Christmas Eve in Miller’s Point – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Hannah Strong
50m ago
The holidays are a time for tenderness, togetherness, and falling asleep on the sofa after your third round of mince pies and sweet sherry. Most Christmas films reflect the pressure cooker atmosphere of the period, usually with some sort of disaster inevitably causing festive friction, but Tyler Taormina takes a slightly different approach, as the members of a large Italian-American family cram into their matriarch’s suburban home for dinner on Christmas Eve. Rather than following a traditional narrative structure, Taormina’s film is more observational, focusing on snippets of conversation an ..read more
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Julie Keeps Quiet – first-look review
Little White Lies
by David Jenkins
6h ago
This is a #MeToo film that’s entirely focused on the experience of the victims, spending little-to-no time worrying about whether the perpetrator has been “cancelled”. Leonardo Van Dijl’s film is about how difficult it is to speak up and tell your story, even when there are signs and signals coming from all angles saying that now is the right time to do so. But also, it empathises with and respects those who have their reasons for remaining quiet, whatever those reasons may be. Julie (Tessa Van den Broeck) is a highschool tennis ace who’s sprinting up the ladder of Wallonia’s finest. A prover ..read more
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Emilia Perez – first-look review
Little White Lies
by David Jenkins
6h ago
Jacques Audiard is European cinema’s perpetual under-achiever, but someone whose reliable (albeit idiosyncratic) mediocrity has always been celebrated rather than punished by the industry. We say under-achiever, because there was a time when he was in the business of punching out great, slightly strange, but serious and sophisticated movies, most notably 2001’s Read My Lips, and 2005’s The Beat That My Heart Skipped. His new one, Emilia Perez, is the worst thing he’s ever done, the decidedly iffy product of a premise so cringeworthy and bizarre, that it’s almost painful to transmit to you rig ..read more
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The Surfer – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Hannah Strong
2d ago
Sometimes all you need for a great film is a great premise. Lorcan Finnigan’s sophomore feature has that going for it at least: Nicolas Cage plays the titular (otherwised unnamed) surfer returning to the idyllic Australian coastal town he grew up in to purchase a beachfront house, only to discover a group of hostile surfers have taken over. “Locals only!” they yell as they chase him and his mortified teenage son (Finn Little) away from the shore. Nicolas Cage is going to have to do something about that. Unfortunately the zany set-up and strong start with an atmospheric surf-rock score and exc ..read more
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Oh, Canada – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Hannah Strong
2d ago
Paul Schrader’s films have more or less always been haunted by the grim spectre of death – he’s been mentally tormented in the manner that all former devout Christians are since he abandoned plans to become a Calvinist minister for a film career. But Oh, Canada is, even by Schradian standards, more concerned with mortality than ever, owing to a run of severe illness,  caring for his wife Mary Beth Hurt following her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and the death of his friend, the writer Russell Banks, in 2022. The year before he passed away, Banks published the novel Foregone, about a documentary ..read more
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Kinds of Kindness – first-look review
Little White Lies
by David Jenkins
2d ago
Some guy once said some words that resonated with some other guys, and those words were: “God is dead”. I allude to that quotation because the Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos definitely has other ideas. It’s hard to see his work as being spiritual, or interested in matters of religious dogma. He merely believes that God is very much alive, because how else would He be able to torment humankind with with every available resource in His considerable arsenal? The ironically titled Kinds of Kindness is a sun-bleached triptych in which various people have their lives violently upended by some var ..read more
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Megalopolis – first-look review
Little White Lies
by David Jenkins
3d ago
The word “opus” feels custom-designed as a descriptor for a film such as Francis Ford Coppola’s self-conscious folly-to-end-all-follies, Megalopolis. It’s a rare bird indeed in that it’s a work of art that actively practices what it preaches, a celebration of unfettered creativity and farsightedness that offers a volcanic fusion of hand-crafted neo-classicism while running through a script of toe-tapping word-jazz that merrily dances between the raindrops of logic and coherence. Even though it has now been seen by the public, the film’s blueprint, its code key, still remains buried in the bra ..read more
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Bird – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Sophie Monks Kaufman
3d ago
The social realist stylings of Andrea Arnold swerved into documentary mode for 2021’s Cow, a heartrending chronicle of a dairy cow named Luma. In name alone, Bird seems to be following the same flight path, yet it instead advances on the fictional form that Arnold first entered with Red Road and Fish Tank. This time she sets the domestic action in the dilapidated Kent seaside town of Gravesend. Whereas in Fish Tank, its protagonist Mia sought refuge from her mum’s predatory boyfriend through dance (and QT with a local horse – the animal fixation stretches back), the 12-year-old androgynous-pr ..read more
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On Becoming A Guinea Fowl – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Hannah Strong
3d ago
One evening, while driving home from a friend’s fancy dress party, Shula (Susan Chardy) discovers a dead boy in the middle of a deserted road. On closer inspection, she realises it’s her Uncle Fred. Being a level-headed young woman who is good in a crisis, Shula calls her father for advice. After asking her to send him money for rent, Dad assures her he’ll arrive at the scene shortly to assist (but she’ll need to pay for his taxi too). The tragicomic opening scene of Rungano Nyoni’s second feature is a microcosm of what will unfold during the film; Shula – restrained, efficient, mature – is s ..read more
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The Girl with the Needle – first-look review
Little White Lies
by David Jenkins
3d ago
It helps to have some vague stylistic or thematic justification for choosing to shoot your modern film in black and white. Magnus Von Horn’s The Girl with the Needle thankfully has both, in its gothic, crepuscular depiction of World War One-era Copenhagen, and its rogues gallery of tortured miscreants who live by an aggressively binary and personally-ascribed form of morality. This is a story in which colour, radiance and vibrancy have purposefully been omitted from the menu, lest the resolute bleakness of the lives it captures be diluted in any way. We meet Karoline (Vic Carmen Sonne), a dit ..read more
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