Reviews

Category

5 Reasons Why You Should Watch (or Rewatch) BBC’s 2016 War and Peace

Between January and February 2016, the BBC aired a new adaptation of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy's epic tome, War & Peace. Split into six episodes of around an hour, it was scripted by period drama veteran Andrew Davies (of 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries fame) and picked up 25% of the TV audience share in its first hour. Television critics raved about it, but it received a more mixed reaction among Tolstoy experts and social media users. Much was made…

Review: Dunkirk

Director Christopher Nolan has become synonymous with mind-bending budget blockbusters, from his polarising sci-fi Inception to recent space epic Interstellar. This time he's focused on a subject more grounded with Dunkirk, a historical thriller set in the 1940 evacuation of British troops from the French coast. The final product is breathtaking in scale and unconventional in its storytelling approach. Dunkirk is divided into three intersecting stories - the beach, the sea and the air. Newcomer Fionn Whitehead leads the cast…

A Late Arrival’s Thoughts on Outlander Episode 1

As a television show that aired in 2014, I understand that I'm a very late arrival to the period drama Outlander. Yet despite being a British-American production filmed in Scotland, the show has only been aired on television channels in the US, Canada and Australia, whilst British audiences have only been able to watch with an Amazon Prime subscription. Part of this was due to the reluctance of British broadcasters to show the adult content of the show, and it's…

In Dubious Battle screencap

Edinburgh Film Festival Review: In Dubious Battle

After coming to prominence as part of Hollywood's 'Frat Pack' in the early noughties, James Franco has supplemented his work as an actor with a determined approach to becoming a prolific director. He's clearly putting the work in - after taking part in an Of Mice and Men production on Broadway in 2014, he's since directed no less than eight feature films, many of which are book adaptations. The work hasn't been consistent in quality, but his latest, In Dubious Battle, shows…

Maudie Screenshot

Edinburgh Film Festival Review: Maudie

'Looking through that window, you see the whole of life already formed' Making its quiet entrance onto the festival circuit, Maudie brings the remarkable life of one woman to international audiences. Some may be familiar with Maud Lewis' (nee Dowley) artwork, as one of Canada's best known folk artists who passed away in 1970. As a joint effort between Canadian screenwriter Sherry White and Irish director Aisling Walsh, this film brings Maud Lewis to vibrant life with quiet pride. The…

Edinburgh Film Festival Review: The King’s Choice (Kongens nei)

Welcome to the first review in our coverage from Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017! We've picked out the best historical biopics and period dramas from the schedule, so look out for more reviews in the next week. Wherever your education, chances are that your history lessons on large world events stayed largely rooted in the actions of your own country. We witness past wars from the side of whoever our ancestors fought for, and understand our own pocket of history…

Review: Churchill

Films have a tendency to turn in a trend to a particular point in history in a kind of reaction to modern society and politics. This year, there's been an increase in films set during World War II, such as Dunkirk, Alone in Berlin and The Zookeeper's Wife. For British film and television in particular, this has lead to a focus on prime minister Winston Churchill, renowned as the symbol of British resistance during the war. Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky…

Review: Poldark – Episode 1, Series 3

When it comes to upping the stakes, series 3 of Poldark has a genuine challenge on its hand. After a second series that divided fans and caused plenty of controversy, the next step is dealing with a whole load of fallout. Fortunately, episode 1 set the series with a fun and dramatic beginning, maintaining the central story arcs that have held so far whilst introducing us to a few vibrant new characters. The episode begins with some seriously impressive stuntwork,…

Review: My Cousin Rachel

A crucial scene of My Cousin Rachel takes place between our youthful male protagonist and his concerned godfather, as the elder warns of this new mysterious woman who has entered their lives. Not only is her past murky to everyone, but there have been rumours of a 'limitless appetite'. In another scene, an old acquaintance of the woman speaks leerily of her 'great passion'. In this classic adaptation, the eponymous widow takes audiences through twists and turns, but what this…

Review: Cable Girls – Episodes 4 & 5

Don't forget to catch up on our review of episodes 2 and 3! In episodes 4 and 5 of Cable Girls (aka Las Chicas Del Cable), the stakes became a lot more real for our four leading women. The feminist message behind the show is coming face-to-face with real situations, as Alba and her friends must figure out what they're going to do with the cards they've been dealt. As ever, spoilers ahead... Cable Girls is still a beautiful show,…