Film Reviews by PW

Welcome to PW's film reviews page. PW has written 12 reviews and rated 11 films.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Border

A strange chromasomal disorder

(Edit) 16/09/2019

Vampires, zombies and aliens all produce films about alienation and the human condition. Scandinavia has it's own genre which produces either horror or comedy. This was quite unlike anything I've ever seen. Tina has a strange chromosomal disorder which also gives her extraordinary olfactory powers to sniff out guilt, shame and evil. But what is the nature of this disorder? And what happens when she meets somebody who seems to share it? Something lurking in Scandinavian folklore allows a fascinating film to develop about alienation and morality. I cannot recommend highly enough. One of the best films I've seen in a long time.

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Captain

'Order' in chaos

(Edit) 13/03/2019

This film sat on the table for a while. I don't usually like brutal war films about Nazis. However what was so good about this film was a consideration of what happens when all order and control is lost. Germany which for the last 12 years has been under a cruel discipline is about to surrender. There is nobody to give orders, there is nobody in control. Then a plucky 20 year old almost without realising how, discovers that the craving for order gives him immense power as long as he looks confident. With nobody to tell these cowards what to do anything will do even this youth. The result is catastrophic. A great film.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

White God

It's not about dogs (doh)

(Edit) 11/02/2019

For once the extras were worth watching. How an incredible dog loving American turned a host of dogs into unhurt actors was impressive. But this is a Hungarian film. Hungary where Viktor Orban has made any immigration almost impossible. This is a parable where all dogs barring pure bred Hungarian breeds are unacceptable. I was disturbed at my own emotions when I imagined the dog being hurt, more than the ubiquitous human suffering in most films. Yet the power of the canine 'acting' and the human story carries the viewer to new places. Very different from anything I've seen before, well worth a watch.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Return

A hideous Christ figure

(Edit) 19/11/2018

It's worth looking at Mantagna's 'Lamentation of Christ (c.1480). This image was almost reproduced twice in the film, first early on when the returned father sleeps to be seen for the first time in 12 years by his sons, later after the twist. At another point a slow image of a boat coming to an island reminded me of a scene on the see of Galilee. The theme of return echoed resurrection but with no warmth or hope.

Andrei Zvyagintsev seems to want to subvert the central hope of Christianity. Yet this bleak, yet sumptuous film somehow avoided leaving the viewer devoid of hope. The mental battle between the father and his youngest son (us?) left me with hope in the human spirit.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Jimmy's Hall

Thought provoking/ heart wrenching

(Edit) 14/11/2018

As always with a Ken Loach film I was prepared to have my heart wrenched. And it was. However here is a film which is ultimately about the triumph of the human spirit against those who have surrendered their spirit to what is perceived as a higher force (the Catholic Church, the State). The landscape is both ravishing and bleak, not unlike the lives of those depicted. Also a wake up for Irish people who see their only oppressor to be the English.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Shape of Water

Acceptable

(Edit) 25/09/2018

'You're not welcome here. The tables are fully booked all day'. So says a pie barman for want of a better description to a black family seeking a seat. This is a film about acceptability and humanity. And it worked for me. The fish became human and eventually much more. I loved Pan's Labyrinth and this fairy tale had echoes...a love story that overcomes the damp fishy impossibility.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Astonishing

(Edit) 02/08/2018

I think those who think this film is about the mid-west/south are misguided. This is a film about the human condition. I was reluctant at first to watch a film about rape and torture yet found myself laughing, cringing and crying all within a minute. I guess the film asks the question: 'What would you do?' and each character responds reasonably from their condition except the deputy who in many ways is the hero.

One of the best films in English I've seen in a long time.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The King's Choice

All or nothing

(Edit) 25/07/2018

Norway was inevitably conquered and conquered easily; Quisling could have brought shame on the nation. All such countries seek to find evidence of defiance and in this little story Norway has found one from the actions of an elderly titular King who wasn't even Norwegian. The actions of the King are told in a gripping film where time is counted in minutes as he hurtles around the country and faces an inevitable choice which on the face of it will change nothing. In fact a choice which could make things worse. But in his choice I can imagine his compatriots find something to have pride in.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Raw

Might get a taste for it

(Edit) 20/07/2018

I don't usually like horror so it was a good job this was a kind of comedy. Not that I laughed much. It seems to be an extreme way of exploring family dysfunctionality and made me think at times. The ending was unexpected and marvellous.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Molly's Game

A good start

(Edit) 16/07/2018

At first this was a great fast moving and intriguing film. But there was little to give sympathy to any of the protagonists and as time went on I found myself not particularly bothered about the characters, then not bothered about the end of the film and finally bored.

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Land of Mine

Seeing a different side

(Edit) 21/05/2018

Unusually the film allowed us to feel sympathy for the young German soldiers even before we got to know them. They were treated very harshly by the sergeant yet knowing what we know about German brutality one could feel sympathy for him too. Whatever the merits of war it will always leave a heart breaking mess and this film demonstrated that well

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Melancholia

A film of two halves

(Edit) 18/10/2017

The slow motion start was a wonderful pastiche. Then we got into a very uncomfortable family at an uncomfortable way. I wasn't sure how relevant this was to the second half. But any problems were resolved by the ending - no spoiler. Still thinking about what I would so in those circumstances

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Help & support

Find answers to frequently asked questions and contact us should you need to

How It Works

See prices and levels and find out how Cinema Paradiso service works

Friends for Films

Invite your friends to join and get free subscription each month