based on a true story tagged posts

Shock Waves – Diary of My Mind

Director: Ursula Meier

Writer: Ursula Meier, Antoine Jaccoud

Cast: Fanny Ardant, Kacey Mottet-Klein, Jean-Philippe Ecoffey

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 70mins

Year: 2017



What’s the story: A high school student sends his teacher a diary confessing to the murder of his parents.

What’s the verdict: Commissioned for Swiss TV but equally suited to the big screen, Ursula Meier’s based on true events drama recalls the intelligence, impact and humanity of Kieslowski’s Dekalog or Alan Clarke’s best work.

Mottet-Klein is sensational as Benjamin, a student who uses a writing assignment to confess why he chose to murder his parents. Equally impressive is French icon Ardant as Benjamin’s teacher, Madame Fontanel...

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The Old Man and the Gun

Director: David Lowery

Writer: David Lowery (script), David Grann (The New Yorker article)

Cast: Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, Elisabeth Moss

Cert: 12 (TBC)

Running time: 93mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: Texas, 1981. Aged escaped convict Forrest Tucker (Redford) embarks on a string of bank robberies, but the law is close behind.

What’s the verdict: The Old Man and the Gun was initially announced as Robert Redford’s acting swansong. Reportedly this may no longer be the case, but David Lowery’s irresistible crime caper is a wonderful summation of Redford’s screen legend.

The Sundance Kid may now be an old man, but as career criminal Forrest Tucker both the actor’s baby blues and infectious smile shine brightly as ever.

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Entebbe (2018)

Director: José Padilha

Writer: Gregory Burke

Cast: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl, Eddie Marsan, Lior Ashkenazi, Denis Ménochet, Nonso Anozie

Cert: 15

Running time: 107mins

Year: 2018



 What’s the story: In 1976 four anti-Israel terrorists hijack an Air France plane. Over seven days they hold the hostages at Uganda’s Entebbe airport, under the eye of tyrant Idi Amin. The Israeli government debates whether to take offensive action.

What’s the verdict: Director José Padilha helmed the Brazilian drug cartel movie Elite Squad and its impressive sequel. He oversees the similarly hard-hitting series Narcos (for sake of argument we’ll ignore that ill-advised 2014 RoboCop remake).

Padilha directs with the immediacy he brought to the documentary Bus 174, his searing debut and a true Fi...

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Tears and Laughter: Movie Reviews


Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama runs until Wednesday 29th November at the BFI Southbank. For more information and to book tickets, click here.

To read an interview with season curator and Sight and Sound features editor James Bell, click here.


OSAKA ELEGY

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi

Writer: Yoshikata Yoda (screenplay), Tadashi Fujiwara (dialogue)

Cast: Isuzu Yamada, Yôko Umemura, Benkei Shiganoya

Cert: PG

Running time: 71mins

Year: 1936



What’s the story: To pay off her father’s debts and her brother’s university fees, young switchboard operator Ayako (Yamada) becomes her boss’ mistress. But, when he rejects her she is forced into prostitution.

What’s the verdict: A pre-war film from director Kenji Mizoguchi, the 1936 Osaka Elegy anticipates Japan’s rejection ...

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My Friend Dahmer

Director: Marc Meyers

Writer: Marc Meyers

Cast: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche, Dallas Roberts

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 107mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: Ohio, 1978. High school student Jeffrey Dahmer is approaching graduation. But, impulses that would later cause him to kill begin to control his life.

What’s the verdict: Most of us will never know what it was like going to school with a serial killer. Not so Derf Backderf. He attended school in Bath, Ohio in the late 70s, and graduated in the same class as Jeffery Dahmer, who would later go on to murder seventeen men.

Based on Backderf’s graphic novel of the same name, My Friend Dahmer recounts the killer’s late adolescence...

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Battle of the Sexes

Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Writer: Simon Beaufoy

Cast: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Sarah Silverman, Austin Stowell, Bill Pullman, Andrea Riseborough, Elisabeth Shue, Alan Cumming, Chip Chinery, Jessica McNamee

Cert: 12

Running time: 121mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: In 1973, former men’s number one tennis champ Bobby Riggs challenges current female superstar Billie Jean King to a match broadcast around the world.

What’s the verdict: This tale of women’s rights, fought on the tennis court and in the court of world opinion, is presented in the broad Disney brushstrokes needed for these nuance-free times.

Indeed, Battles of the Sexes (as Billie Jean King’s showdown with Bobby Riggs was titled) can be read as a Disney Princess movie...

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Eureka Blu-Ray Review: The Entity

Director: Sidney J. Furie

Writer: Frank De Felitta

Cast: Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver, David Labiosa, Alex Rocco

Cert: 18

Running time: 125 mins

Year: 1982


Film: medium_3
Extras: N/A


What’s the story: A young, single mother begins suffering sexual attacks from a malevolent unseen force. How can she convince others she is telling the truth?

What’s the verdict: Easy to see why The Entity has avoided remake treatment, despite its name-recognition title. The premise, a working class single mother is repeatedly raped by an invisible spirit, requires characters to question her story. Putting any remake in the difficult position of not believing a rape victim.

Sidney J...

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The Founder

Director: John Lee Hancock

Writer: Robert Siegel

Cast: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Laura Dern

Cert: 12

Running time: 115mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: In 1950s America, fifty-something milkshake machine salesman Ray Kroc (Keaton) convinces the McDonald brothers to allow him to franchise their burger restaurant across America. But, Dick and Mac McDonald (Offerman & Lynch) soon realise Ray’s ambition may be difficult to contain.

What’s the verdict: Birdman was tiresome Hollywood self-congratulation. But, one positive that emerged from the navel gazing was the revitalisation of Michael Keaton’s career. With Spotlight and now The Founder, Keaton is again becoming one of Tinseltown’s most exciting faces.

He clearly knows a juicy role when he sees it, sink...

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Jackie (2016)

Director: Pablo Larraín

Writer: Noah Oppenheim

Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Billy Crudup, Greta Gerwig, John Hurt, John Carroll Lynch, Caspar Phillipson

Cert: 15

Running time: 100mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: Weeks after the assassination of President John F Kennedy, a journalist (Crudup) is granted an interview with Jacqueline Kennedy (Portman), who recalls moments of her life as First Lady.

What’s the verdict: From the opening close-up of Natalie Portman’s pinched, pale face and the strings of Mica Levi’s woozy score, it is clear Jackie aims for something beyond a standard soup-to-nuts biopic.

Director Pablo Larraín (who had a better 2016 than most with this and Neruda) and writer Noah Oppenheim (a long way from his scripts for Allegiant and The Maze Runner) con...

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A United Kingdom

a-united-kingdom-posterDirector: Amma Asante

Writer: Guy Hibbert

Cast: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jack Davenport, Terry Pheto, Tom Felton, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Vusi Kunene

Cert: 12A

Running time: 105mins

Year: 2016

 


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What’s the story: While studying in London in 1948, Seretse Khama (Oyelowo), King of Bechuanaland (modern day Botswana), falls in love with local office worker Ruth Williams (Pike). But, their relationship is opposed by her family, the people of Bechuanaland, and an imperialistic British government.

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What’s the verdict: If star ratings could be awarded for good intentions, then A United Kingdom would be a five star movie...

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