Nancy (2018)

CHRISTINA CHOE Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.  USA, 2018.  Mental Pictures, EON Productions, Gamechanger Films, XS Media.  Screenplay by Christina Choe.   Cinematography by Zoe White.  Produced by Michelle Cameron, Amy Lo, Andrea Riseborough.  Music by Peter Raeburn.  Production Design by Charlotte Royer.  Costume Design by Tere Duncan.  Film Editing by David Gutnik. Andrea Riseborough gives a committed performance as a thoroughly unappealing…

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The Death Of Stalin (2017)

ARMANDO IANNUCCI Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  France/United Kingdom/Belgium/Canada, 2017.  Quad Productions, Main Journey, Gaumont, France 3 Cinéma, Panache Productions, Canal+, Cine+, France Télévisions, Title Media.  Screenplay by Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin, additional material by Peter Fellows, from a screenplay by Fabien Nury, based on the comic book by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin.  Cinematography by Zac…

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Battle Of the Sexes (2017)

JONATHAN DAYTON, VALERIE FARIS Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  United Kingdom/USA, 2017.  Cloud Eight Films, Decibel Films, Fox Searchlight Pictures, TSG Entertainment.  Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy.  Cinematography by Linus Sandgren.  Produced by Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, Robert Graf.  Music by Nicholas Britell.  Production Design by Judy Becker.  Costume Design by Mary Zophres.  Film Editing by Pamela Martin.  Golden Globe Awards 2017.  Toronto International Film Festival 2017.  …

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Nocturnal Animals

BBB (out of 5) Amy Adams plays a successful, perfectly coiffed Los Angeles art gallery owner whose relationship with husband Armie Hammer has cooled.  She receives a package in the mail from her first husband that turns out to be the galleys of his soon-to-be published novel, a violent and disturbing tale of brutal, feral…

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Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)

BBBB (out of 5) Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu recovers from the bloated mess of Biutiful with a big movie in a small space, an eccentric and deliciously funny look at the mad world of live theatre.  Michael Keaton does a wryly charismatic riff on his own career as a has-been movie star whose success as a film…

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Shadow Dancer

BBB (out of 5) Following a devastating childhood event, Andrea Riseborough is now a mature woman committed to the cause of the IRA.  A failed attempt to bomb a tube station results in her being pulled in by authorities and given the chance by her arresting officer (Clive Owen) to save her own skin:  if she…

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Never Let Me Go

BBB (out of 5) A medical breakthrough mid-twentieth century has allowed scientists to clone human beings and raise them as bodies with organs available for harvesting. Growing up in special schools, these children are given a hollow education and a false sense of social construct before one of their teachers (Sally Hawkins) has an emotional…

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W.E.

BB (out of 5) Everyone always talks about what Edward VIII gave up to marry Wallis Simpson, she tells us, but what about what she gave up to be with him? After deciding to marry the King of England, thereby forcing him to abdicate his throne for the twice-divorced American, Simpson no longer had her…

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Venus (2006)

ROGER MICHELL Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  United Kingdom, 2006.  Miramax, FilmFour, UK Film Council, Free Range Films.  Screenplay by Hanif Kureishi.  Cinematography by Haris Zambarloukos.  Produced by Kevin Loader.  Music by David Arnold, Corinne Bailey Rae.  Production Design by Emma MacDevitt.  Costume Design by Natalie Ward.  Film Editing by Nicolas Gaster.  Academy Awards 2006.  Golden Globe Awards 2006.  Toronto International Film Festival 2006.   Screenwriter Hanif Kureishi (My…

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Happy-Go-Lucky

BBBBB (out of 5) Mike Leigh strikes gold yet again with this gorgeously uplifting tale of optimism and mirth. Plucky lass Poppy (Sally Hawkins in an outstanding performance) teaches young children, hangs out with her girlfriends and takes driving lessons with an astonishingly angry instructor (Eddie Marsan), the whole time up for a good laugh…

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Oblivion

BB (out of 5) It is years after a battle with aliens has destroyed life on planet earth, including destroying the moon, whose pieces hang in the sky like a spilled pile of pebbles, because apparently gravity is no longer a mastering force of the universe.  Tom Cruise plays a tech operator whose job is…

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