Favorite films

  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • Kes
  • The Thief of Bagdad
  • A Brighter Summer Day

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  • Brooklyn

    ★★★½

  • Don't Worry Darling

    ★½

  • Richard III

    ★★★½

  • The Lost King

    ★★½

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  • A Brighter Summer Day

    A Brighter Summer Day

    ★★★★★

    This film’s power is hard to describe to those who have not seen it. Unfolding at its own pace for nearly four hours, introducing us to a large cast of vividly-drawn characters, never wasting a moment, it’s as close as cinema can get to a great novel. An epic tale of teen angst, family and first love, it is often warm, funny, thrilling and intimate. But hanging over it is a sense of inevitable, impending doom, as events move towards…

  • Bad Lucky Goat

    Bad Lucky Goat

    ★★★½

    Today’s ‘Film of the Day’ on Mubi is a minor gem, a vibrant and offbeat account of several hours in the lives of two squabbling teen siblings as they desperately try to fix the problems caused by their accidental killing of a goat. It’s always a delight to discover a movie that focuses on such a unique and distinctive culture - the dialogue is in Providencia Creole, the first film shot in that dialect - and there is plenty of…

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  • Brooklyn

    Brooklyn

    ★★★½

    Rewatched over the course of two flights. Still a lovely film, with great performances not only by Ronan but also the underrated Emory Cohen. It does slow down during the later portion set back in Ireland, where Domhnall Gleeson, a shade dull, takes over as leading man - is there ever a moment’s doubt as to which guy Ellis will end up with? - but for most of its run time this is a warm, witty little charmer. Ravishing period detail, too.

  • Don't Worry Darling

    Don't Worry Darling

    ★½

    Florence Pugh is a good actress and she’s committed in this role, but the film, reminiscent of mostly far superior movies such as The Stepford Wives and The Truman Show, descends into such silliness, and takes so long to get anywhere, that it’s hard to take it seriously. It doesn’t help that she is paired with an out-of-his-depth Harry Styles, a lightweight actor at best, here trying much too hard.

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  • Decision to Leave

    Decision to Leave

    ★★

    I really enjoyed Oldboy and The Handmaiden was an exquisite experience, but the other Park films which I have seen (admittedly not many) have left me cold. Decision to Leave I found largely uninvolving, despite good work by the two leads. Park bagged the directing prize at Cannes, and he certainly has an artful eye, with some notable visuals involving snow and sea. But other than a truly dizzying mountain sequence, this played for me as a totally generic, needlessly convoluted thriller, cold…

  • Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    ★★★★

    It’s testament to this film’s enthralling power that, the first time I glanced at my watch during the screening, well over two hours had passed. Based on a Murakami short story - I haven’t read it, but some of the prose is unmistakably his - this is a rich and rewarding experience, superbly acted, epic in scope, deep in themes without being inaccessible. My attention wandered, briefly, in the last half hour or so but this is a major achievement.

    2021