Ben Nicholson

Ben Nicholson

UK-based film critic.

Editor of CineVue and penner of words on cinema for various publications including Sight & Sound, BFI, Dazed & The Skinny.

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Partisan img article

Film Review: Partisan

"... it is an assured and brave debut feature for director and co-writer Ariel Kleiman, who repeatedly resists giving easy answers, or many answers at all, in favour of cultivating a beguiling if ultimately unsatisfying mystery."

Joy article

Film of the Week: Joy

"...Though not as finely tuned as Silver Linings Playbook or American Hustle, Joy might just be the raggedy underdog that trumps them both."

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Film Review 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

"...The Force Awakens barrels back into Lucas' lived-in universe with boundless joie de vivre...It makes for a moving, rousing experience and the return to that galaxy far, far away that audiences have longed for."

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DVD Review: 'Czech New Wave: Vol. II'

"...It is far from a flight of fancy, though, to suggest that Second Run have once again curated a fantastic collection for those who are endlessly fascinated by the Czechoslovak New Wave. And those that are not, should be."

The show of shows master article

Film Review: 'The Show of Shows'

"...The accompaniment is used both as emphasis and subversion, however. At one point, the rhythms of their drums build tension during a sequence of death-defying acts only for the action to segue into images of voluptuous, scantily clad women being paraded like porto-glamour models. Where the music would perhaps be expected to shift, it does not, denying the audience the release of pressure that such images might otherwise suggest as a nylon stocking is cast into an enrapt crowd..."

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Blu-ray Review: 'The Reflecting Skin'

"...The approach to the threshold into adolescence has rarely comes in as eerie a package. The "nightmare of childhood" is how Seth's neighbour, the unearthly Dolphin Blue (Lindsay Duncan) refers to it, but it is arguably more of a child's nightmare of adulthood and eventual death..."

Carol cannes film festival 2 article

Film Review: 'Carol'

"...Haynes is once again strumming on Sirkian strings here, as he did far more overtly in 2002's Far From Heaven, but this is arguably more his own voice taking control. The command he shows of his entire canvas is superlative. Visually he evokes Edward Hopper through the gorgeous Super 16 compositions of Edward Lachman, whose medium shots echo the women's constraint while close-up glimpses of furtive flirtations convey more genuine romance than many romance films can claim to cram into their entire durations..."

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DVD Review: 'All My Good Countrymen'

"...Frantisek emerges as something of a protagonist, but in reality All My Good Countrymen is a film about a community, about the whole, even as it bows under the weight of internal conflict. At times laugh-out-loud hilarious, and at others heart-wrenchingly poignant, it refuses to vilify individuals..."

Closely watched trains article

Blu-ray Review: 'Closely Observed Trains'

"...Notionally a sex-romp à la Porky's, Closely Observed Trains plays titillation and broad laughs off against more delicate and melancholic dramatic touches; Miloš' problematic ascent to sexual awakening and manhood is that of the Czechoslovak people..."

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Film Review: 'The Hallow'

"...Naturally, the narrative must progress and as the plot veers towards the traditional final siege, Adam's own demons begin to present themselves adding further flavour to the situation. He has already shown himself quick to anger despite his tender, loving exterior and he must struggle to retain his paternity as monstrosity consumes him..."

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CPH:DOX: 'Mallory' review

"...Often Trestíková's unfussy, digital camerawork will find Mallory just after a cataclysmic event in her life, or contact will be prompted by a phone call. Individual scenes are less important than the overall effect, which presents the harsh prevailing winds that buffet this woman as she tries to trudge her way uphill..."

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CPH:DOX: 'Field Niggas' review

"...The images sometimes seem to correspond to the person speaking, at other times they appear to visualise concepts being referred to. This is cinematic poetry that forces the viewer not just to pay attention, but to engage completely with the work - discovering their own connections and narratives with eye and ear..."

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Korean Film Festival 'Veteran' review

"...This is police procedural as a heady mix of David vs Goliath bullheadedness, slapstick humour, bone-crunching action and the eternal struggle between good and evil, in which the latter role is undertaken by the despicable 1%..."

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Film Review: 'Taxi Tehran'

"... There are implications not just for the morality of the populace, but also for the position of filmmakers in society, and the potential benefits of the aforementioned "sordid realism". At one point his niece cries "un-distributable" in a knowing comment on this film as a whole, and Panahi's own brand of cinema..."

Ode to my father article

Korean Film Festival: 'Ode to My Father' review

"...Though for some audiences the resulting tonal see-saw may prove problematic, in actuality the levity endows the moments of feeling with all the more resonance. Korean cinema often deploys such techniques and Youn proves himself adept at this potentially tricky balance, shifting back and forth between heightened sentiment and flat-out slapstick with barely a shudder..."