1917 is a must-see and Kristen Stewart is stunning in Seberg.
This is the film Sam Mendes should've made after Skyfall. For many, he'll never make better.
A heart-in-mouth race against time, the most personal of tributes and the warning from history that we can't hear often enough, 1917 will leave its mark on viewers in different ways. Hopefully the same will still hold true in another 103 years.
Set in springtime on the Western Front, Mendes' film is inspired by the service and stories of his WWI veteran grandfather and focuses on two men among the masses. Read our full review here.
Seberg is a thoughtfully intelligent film, dealing with American actress Jean Seberg's tragic Hollywood years, 1968 to 1971, following her reinvention in Paris in the Jean-Luc Godard classic, À Bout de Souffle (Breathless).
Director Benedict Andrews exercises caution by eschewing the whole story, the additional dramatic events that befell the Iowa-born actress who took her own life at the age of 40 in 1979. Any quick search online will reveal material that a less subtle director would seize upon as added value for melodrama.
Kristen Stewart is mesmeric as the eponymous actress and her performance suggests Oscar material. Read our full review here.
Jojo Rabbit ***1/2
Adapted from Christine Leunens' best-selling 2004 book Caging Skies, director Taika Waititi's self-described 'anti-hate satire' bounces along with bold ambition.
Set in the fictional German city of Falkenheim towards the end of WWII, Waititi's (Thor: Ragnarok, What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) daring mockery is an examination of the absurdity of war as seen through the eyes of a child, and a biting exploration of how hate spreads.
The controversial comedy rests on the shoulders of lonely German boy Jojo (newbie Roman Griffin Davis), a Hitler Youth member whose ideology is challenged when he finds out that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their home. As he starts to question the beliefs of his buffoonish imaginary best friend, Adolf Hitler, Jojo comes face-to-face with the true horror of racism and war. Read our full review here.
Amanda has that pressing, anticipatory feel of a Michael Haneke movie, an air of slightly smug urban contentment about to be shattered.
David (Vincent Lacoste) is a young, energetic Parisian in his twenties who looks after the letting of flats. He meets tenants at train stations and escorts them to their abodes. He also prunes trees as a municipal park worker.
In the course of one of the lettings, he falls for Lena (Stacy Martin), a young piano teacher who has arrived from Bordeaux. He suggests that she might like to teach piano to Amanda (Isaure Multrier), the seven-year-old daughter of his sister Sandrine (Ophélia Kolb) who is a single mother. David collects Amanda from school and the bond between brother and sister is particularly close. Read our full review here.
Little Women ***1/2
A modern and refreshing take on a much-adapted classic.
Writer and director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) brings her own take on the beloved story of four sisters growing up in America in the 1800s to the big screen, and while the plot and characters are familiar, a balance is struck between the nostalgic and the new.
Saoirse Ronan takes the lead as Jo, a forward thinking writer more concerned with following her dreams and charting her own path than securing an advantageous marriage, and turns in yet another brilliant performance. But it is Florence Pugh's portrayal of Jo's younger sister Amy that steals the show. Read our full review here.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ***1/2
At this stage, Star Wars is the movie franchise that ate itself. However, this final part of the rebooted trilogy does rediscover a sense of adventure and maybe even a sense of wonder.
JJ Abrams is back on board as director for this final chapter and there is a sense of righting the ship after The Last Jedi, a good film which nevertheless appalled the faithful by having the cheek to try something different.
Abrams' job here is to close a narrative arc that was in danger of becoming far too convoluted and weighted down by its own self-importance. He mostly pulls it off with panache in a two-and-a-half hour movie bursting with spectacle, rip-roaring action scenes and maybe even a few tears. Read our full review here.