Phantom Thread

If Phantom Thread is really to be Daniel Day-Lewis's final film, he has signed off with a suitably superb performance in Paul Thomas Anderson's latest exploration of power and relationships. This is a challenging and multi-faceted picture. Reynolds Woodcock, Day-Lewis's latest inhabited persona, is a celebrated and dedicated dressmaker to the 1950s elite in Bloomsbury. He lives … Continue reading Phantom Thread

Last Flag Flying

This year's awards season of releases has seemed at times to demonstrate a grand Hollywood collusion to chart the many ills of America. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Post, Downsizing - all have lambasted different elements of American society, lamenting its decline. Richard Linklater has built a reputation on subtler explorations than these films, and Last Flag Flying is another … Continue reading Last Flag Flying

Downsizing

All of a sudden, without warning, Alexander Payne has dropped a clanger. After the quiet, consistent success of his previous films from Sideways to Nebraska, his latest effort is a mess, pure and simple. Downsizing is a confused and confusing film, naively nostalgic and structurally lazy. Matt Damon is Payne's everyman hero, playing Paul Safranek, a workplace physiotherapist who observes … Continue reading Downsizing

The Post

In the mode of a comforting heated blanket, Steven Spielberg brings his typical skill and strength of direction to the field in The Post, his straightforward telling of The Washington Post's Pentagon Papers coverage from Nixon-era America. Fronted by the intimidating duo of Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, this is all-American filmmaking. It is 1971 and … Continue reading The Post

Coco

It has sadly been a while since Pixar's noughties winning streak of instant classic releases - their last five or six years have produced a mixed résumé, and even some of the recent hits have been exaggerated by popular acclaim. Coco is another of these relative successes; it puts most family films to shame with a visually … Continue reading Coco