List Film

Reviews & features: Drama

The best film releases and events – Oct / Nov 2014

22 Oct 2014

Including Fury, Mr Turner, Love is Strange, Ghostbusters and Frankenstein

Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder This autumn’s BFI screenings celebrate sci-fi on screen all over the UK. From October to December, its Scottish programme includes classics like Alien and The Thing, with screenings spanning the length and breadth of the…

Night Train to Lisbon

21 Oct 20143 stars

Sporadically successful melodrama from Bille August starring Jeremy Irons

The once lauded director Bille August has been a sporadic presence of late; the director of Oscar-winner Pelle the Conqueror has kept a low profile since the failure of his 90s English-language literary adaptations The House of the Spirits and Smilla's…

Love is Strange to show at Glasgow Film Theatre

21 Oct 2014

Special October screenings of film months before its general release in Feb 2015

It’s not on general release until February 2015, but Glasgay! and Luminate Festival are holding special October screenings of this tender drama from Keep the Lights On writers Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias. After nearly 40 years together, Ben (John…

Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Screenings

21 Oct 2014

Celebrate Hallowe'en with this classic 80s comedy starring Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver

In 1984, the story of four disgraced parapsychologists who set themselves up as freelance ghostbusters burst its way onto the big screen and found itself embedded in popular culture forever. In celebration of its 30th birthday, the movie is returning to…

Preview: NT Live – Frankenstein

21 Oct 2014

Film directed by Danny Boyle starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller released 30 Oct

National Theatre Live’s Frankenstein is returning to cinemas across the UK this Hallowe’en. Directed by Danny Boyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, the live theatre simulcast was a critically-acclaimed smash when it originally…

Opinion: Event Cinema vs live theatre

20 Oct 2014

The List's Theatre editor Garth K Vile looks at the merits of screening dramatic art at cinemas

Event Cinema – the simultaneous broadcast of a live theatre performance into cinemas around the world – has several advantages over traditional performances. The chairs are more comfortable, big shows and stars from London and Moscow can be seen in…

The Knife That Killed Me

20 Oct 20143 stars

Ambitious but flawed teen drama from Kit Monkman and Marcus Romer boasting a bold visual style

Given the title, it's no spoiler to say The Knife That Killed Me opens with a lethal stabbing. The victim, Paul Varderman (Jack McMullen), narrates his way through the events that led to his fateful encounter with the blade: moving to Leeds after his…

LFF 2014: Mommy

20 Oct 20145 stars

Xavier Dolan's fifth film is a domestic drama that's raw, hilarious and crammed with character

Mommy deals with the complex issues of mental illness and domestic difficulties in a way that John Cassavetes would admire: by celebrating difference and not shrinking back or judging when things get ugly. After his taut thriller Tom at the Farm…

LFF 2014: Whiplash

20 Oct 20145 stars

Damien Chazelle's film is a story of musical mentorship that plays like a high octane thriller

Captured with a riveting and rhythmic intensity which mirrors its protagonist's ferocious focus and surging drive, Whiplash is an audaciously edited, voraciously performed story of blood, sweat and beats which makes you feel every pummel and thrash.

Serena

20 Oct 20142 stars

Depression-era melodrama from Susanne Bier featuring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper

Serena Pemberton (Jennifer Lawrence) is a strong, independent woman. We know this not just because of her actions – moving to the wilds of Depression-era America with new husband George (Bradley Cooper) to become an equal partner in his logging company…

The Way He Looks

20 Oct 20143 stars

Charming Brazilian coming-of-age drama from director Daniel Ribeiro

The familiar growing pains of adolescence are captured from a fresh perspective in The Way He Looks, an unassuming but sweetly engaging coming-of-age drama that serves as Brazil's contender for the forthcoming Best Foreign Language Film Oscar tussle.

This Is Where I Leave You

20 Oct 20142 stars

A star cast, including Jason Bateman and Tina Fey, fails to lift this dispiriting dramedy

Jane Fonda is the oversharing matriarch of a grieving family forced to sit Shiva after their father passes away in this disappointing dramedy from Shawn Levy, with a screenplay from Jonathan Tropper, adapting his own novel. A starry ensemble cast…

LFF 2014: The Salvation

16 Oct 20144 stars

Edgy, entertaining western from Kristian Levring, starring Mads Mikkelsen

The Good, the Bad and... the Danish? Dogme signatory Kristian Levring has crafted a gripping and stylish revenge western with a decidedly dark bent, taking standard genre staples and imbuing them with a suitably Scandinavian sensibility to enormously…

Scotland's annual film festival Africa in Motion celebrates 20 years of freedom in South Africa

15 Oct 2014

Events include dozens of film screenings, plus talks by directors Eric Kabera and Ian Gabriel

‘I’d like audiences to come away from the festival inspired by the beauty, spirit and innovation of the continent,’ says Natalia Palombo, one of the managers of Scotland’s Africa in Motion film festival, now in its ninth year. Started in 2006 by Dr…

LFF 2014: White Bird in a Blizzard

14 Oct 20143 stars

Gregg Araki's latest is a melancholy mystery starring Shailene Woodley and Eva Green

Shailene Woodley stars as Kat Connor, a teenager coming to terms with her mother’s disappearance in Gregg Araki’s 80s-set drama, adapted from Laura Kasischke’s novel. Eva Green has been perfecting embittered rage for a few years now and slips neatly…

LFF 2014: The Falling

14 Oct 20144 stars

Maisie Williams shines in this eerie drama from British director Carol Morley

Carol Morley is best known for her documentaries Dreams of a Life and The Alcohol Years; her second narrative feature (after Edge) is a dark, twisted and thoughtful coming-of-ager set at a British girls' school in the late 60s. It's partly inspired by a…

LFF 2014: Wild

14 Oct 20144 stars

Reese Witherspoon returns to form in this adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's memoir

Having steered both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to Oscar glory with Dallas Buyers Club, director Jean-Marc Vallée could well be on course to repeat the trick for producer-star Reese Witherspoon with his new film Wild, adapted from the…

Northern Soul

13 Oct 20143 stars

Elaine Constantine's directorial debut takes a look at the titular youth scene

For the uninitiated, northern soul was a youth movement that gripped the North of England during the 60s and 70s, fuelled by high octane funk and soul records from the States. DJs were on a permanent quest for ever more elusive tracks, unearthing gems…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

13 Oct 20143 stars

Fun, cheesy reboot of the action franchise starring Megan Fox and Will Arnett

The director's credit may read Jonathan Liebesman, but there's no mistaking the influence of producer Michael Bay on this reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise, which began life in 1984 as a humble self-published comic book by Peter Laird…

LFF 2014: Winter Sleep

10 Oct 20145 stars

Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Palme d'Or winning drama is an epic, enthralling story of a family falling apart

This masterful, achingly sad story of marital decay and societal rifts is the latest from Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan and the winner of this year's Palme d'Or. It finds a tightly wound, quietly angry family gradually unravelling in their mountain…

LFF 2014: Wild Tales

9 Oct 20144 stars

A hugely entertaining anthology film from director Damián Szifrón, starring Ricardo Darín

Announcing its disregard for subtlety, sense, lawfulness and decency from the off, this Argentinean anthology film lays out a feast of unhinged antics, introducing us to a collection of diverse characters just as they reach their tipping…

LFF 2014: The Duke of Burgundy

8 Oct 20144 stars

Peter Strickland takes a typically idiosyncratic look at a tortured love affair

'You can pin and mount me like a butterfly,' sang Morrissey in The Smiths' 'Reel Around the Fountain'. It's a line that seems tailor-made for Peter Strickland's latest, a pleasingly original yet playfully retro romance set in an undisclosed European…

Effie Gray

7 Oct 20143 stars

Victorian biopic featuring Dakota Fanning alongside screenwriter Emma Thompson

Delayed by two years due to legal wranglings surrounding Emma Thompson's screenplay, director Richard Laxton's period piece focuses on the early life of Euphemia 'Effie' Gray (Dakota Fanning), a young Scottish woman who marries older art critic John…

Gone Too Far!

6 Oct 20144 stars

Bola Agbaje's adaptation of her own play is a fresh, funny look at race relations and youth culture

On an estate in South-East London teenager Yemi (Malachi Kirby) awaits the arrival of his prodigal older brother Iku (OC Ukeje) from their native Nigeria. When Iku turns up, however, Yemi is embarrassed by his sibling's loud, proud African personality…

Interview: Black Watch playwright Gregory Burke talks ’71, and moving from theatre to film

1 Oct 2014

‘I'm not into theatre! Even when I was working in theatre, I never went to the theatre!’

‘I've always wanted to shirk responsibility wherever I can in life,’ laughs Gregory Burke. The Fife-born playwright is best known for the Olivier Award-winning drama Black Watch about British soldiers in Iraq – and he jumped at the chance to write his…