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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Norte 08 article
litro

Feature Film: Norte, The End Of History

"...It is common with films of such breadth and heft for commentary to remark on how quickly time passes given the ungainly length; this would be imprudent in the case of Norte. Its massive runtime does not fly by; the narrative outlined above slowly percolates throughout the rhythmic four hours that often have more interesting, if less obvious themes to tackle. This is another work of staggering aspiration from Lav Diaz, exploring the effects that recent history has had on the people of his country, pitting political views against one another whilst equally questioning the role of religion and God in his own culture and society...."

Omar %281%29 article
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Feature film: Omar

"...Where the sheltered walkways and narrow paths had seemed like home to our protagonist, they begin to close in on him as suspicions rise. The love story appeared to be playing out so idyllically begins to sour with mistrust whilst Omar’s position with the authorities and resistance becomes untenable. Bakri does a fantastic job of reigning in his character as the plot contorts in ever more melodramatic ways and the realities of survival in this game of cat and mouse emerge as ever more lethal..."

Her article
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Feature Film: Her

The endlessly fascinating Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore Twombly, a lyrical and lonesome writer in the sun-kissed near future of Spike Jonze’s rom.com, Her.

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Interview: Calin Peter Netzer

Calin Peter Netzer talks about his award-winning drama, Child’s Pose, which arrives in cinemas November 1...

12yearsaslave article
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LFF: 12 Years a Slave

...Those arriving at 12 Years a Slave expecting the same artistic visuals as in his previous films may be somewhat disappointed that here, McQueen has dialed it down - in doing so, though, he has enabled himself to mature as a filmmaker...

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LFF: Inside Llewyn Davis

A tender tale of artistic failure dressed up as endeavour - The Coen Brothers return with a story about a man adrift in the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1960s New York

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LFF: Child’s Pose

An exceptional portrait of overbearing maternal love that simultaneously casts an eye over the hierarchies of Romanian society...

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LFF: The Selfish Giant

The relationship of two northern boys is the centre of this social realist film in Clio Barnard's deftly-handled second feature...

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LFF: Like Father, Like Son

Following the beautiful I Wish, Koreeda Hirokazu once again proves himself an exceptional director of children in a tale where two sets of parents must deal with the revelation that their children have been mixed up at birth

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LFF: Blue is the Warmest Colour

Surviving the cries of exploitation and the moniker of "The French Lesbian epic", just, Abdellatif Kechiche's three-hour picture explores the highs and lows of young love and sexual awakening...

Thecongress article
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LFF: The Congress

Amidst the polychromatic, dreamlike animation that makes up the second half of Ari Folman’s psychedelic sci-fi, The Congress, Robin Wright (the character, played by and based on the actress) is offered a pill. Much like the choice Morpheus affords Neo in The Matrix, this pill represents the opportunity to peel back the surrounding falsehoods, and experience the world as it truly is...

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LFF: Nobody’s Daughter Haewon

Hong Sang-soo's incidental, but charming tale of an illicit affair and a young woman adrift in modern Seoul...

Ida article
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LFF: Ida

...Both are restrained, unremittingly sober, and neither appears destined to embrace life’s more frivolous sides. Each of them embarks on a journey to explore post-war Poland and deal with the consequences of loss. The stoicism of both film and character could both prove dour for wide audiences, but through their subtleties and silences they each prove moving and compelling in their own ways...

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Feature Film: Pieta

Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk returns to British cinemas with his drama about a lost soul and mother trying to do right by her son infused with the director’s trademark sex and violence....

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Interview: Umut Dag | Litro

Umut Dag, director of this week’s feature film review, Kuma, talks to us about his compelling new drama...