The Spirit of ’45 (2013)

KEN LOACH Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  United Kingdom, 2013.  Fly Film Company, Sixteen Films, Film4, Channel Four, UK Film Council, EM Media, BFI Film Fund, Channel 4.  Screenplay by Ken Loach.  Produced by Rebecca O’Brien, Kate Ogborn, Lisa Marie Russo.  Music by George Fenton.  Film Editing by Jonathan Morris.   This lyrical, robust documentary sees Ken Loach examining the spirit of…

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High-Rise (High Rise) (2015)

BEN WHEATLEY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  United Kingdom/Belgium, 2015.  HanWay Films, Film4, British Film Institute, Recorded Picture Company, Northern Ireland Screen, Ingenious Media, Scope Pictures, S Films, Backwell Productions.  Screenplay by Amy Jump, based on the novel by J.G. Ballard.  Cinematography by Laurie Rose.  Produced by Jeremy Thomas.  Music by Clint Mansell.  Production Design by Mark Tildesley.  Costume Design by Odile Dicks-Mireaux.  Film Editing by Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley.  Toronto International…

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The Lobster (2015)

YORGOS LANTHIMOS Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  Italy/United Kingdom/Greece/France/Netherlands/USA, 2015.  Film4, Irish Film Board, Eurimages, Nederlands Fonds voor de Film, Greek Film Center, British Film Institute, Canal+, Centre National du Cinema et de L’Image Animee, Cine+, Element Pictures, Faliro House Productions, Haut et Court, Institut Francais, L’Aide aux Cinemas du Monde, Lemming Film, Limp Films, Ministere des Affaires…

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Youth

BBBB (out of 5) Famous composer and conductor Michael Caine and filmmaker Harvey Keitel are old friends staying at a luxurious resort in Switzerland, Caine retired from conducting music and Keitel working on his latest film with his screenwriting team. Surrounding them are bodies old and young that spin them off into contemplations of their…

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Amy

BBBB (out of 5) The tragically short life of a phenomenally talented singer is given exquisite treatment in this heartfelt documentary by Asif Kapadia. He chronicles the life of Amy Winehouse from childhood hopeful to superstar songstress, followed by her tragic downfall via drug and alcohol addiction. It’s neither a saintly biopic of a victim nor…

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Carol (2015)

TODD HAYNES Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  United Kingdom/USA, 2015.  The Weinstein Company, Film4, Number 9 Films, StudioCanal, HanWay Films, Killer Films, Goldcrest Films International, Dirty Films, Infilm, Larkhard Films.  Screenplay by Phyllis Nagy, based on the novel The Price Of Salt by Patricia Highsmith.  Cinematography by Edward Lachman.  Produced by Elizabeth Karlsen, Tessa Ross, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley.  Music by…

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Slow West

BBB (out of 5) A young Scotsman (Kodi Smit-McPhee) shows up in the American west, a land that in the nineteenth century is still made up of wide, open frontiers and very little civilized law.  His purpose is to find the homestead of his beloved lass and her father who immigrated there before him, but along…

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Ex Machina (2015)

ALEX GARLAND Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  United Kingdom, 2015.  Universal Pictures International, Film4, DNA Films.  Screenplay by Alex Garland.  Cinematography by Rob Hardy.  Produced by Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich.  Music by Geoff Barrow, Ben Salisbury.  Production Design by Mark Digby.  Costume Design by Sammy Sheldon.  Film Editing by Mark Day.  Academy Awards 2015.  Golden Globe Awards 2015.   Ace computer coder Domhnall Gleeson is thrilled when he wins a…

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The Riot Club (2014)

LONE SCHERFIG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  United Kingdom, 2014.  Film4, HanWay Films, British Film Institute, Universal Pictures International, Pinewood Pictures, Blueprint Pictures.  Screenplay by Laura Wade, based on her play.  Cinematography by Sebastian Blenkov.  Produced by Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin.  Music by Kasper Winding.  Production Design by Alice Normington.  Costume Design by Steven Noble.  Film Editing by Jake Roberts.  Toronto International Film Festival 2014. Attending Oxford is…

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Mr. Turner

BBBBB (out of 5) The life and work of J.M.W. Turner are visited in this impressionistic exercise in brilliance by Mike Leigh, here making yet another unforgettably perfect film.  It also marks a return to the Victorian era following his masterful Topsy-Turvy, but where that film was much more concerned with a precise recreation of…

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20,000 Days On Earth

BBBB (out of 5) This quasi-documentary has Nick Cave appearing as himself in various situations of pensive reflection, the antithesis of popular concert films that goes into the mind of the artist and does not just celebrate performances.  Cave’s inspirations, fears and regrets are mulled over on this his twenty-thousandth day on Earth, his friends…

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Frank

BB.5 (out of 5) Domhnall Gleeson works a day job and tries to compose songs at night, struggling for inspiration but keeping up the pretense on social media that he is “living the dream”. A random encounter with a touring band gets him much closer to his ambition when the group’s keyboard player is taken to…

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