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Film Reviews

Military Wives

★★★★★ - DAILY MAIL - MILITARY WIVES DESERVE A CHORUS OF APPROVAL -  This hugely engaging, enormously moving film tells the true story of the first Military Wives choir, the one that started even before choirmaster Gareth Malone and the BBC got in on the act. It hits all the right notes, with Dame…
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Mr. Jones

★★★★ - STUFF  - The Ukrainian famine of 1932 to 1934 – The Holodomor – is a still little understood disaster. Whether or not the mass starvation was the result of a deliberate policy by Joseph Stalin to destroy the Ukrainian resistance movement is debated, as is the number of deaths. Three million…
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The Current War

★★★★ - DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD DAILY  - Benedict Cumberbatch Lights Up The Screen As Thomas Edison In Smart Historical Drama -  If there were an Oscar for Best Save, the new reworking of the two-year-old Toronto Film Festival misfire The Current War would win in a walk. I first saw this film at TIFF,…
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Mr. Jones

★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN  - Agnieszka Holland’s Mr Jones is a bold and heartfelt movie with a real Lean-ian sweep. First-time screenwriter Andrea Chalupa has been inspired by her grandfather from eastern Ukraine to script this forthright, valuable drama about Stalin’s genocidal famine there, and the…
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The Lighthouse

★★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN  - Robert Eggers’s gripping nightmare shows two lighthouse-keepers in 19th-century Maine going melancholy mad together: a toxic marriage, a dance of death. It is explosively scary and captivatingly beautiful in cinematographer Jarin Blaschke’s fierce monochrome, like a…
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Emma

★★★★ - STUFF - Hot on the heels of Greta Gerwig's exquisite Little Women adaptation, comes another cinematic exhumation of a well-loved literary classic. Bizarrely it originally took 180 years for Jane Austen's 1815 tale about the "perils of misconstrued romance" to reach the big screen, only for…
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Richard Jewell

★★★★ - OBSERVER  - Just when I thought one of the worst movie years in memory was down for the count, Clint Eastwood arrived at the last minute with Richard Jewell, to show us all how great movies are made. Yes, this is a great one, and a magnificent centerpiece performance by an unknown actor…
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Helen Kelly: Together

★★★★ - STUFF  - When unionist, advocate, campaigner and all-round good sort Helen Kelly died in 2016, of a cancer the restlessness and impatience of which were nothing if not appropriate to the host, we lost one of the great ones.  Tony Sutorius' film Helen Kelly: Together picks up Kelly's life in…
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Beats

★★★★ - STUFF  - Why this Scottish drama is worth raving about, pumping up the volume for -  By 1994, the UK rave scene was pretty much a fag-end of its former self. The 1988/89 Summer of Love had been and gone a long time before. But, as young Johnno says to his best and only friend Spanner,…
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La Belle Époque

★★★★ - STUFF  - Victor Drumond (Daniel Auteil) feels like a man out of his time.  He never goes to the movies anymore, his favourite record store is long gone and he refuses to buy a smartphone.  It doesn't help that his best friend recently made him redundant from his role as a newspaper…
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Beats

★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN Shot in the kind of scrappy black and white that looks like a photocopied club flyer, Beats is both a coming-of-age and a film about endings. The backdrop is the nub end of the illegal rave scene, about to succumb to the twin pronged attack of, on one side, the criminal justice…
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For Sama

★★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN Unconstrained by notions of balance, non-fiction cinema has done a more complete job of describing the devastation wrought by the Syrian conflict than swathes of the broadcast and print media. Sean McAllister’s A Syrian Love Story plotted the ups and downs of a couple forced…
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