Top Films for October

I don’t know how September has been and gone already but here we are at October, which means it’s once again time to look ahead at the releases coming to cinemas this month.

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Joker: Venice Film Review

Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

Woah, I thought I was prepared for Joker, but it turns out I wasn’t. Because the iconic Batman villain has been seen on screen many times before, you think you know what his origins film will be like but you don’t. Joker will shock and surprise you A LOT.

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The Sisters Brothers: Film Review

I had no idea what to expect from The Sisters Brothers before I saw it at the London Film Festival last year but I was attracted to it thanks to the incredible cast – which includes Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Riz Ahmed and Jake Gyllenhaal – and I’m pleased to report it was highly entertaining and not your average western.

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The Sisters Brothers: LFF Film Review

I missed the press screening of The Sisters Brothers at the Venice Film Festival and I was gutted because it has the most incredible cast – which includes Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Riz Ahmed and Jake Gyllenhaal – so I dropped lucky when I managed to snag a ticket to a public LFF screening.

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Mary Magdalene: Film Review

Mary Magdalene is a difficult one to review because it isn’t going to appeal to everyone – and I am definitely not this film’s target market. While it is informative and interesting at times, it is very slow and I can’t say I actively enjoyed it.

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You Were Never Really Here: Film Review

Lynne Ramsay‘s You Were Never Really Here was not at all what I expecting. I went in thinking it would be some action-packed hitman thriller, but it is far more slow-burning and ambiguous so it’s not going to please everyone. [Read more…]

You Were Never Really Here: LFF Film Review

Lynne Ramsay‘s You Were Never Really Here is one of those movies which makes you question if you saw the same film as everyone else. It received a long standing ovation at Cannes and has basically been acclaimed by all the critics, but I came away reeling and thinking, “Was that it?” I was expecting much more.

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Irrational Man: Film Review

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I hoped Irrational Man would restore my faith in Woody Allen, but this is just another one that fails to impress. I thought following the failure of Magic in the Moonlight, he could only do better but this is just as messy and unsatisfying and a total waste of Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone’s talents.

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Cannes Film Festival Round-up: What to see?

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The Cannes Film Festival is over for another year, so to say farewell, here is my rundown of films that I want to see immediately thanks to the buzz they received in France. Some have secured cinema distribution deals so us mortals who weren’t lucky enough to be in Cannes will be able to see them within the next year (which is still far too long away!)

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Her: Film Review

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This had the strangest concept and I wasn’t sure if it should be taken seriously but considering the Best Picture Oscar nomination, I figured it would be a damn good film and it is. I loved it.

Joaquin Phoenix stars as Theodore, a man who is prolonging signing his divorce papers from Catherine (Rooney Mara). He lives a lonely existence until he installs a new operating system which has ‘artificial intelligence’ and is constantly evolving like a human. He begins to shun real-world interactions in favour of ‘Samantha’ (Scarlett Johansson), who he constantly talks to about his day, rather than simply giving her instructions. They soon form a bond and she becomes jealous when he goes on dates and sees his soon-to-be ex-wife. Their relationship solidifies when they have ‘sex’ until Samantha evolves so much she starts to get paranoid and they have real-life arguments. Things don’t end well…that’s all I will say.

Although this is a satire of what life would be like if we aren’t careful, I can totally believe it. The advances in technology are insane these days. It is crazy seeing people passing real people without interacting because they are too busy talking to their OS. It could absolutely happen.

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It is cringe-worthy at times, especially when they have virtual sex and Samantha wants to use a body surrogate, which is just a terrible idea. You feel sorry for Theodore and wish he would just get a traditional relationship. It is even weirder when he tells people and they accept it – he even goes for picnic with friends and ‘Samantha’, who they talk to like she is there! So, so weird.

However, I got invested in their relationship even though it didn’t make sense or seem practical. Samantha just made him so happy and feel good about himself so I was dreading the end. You know that sort of relationship isn’t sustainable. I actually cried at the end. I can’t believe how involved I got. I thought I would watch this at a distance and scoff at such a ludicrous idea.

It is done so well. The dialogue is fully believable and their relationship seems real even though she isn’t there. It can make you happy when Theodoere is smiling and dancing and sad when they fight. The support cast is brilliant too – it includes Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pratt and the voice of Kristen Wiig.

This is a romance drama like any other in terms of how it makes you feel – regardless of how strange the idea is. It will touch you. Seeing Phoenix smile, dance and run around having fun makes it all worth it as well. Highly recommended.