Selma (2014)

The Martin Luther King Jr biopic Selma is primarily composed of individuals undergoing impassioned debates. We watch King (David Oyelowo) and Lyndon B Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) verbally spar over voting rights; with segregation outlawed in 1960s America, African-Americans find their legal right to vote denied, and divided camps of activists argue about the best way…

Belle (2013)

Belle (2013)

It doesn’t surprise me to learn that British costume drama Belle came about after its screenwriter, Misan Sagay, spotted an 18th century portrait of a woman of colour, apparently an ensconced member of the aristocracy in an era where black skin was synonymous with slavery. The film is fundamentally good-intentioned, but strikes me as the…

Joel Edgerton in Felony (2013)

Felony (2013)

Australian cop flick Felony opens with a perfunctory action scene – the only scene in the film that fits that description. Detective Malcolm Toohey (Joel Edgerton, star and screenwriter) gives chase to a crim fleeing the scene, and earns a deposit of lead in his bulletproof vest for his trouble. Struggling to his feet, he…

Tony Revolori and Saoirse Ronan - The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

“Times have changed.” So says Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham) to Young Writer (Jude Law) as he luxuriates in the baths of the Grand Budapest Hotel. Except luxury is now in short supply; once a thriving symbol of opulence, the Grand Budapest Hotel is no longer so grand (and it’s not even in Budapest; the…