There's a reason why this is perhaps the best-reviewed British film of the year: it's a staggeringly skilful feature filmmaking debut for West Yorkshire born and bred Francis Lee. And while its premise may make it sound like "Brokeback Mountain on the Moors", it's actually something far more original that that.
The story is set on a hill above Keighley, where young Johnny (Josh O'Connor) has been forced to take responsibility for running the family sheep farm while his father (Ian Hart) hopefully recovers from a debilitating stroke. His grandmother (Gemma Jones) helps manage the house, and is worried that Johnny's hard-drinking ways are going to cause problems. So she hires Romanian immigrant worker Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu) to help out. An expert with lambs, he soon begins teaching Johnny a thing or two. And on an extended trip to the far reaches of the land, they finally see past their bickering to a mutual attraction for each other. But Johnny is struggling with opening up about any of his emotions.
Thankfully, Lee never plays into the usual movie cliches. Homophobia isn't an issue here, so these two young men must cope with the implications of their budding relationship without that pressure. Much of the weight is on Johnny's shoulders, as he resists identifying as gay. This certainly isn't just about sex. That's here, but the more powerful scenes involve things like Gheorghe teaching Johnny the value of a gentle cuddle. Yes, the film has a remarkable eye for powerful detail, and both O'Connor and Secareanu are terrific as guys who come together in unexpected ways. O'Connor has the bigger challenge trying to make the abrasively distancing Johnny likeable, but he manages it with earthy honesty. While Secareanu's charm and intelligence keep Gheorghe from becoming a stereotypical foreigner.
Continue reading: God's Own Country Review
Jamie and Leanne are the best of friends and the two girls find themselves constantly being caught up in trouble including the London riots which saw hundreds of police try and stop the chaos happening in the city. Neither have anyone to rely on and their lives have offered them little in the way of love and affection all these things makes their bond of friendship that much stronger.
Both the teenage girls live in a group home called Alpha House which homes some of society's most at risk kids. Jamie finds herself taken on by a new case worker who's called Kate; the in-house worker has a caring heart and reads about how Jamie lost her mother to a heroin overdose.
One day as Kate's walking the halls, she heard Jamie singing to herself in her bedroom, Kate encourages Jamie by telling her about her good vocal skills but the conversation is soon cut short of Leanne and her continually snappy demeanor.
Continue: Urban Hymn Trailer
Rae Earl starts to understand that everyone's just as unhappy as each other.
The second series of 'My Mad Fat Diary' came to its eagerly awaited conclusion last night (March 31st 2014) with an assuredly and rather unbelievably happy ending, but has it set itself up for a third series?
The 90s comedy-drama was surprisingly well-received when the first series premiered on E4 in January 2013; a clever adaptation of the book of a similar name 'My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary' written by the real Rae Earl, with wonderfully imperfect characters and a relatable storyline. Perhaps the reason behind why it's such a good story is that it's based on the life of a real person - which makes the finale of series 2 even more heart-warming.
Rae has a struggle on her hands getting the gang back together
When news gets round about a gold discovery in the Klondike region of the Yukon, Canada in 1897, it becomes one of the last great gold rushes in history. Bill Haskell and Byron Epstein are two hopeful travellers with an ambition of wealth who travel up to Dawson City (often dubbed 'The Paris of the North') to receive their fortune. However, digging up a life of luxury becomes less straightforward as they are forced to face bitter sub-zero temperatures, gold-digging temptresses and men who won't think twice about killing for profit. Making an easy fortune is one thing; surviving long enough to use it is another.
Continue: Klondike Trailer
Kylie Minogue turned up in London on Tuesday night for the red carpet premiere of her new movie Holy Motors, which opens next week in the UK and next month in the US. A hit at Cannes, the film is a surreal masterpiece that really does your head in. And Kylie's great in it.
The big release in the US this weekend is Dredd, which isn't actually a remake of the 1995 Sylvester Stallone action romp. It's a completely reimagined thriller based on the same series of comics, a surprisingly intelligent blockbuster, and a rare 18-certificate film that topped the UK box office chart a couple of weeks back.
Continue reading: A Week In Movies 21st September 2012
Johnny is a former criminal who is pushed into an organised theft scheme against his better judgement. The plan is to seize one million pounds in cash from the affluent mob leader 'Shrewd' Eddie who has the money stashed in a briefcase and hidden at his home in Southend-on-Sea in Essex, England where he lives with his stunning young girlfriend Porsche. However, Johnny is not the only person set to snatch the wealth from the boss; a higher power in the shape of Jimmy The Gent of the London mob is set to steal back what is rightfully his along with seven other criminals, with none of them having a clue about the others.
This gritty British crime thriller rivals other mob movies of the nation including 'Snatch' and 'Love, Honour and Obey' with all the potential for just as much success. It has been written and directed by David L.G. Hughes in his first feature film whose previous experience in Essex mobster flicks come in the 'Hard Boiled Sweets' short prequel 'A Girl and A Gun' which features characters from the upcoming movie. HBS is set for release in the US from September 25th 2012 having premiered in the UK already back in March.
Continue: Hard Boiled Sweets Trailer
Even if "The End of the Affair" didn't invite comparisons to "The English Patient" with Ralph Fiennes' auto-pilot performance as another reflective World War II-era Englishman immersed heart and soul in an adulterous love affair, this Neil Jordan adaptation of Graham Greene's novel would still be an ambitious misfire.
Beset by the oversimplification of abstract and heavy concepts of heart, mind and religion, the film looks beautiful with its foggy and well-heeled London society appointments, and it's nothing if not emotional, what with the likes of Fiennes and Julianne Moore as the (naturally!) doomed lovers and Jordan staple Stephen Rea as the betrayed, milquetoast husband/best friend.
But while Jordan's talent for screenwriting and direction are evidenced in dialogue ("I'm jealous of these shoes because they take you away from me. I'm jealous of this stocking because it kisses your entire leg...") and structure (Fiennes' point of view transitions into Moore's as he reads her stolen diary), the director's use of other stale and banal plot devices betray the pedestrian underpinnings of this seemingly complex film.
Continue reading: The End Of The Affair Review
Overly self-indulgent director Chris Columbus could have cut out the entire middle hour of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and if you hadn't read the popular children's book, you'd never know the difference.
A good 70 percent of the picture consists of showy set pieces that don't service the plot (which we'll get to in a minute) so much as obligingly recreate unrelated passages that would be missed by the boy wizard's enthusiastic and possessive fan base had they been omitted.
One 10-minute episode is spent watching a sport called Quidditch, sort of a flying-broom version of field hockey with more than one puck and incredibly intricate rules that go largely unexplained. It's a lot like the pod race scene in "The Phantom Menace" -- irrelevant but spirited -- although with 1/10th the special effects budget. (Oh, that blatant blue-screening!)
Continue reading: Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone Review
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Even if "The End of the Affair" didn't invite comparisons to "The English Patient" with...
Overly self-indulgent director Chris Columbus could have cut out the entire middle hour of "Harry...