Natalie Portman is Lena, an ex-army molecular biologist who volunteers to enter a mysterious phenomenon called “The Shimmer” in Alex Garland’s Annihilation. This bizarre space seems to swallow all that enter it: drones, wildlife, vehicles, military incursions. One of the things it’s swallowed is Lena’s husband, and she essentially signs […]

Veronica and the Release Strategies

Two things. First: Veronica. It’s the latest from Paco Plaza, the Spanish writer-director responsible for the first two [REC] movies. It’s a solid, well-made horror telling the ostensibly true tale of a luckless 15 year old who invites something horrible in after an ill-advised ouija game. The ensuing drama plays […]

Call Me By Your Name

I grew up, in part, on the edge of a small village in Spain. My teenage years were leisurely and sun-dappled, our dinners alfresco, our conversations multi-lingual. We moved as a small pack of foreign kids – Dutch, English, French, Spanish, Italian – reconvening every summer to flirt, swim, sunbathe, […]

The Astonishing Word-of-Mouth Success of The Greatest Showman

Not so secretly, I loathe Hugh Jackman professional public persona. All a bit hammy and self-aware and “ra-ra theatre major” for my liking. Putting him in a movie called “The Greatest Showman” confirmed all of my very worst assumptions of his overwhelming pride and self-satisfaction. It could not have been […]