The blog of Amon Warmann: Film journalist.

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Latest

Interview | Director Stephen Daldry Discusses Trash

Stephen Daldry

Though his latest film is only the fifth in Stephen Daldry’s 16-year career, it’s not for lack of projects. Indeed, between pre-production on new Netflix television series The Crown, an upcoming adaptation of stage-musical Wicked, and at least two stage productions due to play this year, he’s arguably Britain’s busiest director.

The topic of our chat was Trash, which focuses on three Brazilian teenagers who become embroiled in a major scandal when they stumble across a sought-after wallet with incriminating contents.

In the interview, Daldry talks about casting and working with the young actors, collaborating with talented editor Elliot Graham, and much more. Hit the jump to have a watch.

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Film Review | A Most Violent Year

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★★★★☆

If there’s one thing which is clear about writer-director J. C. Chandor by now, it’s that he likes to switch it up. His debut feature Margin Call was a talky, deservedly Oscar-nominated financial drama with dialogue to spare. It was followed by the Robert Redford-starring All is Lost, a survivalist drama with hardly any speech at all. For his third feature Chandor has once again opted for something completely different, fashioning a sharp and sophisticated film about the heating oil industry that may be his most satisfying work to date.

Set in a wintery 1981 New York, A Most Violent Year follows Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac), a Latin-American immigrant who, along with his wife Anna (Jessica Chastain), has his sights set on closing a deal that will expand his heating oil company and give him the edge over his competitors. For that to happen, Abel will have to overcome some potentially crippling external obstacles; His drivers are getting assaulted by thugs who are then stealing fuel from his trucks, the local D.A. (David Oyelowo) is mounting a case against him, and a shadowy figure looms outside his new home. Even as the screws tighten though, Abel is determined to go about his business in the right way.

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Competition | Win ‘Obvious Child’ on DVD

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To celebrate the home entertainment release of Obvious Child, I’m giving three lucky readers a chance to win a copy on DVD.

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Competition | Win ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ on Blu-Ray

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To celebrate the home entertainment release of A Walk Among the Tombstones on January 19th, I’m giving three lucky readers a chance to win a copy on Blu-ray.

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Film Trailer | Avengers: Age of Ultron

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For as fun and entertaining as the films in Marvel’s cinematic universe have been thus far, one element almost all of them have lacked is a physically imposing and truly memorable villain. To clarify, this is not to say that Loki was underwhelming in Avengers Assemble, only that watching the Hulk dismantle him in 2.3 seconds (awesome as it was) felt just a little too easy.

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Film Review | Whiplash

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★★★★★

What does it take to be the best?

It’s a question that all who strive to attain the highest levels of success ask themselves, and it’s a question that Whiplash – the superb sophomore feature from writer-director Damien Chazelle – poses in riveting, effective, and wonderfully ambiguous fashion.

Miles Teller stars as Andrew Neiman, an ambitious 19-year old drummer who’s determined to become one of the greats. That’s led him to the (fictional) Shaffer Conservatory of Music in New York, where infamous instructor Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) presides over an award-winning jazz band. All appears to be going well when Andrew catches Fletcher’s eye and is promoted to his top tier ensemble. It’s then that the instructor’s verbal, emotional, and physically abusive teaching methods are made brutally clear, and as Andrew pushes himself to dangerous lengths to meet Fletcher’s demanding standards, the question for both mentor and student is how far is too far in the pursuit of greatness.

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Film Review | Big Eyes

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★★★☆☆

There are few filmmakers today whose work is as instantly recognisable as Tim Burton’s. A perusal of his recent back catalogue will reveal recurring themes, gothic aesthetics, and the same cadre of actors – most frequently Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter – often backed by a Danny Elfman score. Though there are a couple of Burton-isms here and there Big Eyes is very much unlike the director’s recent fare, a fine and surprisingly complex piece of work which suggests he should step out of his weird and wonderful comfort zone more often.

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