All in Film

Midsommar

When Dani (Florence Pugh) loses her family to an appalling tragedy, she finds her friends and boyfriend unable to provide the support or even the language she needs to be able to process her grief. Her baby-faced, blank edifice of a boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) is on the verge of breaking up with her anyway and his friends are keen to stop him wallowing in his guilt and cut her loose. In the fall out from Dani’s trauma, the group ends up inviting her on a research trip-cum-alternative festival holiday to visit the Swedish home of Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren), a fellow student at their university.

Detective Pikachu

The central premise of Detective Pikachu is simple and disquieting. Pikachu - the sweet, yellow, fluffy Pokémon who can shoot electricity from his body - has become a cop.

Among the Shadows

There are films that make you go “wait, how did they do that?” There are films that make you go “wait, did they just do that?” Lindsay Lohan’s new low-budget werewolf film is one of those rare and dreadful films that make you go “Waaawaaaaaawaaaaaaa!%&%&&%###~!??”

If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk opens with a quote from the eponymous book. It talks of New Orleans, the origin of jazz and the rhythm that narrates the Black American experience. Baldwin proposes the rhythm as a language, hard to set down but, if drummed with eloquence, then perhaps the White man might just vibe to it. Barry Jenkins picks up the baton and takes it to the stand.

Aquarela

If, like me, you stay up watching those 10 hour Youtube compilations of giant waves and have recurring dreams of cities, mountain ranges under water, then Aquarela is a delight beyond your wildest hopes.

I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians

Winner of the Crystal Globe at the 2018 Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Radu Jude’s latest film is a complex blend of satire, historiography and manifesto. By turns hysterically funny and deeply unnerving, I Do Not Care is an accomplished and nuanced film that lives up to its weighty subject matter.

The Song of the Tree

The Song of the Tree is the outrageously beautiful, perfectly executed debut feature from Kyrgyz director Aibek Daiyrbekov. A musical set among nomads in the 18th century and filmed against the backdrop of the Tian Shan mountains, it tells a traditional story of love and rivalry without ever putting a foot wrong.

The Truk

The Truk, and that’s with a k for ‘ketamine’, is a punchy first time feature from French director Sarah Marx. Following young ex-con Ulysse as he leaves jail and tries to pay his mother’s care bill, this film punches well above its weight and delivers a convincing and nervy portrait of France in crisis.

Transit

If you are sick of the glossy sentimentalism of period WWII dramas, you may find the concept of Transit appealing. The plot, from a novel by Anna Seghers, concerns a refugee navigating Marseille on the eve of its occupation; it is shot, however, in modern dress and against the backdrop of the present-day city. It is a good idea and one I have always wanted to see done well – so you will understand that this shoddy, po-faced film failed to impress.

The Legend of the Stardust Bros.

If you feel infinite sadness that you will never see Earth Girls are Easy for the first time again, do not despair: there are other masterpieces out there. The Legend of the Stardust Bros. is one of them.

Mothers' Instinct

Originally titled Duelles, Olivier Masset-Depasse’s film follows two mothers into a web of guilt, paranoia and mutual fear in an idyllic Belgian suburb. Unnerving performances give weight to this slick, stylish psychological thriller.

The Vanishing

In December 1900, three Scottish lighthouse keepers vanished from the Flannan Isles, a tiny archipelago 32 miles west of the Outer Hebrides. The tragedy excited wild speculation at the time and forms the basis for a new psychological thriller: The Vanishing. Unfortunately, the only thing that mysteriously disappears here is any sense of narrative cohesion, which falls off a cliff around the end of the second act.

Burning

Melancholy and opaque, Burning is a beautifully shot meander through modern-day South Korea that never resolves and depends heavily on the viewer’s acceptance of hazy ambiguity in place of plot and character development.

The Sisters Brothers

In the 1890s, Prescott Ford Jernegan and Charles Fisher defrauded hundreds of investors in a scheme to extract gold from seawater in the Klondike estuary. A character in The Sisters Brothers makes similar claims, but don’t fall for them. There’s no gold here – barely even a glimmer.