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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON IN CINEMAS

EIFF 2019: Bittersweet Symphony (2019) dir: Jamie Adams

This amateurish and unfocussed mess of a film feels like watching someone else's home movie. Despite the evident talents of some of those in front of the camera (including Suki Waterhouse and Jennifer Grey), it is ultimately a rather cringeworthy affair. Oh, and it has nothing to do with The Verve.

Bittersweet Symphony (2019)

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EIFF 2019: Love Type D (2019) starring Maeve Dermody

I really wanted to hate this romantic comedy on the grounds that it runs with such an incredibly silly and somewhat mean-spirited premise. Nonetheless, it does manage to induce a few laughs. Maeve Dermody makes for an appealing lead but young Rory Stroud is the real standout here.

Maeve Dermody in Love Type D

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EIFF 2019: Emma Peeters (2018) directed by Nicole Palo

While Emma Peeters is yet another in a long line of black comedies about suicide, it stands out due to its considerable sense of style and numerous charming touches. Monia Chokri is also spot-on as its jaded titular protagonist.

Monia Chokri is Emma Peeters

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EIFF 2019: Yesterday (2019) directed by Danny Boyle

This musical comedy - featuring a parallel universe where The Beatles never existed - has some fun with its charming premise but is beat-for-beat predictable in its storytelling. It just about gets by on the performances of Himesh Patel and Kate McKinnon, along with director Danny Boyle's usual colourful flair.

Himesh Patel in Yesterday

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A Star is Born (2018) starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

This fourth incarnation of William A. Wellman and Robert Carson's story turns out to be far from the Cooper/Gaga vanity project that you might have feared. Even Andrew Dice Clay is great in a film whose emotional imprint will stay with you for a long time.

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in A Star is Born (2018)

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Cold War (2018) directed by Pawel Pawlikowski

A romance takes place on both sides of the Iron Curtain during the early days of the Cold War. Shot in a warm sepia monochrome and featuring a prevalence of diverse music, this is one of those rare movies which you can enjoy as a sensory, magical experience while barely contemplating the dark central story.

Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot in Cold War (2018)

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Racer and the Jailbird (2017) starring Matthias Schoenaerts

Adèle Exarchopoulos and Matthias Schoenaerts play ill-starred lovers in this entertaining but shallow romantic crime melodrama. By all means, sit back and enjoy the performances, sex, action and tragedy - but don't expect any deeper exploration of the characters.

Racer and the Jailbird (2017)

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EIFF 2018: Lucid (2018) starring Billy Zane and Sadie Frost

The story behind the making of this film is incredible, as is its core idea. Unfortunately, the execution is dull. Some appealing neon-drenched cinematography and a quirky turn by Billy Zane (not typecast as a boo-hiss villain for a change) fail to save it.

Laurie Calvert and Billy Zane in Lucid

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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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Red Sparrow (2018) starring Jennifer Lawrence

Francis Lawrence's attempt at modernising the Cold War thriller is a jarring and unpleasant mix of musty old cliches, rape, torture, romance and feminine empowerment. It has its moments as well as some fine performances but it's not particularly enjoyable.

Red Sparrow (2018)

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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 Third Wife (2018)

ARTICLES

Monia Chokri in Emma Peeters

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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