HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
   
 
Newest Articles
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Happy New Year, Colin Burstead Forgiveness Is AllBuy this film here.
Year: 2018
Director: Ben Wheatley
Stars: Sarah Baxendale, Sudha Bhuchar, Asim Chaudhary, Joe Cole, Charles Dance, Sura Dohnke, Vincent Ebrahim, Peter Ferdinando, Richard Glover, Alexandra Maria Lara, Doon Mackichan, Neil Maskell, Sinead Matthews, Bill Paterson, Sam Riley, Hayley Squires
Genre: Drama
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Colin Burstead (Neil Maskell) has decided to do something good for his extended family this year, and with Christmas out of the way he has hired a country house to hold a New Year's party for them all. Well, almost all: his brother David (Sam Riley) has expressly not been invited after the trouble he has caused down the years, and most of them have not seen him in over half the decade, truly the black sheep of the family. Except nobody told the brothers' sister Gini (Hayley Squires) that David should not be there, and as a result she has invited him despite all the bad blood, for she thought it would be a nice surprise for their mother Sandy (Doon Mackichan). It's a surprise, all right...

This Ben Wheatley film, which he directed and wrote (after an improvised fashion), was a lot more low key than the efforts he had been producing in the years previous, this was not some high concept action thriller or science fiction movie, it was a return to his roots in a family drama as his first film Down Terrace had been. At least superficially, as that debut had been a tense character piece that could be regarded from some angles as loosely a horror movie, certainly in the structure it applied and the violence that resulted, yet here there was no bloodshed, though that may have been what some of the partygoers had in mind when a stormcloud of ill-feeling rained on everyone's parade.

That said, while there were no shortages of films, television dramas and plays that detailed just how terribly people behave with their families around the festive season, Wheatley was not quite as interested in depicting the clich├ęs of that seasonal fare as he initially appeared (this was reminiscent of the TV adaptation of Alan Ayckbourne's Season's Greetings). Yes, there was a packed narrative of the resentments of those involved bubbling up to the surface, as you would have anticipated, but while there was shouting and arguments, the fact that this was supposed to be a celebration mitigated against anyone present actually throwing a punch, and there may have been much partaking of alcoholic beverages, but nobody got so drunk they were out of control.

If anything, Wheatley overstuffed his film with subplots to emphasise how everyone had their issues with at least one sibling, parent or other relation - there were even ex-boyfriends and girlfriends here. Using a fast-cutting style, there was a restlessness to the arrangement here that betrayed a nervy quality both in the personas of those we were watching and the filmmakers, as if they had a lot to say but were not wholly confident they were putting it across sufficiently well. If his J.G. Ballard adaptation High Rise had been a state of the nation address seen through the science fiction of the nineteen-seventies, this dropped any such devices and genre and was more direct, though the more contrived moments to make this sound current with snippets of political reference and conversation did come across as just that: contrived.

Really, this was a demonstration of how many Brits, despite the differences and divisions foisted upon us by politics, could get along with each other if the circumstances were amenable to it. Although the titular Colin believes he is the unifying force in his brood, the opposite is revealed as true, and the most divisive member turns out to be the one who can bring them together purely by saying he's sorry, he was wrong, he made mistakes, but he didn't want to ruin anyone's life (or evening). The forgiveness that this brings about is surprisingly sweet considering the abrasiveness of what humour there was, and though it could have been sharper, that sense of needing to start over, to do it better and let bygones be bygones to move forward was as pertinent as Wheatley and his actors and crew wanted to be. With an ensemble cast designed to represent all strata of British society, it was a shade self-conscious, but in effect proved its director may have been better at this smaller scale work than his bigger projects. Music by Clint Mansell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 421 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: