whilst also interrogating tradition in an increasingly modern society through the lens of someone who's lived a 'western' life. The comedy felt decidedly French - I loved Olfa!

  • First Cow

    First Cow

    ★★★★½

    "We'll go soon... I've got you"

    Really great. The photography was sublime. Cried my eyes out.

  • Lover for a Day

    Lover for a Day

    ★★★★

    A carousel of love.

    Loved that. A simple give and take between the three leads, driving the story into a neat circle. Subtle and classy, very minimal/naturalistic with the odd injection of very effecting piano.

    A smidge over 4*

  • Black Bear

    Black Bear

    ★★★

    I'd be happy with just watching Gadon and Abbott in full cosy recline. People are enamoured with Aubrey in this; whilst she's central to the story it was Christopher's work as the conniving Gabe that most successfully tip-toed the conceptual narrative.

    Sarah Gadon (where've you been?) and Christopher Abbott - hello to you both

  • Jumbo

    Jumbo

    ★★★½

    Wayward horn.

    Sits nicely with the little indies I've been watching from the My French French Festival. Just the right amount of quirk for it to hold.

    **I went into this without reading the synopsis. I recommend anyone planning to watch it to do the same haha