Review: Amanda (2020) – Love Me Tender

Mikhaël Hers' Amanda begins with single mother Sandrine (Ophélia Kolb) explaining the phrase 'Elvis has left the building' to her 7-year-old daughter Amanda (Isaure Multrier). The payoff for this moment doesn't come until the closing minutes of an often dreary film but it is this lingering saying, a mixture of melancholy and optimism, that clings …

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Review: Military Wives (2020) – Keep Calm and Choir On

While for some Military Wives will feel like its own thing, a heartfelt story about different forms of courage. To me, it feels like a continuation of a trend that seems to be continuing unabated, with varying degrees of success. The cynical side of me can't help but see the releases of films about adults …

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Review: True History of the Kelly Gang (2020) – Two Lies Don’t Make A Truth

Ned Kelly to many was the last scream of a dying breed, an outlaw in a country quickly becoming civilised by industrialisation. The incoming train system connecting people and opportunities like never before. His actions, however, are largely unrecorded, shrouded in mystery and conjecture. The question became, was he doing the right thing for those …

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Review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2020) – Freedom of Expression

Portrait of a Lady on Fire is an exercise in dramatic irony run rampant. Not only is it an open and loving same-sex love story cloistered in a period setting but it is also a tale about isolation and how it encourages expression and the freedom to say and do what you want. The moments …

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Review: The Call of the Wild (2020) – Get Off My Plain

Jack London's 1903 novel, The Call of the Wild, might have the same skeletal structure as Chris Sanders adaptation of the same name but the tonal difference and story changes ensure that this version, the 4th adaptation of London's novel is a product of its era, a more forgiving beast that seems in awe of …

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Review: The Lighthouse (2020) – Masculinity & Other Forms of Madness

The secrets and lies that permeate every shot of Robert Eggers' The Lighthouse, a manic depressive exercise in toxic masculinity and other physically damaging psychological nightmares, seem commonplace for a conventional story. Throw them in with a world that seems not to be ruled by any kind of normality, where time doesn't adhere to understanding …

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