Review no 82: The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza): a film by Paolo Sorrentino (Italy)

EUROPE “To this question, as kids, my friends always gave the same answer. “Pussy.” Whereas I answered, “the smell of old people’s houses”. The question was: “What do you like most, really, in life?” I was destined for sensibility. I was destined to become a writer. I was destined to become Jep Gambardella.“ The Great […]

Review no 59: Capernaum, film by Nadine Labaki (Lebanon)

NORTH AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA This is a beautifully realised but harrowing 2018 film, directed and co-written by Nadine Labaki, and nominated in the category of Best Foreign Language Film in the 91st Academy Awards. The film made the shortlist, although it eventually lost out to Mexican film Roma. According to Wikipedia, Capernaum (a […]

Review no 42: Little Women, film by Greta Gerwig (USA)

AMERICAS AND THE CARIBBEAN I read Louisa M. Alcott’s Little Women as a kid, and having put myself through that, I didn’t really fancy the film. As a kid I remember being agog that the reader was expected to believe that such perfect and selfless people could exist in the world. Teenagers who would give […]

Review no 40: Jojo Rabbit, film by Taika Waititi (New Zealand)

FAR EAST, SOUTH ASIA AND AUSTRALASIA **** Early reviews of this 2019 film suggested it was a “Marmite” movie: you were either going to love it or hate it, no half measures. I’d watched Waititi’s earlier features, including the hugely entertaining What we do in the Shadows (2014, a mock reality TV documentary about vampires) […]

Review no 32: The Chambermaid, film by Lila Avilés (Mexico)

AMERICAS AND THE CARIBBEAN The Chambermaid (La Camarista), released in 2019, came up as a special offer, “film of the day” rental on the excellent Curzon home cinema app (a recent discovery), and I decided to give it a watch. My original plan had been to watch Roma (2018) as my Mexican film. With its […]