A wide-reaching crime drama from the director and star of intimate relationship study Blue Valentine seems an unusual prospect on paper, but in practice the transition isn’t as big as you might expect. Bold and sweeping as The Place Beyond the Pines may be, it still revolves around family – it’s just a shame Derek Cianfrance tries to spoil his child a little too much.
A bleak look at the unravelling life of a New York sex addict, Shame showcases brave work by director Steve McQueen and his second time collaborator, Michael Fassbender. Expertly shot and powerfully acted, the film takes an affliction often the subject of ridicule and uses it to tell an affecting story of vice and isolation.
With Emily Watson in the lead role, Oranges and Sunshine tells the true story of hundreds of thousands of children who were deported to Australia by the British government, and the struggle of one woman to reclaim their identity. Managing to move rather than manipulate, this emotional powerhouse of a drama is undoubtedly the best film I’ve seen in years.
Bleak and haunting, desolate and devoid… It’s grim up north in Scottish filmmaker Ruth Paxton’s award-winning take on rural isolation and nerve-wearing home care. Great performances and a disquieting underbelly elevate this short above the format’s usual one-note fare, and mark Paxton and Malone out as ones to watch.
Henry’s Crime is a film about robbery, redemption, love and Chekov. Not as highbrow as it sounds, Keanu Reeves stars in this new dramatic comedy about a man wrongfully imprisoned who decided to commit the crime for which he served the time, aided and abetted by James Caan and Vera Farmiga
A confident distilling of a brilliant novel, Never Let Me Go manages to capture the haunting beauty of Kazuo Ishiguro’s creation without ever giving in to cinematic indulgence. Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield give mesmerising performances as lovers forced apart by tragic circumstance, and even Keira “act from the chin” Knightley gives that emotion thing a whirl.