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Film Reviews

West Side Story

★★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN  - Stunning recreations of the original film’s New York retain the songs and the dancing in a re-telling that will leave you gasping -  Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story 2.0 is an ecstatic act of ancestor-worship: a vividly dreamed, cunningly modified and visually staggering…
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★★★★½ - STUFF  - A stunning achievement you need to see on the biggest screen you can find -  Frank Herbert's Dune has been defying film-makers to come and have a go, pretty much since it dropped off the presses in serial form in 1965. Dune is a sprawling and wildly ambitious story. It takes…
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A Boy Called Christmas

★★★½ - STUFF  - A Boy Called Christmas is an adaptation of a book by Matt Haig. Haig is a prolific and well-respected writer across a few genres, but his adult and YA fiction is distinguished by characters who are dealing with some profound grief and loss. And so, oddly, is A Boy Called Christmas…
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Petite Maman

★★★★★ - STUFF - A wonderful joy from first to last frames, it's one of 2021's best - Nelly is eight years old. She is with her mum and dad as they travel to a house that was once Nelly’s mother’s childhood home. Nelly’s grandmother has died – and the family have come to spend the week clearing…
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★★★★½ - STUFF  - A stunning sensual assault that's both challenging and richly rewarding -  At once a visceral body horror that David Cronenberg would be proud of and a thriller that echoes the events depicted in one of the best documentaries of the past decade, this is a stunning, absorbing…
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Petite Maman

★★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN Céline Sciamma’s beautiful fairytale reverie is occasioned by the dual mysteries of memory and the future: simple, elegant and very moving. I fell instantly under its spell, and found myself thinking of classic English tales such as Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, or …
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The Rescue

★★★★½ - STUFF  - National Geographic's engrossing, emotional Thai cave documentary -  Only those living under a rock would fail to remember the real-life drama that gripped the world for two-and-a-half weeks during the winter of 2018. Twelve teen and tween members of a Thai football team (“the…
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Falling for Figaro

★★★★ - COMMON SENSE MEDIA This delightful movie has all the ingredients needed to make a delicious romantic comedy. Falling for Figaro is uplifting and joyful, tugging on the heart strings just enough, while throwing in some mild jeopardy to keep us hooked. Stunning Scottish scenery, a stirring…
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Breaking Bread

★★★★★ - STUFF  - A stunning celebration of food and those who make it wonderful -  The A-Sham festival is a three-day celebration of Arabic and regional food. It happens every year – Covid permitting – in the Israeli city of Haifa. The kaupapa behind the festival is as simple as it is nuanced:…
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Last Night in Soho

★★★★ - STUFF  - All hail New Zealand's new screen queen Thomasin McKenzie -  According to the Hollywood trade papers, this is the movie Thomasin McKenzie spurned the chance to work with Tom Cruise to pursue. While some may describe dropping out of Top Gun: Maverick to join a time-spanning,…
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The Power of the Dog

★★★★½ - STUFF  - Jane Campion's wonderful slow-burning, sleight-of-hand -  The year is 1925 and we are in rural Montana. The nearest town – Beech – is an hour or two by horse and not much less by wheezing Model T Ford. On the ranch that has been passed down to them through their family, the…
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Last Night in Soho

★★★★ - OBSERVER  - A deliciously twisted journey back to London’s swinging past -  It’s not what you imagine, London,” says Rita Tushingham in this deliciously twisted love letter to Britain’s cinematic pop-culture past. Director and co-writer Edgar Wright, whose CV runs from the rural…
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  • The Power of the Dog
  • Last Night in Soho
  • Falling for Figaro
  • The Rescue
  • Breaking Bread
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  • Van Gogh: Of Wheat Fields and Clouded Skies
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