Iranian director Asghar Farhadi leaves behind his native homeland to tackle his first attempt on the European stage. In this case, it's France but it really doesn't matter where he chooses to base his story as his ability to convey relationship dramas is universal. This is another fine example of Farhadi's ability to write intricate stories and tease the audience, layer upon layer. There a genuine depth, subtlety and substance to Farhadi's films and further confirmation that he's a genuine master at work.
Following on from Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7, director Shaka King delivers another American political film that puts the Black Panthers' civil rights struggle as the main focus. As the aforementioned film achieved, this also sheds light on an important movement that many may be unaware of. However, also like that film, it lacks a certain narrative drive. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed it but I expected it to be more gripping. That aside, it's still a very good film but it relies massively on its two strong leads of Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield.
Less of a horror and more of a character study on the effects of isolation on a person's mental health and the lunacy of taking religion far too seriously. However you want to categorise it doesn't matter, though, as it's still a commanding debut from Rose Glass. This is a director with a solid handling on pace and the ability to tread that fine line between art and accessibility. A very strong piece of work and two excellent central performances from Morfydd Clark and Jennifer Ehle.
Another early gem from Nicolas Winding Refn. Following on from his debut Pusher, Refn assembles his same actors again and delivers another low-brow slice of realism in Danish working class lives. The narrative is essentially split between Kim Bodnia's Leo and Mads Mikkelsen's Lenny and how they both navigate their love lives. Although this may sound simple it has some devastating results that are certainly not out of place in a Refn film.
Quite an effective, Scottish set, survival thriller. I was particularly impressed with the logic afforded to the group of mountaineers as they tried to evade a couple of unsavoury characters in the Scottish wilderness and the suspense and action were well handled. As is often the case with this type of material, though, it loses its way towards the end and felt rushed and formulaic. It's still decent entertainment and it was quite the surprise to see and old friend pop up at one point.