Free Solo – 4.5 out of 5 (Film 8 of 2019)

I’ve given this film 4.5 stars because I’m sure if I tried I could find a flaw. Seeing Free Solo is the most visceral, immersive movie-going experience I’ve had in a long time. Going into the cinema I know our free-solo climber, Alex, won’t fall to his death. Despite knowing this my palms are sweaty throughout and there are times I just have to close my eyes. I don’t suffer from vertigo (if you do, needless to say, don’t see this film) but I’m not great with heights either. Considering that the ultimate tension which might come with the question of …

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Mary, Queen of Scots – 3 out of 5 (Film 5 of 2019)

I’m giving Mary, Queen of Scots 3 out of 5 stars.  It’s my 5th film in the cinema for 2019 and the 2nd directed by a woman – Josie Rourke, a theatre director making her film debut. The film is beautifully shot. Margot Robbie is magnificent. The costuming and makeup are excellent. But I think the writing is weak and that Saoirse Ronan just isn’t quite up to the role – she didn’t seem forceful enough, maybe. I’ve liked her in other things and I’m not faulting her acting. My criticism is more around the casting or, perhaps, the directing. I …

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