Review: Hurt by Paradise

Hurt by Paradise 

Cert 12A ★★★

A whimsical debut feature and an ode to the modern-day city of London from multitalented director, writer, poet and actor Greta Bellamacina. She stars as Celeste Blackwood, a young mother trying to carve out a career as a poet. 

Her friend and neighbour Stella (played by co-writer Sadie Brown), dreams of hitting the big time as an actress, but spends much of her time babysitting Celeste’s son instead of pursuing her own dreams. There’s a brief – too brief – cameo from the brilliant Jaime Winstone, while Youtuber-turned-actor Tanya Burr also co-stars.

Bellamacina and her co-authors Sadie Brown and Robert Montgomery present a perceptive and often hilariously funny story about friendship and family ties in this glorious adventure. 

Understated and lo-fi, as a picture Hurt By Paradise has undeniable ambition. Although the storyline itself is not always entirely coherent, it is never boring, and is both handsomely acted and full of charming and surreal moments.

This review was first published in The Daily Mirror on 18/09/20


Review: The Devil All The Time

Cert 18 ★★★★


This engaging gothic thriller is set in the postwar American bible belt and is adapted from Donald Ray Pollock’s critically acclaimed novel of the same name.

produced by Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain) and directed by Antonio Campos, the film features an impressive ensemble cast comprised of Tom Holland, Eliza Scanlen and Robert Pattinson amongst other current  Hollywood big hitters. It  follows a series of sinister characters who converge around a young man determined to protect those he loves. 

This is a genuinely thrilling, gorgeously acted and at times deeply unsettling story full of surprising twists and turns and featuring some genuinely thrilling performances all around. 

This review was originally published in The Daily Morror on 18/09/20