Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Peterloo is, in essence, what happens when Mike Leigh makes a Ken Loach film, and it’s also a costume drama. If you are anything like me, you have already perhaps decided that it is clearly the best movie of the 2010. In which case, I am sorry to have to splash some cold water on […]

One doesn’t get to use the word “exquisite” enough to describe movies, so it gives me great pleasure to declare that Mr. Turner is exactly that. It is, to begin with, stupefyingly beautiful: not another movie in 2014, not another movie since The Tree of Life, in fact, has made me literally stop breathing because […]

There is nothing quite like a Mike Leigh film: nobody tells the same stories that he does in the same fashion that he does with the same characters that he does. He is, simply put, one of the handful of truly unique voices working in cinema (though, paradoxically, almost no other writer-director builds his stories […]

It is trite by now to observe the dual facts that Happy-Go-Lucky is one of the brightest and loveliest movies of the year, and that this is a surprise; but I can’t help myself. It was after all directed by noted British misery-monger Mike Leigh, a man given to dark irony and emotional sucker-punches, and […]

The film that made an international success out of Mike Leigh begins with what I genuinely believe to be the most terrifying opening shot I have ever seen. As we hear a woman moaning in either pain or ecstasy, the handheld camera moves down a dark alley, shaking like an there’s earthquake, and it stops […]