Greta

March 21, 2019 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Neil Jordan) (2018) This tedious, derivative piece of trash begins when nice, naive young Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz, using every tic and twitch she can summon, and that’s a lot) finds a chic handbag in a subway carriage. Oddly enough, no-one else is interested in it. Even more oddly, all of the lost luggage offices in the entire New York subway system must have been permanently closed, if this film is to make any kind of sense at all. But there we are. Back at home in their luxurious loft apartment, Frances and her flatmate Erica (Maika Monroe,…

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At Eternity’s Gate

February 24, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Julian Schnabel) (2018) It takes some men a long time to grow up. Julian Schnabel began his career as an artist, allegedly; his notorious ‘plate paintings’ moved Robert Hughes to say of him: “Schnabel’s work is to painting what Stallone’s is to acting: a lurching display of oily pectorals.”*  Then he produced a memoir, when only aged in his mid-thirties, without having achieved anything of note – if you want a nasty laugh, read Hughes’ review of it in The New Republic.**  Then he found the medium of film, where his talents and sensibilities obviously lie: after Basquiat (1996) a…

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The Favourite (dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)

January 3, 2019 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Comedy Film, Drama Film, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Olivia Colman in the film THE FAVOURITE. Photo by Atsushi Nishijima. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

(2018) Lanthimos’s Anne (Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland from 8 March 1702 to 1 May 1707, and thereafter of Great Britain and Ireland to 1714) is bloated, dull and not fit for purpose.  Just like his film about two women’s rivalry for her favour. We decided to give The Favourite 2 stars, calculated as follows: +1 star because we love you, Yorgos, for The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer; +1 star for effort; +1 star for most of the performances (in particular, Olivia Colman as Queen Anne); +1/2 star for the black, white and grey costumes; -1/2 star…

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First Reformed

November 24, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Written and directed by Paul Schrader (2018) As Chesterton is said to have said, ‘When you stop believing in God, you start believing in anything.’ This small but intense film about loneliness, isolation and moral agony, centred upon a narrator in crisis, echoes to an extent Schrader’s script for Taxi Driver, and its catharsis is similarly flawed, albeit more ambiguous. Much of the initial reaction has been to declare this film Schrader’s masterpiece, but we are of the view that his best film by far is the superb Affliction (which, again, bears some superficial resemblance to that on display here)….

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Bohemian Rhapsody

November 5, 2018 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, Modern Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Bryan Singer) (2018) (Click here for our review of the book of the same name by Lesley-Ann Jones.) If you don’t get a shiver down the spine during the opening scene of Bohemian Rhapsody, as we follow Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) onto the stage at Live Aid, you don’t deserve Freddie, or this terrific film – a goose-pimpling, foot-stomping bio-pic with heart. Yes, it follows the usual trajectory of ambitious boys putting their all into their music, despite evil managers and uncaring music company execs.  Yes, we know the story, and the film may not be entirely historically accurate, but…

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