REVIEW: Call Me By Your Name.

CallRating: 5/5.

The end of November is a safe enough time to declare something ‘the best film of the year’. Call Me By Your Name is an incredibly moving, timeless story about the all-encompassing feelings of first love. And is 100% deserving of such a moniker.

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REVIEW: The Big Sick.

SickRating: 3/5.

Based on the true story of Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon’s relationship, The Big Sick follows Kumail (playing himself) and Emily (Zoe Kazan) as they fall in love, navigating the pitfalls of a relationship straddling two cultures. But when Emily falls ill enough to be put in a medically-induced coma, Kumail is forced to juggle his feelings for her with her parents (Ray Romano and Holly Hunter), his budding stand-up career and his own over-bearing family.

The real-life couple wrote the script together, and it’s a delight; funny, charming and self-deprecating in equal measure. The ever-perky Kazan doesn’t have a lot to do for a large chunk of the film, but the central trio of Nanjiani, Romano and Hunter are engaging enough that her presence isn’t missed too much. The supporting cast is mostly made up of real-life stand up comics, but the humour aids the central plot, rather than overpower it.

The topic of religion is included in the jokes, rather than being the butt of them, and the film shows Kumail’s traditional Muslim family as a close knit, if dysfunctional, unit; something of a rarity in mainstream US media. The romance is somewhat truncated, but the film is sweet and funny enough that the genre stalwarts shouldn’t be too enraged. An unconventional love story, yes, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.

REVIEW: Loving.

LovingRating: 4/5.

Jeff Nichols’ Loving is the true story of Mildred (Ruth Negga) and Richard (Joel Edgerton) Loving, whose relationship in 1960s Virginia became a landmark civil rights court battle, that resulted in the Supreme Court legalising the marriage of interracial couples throughout the United States.

It’s a film that tells an important story, but it does so quietly and calmly. The Lovings don’t set out to change the constitutional laws of their country by getting hitched, they just want to live together and raise a family, without fear of violence or incarceration. They love each other completely, and it shows.

Negga is perhaps the obvious stand out, receiving an Oscar nomination for her performance, but it’s Joel Edgerton who packs the biggest emotional punch. His Richard is a hardworking, good man who is devoted to his wife and frustratingly inarticulate about his emotions. He rarely talks, but conveys so much through body language and inaction that it’s easy to see why the couple fights so hard, for so long, to stick together.

The relationship itself is the film’s focal point, with the court case somewhat relegated to the background, and we learn the outcome as Richard and Mildred do, understated and peacefully in their home. It’s an intimate look at a defining point in America’s (sadly, still ongoing) battle for civil rights. A beautiful, poignant story of two people completely undeserving of punishment for having the audacity to adhere to an inherent human right: falling in love.

 

REVIEW: Room.

Room

Rating: 5/5

Let me begin by saying I went in to this film with a minimal knowledge about it’s content, and this proved incredibly beneficial. I fully encourage you to do the same. As such, I’m adding a spoiler warning at the beginning of this review. Please heed it.

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