Ray & Liz Reviews

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July 20, 2019
What distinguishes "Ray & Liz" is its ability to find strange tonal nuances within that terrible sadness; bleak as it is, it's remarkably devoid of bitterness or rancor, and even its most despairing passages are flecked with humor and hope.
July 19, 2019
Billingham's famous photos are tough-minded and emotionally painful, silent by virtue of their medium. And his live-action version offers a similar experience.
Top Critic
July 12, 2019
We often say art "cuts close to the bone," but in its depiction of clinking liquor bottles and drawers of unopened rent notices soaked in dog urine, Ray & Liz slices clean through that bone.
July 11, 2019
Performed with absolute commitment by its cast (Justin Salinger and Ella Smith play the younger versions of the title characters), "Ray & Liz" is a quietly harrowing movie.
July 10, 2019
With its very tamped-down emotion, Bellingham's decision not to attempt insight or empathy is the most telling display of the consequences of his story.
July 9, 2019
[A] film in which the memories you can't shake and the memories you won't let go become indistinguishable from the ones you never had.
July 16, 2019
An epiphany-free zone.
July 15, 2019
Gorgeously photographed on 16mm, Richard Billingham's Ray and Liz counters the grubby, quasi-authentic tenets of so-called British miserablism with humor, beauty, and a sensuality that in no way dilutes the hardships and neglect at its core
July 12, 2019
Brought to life by the gorgeous visual experimentation of cinematographer Daniel Landin and anchored by the matriarchal fury of Ella Smith's unassailable performance, Ray & Liz is a captivating depiction of genuine tragedy.
July 11, 2019
Billingham isn't interested in pretty images, but he does create striking ones.
July 10, 2019
The movie is beautifully shot (in a squarish 16mm format) and offers both claustrophobia and a muted but insistent respect for the human need to do more than survive.
June 25, 2019
The film represents a blasting match of stylish filmmaking and genuine writing material. It's a wonderful debut, despite all the discomfort one may feel watching it.
June 5, 2019
Richard Billingham's expertly crafted debut feature boasts fantastic performances and assembles an intensely personal, resonant portrait of his impoverished childhood.
May 14, 2019
For fans of slow cinema, still photography, and social realism, Ray & Liz is as depressing as it is ultimately rewarding.
March 20, 2019
A sometimes gruelling, uncompromising and contrarily beautiful film, it's an intriguing headspace for both film-maker and viewer.
March 15, 2019
The lives we see are eked out on the breadline with an air of desperation and feverishness. Yet Daniel Landin's cinematography captures them affectionately.
March 14, 2019
It's almost too difficult to watch in one sitting. Nevertheless, its evocative conjuring of the past functions as a stark warning about viewing it with rose-tinted glasses.
March 13, 2019
It's a hard watch, marked by casual racism and shocking parenting and hygiene. Yet the authenticity is bracing, the framing and lighting as striking as you'd expect from a photographer.
March 11, 2019
Humor and harshness is very much intertwined... it's evoked with remarkable poetry.
March 11, 2019
You may not have had an upbringing anywhere near as gruelling as his...but you might still recognise the vivid way in which certain details come to the fore, and the film's keen sense of the textures of objects.
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