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
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
Jill Bilcock: Dancing The Invisible (2017) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas While perhaps typical of the ... praise that ... marks these kinds of documentaries, it is such an eloquent and sincere celebration Bilcock's work and she is so immensely personable that it is hard for that joy not to be contagious. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Antibirth (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas A film that ends even more absurdly than it begins, it is through its very chaos that Antibirth speaks to the frenzied desperation of being placed in a position well beyond your control and having no option but to endure the consequences. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
9/10 A Dark Song (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas An extraordinarily personal film, A Dark Song feels like a folk tale whispered to you at night while you sleep by person or persons unknown, recalled in vague half-remembered images and flashes of almost incomprehensible truths. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Creepy (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas One of the best horror films of the year and probably the best serial killer film of the last decade, Creepy is Kurosawa's greatest achievement and Japanese genre cinema at its finest. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Sand Storm (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas There is a grim sense of inevitability that runs through Sand Storm, yet Jalila's incandescent spirit contains the hope that the old ways are soon to be a thing of the past. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Slow and determinedly poised ... I am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House is ... an acquired taste, but its rejection of predictable ten-minute cyclic jump-scares [and] perkily inquisitive adolescents ... make it a quiet, unsettling delight. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Bridgend (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Bridgend is ... a hollow, empty and predominantly cold film, but it is open for debate as to whether this is the result of a filmmaking flaw or - as is more likely - a deliberate strategy. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Já, Olga Hepnarová (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas In a role that would be destroyed by even a whiff of melodrama, I, Olga Hepnarová offers one of the year's strongest performances by a woman on-screen. A film as timely as it is tragic and terrifying. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Entertainment (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas With Turkington's deft hand, Entertainment methodically deconstructs the world's shallow surfaces. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Under the Shadow (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Under the Shadow demands that we feel history as much as intellectually acknowledge it. Its important lessons cannot be taught through dates and names, but through something far more visceral, intoxicating and memorable. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
How Heavy This Hammer (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas In his tale of repressed game-addicted dad Erwin (Erwin Van Cotthem), Radwanski looks not for a simple tabloid scapegoat, but digs deeper into what drives a middle-aged, middle-class man to near-paralysing regression. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Sunset Song (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Based on the first book in Lewis Grassic Gibbon's A Scots Quair trilogy, British cinema luminary Terence Davies's Sunset Song takes the beloved Scottish classic and bestows it with his own distinctive creative signature. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
We Are the Flesh (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas While a difficult film to claim as 'beautiful' in the sense of classical prettiness, there is ... a dizzying exquisiteness to Minter's craft. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Embrace of the Serpent (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas While difficult to identify a single factor that renders the film such a remarkable achievement, at the top of any list would certainly be the central performances by Nilbio Torres and Antonio Bolíva. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Don't Blink -- Robert Frank (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Directed by ... Laura Israel, her background as an editor comes to the fore in the precision with which she combines Frank's photographs, film footage and her own documentary material, providing insight ... in a manner both eloquent and erudite. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
The Bacchus Lady (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Together, Youn Yuh-jung and E J-yong add a poignancy and subtlety to the story of this particular Bacchus Lady in a movie that in lesser hands could collapse into gratuitous exploitation. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Suburra (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Sollima pulls this together into a slick, polished whole, marked by an energy and focus that allows him to travel through Suburra's various intersecting threads of exploitation, dominance and moral train-wrecks. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Cosmos (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Assuming Żuławski knew Cosmos would be his last film, this is a powerful, emotional farewell from a director who had so very much to say, and so many extraordinary ways to say it. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Gary Numan: Android in La La Land (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Gary Numan: Android In La La Land is ... as much a love story as it is a traditional music documentary, and while ... structured around the rise-and-fall-and-rise trajectory of Numan's career, it is the personal journey ... that propels the film. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Joe Cinque's Consolation (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Dounoukos's project with the film adaptation [of Helen Garner's book] seems apparent: to give [the real life Anu] Singh a more ethically complex position within the [true crime] story. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Ah-ga-ssi (2016) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Once again Park finds himself immersed in a world of woman-driven intrigue, and like Stoker before it The Handmaiden is concerned with the power dynamics between women in what are contextually configured as sexually transgressive scenarios. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Heart of a Dog (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Like much of Anderson's work, Heart of a Dog takes the form of casually constructed, almost meandering reminiscences, while at the same time never losing its tightly structured focus and drive. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
High-Rise (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas High-Rise may not be the greatest Ballard adaptation ever made, but it doesn't have to be: it stands on its own as a masterclass of the substance of style, and how stories told long ago can have often eerie, direct parallels in the future. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
9/10 Évolution (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Evolution sways and bubbles like the slow-motion seaweeds and corals that permeate it. It is a film that beckons us closer, enticing us to fall into it and drown. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018
Bleak Street (2015) Alexandra Heller-Nicholas While undeniably outrageous at times, Bleak Street also takes its protagonists and their plights seriously. Like many of Ripstein's previous films, there is real grit and dirt within his desaturated poverty-riddled scenarios. EDIT
Posted Aug 25, 2018