Tomboy (2011) – Review by Andrea Carnevali

Tomboy ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A family moves into a new neighbourhood, and ten-year-old named Laure deliberately presents as a boy named Mikhael to the neighbourhood children. On at Chiswick Cinema tonight (Friday 17 May) and Tuesday 21 May. This small independent film from 2011 was made for peanuts (filmed on the tiny and cheap Canon 5D camera, with just a handful of people in the crew) and while it might have not made a huge impact at the box-office back then, it did leave a big mark on me and those few who actually managed to watch it. Now Chiswick Cinema is showing it again and I would encourage you all to try to catch it if you can. Zoé Héran is absolutely wonderful as Laure, the ten years old girl who’s just moved into a new neighbourhood where nobo

La Chimera (2024) – Review by Andrea Carnevali

La Chimera ⭐⭐⭐ Arthur works alongside a group of grave robbers looking for Etruscan artifacts buried underground. Out in cinemas now. Josh O'Connor is really having a great year! It was only a few weeks ago that I found myself bewitched by his charisma and the electric chemistry with his co-stars in Challengers and now I’m seeing him speaking in Italian throughout the entirety of this film. (To be honest, his diction and pronunciation is far from perfect, but that’s also the point of the film). While I was watching La Chimera I found myself thinking that this is the typical type of film that gets praised by the critics and yet will probably bore the general audience out of their minds. As always in these sorts of situations, I

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024) – Review by Andrea Carnevali

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Many years after the reign of Caesar, a young ape goes on a journey that will lead him to question everything he's been taught about the past and make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. On in cinemas now. Here’s a film for which I had zero expectations, mostly because the trailer made it look like another one of those loud, brainless, battle-filled, visual-effects-packed and mostly uninteresting wanna-be-blockbusters (or at least that’s what I got out of it), but also because the idea of resuscitating a franchise, which, after the previous three prequels, felt so complete and satisfying, seemed to me to be a pretty pointless cash-in exercise. But I have to say, while this film su

The Fall Guy (2024) – Review by Andrea Carnevali

The Fall Guy ⭐️⭐️⭐️ A down-and-out stuntman goes on a mission to find the missing star of his ex-girlfriend's blockbuster film. On in cinemas now. The Blockbuster season is officially open, with this action/rom-com loosely inspired by the 1980s TV show of the same name, starring Lee Majors (who incidentally, shows up in a rather pointless cameo right after the credits, so if you're interested to see what the “Sixty-Million Dollar Man” looks like today, stay until the end). In a time when action films are either sprawling epics, sequels of something you barely remember, or interconnected sagas of whatever the latest superhero or space adventure might be and for which you might even need a notepad to keep track of who's who and where, it's a

Rear Window (1954) – Review by Andrea Carnevali

Rear Window ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his Greenwich Village courtyard apartment window and, despite the skepticism of his fashion-model girlfriend, becomes convinced one of them has committed murder. Chiswick Cinema is holding a special screening of Alfred Hitchcock's classic film on Tuesday 14 May for Andrea's Film Club. Whenever people talk about perfect films, this is the one that comes to mind, over and over again. Rear Window is not just my favourite film by Alfred Hitchcock, but actually it’s up there among my favourite films ever made. Where to start? There are books and books written about this masterpiece and I feel a bit stupid just sitting down

Challengers (2024) – Review by Andrea Carnevali

Challengers ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Tashi, a former tennis prodigy turned coach, turned her husband into a champion. But to overcome a losing streak, he needs to face his ex-best friend and Tashi's ex-boyfriend. On in cinemas now. This my third 5-stars review in row. Somebody might be thinking “Andrea is going soft”. To be honest, a film like this is not even usually be my cup of tea: a love triangle, set against the world of competitive tennis? Mmm not so sure I’m that interested. Well, thank God, I didn’t listen to my instincts, because I thought this was fantastic!! Luca Guadagnino’s films have been a little bit of a hit and miss for me: I absolutely loved Call Me by Your Name (mainly because of Timothée Chalamet’ star-making perfor

The idea of You (2024) – Review by Andrea Carnevali

The idea of You ⭐ ⭐ ⭐½ Solène, a 40-year-old single mother, begins an unexpected romance with 24-year-old Hayes Campbell, the lead singer of August Moon, the hottest boy band on the planet. Streaming on Prime from Thursday 2 May. Once in a while I like to mix things up and watch things I wouldn’t normally be particularly interested in. So, when a ticket for preview of the latest romantic comedy starring Anne Hathaway landed on my inbox, I decided to take a gamble and went for it, without even knowing what it was all about. And you know what? The gamble sort of paid off. The Idea of You may look like just another one of those many disposable rom-coms, with possibly one of the most generic titles ever (only matched by an even more generi

There’s Still Tomorrow (2023) – Review by Andrea Carnevali

There's Still Tomorrow (C'è ancora domani)  ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Trying to escape from the patriarchy in the Italian post-war society, Delia plots an act of rebellion against her violent husband. On in cinemas now. The film was released in Italy last year to a chorus of countless praises and after breaking all box office records, surpassing even the likes of Barbie and Oppenheimer (there’s talk already about an American remake with Lady Gaga), finally Paola Cortellesi’s black-and-white melodrama hits the British screens too. For months I’d been listening to all my friends back home talking about what is not only one of Italy’s ten highest-grossing films of all time, but also the country’s most successful feature directed by a

Ripley (TV Miniseries 2024) – Review by Andrea Carnevali

Ripley ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A grifter named Ripley living in New York during the 1960s is hired by a wealthy man to bring his wayward son home from Italy. Ripley sees the opportunity of a lifetime to make a killing. It’s probably a bit unfair, but also quite natural, to compare this miniseries on Netflix to the 1999 film The Talented Mr. Ripley by Anthony Minghella. After all, they are both adaptations from the same novel, written in 1955 by Patricia Highsmith; they both follow pretty much the same main plot points, they have (for the most part) the same characters, and they are filmed in the same Italian locations, and yet the two final products could not be further apart. I won’t be going into which one is better because it’s a

The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

The Talented Mr Ripley ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ In late 1950s New York, a young underachiever named Tom Ripley sees a once in a lifetime opportunity for enrichment when he is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. On at Chiswick Cinema Tuesday 23 April. I’ll come out clean, right from the start: I love this film and always have, and the idea to be able to host a film club around it (this Tuesday, 23 April at 8.25pm at The Chiswick Cinema), show it to a crowd, talk about it, and share the dozens of stories behind the scenes, and its cinematic techniques, fills me with joy. With the release of Ripley, the ultra-stylish TV series on Netflix, based on the same novel, and the 25th anniversary of th

Civil War (2024) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Civil War ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A journey across a dystopian future America, following a team of military-embedded journalists as they race against time to reach DC before rebel factions descend upon the White House. On at Chiswick Cinema now. While most blockbusters these days tend to just numb your senses with explosions, loud music and fast cutting, and are packed with people in spandex and flashy visual effects, often with not a lot of substance and a plot which could be written on the back of a stamp, Civil War (ironically named just like one of those Marvel movies) felt like a breath of fresh air. Sure, there is action and all, but despite its miss-marketing, which sells it just like another one of the above-mentioned, what sets it apart

Fight Club (1999) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Fight Club ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ½ An insomniac office worker and a devil-may-care soap maker form an underground fight club that evolves into much more. Fight Club is being screened for Andrea's Film Club at Chiswick Cinema on Tuesday 19 March 2024. I’ve been rewatching “fight Club” in preparation to my film club, this Tuesday 19 March at the Chiswick Cinema. And you know what? I think I liked it more this time than I ever did. It’s ironic that slogan of the film is “you don’t talk about fight club”, because to be honest, this feels like the perfect film to dissect, deconstruct, analyse, study… and talk about! Surprisingly, Fight Club didn’t do well at all when it was first released in 1999. A lot of that was probably to do

Wonka (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Wonka ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ½ With dreams of opening a shop in a city renowned for its chocolate, a young and poor Willy Wonka discovers that the industry is run by a cartel of greedy chocolatiers. Out in cinemas on Friday. For all those who are slightly apprehensive about this latest “prequel”, maybe  because their loving connection to the original story, or because of their fond memories of the classic film with Gene Wilder, or even the one by Tim Burton with Johnny Depp (yes, I am told there are people who love that too), I can safely reassure them and tell them that not only this film is the perfect pre-Christmas present for all those who want to spend some time in a cinema with their family, but I might even take it a s

The Truman Show (1998) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

The Truman Show ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ An insurance salesman discovers his whole life is actually a reality TV show. Chiswick Cinema is screening The Truman Show for Andrea's next film club night on Tuesday 5 December 2023 at 8pm, when the film will be shown with an introduction from Andrea and a discussion afterwards. Re-watching The Truman Show 25 years after its original release, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it still holds up—sharp, thought-provoking, and current. And to think this was written and made a few years before the very first Big Brother and the idea of Reality TV was even a thing! It is one of those rare products in Hollywood that manages to be gripping and very entertaining as

Maestro (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Maestro ⭐⭐⭐⭐ A love story - A biopic which chronicles the lifelong relationship of conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein and actress Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein. Out in cinemas now. A film that comes with both Spielberg’s and Scorsese’s names attached as producers in the front credits deserves to be seen, no matter what, at least in my book. As it happens, this also has two of the best performances of the year waiting to score awards left and right. A lot has been said about Bradley Cooper's prosthetic nose in the film, but if you can get past the pointless debate (and to be honest, it’s not that hard to do that), you will not only find this is his best performance to date, but also it's an immersive and compelling portrayal and a l

Wish (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Wish ⭐⭐ ⭐ A young girl named Asha wishes on a star and gets a more direct answer than she bargained for when a trouble-making star comes down from the sky to join her. In cinemas now. As I am writing this, I hear the news that Wish, the 62nd original feature by Disney Animation, has underperformed at the box office on its first week-end of release (which incidentally is the Thanksgiving week-end in America), falling well short of the already pretty low predictions. And while of course, we shouldn’t really count it out yet (more holidays are coming soon and the film may eventually find its legs), it is clear evidence of the effect that streaming is having on family-oriented films. Once upon a time a Disney release, in the weeks before Chri

Saltburn (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Saltburn  ⭐⭐⭐ A student at Oxford University finds himself drawn into the world of a charming and aristocratic classmate, who invites him to his eccentric family's sprawling estate for a summer never to be forgotten. On in cinemas now. After leaving this film I found myself a bit baffled, not quite sure how I should really take it. I kept on asking myself “Why?”. I won’t go into spoiler, but the whole thing didn’t quite click or made sense for me. So I waited a couple of days, trying to see if, with time, I’d be able to digest it a bit more and see the good in it and whether anything had stuck. Sadly the answer is ‘very little’. On one hand, the story of Oliver (An ultra-creepy Barry Keoghan), the young

Anatomy of a Fall (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Anatomy of a Fall ⭐⭐⭐⭐½ A woman is suspected of her husband's murder, and their blind son faces a moral dilemma as the main witness. On in cinemas at the moment. This French courtroom drama/thriller revolves around a complex and intriguing storyline following the consequences of a ‘fall’. The titular ‘fall’ in question is yes an actual fall, which results is somebody’s death, but also a figurative ‘fall’ of a marriage. As the story unfolds, the audience is slowly drawn into an intricate web of emotions, uncertainties, and power dynamics, all of which elevates the film beyond your standard murder mystery or courtroom drama. The strength of the Anatomy of a fall lies not only in its plo

The Long Goodbye (1973) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

The Long Goodbye (50th anniversary)  ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Private investigator Philip Marlowe helps a friend out of a jam, but in doing so becomes implicated in his wife's murder. There will be a screening of The Long Goodbye to mark the film's 50th anniversary at Andrea's Film Club at Chiswick Cinema on Tuesday 14 November 2023 at 8pm, followed by a talk by Andrea and a discussion. Crime stories are often the subject of modern re-imaginings and remakes. The allure of crime, the intricate plots, the twists and reveals, the complex characters and detective narratives, combined with the timeless appeal of iconic characters such as Hercule Poirot or Philip Marlowe, has always given filmmakers a rich source of storytelling material that is hard to resist. R

The Killer (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

The Killer ⭐⭐⭐⭐ After a fateful near-miss, an assassin battles his employers, and himself, on an international manhunt he insists isn't personal. I should probably start by stating the obvious: David Fincher is one of the greatest directors working in the industry today. His films may sometimes venture into uncomfortably dark and gritty territory, but the level of sleekness and precise craftsmanship that he brings to the table sets him apart from pretty much 99% of his Hollywood peers. I remember studying every frame of Se7en back in film school: its blackest blacks, its clinical and meticulous attention to detail and the devastatingly dark (and yet, drenched in sunlight) twist-ending. I was left speechless after Fight Club and

Killers of the Flower Moon (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Killers of the Flower Moon  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ When oil is discovered in 1920s Oklahoma under Osage Nation land, the Osage people are murdered one by one - until the FBI steps in to unravel the mystery. Out in cinemas now. Based on a true story and adapted from a book of the same name by David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon, delves into a chilling chapter of American history, in early 20th-century Oklahoma, exploring a series of murders that occurred among the Osage community of Native Americans, who found themselves wealthy almost from one day to the next, for being the land owner of lands rich with oil. I’ll come out straight: my relationship with Scorsese’s films is a tricky one. As a film geek, I should love the guy, and to a de

Dumb Money (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Dumb Money ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The story of a group of ordinary people who get rich by turning a video game store into the world's hottest company. Out in cinemas now. Dumb Money is the ultimate David vs. Goliath story, based on the astonishing true incident from the very recent 2021, during which a group of everyday people turned a little-known company named GameStop into a global sensation, defying the rules of Wall Street. GameStop is a video game retailer that had seen better days with the rise of online gaming. The pandemic seemed to seal its fate, and the short-sellers were circling like vultures. Enter Keith Gill, played by the always-talented Paul Dano, a small-time analyst and broker who by night turns into a redditor (here’s a new world I

Past Lives (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Past Lives ⭐⭐⭐⭐½ Nora and Hae Sung are childhood sweethearts separated by fate and thousands of miles, wrested apart after Nora's family emigrates from South Korea. Twenty years later, they are reunited for one fateful week as they confront notions of love and destiny. On in cinemas now, including Chiswick Cinema. I guess Award season starts early this year. This is one of the most gentle, subtle and touching films I’ve seen this year and while I’m certain it might not be to everyone’s taste (it’s certainly not one for the action/adventure blockbusters crowds, nor for the Barbie-lovers out there) it is definitely one of those who will stay with you. The story starts with two childhood friends Na Y

A Haunting in Venice (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

A Haunting in Venice ⭐⭐ In post-World War II Venice, Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot, now retired and living in his own exile, reluctantly attends a seance. But when one of the guests is murdered, it is up to the former detective to once again uncover the killer. Out in cinemas on Friday. This is Kenneth Branagh’s third Agatha Christie adaptation, following on from Murder on the Orient Express and Murder on the Nile. Both times I went to watch those film full of anticipation at star-studded premieres, excited by the prospect of a good whodunit and both times I was left rather underwhelmed and I thought the films were just about passable. This time I came prepared, and kept my expectations low to avoid any disappointment

Jurassic Park (1993) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Jurassic Park ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ½ A group of scientists cloned dinosaurs, and are about to open an amusement park where people can see them. What could possibly go wrong? Chiswick Cinema will be screening Jurassic Park thirty years on from when it smashed all the records for highest grossing film around the world and won a whole cupboard full of awards, as part of their Richard Attenborough centenary season. Andrea's Film Club, Tuesday 5 September at 7.30pm. If one had to rate Jurassic Park in terms of its cultural relevance, place in film history and groundbreaking (and game-changing) visual effects, it would certainly get top marks, no question asked. It is also one of those rar

The Great Escape (1963) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

The Great Escape ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II. The Great Escape is being screened at Chiswick Cinema on Sunday 30 July as part of the retrospective season celebrating the films of Richard Attenborough. I'll keep it short, mainly because it seems pretty pointless to stand here telling you what a timeless classic this film is, but once in a while it’s good to state the obvious. And what a perfect excuse to revisit this masterpiece than a new special screening for its 60th anniversary, this Sunday (30 July) at The Chiswick Cinema at 4pm, introduced by Michael Attenborough? It will serve as a reminder that this film is so much mo

Oppenheimer (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Oppenheimer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb. Out in cinemas now. As I sat down to watch my second film on this “Barbenheimer” weekend I had a little bit of trepidation. I have generally liked Christopher Nolan’s films in the past, but his most recent Dunkirk had left me a little bit cold and to be completely honest I had actually hated Tenet. Also, the idea of a massive three-hour long biopic, mostly dialogue-driven, on paper at least sounded a little bit daunting. However, I am happy to report not only that Oppenheimer lives up to the hype, but that it actually gains something by being so long. And yes, it is mostly dialog

Barbie (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Barbie ⭐️⭐️½ Barbie suffers a crisis that leads her to question her world and her existence. Out in cinemas now. I had been waiting to see this film since the first glimpse of the very first teaser trailer from what now feels like light years away. The film seemed to have the right amount of self-awareness, kitsch style and overall madness to make it one of the most intriguing blockbusters coming out in the summer. On top of that, the sight of goddess-like Margot Robbie as the perfect (and yes, stereotypical) Barbie and the hunk-like figure of bleached-haired Ryan Gosling cemented in my mind the idea that this was going to be a lot of fun and one not to miss. A lot has been made in the press about Barbenheimer

Elemental (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Elemental ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Ember and Wade live in a city where fire, water, land and air residents all live together. Elemental is out in cinemas now. The fact that I waited more than a week to watch Elemental at my local Chiswick Cinema might not seem particularly interesting for the average person reading this, but if you know me well and you know not just what a film geek I am, not just about my deep love for animation, but also for everything that’s Pixar-related, then the fact that I wasn’t there on day one suddenly becomes much more relevant. I’ve been a massive fan of Pixar Animation ever since I can remember. There was a time when, after a string of masterpieces one after the other, the likes of Toy Story, Monsters

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One (2023) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning, Part One ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ Ethan Hunt and his IMF team must track down a dangerous weapon before it falls into the wrong hands. Out in cinemas now. It’s been 27 years since Brian De Palma’s first Mission Impossible hit the screen. Now on its seventh instalment, it feels as if the franchise is getting bigger and better, which is ironic since it all started as a little espionage TV series in the 1960s and ‘70s. As it happens, it’s also getting longer and longer. This clocks at 163 minutes and, as the title suggests, there is more to come too. The success of the latest Avengers films (with Endgame earning close to $2 billion) proved to Hollywood t