Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
Interstellar Review
The Making Of The West Wing
Get 12 Issues For Only £25 Today
The perfect gift this Christmas
London Film Festival 2014
Our round-up of the galas, films and interviews
Empire Blogs

London Film FestivalLondon Film Festival 2014: Mommy, Song of the Sea, A Little Chaos

Posted on Friday October 17, 2014, 11:12 by Helen O'Hara in London Film Festival
London Film Festival 2014: Mommy, Song of the Sea, A Little Chaos

Mommy

Leading the ‘Dare’ category in the film festival, Mommy is a brave and powerful film that’s capable of knocking the breath out of your lungs. Tackling the impact of mental illness in a family, it features phenomenal acting, an unusual soundtrack and an inventive use of changing screen dimensions.

The young and prodigiously talented Xavier Dolan has made this the fifth directorial work of his already prolific career. Dolan has proved himself before as unafraid to tackle difficult topics and in Mommy he follows the life of single mother Diane (Anne Dorval), who is suddenly faced with having to home-school her son Steve (Antoine-Olivier Pilon). Steve’s severe ADHD has meant that due to his erratic and dangerous behaviour, he’s just come out of a youth detention centre. The situation threatens to get out of control until the arrival of their neighbour Kyra (Suzanne Clément) offers a new chance for both mother and son to rebuild th...

Continue reading...

Comment Now




Back To Top

London Film FestivalLondon Film Festival: Whiplash, Son Of A Gun, Foxcatcher

Posted on Friday October 17, 2014, 10:36 by Helen O'Hara in London Film Festival
London Film Festival: Whiplash, Son Of A Gun, Foxcatcher

Whiplash

Whiplash came rolling into the London Film Festival with real momentum behind it. It has already wowed audiences at several international festivals, and scooped the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance in January. Damien Chazelle’s tale of a wannabe drummer battling his way to the top of a jazz band deserves every accolade it has received thus far, and a load more.

Miles Teller plays Andrew, a talented but nervous youngster at the top music school in America. During a solo practice session, he catches the eye of ferocious instructor Fletcher (JK Simmons), who subjects Andrew to gruelling rehearsals as part of his award-winning jazz band. In order to impress Fletcher, Andrew must put his family, new girlfriend Nicole (Melissa Benoist) and indeed his own body on the line.

Whiplash is a hurricane of movie. As comfortable with zingy dialogue and raw emotion as it is with breath-taking musical cacophonies, director Chazelle has constructed...

Continue reading...

Comment Now




Back To Top

London Film FestivalLondon Film Festival 2014: Testament of Youth, Ping Pong Summer, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them

Posted on Thursday October 16, 2014, 13:38 by Helen O'Hara in London Film Festival
London Film Festival 2014: Testament of Youth, Ping Pong Summer, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them

Testament Of Youth

Based on famed pacifist Vera Brittain’s earliest memoirs, Testament of Youth has admirable intentions of bringing a renowned story back into the public spotlight. It’s a pity then that the film doesn’t excel itself quite as it could have done.

Directed by TV veteran James Kent, the film explores Vera’s life during the time of World War I. Played by Alicia Vikander, Vera is left at home when her friends, brother and new fiancée Roland Leighton (Kit Harington) leave for the trenches. Not wanting to escape the troubles of war whilst her loved ones fight, she chooses to work as a nurse in France, an experience which inspires the lifelong anti-war views that Vera Brittain was best known for.

The biggest difficulty that the film has is in engaging the audience with Roland and Vera’s romantic relationship, an aspect of the story that is placed in centre stage. Their attraction isn’t given a foundation str...

Continue reading...

Comment Now




Back To Top

London Film FestivalLondon Film Festival: The Duke Of Burgundy, Gente De Bien, Love Is Strange

Posted on Wednesday October 15, 2014, 09:43 by Helen O'Hara in London Film Festival
London Film Festival: The Duke Of Burgundy, Gente De Bien, Love Is Strange

The course of true love never did run smooth. It would appear that BFI London Film Festival decided that I wasn't sufficiently aware of this fact and could use a refresher course in love in its many forms. First up we had The Duke Of Burgundy, a smouldering slice of BDSM relationship drama from British auteur Peter Strickland. After that there was Gente De Bien, the story of a father and son thrown together after years of estrangement and how they learn to get along. To round off the day was Love Is Strange, the very softly spoken tale of two elderly gay men in New York who are thrown into turmoil when redundancy alters their living situation.


The Duke Of Burgundy
Peter Strickland's latest offering concerns the relationship between Cynthia and Evelyn, who are engaged in a dominant/submissive lifestyle. Cynthia plays master in the situation, engineering situations that are deliberately demeaning or awkward for Evel...

Continue reading...

Comment Now




Back To Top

London Film FestivalLondon Film Festival: Wild, Salvation, Leviathan

Posted on Wednesday October 15, 2014, 09:18 by Helen O'Hara in London Film Festival
London Film Festival: Wild, Salvation, Leviathan

Some days at festivals, you see a couple of films that all have a common theme or genre. Today was not one of those days. You could hardly pick three films more different than Wild, The Salvation and Leviathon. One is Reese Witherspoon's latest about a young woman who decides to walk 1,000 miles across America to escape her life, another is a revenge Western with a Danish cowboy at its heart and the final film is a politically astute and vodka soaked look at modern Russia.


Wild
This adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's 2012 memoir has been in production almost since the day the book was released. It was always designed as a vehicle for Reese Witherspoon to flex her acting muscles and the role is certainly different to anything she's played before. The role of Strayed is clearly a complex one with grief, addiction and divorce all working their way into the script and shown as flashbacks during her epic adventure which brings its own series of challenges.

All of whi...

Continue reading...

Comment Now (1 comment)




Back To Top

London Film FestivalLondon Film Festival: Electricity, The Dinner

Posted on Wednesday October 15, 2014, 08:56 by Helen O'Hara in London Film Festival
London Film Festival: Electricity, The Dinner

Electricity

British dramas have a habit of unfolding in fairly conventional ways. With that in mind, it’s hugely refreshing to come across a film as inventive and interesting as Electricity, which feels gritty and real without resorting to bland kitchen sink tropes.

Lily (Agyness Deyn) works a dead-end job in an amusement arcade, battling with her frequent and violent epileptic fits, which manifest as electrical storms in her mind. When she and her brother Barry (Paul Anderson) are presented with a huge inheritance, Lily sets off down south to find their estranged second sibling Mikey (Christian Cooke) to give him his share. Mikey proves a hard man to find, with Lily enlisting the help of friendly Londoner Mel (Lenora Crichlow) after she suffers from a fit on the Underground.

There’s a tendency in British cinema to simply point a camera at something bleak and watch terrible things happen. Electricity is not interested in doing that, with director ...

Continue reading...

Comment Now




Back To Top

London Film FestivalLondon Film Festival: Goodbye to Language, My Old Lady, Serena

Posted on Tuesday October 14, 2014, 10:06 by Helen O'Hara in London Film Festival
London Film Festival: Goodbye to Language, My Old Lady, Serena

Goodbye To Language

Trying to describe Jean-Luc Godard's 3D feature Goodbye To Language is a difficult task. As you'd expect of the director, it's not a film that's kind to viewers, presenting a 70 minute-long barrage of confrontational style. In the end, it's difficult to interpret just what kind of narrative, if any, has been witnessed. Still, that’s probably the whole point.

As the title suggests, language becomes almost mocked in a film that strives for incoherence. Stories overlap with conversations that don’t make sense and the audio stuns the viewer with a blast of noise after irregular breaks of silence. The film's content - usually created with some clarity in order to communicate with the audience - becomes ridiculed in a mosaic that includes philosophy, historical reconstruction and low-brow humour. Inconsistent English subtitles for the film also deliberately add to the muddled tone, although those with a decent grasp of French m...

Continue reading...

Comment Now




Back To Top

London Film FestivalLondon Film Festival: The Cub

Posted on Tuesday October 14, 2014, 10:03 by Helen O'Hara in London Film Festival
London Film Festival: The Cub

As a bit of a horror film fanatic, The Cub (aka Welp) was one of the films I was most looking forward to seeing at LFF. Thankfully, the debut film from Belgian director Jonas Govaerts is everything I wanted it to be – a loving, gruesome homage to the dark heart of cinema.

At the centre of the film is Sam (Maurice Luijten), a temperamental outcast in a group of scouts led by Kris (Titus De Voogdt) and his slightly power-mad right-hand man Peter (Stef Aerts). The vulnerable youngster is terrified by the leaders’ stories of a mysterious boy, named Kai, who stalks the forest at night in werewolf form. Unfortunately for Sam and the rest of the troupe, the boy (Gill Eeckelaert) proves to be more real than anybody expected.

The beauty of Cub is that it is a film made with real reverence and respect for horror cinema. It combines the influence of classic slashers from the '70s and '80s with the timeless creature-feature subgenre. The summer camp setting recalls

Continue reading...

Comment Now




Back To Top

London Film FestivalLondon Film Festival: Madame Bovary, Dearest, The Keeping Room

Posted on Sunday October 12, 2014, 12:22 by Helen O'Hara in London Film Festival
London Film Festival: Madame Bovary, Dearest, The Keeping Room

Madame Bovary

Sophia Barthes’ Madame Bovary is a beautiful period adaptation of Gustav Flaubert’s novel that deals with its complicated heroine in a way that is both understanding and honest. The cinematography truly stands out as the star, making this film into a visual delight.

The story follows the new wife of village doctor, Emma Bovary (Mia Wasikowska), who finds herself bored of the limited entertainments of a 19th century French provincial town. Her disappointment in her situation soon drives her to live outside the appropriate rules of society. Wasikowska is allowed in this film to stretch her trademark understated performance, and she embraces both the initial quiet resignation and the later defiant fury that defines the character. Madame Bovary is not an easy character to empathise with, especially in comparison to her caring and well-meaning husband, but Barthes chooses to take away much of the original emphasis on Monsieur Bovary ...

Continue reading...

Comment Now




Back To Top

London Film FestivalLondon Film Festival: The Drop, Décor, X+Y

Posted on Sunday October 12, 2014, 11:27 by Helen O'Hara in London Film Festival
London Film Festival: The Drop, Décor, X+Y

The Drop

There’s something beautiful about the way that deceased actors can live on in their films. Philip Seymour Hoffman is currently in cinemas with A Most Wanted Man and has two Hunger Games sequels still to come, despite his sudden death this year. In the same vein, James Gandolfini posthumously wowed critics with romance Enough Said and now gives us his swan song with solid noir thriller The Drop.

Gandolfini is Cousin Marv, the owner of a popular Brooklyn drinking hole, staffed by Bob (Tom Hardy) and a regular “drop” for criminal cash handovers. Their business is running swimmingly under the control of some Chechen gangsters, until a suspicious robbery and Bob’s discovery of a stray dog throw several bloodied spanners into the works.

The story comes from a novel by Dennis Lehane, whose work has appeared in cinematic form many times, including Gone Baby Gon...

Continue reading...

Comment Now




Back To Top

Earlier Posts  

CATEGORIES

Empire States (440)

Under The Radar (323)

Infinite Lives (92)

Small Screen (57)

Words From The Wise (35)

Cannes 2011 (28)

Off The Wire (24)

Comic-Con 2010 (21)

Casting Couch (2)

Oscars 2011 (1)


RECENT POSTS

London Film Festival 2014: Fury And Difret
By Phil de Semlyen

London Film Festival 2014: Mommy, Song of the Sea, A Little Chaos
By Helen O'Hara

London Film Festival: Whiplash, Son Of A Gun, Foxcatcher
By Helen O'Hara

London Film Festival 2014: Testament of Youth, Ping Pong Summer, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them
By Helen O'Hara

London Film Festival: The Duke Of Burgundy, Gente De Bien, Love Is Strange
By Helen O'Hara

London Film Festival: Wild, Salvation, Leviathan
By Helen O'Hara

London Film Festival: Electricity, The Dinner
By Helen O'Hara

London Film Festival: Goodbye to Language, My Old Lady, Serena
By Helen O'Hara

London Film Festival: The Cub
By Helen O'Hara

The Rio Festival: The Prizes
By Simon Braund


RECENT COMMENTS

London Film Festival: Wild, Salvation, Leviathan
"That's interesting, because I noticed The Salvation had one of the buzziest audience reactions out o"  jencat
Read comment

Screen To Stage: Shakespeare In Love
"Have just re-watched this twice over the past few weeks and forgot how fantastic it was. I'm now des"  fire_and_water5025
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"This looks unbelievably good... wish I could afford to go!"  Roo
Read comment

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
"Nice to know Martin enlisted another author to help in his world-building. Time to get acquainted wi"  Imperion
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"@Y2Nield.com The original Hogwarts section and what was duelling dragons (has now"  Sexual Harassment Panda
Read comment

4K Or Not 4K?: First Look At Sharp's '2.5K' Quattron Pro Technology
"It doesn't matter if there are 50 billion pixels. The human eye cans perceive anything smaller than "  rubenjames
Read comment

Night Visions 2013: Adjust Your Tracking (or Does Anyone Actually Miss VHS?)
"Or don't..."  Owen Williams
Read comment

4K Or Not 4K?: First Look At Sharp's '2.5K' Quattron Pro Technology
"4K TVs are actually not that expensive anymore and the 'Quattron' costs 2.300€ (60inches).<"  DrGreenSkunk
Read comment

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
"Actually i recomend The Foucault Pendulum for several reasons, in the first place it explores the es"  andresfelipeurb
Read comment

4K Or Not 4K?: First Look At Sharp's '2.5K' Quattron Pro Technology
"So this is basically the "HD-ready" version of 4K."  grucl
Read comment


POPULAR POSTS

Movies’ Most Quotable Lines
566 comments

'It's Just A Bit Of Fun': Why Defensive Fans Are Bad News For Movies
361 comments

Competitive Geek Baiting: Or, How To Start A Fanboy Fight
338 comments

What's The Best TV Show Ever?
307 comments

The Avatar Backlash: Evaluatin' The Hater-atin'
303 comments

The Complete List Of Tired Movie Cliches
286 comments

Your Favourite Animated Film
217 comments

Note To Hollywood: How To Get People To Switch To Blu-Ray
192 comments

You Wouldn't Steal A Car...
140 comments

Food For Thought
132 comments


BLOGGERS
Damon Wise (297)
Helen O'Hara (181)
James Dyer (86)
Amar Vijay (71)
Ali Plumb (56)
James White (29)
Phil de Semlyen (20)
Owen Williams (15)
Simon Braund (6)
Ally Wybrew (2)
Ben Kirby (1)
Dan Jolin (1)
Ian Nathan (1)
David Parkinson (1)

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 48% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
'Today The Pond… Tomorrow The World!'... The 50 Silliest Horror Movie Taglines
Be afraid - or possibly not actually...

Marvel's Infinity War - What Does It All Mean?
Gods! Gems! Gauntlets! We explain it all...

Empire Meets Mike Leigh
On Mr. Turner, 007 and liver in lager

World War II Movies That Win At History
Seen Fury? Here’s what to watch next...

The 25 Shatneriest William Shatner Moments Of All Time
Prepare. For. Many. One. Word. Sentences.

Lists Of Our Lifetime: Empire's 25 Greatest Scares
Monsters, ghosts, horrible old ladies: the scenes that have kept us hiding behind the sofa for the last 25 years. Warning: contains spoilers.

Empire's Interstellar Review
Read our official verdict on Christopher Nolan's science-fiction epic

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)