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  • Central Station

    Central Station

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I'm amazed this had a happy, albeit bittersweet, ending. A relatively simple film - simple characters, simple scenarios - with basic, un-showy techniques and a familiar feel about it. Yet Walter Salles, who went on to make the incredible City of God, has this ability to sneak up on you with the power of his filmmaking. The lack of sentimentality for the majority of the runtime increases the impact of the film's conclusion, which is one of the most beautifully executed displays of hope in cinema I've seen.

    Fernanda Montenegro gives one of the great performances here, a truly special piece of work.

  • Mogambo

    Mogambo

    ★★★½

    Really good fun; possibly the most relaxed, down-to-earth film John Ford was capable of making. Hollywood was big on putting their stars in jungles and on savannah's in the 50's, and the contrast of beauty and charisma in the rough, rugged wild generally works quite well. It will be interesting to see how the upcoming Jungle Cruise plays, as it's really not something we've had an appetite for since the Golden Age.

    Going toe-to-toe with an aging (yet still formidable)…

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  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★

    I don't think I've ever had an experience in the cinema like the one I had with Whiplash. I sweated, I chewed all my fingernails off and when it finished I found it hard to walk out due to constantly straining all my muscles! This is an exercise in sustained tension the likes you would never expect to find in a film about music.

    The craft on hand in Whiplash is of the highest order. Damien Chazelle is a hugely…

  • Our Little Sister

    Our Little Sister

    ★★★★½

    Sometimes you don't need violence, or sex, or any forced plot point at all, to produce conflict and drama in a story. Hirokazu Koreeda is proof that the everyday going-ons in the lives of regular people are more than enough fuel to create an enjoyable and eminently watchable film with more than enough happening to keep the viewer interested.

    That being said, his work isn't for everyone. The pacing here is languid, even for him, and there is even less…