Author: James McAllister

Cannes 2017: The Beguiled (2017)
Film Review

Cannes 2017: The Beguiled (2017)

True to its title, The Beguiled is a film that will charm you, deceive you, and ultimately captivate you: a peppery period drama that unfurls as a piece of rousingly pure cinema. Comparisons with the Don Siegel/Clint Eastwood original from ’71 are, perhaps, inevitable, but to blithely label this version […]

Cannes 2017: April’s Daughter (2017)
Film Review

Cannes 2017: April’s Daughter (2017)

Mothers always know best; to many it may be a fundamental principle, but try explaining that to 17-year-old Valeria (Ana Valeria Becerril), the heroine at the heart of Mexican director Michel Franco’s inflammatory fifth feature. Living in Puerto Vallarta with her half-sister Clara (Joanna Larequi), Valeria is in the late […]

Cannes 2017: The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017)
Film Review

Cannes 2017: The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017)

There’s something so cruel about the opening shot of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing Of A Scared Deer. It’s of a beating heart, belonging to a faceless patient who’s undergoing extensive open surgery. As the camera holds on the image whilst gradually panning back, the strident score slowly builds, until it […]

Cannes 2017: The Square (2017)
Film Review

Cannes 2017: The Square (2017)

The Square represents stability and order; a space in which “everyone has equal rights and responsibilities.” Inevitably though, the area that surrounds The Square is a swirling pool of chaos that cannot be controlled. It is within this vast, global expanse outside of The Square that Ruben Östlund lays his […]

Cannes 2017: Ava (2017)
Film Review

Cannes 2017: Ava (2017)

Like it was for Julia Ducournau in 2016, the Cannes Critic’s Week sidebar has this year proven to be the perfect platform for another French female director making her debut. Away from the prestige and weighty expectation of the Official Competition, this looser environment allows Léa Mysius’ first feature the […]

Cannes 2017: Wonderstruck (2017)
Film Review

Cannes 2017: Wonderstruck (2017)

Forget being wonderstruck, the new film from Todd Haynes is more likely to grip you with a gnawing sense of indifference. Undoubtedly, it’s a film with its heart in the right place – a dovetailing story of two deaf children living 50 years apart, who both travel to the Big […]

Cannes 2017: Okja (2017)
Film Review

Cannes 2017: Okja (2017)

While the majority of critics cruising the Croisette continue to debate the pros and cons of the Netflix distribution model, here I am mourning the fact that a lack of theatrical release will likely mean I won’t be able to treat myself to a plush “Super Pig” toy come Christmas […]

Cannes 2017: Sea Sorrow (2017)
Film Review

Cannes 2017: Sea Sorrow (2017)

Vanessa Redgrave’s decision to make her directorial debut at 80 years of age wasn’t born out of creative curiosity, but a moral duty. Over 50+ years, she has built a formidable reputation as a human rights activist, reaching out to politicians in a bid to raise a greater awareness of […]

Cannes 2017: Loveless (2017)
Film Review

Cannes 2017: Loveless (2017)

Russians – their motherland is so cold, and so are the people… Loveless, director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s frosty procedural drama, is a film so conceptually forceful, it has the clout to leave a mark on your psyche that’s as clear as a footprint made in freshly fallen snow; a cruel, caustic […]

Cannes 2017: Ismael’s Ghosts (2017)
Film Review

Cannes 2017: Ismael’s Ghosts (2017)

Cannes’ decision to open this year’s festival with Ismael’s Ghosts seems strange to say the least; the execution being so obsessively outlandish, never committed to convention. That said, given this cinematic celebration was originally conceived as a reaction to the manipulation of other festivals, and has always taken a self-absorbed […]