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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON IN CINEMAS

EIFF 2018: Old Boys (2018) directed by Toby MacDonald

This Cyrano de Bergerac adaptation, set in a posh English boarding school, is marred by rather forced and weak humour. Nonetheless, it has a certain amount of charm as well as fine performances from Alex Lawther, Pauline √Čtienne and the rest of the cast.

Alex Lawthor in Old Boys (2018)

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EIFF 2018: Puzzle (2018) starring Kelly Macdonald

A small-town American housewife finds both passion and a new direction in life thanks to jigsaw puzzles and her relationship with an eccentric inventor (played by Irrfan Khan). It's a quietly impressive small gem of a film with characters who feel real.

Kelly Macdonald in Puzzle (2018)

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Hereditary (2018) written and directed by Ari Aster

This slow-burning horror chiller may reference other classic genre entries - from The Exorcist and Suspiria to Don't Look Now - but still manages to stand out due to its studied slice-of-life family drama mixed with effectively-deployed shocks.

Hereditary directed by Ari Aster

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On Chesil Beach (2017) starring Saoirse Ronan

This drama of love tragically doomed by sexual difficulties, set in the stifling climate of early 1960s Britain, is powerful and well-acted fare despite occasional missteps.

Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle in On Chesil Beach

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Best F(r)iends: Volume One (2017) starring Greg Sestero & Tommy Wiseau

The first instalment of a two-parter featuring the two 'talents' behind The Room (2003) is a strange mix of self-aware deliberate badness and flashes of legitimately good artfulness. As you might expect, the highlights here are provided by Wiseau's in(s)ane performance.

Tommy Wiseau in Best F(r)iends: Volume One (2017)

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Have a Nice Day (2017) written and directed by Jian Liu

This Chinese animated crime drama has its own distinctive style which mixes low-key grit with pop culture flamboyance. Beneath the surface, however, it suffers from a self-indulgent case of Tarantino-itis.

Xiao Zhang, a character in Have a Nice Day (2017)

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I, Tonya (2017) starring Margot Robbie and Sebastian Stan

Margot Robbie as scandal-stricken US figure skating champion Tonya Harding is the main draw in this enjoyable but somewhat shallow biopic. Director Craig Gillespie delivers the film's inventive mockumentary style while Alison Janney and Sebastian Stan provide solid supporting performances.

Margot Robbie in I, Tonya

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Lady Bird (2017) written and directed by Greta Gerwig

Saoirse Ronan plays the brattishly eccentric titular adolescent who navigates an emotional rollercoaster ride at a Catholic high school in Sacramento. It moves from one humorous or dramatic highpoint to the next in a heady rush that creates a refreshingly honest picture of the cusp of adulthood.

Saoirse Ronan and Lucas Hedges in Lady Bird

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Phantom Thread (2017) directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Daniel Day-Lewis's final performance is a striking epitaph in an exquisitely-crafted piece of pure cinema. However, the relatively unknown Vicky Krieps holds the screen exceptionally well during her tense, spark-filled scenes with his perfectionistic and near-insufferable character.

Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread

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Downsizing (2017) written and directed by Alexander Payne

This ambitious and well-meaning science fiction allegory could have done with some downsizing itself to make for a more focused and consistent film. It's a frustrating mix of good (the production design, Christoph Waltz) and bad (Hong Chau's annoying character, the jarring shifts in tone). Matt Damon stars.

Downsizing (2017)

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More cinema releases

CLICK HERE for a guide to the best independent cinemas in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

DVD/BLU RAY

The alien creature from Xtro (1982)

ARTICLES

Lili Taylor in The Addiction

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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