American Animals

American Animals

Dramatised non-fiction is old territory for director Bart Layton whose first feature documentary The Imposter included tense re-enactment. His latest work takes things even further in an attempt to intertwine documentary and drama even more tightly. American Animals, based on a shambolic real-life heist at an American University in 2004, is for the most part a … Continue reading

Hidden Figures.

Hidden Figures.

A film with all the right intentions, Hidden Figures is a celebration of three criminally undervalued black women and their invaluable contributions to the US space programme in the 1960s, as NASA attempts to propel a man into orbit for the first time. Hidden Figures opens with our three protagonists gathered around their broken vehicle, … Continue reading

Lion.

Lion.

The sight of authentic Indian street confectioneries on a kitchen counter sparks a vital memory for Saroo, a university student who’s grown up in Tasmania, adopted by a loving native couple at the age of five. Now in his early twenties, he’s forgotten the first years of his life in India which resulted in being … Continue reading

Spotlight.

Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight is surely set for Academy Award success. Brilliantly simple and expertly paced, this is the cinematic interpretation of a true story. In 2001, the Boston Globe stood up to the power of the catholic church when a small team of investigative journalists looked into a number of child molestation cases carried out by … Continue reading

Everest.

I saw Everest with my Grandmother, who proceeded to gasp and yelp at every climatic turn the film presented us with. Based on a true story, Everest is a visceral extravaganza which chills. Shot on Everest, in Italy and at Pinewood Studios – Everest benefits from the inclusion of the real, mountainous locations. The film has something … Continue reading

Foxcatcher.

I was advised that the less you know about the true story of Foxcatcher when you walk into the cinema, the better. A shocking and morbid tale about the manipulation and self-loathing that can infect a world-class athlete, Foxcatcher is a little too focused on its performances and constant sense of dread to fully deliver or captivate. … Continue reading

Devil’s Knot.

There are many obstacles standing in the way of Devil’s Knot. Making a film about true events always draws extra attention to the matter of authenticity, accuracy and sincerity. Not only does Devil’s Knot use a historically real situation as the basis of its story, but it all revolves around a murder case that, over twenty years on, … Continue reading

12 Years a Slave.

Out of this year’s nine Academy Award ‘Best Picture’ nominees it is possible that 12 Years a Slave has had the most publicity; closely followed by Gravity. Adapted from the memoirs of Solomon Northup, 12 Years a Slave tells a story of truth; a fact that makes the film even harder to watch and more tragic to accept. The injustice of … Continue reading

Captain Phillips.

Four month ago I posted an entry on this website called ‘The Magic of Tom Hanks‘. The article discussed the actor’s baffling screen diversity and applauded Hanks for his ability to remain a household name and yet never be typecast. Having played some of cinema’s most memorable characters, from Mr. Gump to Captain Miller, Hanks … Continue reading

Philomena.

I hadn’t read any reviews of Philomena before I went into the screening. I was looking forward to seeing the film but wasn’t particularly desperate to fit it into my week. Luckily, I made time to see it on Saturday evening. I say luckily because it’s turned out to be one of the greatest releases of this … Continue reading