The Favourite

What a pleasure to watch this dynamic, colourful, stylish, noisy, tragicomic film about three remarkable women, played with élan by Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone; set in the court of Queen Anne, it is a psychological rather than a costume drama, but with utterly splendid costumes nonetheless ... Please click on image to read more ...

Shoplifters

This Palme d’Or winner is a film about loneliness and love in the modern world; it is at once specifically Japanese and yet simultaneously universal. Please click on image to read more ...

Disobedience

I went to see Disobedience at the Watershed with elder daughter and oldest friend (I’ve just read Anna Burns’s Milkman, the funniest, darkest and most feminist novel ever, and am trying out her naming-style); younger daughter was busy that Saturday afternoon making Christmas wreaths and decorations, and I wasn’t entirely sure that mother-in-law would enjoy it. Please click on image to read review ...

The Wife

Early one morning, when novelist Joseph Castleman and his wife Joan are still in bed, the phone rings. It’s Stockholm. Castleman has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. From there it all begins to unravel in this gripping, suspenseful, and at times very funny film. Please click on image to read more ...

Crazy Rich Asians

All four of us enjoyed this archetypal story of young lovers overcoming family disapproval to win through and plight their troth at last; we especially enjoyed the non-archetypal setting of high life – literally at times: the final party is held on the conjoined roofs of a row of skyscrapers – amongst the Singapore super rich. No, not super rich: crazy rich! Please click on the image to read more ...

Cold War (Zimna Wojna)

This is a story that is rich, complex, funny and tragic, yet told with an extraordinary economy. It's not even an hour and a half long, but it feels as if you are living through a whole era, a whole life. The film is shot in black and white (as was Pawlikowski’s memorable earlier film, Ida): it is utterly beautiful and seems utterly right. Please click on image to read more ...

Apostasy

Siobhan Finneran is outstanding in this gripping, harrowing drama about a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Manchester – a woman and her two daughters – who are destroyed by their own community. Please click on image to read more ...

Leave No Trace

Debra Granik’s film about a 13-year-old girl living with her traumatised war vet father in the wild woods of an Oregon national park is as powerful – although less violent – as Winter’s Bone (2010), and as concerned with the daily lives of people who live outside the mainstream. Please click on image to read more ...

The Happy Prince

Rupert Everett writes, directs and stars in this tender, moving biopic about Oscar Wilde’s final years in exile in France and Italy, reduced to penury and shunned – or worse – by the English abroad. Please click on image to read more ...

The Boy Downstairs

Sophie Brooks’s low-budget debut offers a quirky feminised (not exactly feminist) version of the New York chattering classes romcom, with Zosia Mamet as existentially-challenged would-be writer Diana and Matthew Shear as ex-boyfriend Benjamin. Please click on image to read more ...