dir John Hillcoat; with Viggo Mortenson, Kodi Smit-McPhee 09/US *****
Another Cormac McCarthy novel becomes one of the best films of the year. This startling post-apocalyptic adventure is almost relentlessly grim as it follows a father and son across an American landscape totally bereft of humanity or civilisation. But in each encounter, we discover things about these characters, and we see a very tiny glimmer of hope for the future. A stunning allegory, the film boasts spectacular cinematography and some truly unforgettable performances.
A Single Man
dir Tom Ford; with Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult 09/US ****
It's no surprise that this film is exquisite to look at; Ford knows how to capture an image, and we want to fall into every frame of the almost too-perfect 1962 Los Angeles setting, with its modern lines, gleaming cars and form-enhancing clothes. The story centres on one pretty terrible day in the life of a university professor (Firth) as he tries to quietly come to grips with the death of his boyfriend in a society in which he's not allowed to even have a boyfriend. Firth captures something untouchable in his performance, making us feel this man's despair and also his wry understanding that his life might not be over. And Moore shines in a showy role that she turns into something quietly profound.
dir Nicholas Jasenovec; with Charlyne Yi, Michael Cera 09/US ****
An ingenious blending of rom-com and doc, this charming film worms its way under our skin from the start, keeping us laughing as it explores love and relationships from a strikingly original angle ... FULL REVIEW >