#NowWatching: THE STARLING, dir. Theodore Melfi

Ready to cry and probably not handle the subject matter but hey 🤷🏻‍♂️
Not sure how I felt overall about The Starling. Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd were both very good in it though, and I cried a lot, but I think that was more because of the subject matter and its closeness to losing my baby last year. It’s very twee, very film festival-y, and
there’s definitely moments where we are directly cued that “This is a good time to cry” and “This is a good time laugh-cry” and “This is a good time to happy-cry”. It still felt sincere enough though, and I didn’t feel manipulated, and amidst some of the more mawkish elements and
frustrating same-but-different scenes of the father’s grief cycle and the mother’s pained stoicism, there were scenes that rang with a wisdom that connected with me, or a truthfulness that resonated with my own experiences.

More than anything, I commend Melfi for making a film
about child loss, and for doing so unapologetically and full-heartedly.

I don’t know if I should’ve watched it when I did though maybe, because I’m just finding myself stuck a little in a place that hasn’t stopped being incredibly hard to go to and find a way out of.
It’s been over a year now, and I have a beautiful, healthy little girl who I can hold in my arms. But nothing will ever change - nor could it - the fact that I didn’t get to hold Robin. And I just miss them, painfully. And there’s a moment in this film where Jack, Chris O’Dowd’s
character, talks about having too much time and hating it, the implication heavily being because of the feeling he has been given something someone more deserving and worthy was denied and that he’d happily give all of his time to in a heartbeat, and I felt that… deeply.
Anyway, The Starling. Good film, I think. Or just an emotional one. Bring tissues? And if you can relate to the subject matter, ask yourself beforehand whether you’re ready to let yourself into those places yet - it’s perfectly acceptable and understandable if you can’t. I mean,
nobody wants to have ever been there, let alone go back.

Also, you know how there’s the “Did the dog die?” website? Well I’m thinking maybe I should try and start trying to actively flag up baby loss triggers in films. Feel like it may be helpful to some possibly, I dunno.

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More from @JordanMBKing

14 Sep

#NowWatching: ALI & AVA, dir. Clio Barnard


Review 🔜 @MoviesWeekends
Think I’ve just seen my favourite film of #TIFF21 so far. Ali & Ava is just fucking beautiful, the kind of film that notices the infinitesimal gestures and moments that make people - with all the messiness of their lives and weight of their pasts - fall in love.
Here’s a love story that starts with a lift home because it’s been pissing down, whose first kiss comes from chancing an arm on staying the night and getting lumped in a spare room, and which grows against all the baggage that makes us wonder whether we deserve happiness at all.
Read 7 tweets
14 Sep
Stories like this inspire me so much, and give me hope at a time where things have felt on the edge of a cliff. Huge huge congrats to @sophiefbutcher on an absolute dream job, and for having the drive and putting in the work to make it happen.

👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻
Also, it’s great to see that there are folks like @BenSTravis and @Terri_White in this industry who have actively been a part of opening doors, breaking glass ceilings, and rewarding hard work and passion. EMPIRE is at the forefront of shaping culture, and the work you guys have
done to make that culture one of inclusion, opportunity, and the promotion of new, emerging voices is incredible. In the six years Terri served as Editor and guardian of Empire, she changed the culture for the better in so many ways. The team at Empire and the team that comtinues
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14 Sep

#NowWatching: YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER, dir. Kate Dolan


Review 🔜 @MoviesWeekends
@caatdolan’s You Are Not My Mother, a Samhain chiller nestled within the framework of a sympathetically crafted story about mothers, daughters, and the monstrousness of mental illness’ ravaging effect on both the afflicted and their loved ones really got under my skin.
Unlike some other recent genre fare, the film impressively never loses sight of the seriousness of its themes as it builds on its supernatural elements, meaning the horror and the harrowing nature of what we are witnessing builds with remarkable poise and conviction.
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13 Sep

#NowWatching: SUNDOWN, dir. Michel Franco

(Mexico) Image
Sunkissed, serene, surreal, and shot through with an unnerving dosage of sociopathy, Franco’s Sundown is the sort of film you imagine Haneke would daydream on a beach someplace nice. More about us as viewers than any of the characters, this provokes with scant provocation.
Tim Roth is so unphased by everything happening around him it’s as if the camera doesn’t exist at all, and Franco’s scoreless, fuss-free method of filmmaking here has a surgical precision that - when juxtaposed with the warmly captured Acapulco clime - expertly unsettles.
Read 5 tweets
12 Sep

#NowWatching: ENCOUNTERS, dir. Michael Pearce

(UK) Image
A classic case of “starts out as one thing, becomes another”, but whilst I was initially disappointed when I realised the film Encounter started as wouldn’t continue that way, I was gradually bowled over by the depths of the other thing it strove for. Riz Ahmed is typically class
and I was a big fan of the two child stars, old head on young shoulders Lucian-River Chauhan and energetic youngster Aditya Geddada. There was maybe a needledrop too many for my liking, especially given the cosmically tinted, haunting incidental music, and I still would like to
Read 4 tweets
12 Sep

#NowWatching: THE GUILTY, dir. Antoine Fuqua


Review 🔜 @MoviesWeekends
Jake Gyllenhaal is absolutely outstanding in THE GUILTY, Antoine Fuqua’s remake of Gustav Möller’s single-location thriller about a troubled police officer who finds himself in over his head when he receives a call from a woman who seems to have been abducted. The first two acts
see Fuqua demonstrate a mastery of form and technique as he ratchets up the tension and pressure on Gyllenhaal’s Joe Baylor, and the third sees logic take a leave of absence while the emotional weight of the film’s messages land powerfully. For some, The Guilty may take things a
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