#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.
Of course, we all do. And the overwhelming gorgeousness of this film is in watching Ali & Ava realise this, even as they battle with themselves and their sense of duty to their families and the lives they’ve been leading for so long.
I’ll have more to say soon for @MoviesWeekends, but this is just the absolute pinnacle of working class social realist cinema, the kind of authentic, unforced piece of magic that captures such a specifically British experience and embraces it wholeheartedly.
Claire Rushbrook is indomitable, stoic, real as Ava, a woman we all have known and scarcely celebrate and acknowledge the intricacies of on the big screen. @adeelakhtar1234’s Ali is fantastic too, such a warm figure, quick to humour to diffuse tension but worldly all the same.
Also love the myriad ways in which music elicits feeling and guides meaning throughout - few lines of Dylan and I’m putty in your hands.

For the first time in a bit, I feel energised to write about a film I’ve just seen - this one’s special.

@lisablowerwrite you’d love this!

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More from @JordanMBKing

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 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
Read 9 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
Read 5 tweets

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