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A New Beginning (IMPORTANT UPDATE)

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Since 2012 I have been posting reviews and opinion pieces on this blog and I hope you have all enjoyed reading them as much as I have writing them! 

But my frustrations with Google's Blogger platform have grown worse throughout the years and I've decided its finally time for a change.

So I am excited to announce that I am moving the blog to a new website at rebelwithoutapausebutton.com!

This will allow me to have a greater amount of control over the design of the blog, which will hopefully mean a better visitor experience for all of you.

So thank you for sticking with me and see you on the new site, where I have just posted a new piece on Godzilla vs. Kong. 

I have also created new social media accounts on Instagram @rebelwithoutapausebutton and Twitter @rebelpauseblog!

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy the new site, rebelwithoutapausebutton.com.

Rob.

Gloria Bell

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2013's Gloria was a joyous celebration of a free-spirited divorcee, a film pulsating with an irresistible energy and warmth that made it a certified arthouse hit and foreign language nominee at the Oscars. So it was with a mixture of trepidation and excitement that we learned director Sebastian Lelio, fresh from the success of A Fantastic Woman and Disobedience, would be returning to direct an American remake, with an all-star cast to boot.

But it is a relief to report that, contrary to popular fears, Gloria Bell is a triumph of a film. And this is all down to one key ingredient: Julianne Moore. This is her film from beginning to end and she is simply sensational. It is impossible not to be instantly captivated by her presence on screen, and, rather than simply rehashing Paulina Garcia's wonderful performance that so electrified the 2013 original, Moore brings her own unique energy to the character of Gloria to more than justify the existence of this remake. 


From the film's…

Sundance London: The Nightingale

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Following a 4 year gap since her highly successful debut film The Babadook, Jennifer Kent returns with The Nightingale, a wildly different project that traces the horrors of colonial rule through the eyes of a young Irish convict. Set in Tasmania during 1825, and written and directed by Kent, the film premiered at Venice late last year to rave reviews, along with some controversy over the level of violence depicted.

This criticism largely surrounded the opening of the film, which sees British officer Hawkins (Sam Claflin, The Hunger Games, Me Before You) committing several horrific acts of sexual violence against the young Clare (Aisling Franciosi, Game of Thrones, The Fall). We thus follow Clare as she ventures through the dangerous Tasmanian undergrowth to seek revenge on Hawkins.



Perhaps the biggest point of praise for Kent’s film is that it has brought to the screen a bright new star in the form of Franciosi. Previously known from several TV roles, Franciosi delivers an extraordinar…

The Perfection

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The most obvious influence that comes to mind when watching The Perfection is Brian De Palma and the several notoriously shocking thrillers that helped him become a household name in the early 80s. There are clear shades of Dressed to Kill’s erotic energy and Blow Out’s frenzied paranoia running throughout this Richard Shephard (previously known for his TV work on Girls + Ugly Betty) directed, Netflix released thriller. Coupled with several uses of De Palma’s signature split diopter shot, it becomes pretty apparent that Shephard likes to wear his influences firmly on his sleeve.



The pulpy shock and awe nature of many of the film’s sequences, including an early scene involving bugs and a meat cleaver (you get the picture), also musters any number of comparisons ranging from Funny Games to Eden Lake, particularly as the story begins to escalate and become a very different beast. However, The Perfection is a film that is better off watched with little prior knowledge of the plot, as much…

Suspiria: A Bloody Masterpiece

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Fresh from directing Call Me By Your Name, 2017's moving depiction of young gay romance that was an awards season favourite, Luca Guadagnino took a complete 180 to make Suspiria, a remake of Dario Argento's classic cult horror flick following a coven of witches who run a world-renowned dance academy. While this may sound like a wildly unconventional career path from Guadagnino and one fated for disaster, 2018's Suspiria is a stunning, often shocking, experience that is simply unmatched in its ambition and execution. 

At the core of the film's success lies the brilliant all-female cast, boasting stellar performances from Tilda Swinton (in 3 different roles), Dakota Johnson, and Mia Goth. Swinton, in particular, dominates every scene with her multi-faceted performance, depicting the powerful and incredibly intimidating Madame Blanc (the academy's lead dancer), the fragile Dr. Klemperer (with some incredible use of prosthetics) and a third role that I won't reveal …

Review Roundup

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Here's a collection of quick reviews of a bunch of recent films I never got around to writing full pieces on. Hope you enjoy! 

First Reformed



Ethan Hawke delivered an extraordinary performance in this stunning depiction of a priest's inner turmoil and religious angst as he battles against both his inner demons and the wider issues within his church. A slow burn thriller with a brilliant script that delicately teased out the gradual meltdown of troubled protagonist Toller (Hawke), First Reformed was an incredibly intelligent depiction of one man's struggle to fight for his morals and also proved to be a subtle expose of blindly diligent religiosity. Director Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull) also delivered two of the best opening and closing shots of this year, with the ending being both shocking and deeply provocative. 

Leave No Trace



One of this year's standout hidden gems, Debra Granik's (Winter's Bone) tale of a troubled father and his thirte…

American Animals

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American Animals opens with the statement "This is not Based on a True Story," the words "not based on" then fading away to instead reveal that "This is a True Story." These first few seconds provide a delicious hint at so much of what makes this film special; this audacious claim that what we are witnessing is one hundred percent the truth is a wonderful presage to the jaw-dropping ingenuity and balls to the wall approach taken by director Bart Layton in his first feature film (outside documentary work). It is a masterclass in how to adapt a true story in a truly captivating and often confrontational style, with the film soon setting out to contradict its initial statement and question our acceptance of what we are told.  


The film explores the real story of four college students (played by a terrific quartet of young actors Barry Keoghan, Evan PetersBlake Jenner and Jared Abrahamson, with Keoghan proving to be the anchor of the film in a magnificently …