LFF REVIEW: “Personal and poignant telling of an iconic gay landmark” – Circus Of Books (2019)

★ ★ ★ ★ “Crucially, Circus of Books remains honest to the intentions of the Mason family.” Rachel Mason’s documentary is about her parents, a bookshop and the gay community.  In 1982, Karen and Barry Mason took over Circus of Books: a gay book and pornographic store in West Hollywood. But for the Mason family…

Read More

LFF REVIEW: “A sentimental piece about understanding childhood trauma” – ‘Honey Boy’ (2019)

“Honey Boy offers something more heartfelt and personal” When it was first announced Shia LaBeouf was to write and star in a film based around his own childhood experiences growing up within the studio system, I had a feeling something special was about to be created. Previously exploring his own legacy through an art project…

Read More

LFF REVIEW: “Sentimental and contemplative of long-term relationships” – ‘Marriage Story’ (2019)

“Adam Driver is phenomenal, a presence on screen.” Marriage Story (2019), directed by Noah Baumbach, is a tale of the break-up between small-time theatre director Charlie (Adam Driver), and his actress wife Nicole (Scarlett Johansson). The two wish to divorce amicably, but when Nicole takes their son to LA to live with her mother, complications…

Read More

LFF REVIEW: “Not the beautiful and mysterious creature it wants to be” – Little Joe (2019)

“Bold ideas with boring execution.” The mint-green lab coats donned by the botanists in Little Joe immediately create a sense of unease. This ever so slight change in the universally recognisable and authoritative white lab coat gives the impression that this lab-experiment-gone-wrong story will be somewhat different from its genre kin. But you would be…

Read More

LFF REVIEW: “A Jigsaw That Was Always Meant to be Together” – ‘The House of Us’ (2019)

“A testament to young talent which is only bound to grow with time.” From South Korean writer/director Gaeun Yoon comes House of Us, a story of three young girls finding solace from the disparities of their home lives. Together they create a bond that cannot be broken, delving into mischief and laughter to hide the…

Read More

LFF REVIEW: “A quiet, bittersweet gem” – ‘Monsoon’ (2019)

“Shy efforts to build connections with the world around him feel tender and real” Hong Khaou’s second feature opens with an overhead shot of a traffic junction in Ho Chi Minh City. Hundreds of cars, bikes and scooters approach from multiple directions, pushing forward and giving way as they negotiate the road together. It’s a…

Read More

LFF REVIEW: “Dramatic, Powerful, and Relevant” – ‘Rose Plays Julie’ (2019)

★★★★★ “Beautiful, resonant, the culmination of their work.” When we first meet Rose (Ann Skelly), she is faceless. Much like Anna Karina in Vivre Sa Vie, she begins her story shrouded in mystery, through narration she slowly peels away at her own mystery. She wants to meet her birth mother, Ellen (Orla Brady), but Ellen’s…

Read More

LFF REVIEW: “You may be watching through your fingers” – ‘Monos’ (2019)

“A portrait of the legacy which violent acts leave behind.” A group of adolescent soldiers, dubbed the monos (monkeys), are sequestered on the peak of an ancient mountain miles from Colombian civilization. They are part of a larger paramilitary cause named The Organization, but their paths intersect only briefly with their more experienced comrades.  For…

Read More

LFF REVIEW: “A quirky and wonderful chemistry” – ‘Our Ladies’ (2019)

“Living in the moment, with a disregard for the future, the group continues on their all-day bender leaving empty bottles behind at every stop.” With matching tartan skirts and knee-high grey socks, Our Ladies walks hand in hand with the small-town girl hitting the big city. Five young women are fed up with the strict rules of…

Read More

LFF REVIEW: “Visceral artwork in all aspects” – ‘System Crasher’ (2019)

“Guaranteed to capture your heart and rip it to shreds.” This review contains mild spoilers for System Crasher. Somewhere in the depths of Germany, nine-year-old Benni has been expelled from another group home. A small child with an explosive temper, she is bounced around the foster care system with little luck; no one wants her.…

Read More