List Film

Reviews & features: Romance

The Face of Love

8 Dec 20144 stars

Powerful romantic drama starring Annette Bening, Ed Harris and Robin Williams

Originally called 'The Look of Love', Arie Posin's love story assumes the guise of a compelling psychological drama, taking in grief and obsession and overcoming its cheesier moments to deliver something unexpectedly powerful. Set in Los Angeles…

The Circle

8 Dec 20144 stars

Swiss love story about a real-life romance and the struggle for gay rights

Hogmanay 2014 will bring the first same-sex marriages in Scotland. In terms of the struggle for equality it should be a moment to reflect on battles won, rights achieved and how far the UK has come. Sadly, global events from Uganda and Russia to the…

2015 Highlights: Film

5 Dec 2014

From arthouse to multiplex, The List previews the must-see cinema of 2015

Romance gets salacious, Julianne Moore vies for an Oscar, Marvel enters the age of Ultron and, well, Star Wars does its thing – 2015 promises to be a bumper year for movie-goers. Emma Simmonds previews the cream of the cinematic crop...

DVD Roundup: Winter 2014

27 Nov 2014

Including François Truffaut classics, Alain Robbe-Grillet: Six Films, The Lunch Box and Frank

Most of the recent François Truffaut films released on DVD by Artificial Eye don’t need much of a recommendation: films like 400 Blows, Shoot the Pianist and Jules et Jim are masterpieces well-acknowledged. But two that might need a bit of a push are…

Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy

17 Nov 20144 stars

A Twitter inspired Thai love story from director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit

'Love stories are hard to write,' muses the central character in Thai director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit’s second film Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy. This is itself a love story of sorts, however, like Thamrongrattanarit’s highly impressive debut 36…

Third Person

10 Nov 20141 star

Painfully poor effort from Paul Haggis that squanders the talents of an all-star cast

Paul Haggis' 2006 Best Picture Oscar winner Crash (still a sore point for Brokeback Mountain fans) was famously inspired by a real-life car-jacking incident that saw the writer-director work through his subsequent feelings of prejudice and guilt in…

Say When

3 Nov 20143 stars

Likeable life crisis dramedy from Lynn Shelton starring Keira Knightley

Writer-director Lynn Shelton has made her name with lo-fi relationship dramas – Humpday, Your Sister’s Sister and Touchy Feely among others. Say When is no different, albeit with a higher-profile cast than Shelton is used to. It’s also the first time…

The Possibilities Are Endless

3 Nov 20144 stars

Striking documentary charting the trauma and triumph of singer Edwyn Collins

In 2005 the Scottish singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins suffered a massive cerebral haemorrhage that left him with very limited speech and movement. Devastating doesn’t even begin to describe it. And yet, as this impressionistic and moving documentary from…

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…

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…

Love, Rosie

20 Oct 20142 stars

Manic, barrel-scraping rom-com from Christian Ditter starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin

Based on the novel Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie pitches, nay flings itself at the less discerning end of the romantic comedy crowd. German director Christian Ditter (French for Beginners) proves an unsteady hand at the helm of a…

Testament of Youth

16 Oct 20143 stars

London Film Festival: Respectful adaptation of Vera Brittain's memoir starring Alicia Vikander

The gut-wrenchingly poignant WWI memoir Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain was a bestseller in 1933, although by then young men knew war wasn’t a school trip with guns. The basis for a 1979 TV series, it remains a moving tribute to the innocence of the…

The Best of Me

16 Oct 20142 stars

Insipid romantic drama that wastes the talent of James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan

The ninth adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel is as soft focus and simple minded as its predecessors but with a whiff of fatigue which suggests even the filmmakers involved have grown weary of identikit romantic tragedies. Michael Hoffman steers a far…

The Duke of Burgundy

8 Oct 20144 stars

London Film Festival: Peter Strickland takes a typically idiosyncratic look at 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…

The Rewrite

7 Oct 20143 stars

Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei star in Marc Lawrence's likeable if imperfect comedy

This engaging comedy marks the fourth collaboration between actor Hugh Grant and writer-director Marc Lawrence, following Two Weeks Notice, Did You Hear About The Morgans? and Music and Lyrics. The result is pretty much exactly what you're expecting…

Andoni Aduriz and Icíar Bollaín amongst highlights of first Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival

3 Oct 2014

Series of film screenings, talks, Q&A sessions and workshops to take place from 8–12 Oct

‘With 20,000 Hispanic speakers craving for Hispanic culture, the launch of the first Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival was a no-brainer,’ says festival director Marian A. Aréchaga, ahead of its launch at the Filmhouse next week. In collaboration with the…

You and the Night

29 Sep 20143 stars

Eric Cantona and Béatrice Dalle star in an oddly lovable orgy dramedy

Looking for the orgy? You’ll find it up Fassbinder Street, left at Almodóvar Corner, on the corner of Pierre et Gilles. Be sure to wear your eye-patch or maid’s uniform, and to bring a poignant story detailing what made you so depraved… Set among the…

Interview: Jeff Baena discusses new film Life After Beth

19 Sep 2014

Director talks suburbia, working with his girlfriend and the psychology of smooth jazz

Life After Beth stars Dane DeHaan as Zach, an affluent suburbanite moper whose girlfriend, Beth (Aubrey Plaza), has recently died. Luckily for Zach, it turns out she’s not gone for good. We had a sit-down with director Jeff Baena (and, briefly, his star…

Think Like a Man Too

15 Sep 20142 stars

Comedy sequel starring Kevin Hart is watchable but lacking in big laughs

As its awkward-looking title suggests, ensemble rom-com Think Like a Man Too is a sequel to director Tim Story's 2012 hit. Based on a self-help book by Steve Harvey, the original film featured a group of women (Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Taraji P Henson…

They Came Together

1 Sep 20142 stars

Gifted comics Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler are poorly served by a so-so rom-com parody

If ever there was a genre that was ripe for parody, that genre is the Nora Ephron-style romantic comedy. That's the conclusion drawn by writer-director David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer) and co-writer Michael Showalter, whose new comedy sets about…

FrightFest 2014: Alleluia

20 Aug 20144 stars

Volver's Lola Dueñas stars in a blood-splattered psychodrama outlining the perils of online dating

A directors' fortnight selection at Cannes 2014, this blood-splattered Belgian-French psychological horror is the fourth feature from writer-director Fabrice Du Welz. The subject is the dangers of online dating; Du Welz conjures up a small scale but…

Interview: Hannah Murray discusses her new film God Help The Girl

19 Aug 2014

Games of Thrones actress on her co-stars, Belle and Sebastian and why she loves Glasgow

You wouldn’t necessarily expect auditioning for a modestly budgeted British indie film to be an intimidating prospect for an actress who has chalked up roles in huge British and American drama series, as well as performing on the West End stage. But God…

What If

18 Aug 20144 stars

Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan make a cute couple in an unexpectedly charming rom-com

Crass, ten-a-penny rom-coms have devalued the genre. Where's the charm these days? The warmth? What happened to 'the Lubitsch touch'? Despairing traditionalists should eagerly welcome What If (previously entitled The F Word), a sweetly engaging 21st…

God Help the Girl

18 Aug 20143 stars

The directorial debut of Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch is toe-curling but charming

God Help the Girl plays to the prejudices of anyone who expects the worst from a long delayed, first film written and directed by Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch. It is twee, it is whimsical, it is as delicate as a fresh bloom in a howling storm.

A Promise

29 Jul 20143 stars

Patrice Leconte's latest, inoffensive period piece brings together Alan Rickman and Rebecca Hall

Considering his feature film career stretches back almost 40 years, it’s a surprise that Patrice Leconte has finally made his first English-language film. A Promise, however, qualifies as something of a Euro pudding. This French director and his…