Western

In her first film for more than ten years Valeska Grisebach (who, she says, has been busy bringing up a daughter, screenwriting and teaching) casts a compassionate eye on men and masculinities: specifically, a group of German construction workers in Bulgaria, and the men in the remote village which is meant to be benefitting from their hydro-electric project. I don’t usually find myself attracted to films that focus on men and their problems, but I really liked this one. Please click on image for more ...

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The Silent Child

This moving, compassionate Oscar-winning short film – written and directed by former Hollyoaks stars Rachel Shenton and Chris Overton, stars Maisie Sly (from Swindon, a local girl!) as four-year-old Libby, who is profoundly deaf (as is Maisie Sly herself), as she begins to communicate in British Sign Language with a social worker (played by writer Rachel Shenton) who has come to the family home to help prepare Libby for going to mainstream school. Libby’s parents however … (Please click on image to read more)

Isle of Dogs

Amazing Mr Anderson! His stop-motion futuristic story about dogs exiled and left to die on a huge rubbish dump off the coast of Japan celebrates loyalty, friendship, courage and general dogginess – all the qualities that since time immemorial have made dogs our very best friends. Please click on image to read more ...

Lady Bird

Although billed as the portrait of a mother-daughter relationship, I’d say this smart, funny, slightly weird (in a good way) film is more about a young woman coming of age than specifically about her relationship with her mother, although naturally that forms a part of the story. Please click on the image to read more ...

Abu Adnan (Adnan’s Father)

Please look out for this award-winning short film about a Syrian father and son who have found refuge in Denmark . It is written and directed by my niece, Ismay's cousin, Sylvia Le Fanu! (I feel that merits an exclamation mark.) Please click on the image to read more ...

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Glory (Slava)

Oddly, the only two films that Ismay and I have been to see recently are both deeply tragic (or rather one is, and the other pretends to be), and yet are also comic (or rather one is genuinely if painfully comic, while the other has a few comic moments).  In one, the gripping but unsettling Bulgarian film Glory, the tragedy and comedy are integrally entwined. The other film is Three Billboards. Here is what we think of them (click on image for full reviews):

The Florida Project

It's not often you see a film that affirms and celebrates a tender, loving relationship between a mother and small daughter; Brooklynn Prince and Bria Vinaite are brilliant as, respectively, six-year-old Moonee and her pink-and-green haired young mum Halley, living together in a cheap motel, purple-painted The Magic Castle, outside the walls of Disneyworld in Florida.  Click on image for full review ...