September Says – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Hannah Strong
9h ago
When we first meet September and July, their mother Sheela (Rakhee Thakrar) is instructing them on how to pose in their Grady Twins costumes as part of her ongoing photography project. July happily complies; September scowls. Flash forward a few years, and the pair are awkward teenagers, played by Pascale Kann and Mia Tharia – maybe twins, maybe not, they share a secret language and a set of bullies. While July maintains a code of silence and attempts to completely ignore their jibes, September, ever the more confident sister, bites back. She cuts off the ringleader’s ponytail, she takes to c ..read more
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The Balconettes – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Hannah Strong
9h ago
Hot weather does strange things to people, and the residents of a Marseilles apartment block are no exception in Noémie Merlant’s sophomore feature, co-written with Céline Sciamma. Life moves at a different pace on the hottest day of the year; old men drape themselves over their windowsills, smoking cigarettes with sweating bottles of beer in hand. Children whine uselessly about the heat. A woman finally takes a stand against her brute of a husband. And Nicole (Sanda Codreanu), a shy writer, lusts after the stranger in the flat opposite, who she can see from her balcony. Meanwhile, her gregar ..read more
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Beating Hearts – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Hannah Strong
9h ago
Shakespeare was really onto something when he wrote “The course of true love never did run smooth” in Act 1, Scene 1 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This truism has fuelled romantic narratives the world over for centuries, and now, in Gilles Lellouche’s 165-minute melodrama, two young lovers discover as much for themselves, as they first meet as headstrong teenagers and later encounter each other as world-weary adults. Jackie (played by Mallory Wanecque as a teen and Adèle Exarchopoulos as an adult) lives a comfortable suburban life with her father (Alain Chabat) following the death of her moth ..read more
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Motel Destino – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Rafaela Sales Ross
9h ago
As he runs freely across the sprawling dunes of Ceará, flitting back and forth between the crisp water and the blazing heat of the Brazilian sun, it is hard to imagine why Heraldo (Iago Xavier) would want to leave this slice of paradise. Alas, things are rarely as idyllic as they seem – even more so in small towns where one is hidden away from the rest of the world but never sheltered from prying neighbouring eyes. In Heraldo’s case, he’s always under the heavy gaze of his drug boss, an artist who splits her time between painting colourful canvases and taking care of late-payers. Her crowded ..read more
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All We Imagine as Light – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Jenna Mahale
13h ago
Dating in India can often be fraught. There’s a caste system to contend with, broader religious segregation, the watchful eyes of your community and, of course, your family’s wishes, whether it’s an arranged marriage they want for you, or simply heterosexuality. In Payal Kapadia’s debut fiction feature – the first Indian film to play in Cannes’ official competition since 1994 – the former is plaguing Anu (Kani Kusruti), a young Mumbaikar who works as a nurse at a local hospital. Anu spends her days behind a reception desk, encouraging visitors to have their husbands get vasectomies, texting S ..read more
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Limonov: The Ballad – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Isaac Feldberg
2d ago
In Limonov: A Ballad, his rambunctious indictment of the Russian poet, provocateur and political dissident Eduard Limonov, Russian auteur Kirill Serebrennikov unleashes a withering, fabulist whirlwind of a character study, one with as much if not more to say about the self-contradicting social conditions of a post-Soviet Russia as the deeply troubled contrarian at its centre. Born in the Soviet Union as Eduard Veniaminovich Savenko, only to later derive his pen name Limonov from limonka, the Soviet nickname for an F1 hand grenade, Limonov lived many lives as he careened across Moscow, New Yor ..read more
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Grand Tour – first-look review
Little White Lies
by David Jenkins
2d ago
Earnest ethnographic documentary, steamy backlot melodrama and the existential travelogues of Joseph Conrad coalesce in another cinematic UFO from Portuguese filmmaker, Miguel Gomes, a quixotic and occasionally-exasperating treatise on how the west distorts and romanticises its cultural depictions of the east. Its high-profile premiere in competition at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival made for an interesting bluff for anyone who thought the pathfinding director had embraced the mainstream, as Grand Tour is quite possibly his most experimental and emotionally opaque feature to date. Very much a ..read more
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Lula – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Rafaela Sales Ross
2d ago
Oliver Stone’s latest documentary is about two men: the titular Lula, and Oliver Stone. It is 2022 and the American filmmaker reunites with the Brazilian politician for the first time since 2009’s South of the Border, Stone’s attempt to chronicle the Pink Tide that saw South America lean into left-wing governments and more socially and economically progressive leaders. In the fifteen years since that last meeting, much has changed in Brazil (and South America). With Lula, Stone sets out to better understand how the country he left many years ago, one that venerated the man at its helm, could ..read more
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Parthenope – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Mark Asch
2d ago
Every work of art begins with a question. With Parthenope, Paolo Sorrentino asks: What if a woman was hot? In Neapolitan lore, Parthenope — derived from the Greek “Parthenos” meaning “virgin” — is a mermaid or siren whose passions resulted in the founding of Naples. In this film, Parthenope is another legendary beauty (played by Celeste Dalla Porta), born in a water birth, in the Bay of Naples. She is the city itself, and the film moves through the decades of her life in a series of mythic vignettes which illustrate ideas about the ache of beauty and the fleetingness of youth; of the insatiab ..read more
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Anora – first-look review
Little White Lies
by Sophie Monks Kaufman
3d ago
Sean Baker returns to familiar preoccupations with Anora – sex work, grifters and the promise of a big break that isn’t what it seems. Following in the footsteps of an antihero as well-rounded as Mikey Saber, Red Rocket’s washed-up porn star, Anora’s eponymous exotic dancer lands as sketched in a more superficial mode, through no fault of a spirited and captivating performance from Mikey Madison. Anora (preferred name ‘Ani’) dances at Headquarters, hustling against rival dancers like Diamond, for drinks and private dances. One night. Ivan “Vanya” (Mark Eydelshteyn) shows up and requests a Rus ..read more
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