The Blue Lenses

The Blue Lenses is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
Rating Title/Year Author
() Alexandra Heller-Nicholas A White, White Day is a masterclass in balance, contrast and restraint, as profoundly moving as it is refreshingly bereft of cliché. EDIT
Posted Apr 2, 2020
Depraved (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas A tragedy as much as a horror film, Depraved is a contemporary love letter to Mary Shelly's legacy EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2020
Tommaso (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Poetic, moving and unflinching in its honesty, Tommaso is Ferrara's finest film since his criminally underrated magnum opus 4:44 Last Day on Earth. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Corpus Christi (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas An understated, fierce masterpiece that deserves to be remembered as one of the finest films of 2019. EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2020
Rock, Paper and Scissors (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Masterfully directed, perfectly cast and immaculately paced, Rock, Paper and Scissors is further evidence that when looking for the contemporary epicentre of exciting, fresh work in the horror genre, we need look nowhere further than Argentina EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2020
Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Motherless Brooklyn is a love-letter to the long-held focus across film noir on masculinity in crisis, but through Lethem's source material and Norton's deep engagement with it, something genuinely fresh explodes out of seemingly familiar material. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2019
Clemency (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Clemency is a compelling character portrait of a woman caught within a perfect storm of ideological volatility; as both witness and part of the machine, it is her very professionalism that places her humanity in crisis EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2019
Der Bunker (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas An absurd, disturbing film that is simultaneously both funny and tragic, Der Bunker is that rarest of treasures: a one-of-a-kind. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
Take Me Somewhere Nice (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas At times passive, passionate and often frequently ambivalent, the power of Take Me Somewhere Nice lies in just how confidently Sendijarević allows her protagonist the right to her contradictions, without feeling the need to justify them. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2019
Leftover Women (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Leftover Women is captivating viewing that demands we think with intelligence and compassion of a world beyond our own experience. EDIT
Posted Aug 16, 2019
() Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Smart, hot and unflinching, Sequin in a Blue Room is dark but not doomed, sexy but not exploitative, proving the queer coming-of-age film can be told in an Australian vernacular in new and exciting ways. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
() Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Elegantly simple in both concept and execution, Chinese Portrait is thoroughly captivating as its kinetic tableaux breathe new life into the very notion of "moving pictures". EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2019
Rosie (2018) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Rosie cannily captures something about the fundamental tension between the banality and panic of poverty, and while far from experimental cinema in this sense there is something intrinsically radical about the film. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2019
() Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Land of Ashes is built upon the seamless, impressive connection between Sofía Quirós Ubeda and her lead actor, Smashleen Gutiérrez, the latter bringing real depth to her character's transition from childhood to womanhood EDIT
Posted Aug 5, 2019
Vision Portraits (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Vision Portraits is a frank and fearless examination not only of the remarkable journeys of its four visually impaired subjects, but also of the assumptions and biases of the sighted EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2019
Particles (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas With Particles director Harrison says something important about the experience of adolescence itself, rejecting soap-boxing didacticism for something far more subjective, disorienting and indefinably creepy. EDIT
Posted Aug 4, 2019
() Alexandra Heller-Nicholas While not as audacious as the original Spanish film that inspired it, Door Lock stands as a solid Korean thriller, and on that front has much to keep audiences satisfied. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2019
The Deeper You Dig (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas The Deeper You Dig is both beautifully but simply made, and a poignant, deeply affecting film that uses a supernatural tale to articulate the almost unspeakable complexities of how mothers can connect to their children. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2019
The Art of Self-Defense (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas The Art of Self-Defense is a razor-sharp parable about radicalization, masculinity and misogyny that avoids pompous, self-aggrandizing soapboxing in favour of empathy, humanity and compassion. All that, plus bonus dachshund. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2019
The Father's Shadow (A Sombra do Pai) (2018) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas The Father's Shadow is a deeply moving supernatural tale about grief and loneliness, as a young girl discovers her power and agency in a hard, cold world. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2019
We Are Little Zombies (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas We Are Little Zombies is an 8-bit empathy theme park that dazzles the senses as much as it provides a window into the subjective experience of its cast of really damaged, traumatised kids. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2019
The Best of Dorien B. (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas A film about the liberating force of shaking your comfort zone, The Best of Dorien B. is so earnest, sincere and fun that it's hard to begrudge it taking us to where we - and its title character herself - finally need to be. EDIT
Posted Jun 21, 2019
Hail Satan? (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas In Hail Satan? Lane in many ways mirrors the shrewd sense of radical playfulness that underscores The Temple of Satan's own ideological and moral agenda, while at the same time never downplaying the importance and scale of their vision EDIT
Posted Jun 18, 2019
Dirty God (2019) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Dirty God is a film about finding your own path, of the necessity of trial and error, and a timely reminder that the fallout of domestic violence for its survivors is not just difficult, but often very, very messy. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
Journey to a Mother's Room (Viaje al cuarto de una madre) (2018) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Journey to a Mother's Room is a refreshing take on autonomy, age and identity. EDIT
Posted Jun 5, 2019
House of Sweat and Tears (2018) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas The House of Sweat and Tears is a deliberately understated film to the point it almost feels consciously repressed...But far from poor filmmaking, it is rather a masterclass in form and theme where pacing, poetics and meaning work in admirable harmony. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2018
When the Trees Fall (2018) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Unapologetically dark in places, When the Trees Fall is far from the trauma-farming exercise in hopelessness that stories such as these so commonly are; it is a beautiful tale of hope, life, and the joyful weightlessness of dreaming EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2018
Strike, Dear Mistress, and Cure His Heart (2018) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Strike, Dear Mistress, and Cure His Heart is a low-budget tableaux vivant of trash-mannerism...Painstakingly executed, it's a pleasure cruise through a realm of camp so brilliantly forceful that it collapses the entire notions of 'high' and 'low' art... EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2018
A Woman Captured (2017) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas An unequivocally powerful and very moving film, A Woman Captured is unflinching in its determination to emphasise how urgent and ubiquitous experiences like Marish's are. A Woman Captured is essential viewing. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2018
The Family (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas The Family is a provocative documentary about an aspect of Australian history few under a certain age recall, and Jones's film grants a voice to those who had so long been denied one. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2018
The Innocents (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas The Innocents [is] a strong instance of a movie that - if made by a male director - may have lost some of its thematic punch, particularly in regards to the nuanced and often subtle relationships between the film's primarily female cast. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2018
Clash (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Arguably one of the most important Egyptian filmmakers currently working today, Mohamed Diab is an unflinching director who does not shy away from explicit commentary about current events in his homeland. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2018
Nina Forever (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Bodies know things that our brains sometimes cannot comprehend, and Nina Forever is a horror film about learning to listen. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
9/10 Dearest Sister: Nong Hak (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Dearest Sister is a sad, beautiful film, while simultaneously a masterful yet shattering ghost story. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Arrival (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Arrival transcends the limitations that so often govern the less creative examples of the subgenre, instead using it as a loose conceptual foundation upon which to build a theoretically-informed examination of what precisely ... makes us human. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas This is not a subversive horror film by any stretch, but it is regardless a satisfying, visually striking one. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Neon Bull (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas The Neon Bull exists well beyond the realm of didacticism, surrendering instead to the joys and the discomforts of the senses. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Busanhaeng (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Train to Busan is horror as it should be: intelligent, fun, and celebrating life with every mad twist and new take on death that it can find. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Raw (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas It often takes decades for filmmakers to strike the right sense of balance Ducournau has achieved with Raw, and she is a director and writer with a formidable grasp. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
The Greasy Strangler (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas You embrace The Greasy Strangler for what it is: surrender to its vile idiocy and have the time of your life, or walk away, dull, boring and oh-so-clever. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Always Shine (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Always Shine is a remarkable film carried by a strong script and even stronger performances. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
The People vs. Fritz Bauer (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas The result may not be highbrow experimental art cinema, but ... its explicit mission to tell Bauer's story to as many people as it can shouldn't be underrated in the current global political climate. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Toni Erdmann (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann is a testament to the precision necessary for really good comedy, proving that fart jokes, sophisticated black humour and a profound sensitivity to broadly experienced human emotions can ... find perfect balance. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Forushande (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas The opening moments of The Salesman underscore Farhadi's status as one of the great unsung visual stylists of contemporary cinema. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Cameraperson (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas An autobiography of sorts, Cameraperson demands we think beyond Johnson's own extraordinary career and reflect upon our own status as observers, and the ethical and emotional responsibilities that come with it. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Hidden Figures (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Through strong performances, sensitive direction and the strength of its source material, Hidden Figures transcends cliché to become a genuinely moving, inspirational tale of perseverance, strength and love. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
The Childhood of a Leader (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas While a more allegorical approach may have provided a shallower sense of satisfaction, it is the deliberate ambiguities of Childhood of a Leader that house its lasting, more enduring and inescapably disturbing impact. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Casting JonBenét (2017) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Green's film is difficult and challenging, but it is not lazy. And in a world where these kinds of stories so often are the source of hysterical sensationalism, a degree of thoughtfulness and introspection is long overdue. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Personal Shopper (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Elastic to the point of fuzzy, like the best art-horror films Personal Shopper both provokes and simultaneously mocks our need for answers. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas John Wick: Chapter 2 doesn't radically subvert the genre, but it doesn't intend to. What it does is something so much better: it loves it and celebrates it with charm, skill and devotion. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018