The Phantom of the Open

M, 106 minutes 4 Stars   Review by © Jane Freebury Wondering what else he might get out of life as retirement approached, a crane operator in the English port city of Barrow-in-Furness took up the game of golf. As you do. Then when a…

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Compartment No 6

MA 15+, 107 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury   Claustrophobia in a sleeper compartment on a long train journey has a tension all its own in this Finnish-Russian collaboration. As the frisson escalates between the two young occupants of the space, it’s…

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Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time

M, 126 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury This lovingly curated documentary on the celebrity American author and social satirist, Kurt Vonnegut, had a long gestation. In production for decades, ever since filmmaker Bob B. Weide first approached the writer about making it,…

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A Hero

    PG, 127 minutes 4 Stars   Review by © Jane Freebury A new film from Asghar Farhadi will never now go unnoticed. Not since he won a best foreign language Oscar for his riveting drama about a young couple splitting up, and then…

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Top Gun: Maverick

  M, 130 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury Why are we watching Top Gun: Maverick today? To see why Joe Biden got hooked on aviator sunglasses, to make a joke of cocky American can-do attitudes, to check out how Tom Cruise looks…

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A Chiara

M, 122 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury It’s a birthday party, Italian style, with an 18-year-old basking in all the love and attention as family and friends swirl around her. The vino is flowing freely, delectable dishes keep landing on tables already…

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Ablaze

PG, 81 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury   As personal as it is, this new documentary is likely to be a revelation for many. It is a record of the quest by a young Australian opera singer to discover more about his…

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Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

M, 121 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury On the face of it, an anthology or portmanteau movie can look like it has plenty going for it, if it brings together top directors, writers and stars. But it can still get a mixed…

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

  M, 107 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury Nic Cage playing Nick Cage in this toey new Hollywood number plays along with the persona that goes with the actor’s name. The actor’s angry, brooding screen presence and the excesses of the Hollywood…

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When the Camera Stopped Rolling

4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury The long list of credits for this intimate, handsomely crafted documentary looks like a who’s who for the local film industry. It’s a tribute to the subject of the film, filmmaker Lilias Fraser, and to her cinematographer daughter,…

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Ithaka

  M, 111 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury   Since Wikileaks, the organization he founded, sensationally uploaded hundreds of thousands of files of classified information to the internet, Julian Assange has lived his life in different forms of incarceration. It’s probably safe…

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Friends and Strangers

MA 15+, 82 minutes 4 Stars   Review by © Jane Freebury It’s going to be a challenge for the rest of us when a filmmaker says he finds it hard to say in a few concise sentences what his film is about. Friends and…

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Bergman Island

M, 113 minutes 4 Stars   Review by © Jane Freebury   Ask any writer. Who wouldn’t love to spend weeks on end at work at a writer’s retreat, especially a writer’s retreat that had established cred as the former home of a great artist?…

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Hive

M, 84 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury This simple and effectively titled film is drawn from events in a small village in rural eastern Europe. A part of the world from where some of the best jams and condiments come. Next time…

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C’mon C’mon

M, 110 minutes 4 Stars           Review by © Jane Freebury   The modest but impressive oeuvre of American filmmaker Mike Mills often handles the small things in life best, the things that for many come to matter most. It speaks…

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Parallel Mothers

    M, 123 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury There is a moment in the latest richly textured melodrama from writer-director, Pedro Almodovar, when its glamorous star stands at the sink in a plain white t-shirt with a feminist message as she…

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Munich – The Edge of War

It’s fascinating to see how countries that were enemies during world wars last century, countries like the US and Japan, Britain and Germany, were closely linked on certain levels beforehand. It makes you think

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Delicious

M, 79 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury It may not be the right year, or the real chef, or the exact historical moment when public dining rooms opened in France, but do we really mind? When this delectable gastronomy comedy gets so…

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The Worst Person in the World

  MA15+, 128 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury       The worst person in the world is not as bad as it sounds, just a gently ironic and self-deprecating reference to an expression apparently common in Scandinavia for admitting you could…

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The Hand of God

MA 15+, 130 minutes 4 Stars   Review by © Jane Freebury How absurd life looks through the eyes of an adolescent. Weird, grotesque, enticing, deadly. If only that first step was a little easier to take. Now soccer, on the other hand, when the…

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