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60th BFI London Film Festival: The Levelling Review

8th October 2016 | Films

60th BFI London Film Festival: The Levelling Review

Having spent the morning watching J.A Bayona’s new film centred on a mother suffering with cancer (A Monster Calls), then watching a film about someone’s brother who has shot himself probably wasn’t the smartest idea…

The Levelling follows Clover Catto (Ellie Kendrick) who, upon discovering her younger brother’s death, must return to her family farm and face the man she hasn’t spoken to it years: her father Aubrey.

Clover quickly discovers that her home is very different from what she remembers – the remnants of her brother’s death, as well as the impacts of a devastating flood, and the increasingly run-down farm leaves to Clover trying to find out, once and for all: What drove Charlie to take his own life?

A truly fascinating study of life following death, director Hope Dickson Leach and star Ellie Kendrick are the perfect double-act at uncovering raw emotion. One could mistake The Levelling as a high-budget documentary it feels so real.

It shocks, without going too far, and is artistic where it needs to be. However, at the core, The Levelling acts as a fascinating look as to the lengths people will go to keep family together, and how that can drive them away.

60th BFI London Film Festival: A Monster Calls Review

8th October 2016 | Films

60th BFI London Film Festival: A Monster Calls Review

J.A Bayona is a Director known for making films that fit somewhere on the verge of fantasy and horror, such as The Orphange. In A Monster Calls, Bayona produces a stellar film exploring loss and heartbreak – but, like many of his others, it doesn’t quite know its audience.

Based on the book of the same name, A Monster Calls follows Connor O’Malley (outstandingly played by newcomer Lewis MacDougall), a young boy who’s mother (Felicity Jones) is dying of cancer. In the middle of the night, at 12.07 to be precise, every night Connor is approached by a ‘monster’ (voiced by Liam Neeson) who tells him stories to which he is meant to learn lessons.

The ‘monster’ haunts Connor and seems to be an evil creature until you realise that he was there to teach Connor how to tell the truth and let go of his Mum.

Its heart breaking, and highly metaphorical – whether the ‘monster’ exists or not is relatively inconclusive, but that doesn’t seem to matter. At the heart of it, this is a film about love and loss and the toll that can have on a young child.

From a simple synopsis, it would seem to appeal as a children’s film, but it’s too heart wrenching and, at times, emotionally scarring. During key scenes, most of the cinema was in tears – and this was a cinema full of movie journalists!

The fact that the cinema was silent after the film shows how well Bayona is able to make his characters relate – and there are stellar performances from all the cast, especially MacDougall and Sigourney Weaver.

A Monster Calls is one of the most imaginative and well-thought through fantasy films in a while, and it is the perfect book…

Review: Sausage Party

9th September 2016 | Films

Review: Sausage Party

If you’ll pardon the pun, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldburg are here to test the boundaries of taste with their long awaited animated look at food in Sausage Party. But if you go into this thinking, like a middle-aged mother taking their ten year old to see Deadpool, that because it is in a child’s format that it will be tame and appropriate, you are gravely mistaken.

Welcome to Shopwells, an American supermarket, where foods and other grocery items see the human shoppers as ‘Gods’ who will take them to the ‘Great Beyond’, where they are allowed to do whatever they want, which is largely, much like the ‘gods’ they deify, to shag constantly. The movie largely focuses on the case of a sausage named Frank (Seth Rogen) and his bun girlfriend, Brenda (Kristin Wig), as they plan for their time together in the great beyond, certain that they will be picked together. When it seems like they will be picked together, a returned Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) warns them that the great beyond is a lie before jumping to his death. In an attempt to save him, Frank and Brenda, along with various other items are thrown from the cart, ruining their chance at happiness. Honey Mustard’s words stick with Frank, and he goes on a journey of discovery, trying to find the horrible truth about the so-called ‘Great Beyond’.


This is a brilliant and original idea for a movie. It is an idea that could only come from the comic geniuses behind such twisted endeavors as This Is The End, Pineapple Express and Superbad, all of which Rogen wrote and produced with Goldburg.

The duo know how to write this kind of comedy with as little taste as possible, but including extremely clever…