The Promised Land presents itself as an epic period drama about a former soldier, Captain Ludvig Kahlen (Mads Mikkelsen of Casino Royale and Another Round), dedicating his remaining lifetime to mend a troubled Danish heath and build a settlement. The challenges he faces include the environmental barrenness of the land, outsiders who doubt Kahlen’s ambitions, and the breaching interruptions by selfish and wealthy Frederik de Schinkel (Simon Bennebjerg).
Call me a wet noodle, a buzzkill, or a “namby-pamby” (a term I learned from this movie), but I did not fall under the romantic spell of Mr. Malcolm’s List. In fact, I thought Mr. Malcolm’s List was pretty cheesy. Then again, the love-struck emotions in Emma Holly Jones’ period piece are supposed to hit those levels of mushy sentimentality. It’s just a matter of reigning them in before they spill over to become just…
Terence Davies’ latest period biopic Benediction is comparable to his last feature, A Quiet Passion, though this movie is much better and says a lot more about its subject.
Mothering Sunday is, at least, commendable for the swings it takes. Instead of following a typical period drama formula, director Eva Husson (Bang Gang [A Modern Love Story]) and screenwriter Alice Birch (Lady Macbeth) explore a titillating affair through several time-jumping perspectives. At first, it’s frustrating to keep up with the pace that’s further developing the romance between housemaid Jane Fairchild (Assassination Nation’s Odessa Young) and elite gentleman Paul Sheringham (Josh O’Connor of God’s Own…
12 Mighty Orphans may be a formulaic sports movie telling a familiar underdog story, but the movie follows the template well and elevates the narrative with good performances and on-screen chemistry.
The World to Come, the second feature from Norwegian filmmaker Mona Fastvold (The Sleepwalker), is a plodding meditation on love and grief that is salvaged from mediocrity by the palpable chemistry between its lead actors. Still, the film doesn’t offer much that is fresh of exciting and rehashes some tired lesbian period piece tropes.
1982 is a thoughtful meditation on childhood, struggle, and community that is at once heart-wrenching and deeply optimistic.
Audiences have been spoiled with unique period films – Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship, Yorgos Lanthimos’ Oscar winner The Favourite, and Greta Gerwig’s take on Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. We’ve been shown that these rustic movies can exist outside of a formula, which makes Autumn de Wilde’s Emma a bit of a retrograded step. But, the conventional choices can be explained.
Holding his audience in anticipation after winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (Ida), Pawel Pawlikowski returns with his terrific, new Academy Award nominee Cold War.
Pilgrimage will be known as “that movie where the Punisher fights alongside monk Spider-Man”. By that, I mean Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Jon Bernthal (Netflix’s Daredevil and The Punisher) have starring roles in Brendan Muldowney’s action/drama about a monastery’s dangerous mission.