Film Review: Carol (2015) Coming in April 2016 

Running time : 2 hours 

Director: Todd Haynes (I’m Not There) 

Cast: Cate Blanchett – Carol

Rooney Mara – Therese 

Sarah Paulson – Abby 

Kyle Chandler – Harge 

In older, less enlightened times, same sex relationships were far less understood and the confusion of such feelings led to therapy as if it were a mental illness. Here is a film which deals with the topic and sees Carol and Therese gravitate towards each other with a misunderstood desire which could cause problems for all their loved ones around them. The dialogue is one thing but it’s the silences which speak volumes between the pair. The film shows heartache and longing equally well. In other films on this topic there’s usually a heavy hand taking the sexual images too far, but here it’s purely romantic and understandable. The film is sensitive and tender towards its lovers and we feel their spark of attraction shine off the screen. Great, believable performances which convince.

C whitehouse
Film review, Carol, Blanchett, Mara

Anomalisa (2015) Film Review 

Director : Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman

Running time : 90 minutes.

Cast : David Thewlis – Michael.

Jennifer Jason Lee – Lisa.

Tom Noonan – Everyone else.

Charlie Kaufman’s script suits the stop frame animation as the solipsistic Michael plods around world weary in surroundings where everyone is voiced by just one man, even have the women.

Then Lisa falls into Michael’s world and is a ray of insecure light in his darkness. This may be animation but it’s certainly not for kids with it’s sprinkle of bad language and a sex scene. This is no Team America  joke movie though, instead it’s more in the style of The Fantastic Mr Fox with straight spoken dialogue and realistic human behaviour.

Once you start to not notice the puppetry, it becomes an oddly romantic love story of two people meeting and experiencing each other. What it lacks in twists and dramatic turns, it makes up for in its sheer artistry. Just like A Scanner Darkly, you walk away a little puzzled from what you just witnessed but glad that you did.

C Whitehouse

Anomalisa, Kaufman, Animation, review,


Film Review: Room (2015) 

Director : Lenny Abrahamson

Running time : 2 hours


Brie Larson – Ma

Jacob Tremblay – Jack

Sean Bridgers – Old Nick
Brie Larson finally gets the attention she’s deserved for years. This is a tough watch but for the things which are unseen and unsaid rather than the director pulling your strings. Obviously it’s about being held captive on first glance but really it’s the bubble of mother and son in surreal circumstances. It wasn’t as grizzly as I worried it would be. It’s still a tear jerker of sorts but a nice tear jerker.

Film Review: Still Life 

Film Club Screening, COMING SUNDAY 20th March   90 mins at 6.00pm

Dir: Uberto Pasolini

Cast:  Eddie Marsan – John May

Joanne Froggatt – Kelly Stoke

Eddie Marsan plays John May, a council case worker whose job it is to find the next of kin for people who die alone with seemingly no family. John is meticulous and through to give the best send off to the clients that is possible. It’s ironic though, because John has no family himself and is almost setting himself up for a demise to match his subjects. That is until his last case has him meet a young lady called Kelly, played by Joanne Froggatt who is the daughter of the latest passed loner. Suddenly a spark is lit and there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon for Mr May.

The film uses tones of greys and blues to paint both Johns workplace and his homestead. The film is like a peaceful stroll through a graveyard on a summers day. It’s a lightly uplifting yet subtly sad observation about the forgotten living and the lives they lived no matter how loved they were in life.

John has worked for Lambeth Council for many years but in times of greater efficiency ie down-sizing, is to be made redundant; however he finds himself on a liberating journey of self discovery that will make him question everything and start living life at last.



Film Review: THE WITCH (2016) 

Director: Robert Eggers (Hansel and Gretel-2007)

Cast: Thomasin- Anya Taylor-Joy,  William- Ralph Ineson, Katherine – Kate Dickie,          Caleb – Harvey Scrimshaw 

A devout Christian family move out if the safe confines of the village in a time of witch craft and black magic. Katherine and William are the parents of Thomasin, Caleb, Mercy, Jonas and newborn Samuel. As Thomasin plays peek a boo with Samuel, the baby is snatched. As the family fall apart under their own religious beliefs, they have to wonder if a curse has taken hold of their family and if they’ll ever see it through the next few weeks.

The film says it’s based on folklore and actual old age accounts of witchcraft and other writings. The language used is true to those accounts and the feel of God fearing societies long past gives it a sense of films like The Village and A Field In England. While not full on horror in its usual popcorn form, this oddity keeps you on your toes by being off kilter and with a creepy string score the sense of impending doom is ever present. The film is fresh if not groundbreaking and has new areas to show you instead of mindless gore and hidden cheap jumps.
If you fancy something new about olden times, check this out.

Christ Whitehouse.