Thursday, 24 November 2016

Crisp Criticism- "Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk", "Nocturnal Animals", "Cemetery of Splendour"

Julien Faddoul

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk **

A 19-year-old specialist soldier is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle that was caught on tape.
A film that many may find a tough sit, not due to its content but rather its technique, which utilises a method of high-frame-rate photography that creates a jarring sense of tactility to the image and in its inhabitants (its director’s preference is for audiences to view it in 120fps 3D). The result is more akin to gazing out a window than viewing a cinema screen. It is certainly fascinating but seldom successful, particularly when married to the rather conventional story Lee wants to tell.

d – Ang Lee
w – Jean-Christophe Castelli   (Based on the Novel by Ben Fountain)
ph – John Toll
pd – Mark Friedberg
m – Mychael Danna, Jeff Danna
ed – Tim Squyres
cos – Joseph G. Aulisi

p – Ang Lee, Marc Platt, Stephen Cornwell, Rhodri Thomas

Cast: Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel, Steve Martin, Tim Blake Nelson, Makenzie Leigh

Nocturnal Animals  *

A successful art exhibitor receives a book manuscript from her ex-husband — a man she left 20 years earlier — asking for her opinion of his writing. As she reads, she is affected by the violent story it tells.
Arch, overdone modernist relationship study, the second film by its fashion-designer-turned-filmmaker who can’t stop playing with every cinematic toy offered to him. It is given interest by a few crackling performances.

wd – Tom Ford   (Based on the Novel by Austin Wright)
ph – Seamus McGarvey
pd – Shane Valentino
m – Abel Korzeniowski
ed – Joan Sobel
cos – Arianne Phillips

p – Tom Ford, Robert Salerno

Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Ellie Bamber, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Karl Glusman, Robert Aramayo, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen, Jena Malone, India Menuez, Imogen Waterhouse, Zawe Ashton

Cemetery of Splendor ***

In a small Thai hospital, ten soldiers are being treated for a mysterious sleeping sickness.
Weerasethakul at his most uncomplicated: bringing all his philosophies and cultural specificity closer to the foreground than ever before. The grace is not to merely observe the sights, sounds and cadence of another culture through a camera but rather experience it through the soul of the cinema. His hallucinatory rhythms remain unparalleled.

wd – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
ph – Diego García
ad – Pichan Muangduang, Akekarat Homlaor
ed – Lee Chatametikool

p – Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Michael Weber, Keith Griffiths, Hans W. Geissendörfer, Simon Field, Charles de Meaux

Cast: Jenjira Pongpas Widner, Banlop Lomnoi, Jarinpattra Rueangram


  1. I always love reading a 3 star review! I'm glad you found a good catch. Lovely writing as always.

  2. ANOTHER series of no zero star reviews? Sell out.