Posts by Sophie Monks Kaufman

Manchester by the Sea

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Casey Affleck delivers a career-best performance in Kenneth Lonergan’s stunning meditation on loss.

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Losing faith in the world? Time to watch Imitation of Life

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Douglas Sirk’s 1959 drama is the perfect antidote to the Pandora’s box of intolerance opened by Trump.

Paterson

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

One of 2016’s finest pulls up just before the year ends, and Adam Driver is sat smiling at the wheel.

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David Oyelowo: ‘The best of us is to love and be loved’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The star of A United Kingdom talks frankly and openly about the importance of faith in life and work.

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Werner Herzog explores how the internet has shaped the modern world in this information heavy doc.

review

American Honey

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Andrea Arnold returns with a stylish but shambling teen road movie starring charismatic newcomer Sasha Lane and Shia LaBeouf.

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The five best films from Queer Lisboa 2016

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

A sensual Argentine relationship drama and a documentary about gay marriage in Myanmar were among the highlights of this year’s festival.

The Childhood of a Leader

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Actor Brady Corbet moves behind the camera for this bold, baroque exploration into the roots of political evil.

review

Alex Cox: ‘I’m more sympathetic to Lydon’s point of view than ever’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The director of Sid and Nancy reflects on the mistakes he made and discovering Gary Oldman.

Weiner

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

This intimate portrait of a doubly-disgraced US politician is one of the most vital documentaries of our time.

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A new film exposes the emotional needs of going clean

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Mallory compassionately chronicles one woman’s long and painful battle with substance abuse.

The BFG

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Steven Spielberg goes big with this magical children’s story adaptation. But is it twisted enough for Roald Dahl?

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Eva Husson explains why all the actors in Bang Gang are white

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The French writer/director on the non-diversity casting of her intimate ‘modern love story’.

Adult Life Skills

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Jodie Whittaker delivers a commanding performance in this acutely observed Brit comedy.

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Jeff Goldblum: ‘Finding out our relationship to the universe – that would be something’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Independence Day: Resurgence sees Jeff Goldblum return as Earth’s lone voice of interplanetary reason.

Adèle Exarchopoulos on filming inside France’s most notorious prison

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The young star of Blue is the Warmest Colour talks exclusively about going behind bars for Down by Love.

Why are campus rapists treated better than their victims?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Vital documentary The Hunting Ground gives a voice to the survivors of sexual attacks.

Do we need to lie in order to tell the truth?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

A new documentary portrait of JT LeRoy poses fascinating questions about identity, authenticity and artistic legitimacy.

A UK cinema is dedicating 58% of its programming to marginalised filmmakers

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The Watermelon Woman – the first film directed by an African-American lesbian – is among the titles screening at Liverpool Small Cinema.

It’s Only the End of the World – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Xavier Dolan returns to Cannes with a star-studded ensemble drama about a dysfunctional family. It’s all a bit flat.

The Last Face – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem’s suffering obscures the true victims in Sean Penn’s excruciating war zone drama.

Juliette Binoche explains how to chase freedom on feminine terms

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The French actor gave an inspiring talk about gender equality at the Cannes Film Festival.

American Honey – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Despite its frenetic energy and fine young leads, Andrea Arnold’s film never manages to rise above mediocrity.

Loving – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Jeff Nichols makes it five-for-five with this gently stirring drama about an interracial couple in ’50s America.

From the Land of the Moon – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Marion Cotillard shines in this uneven but soulful meditation on marriage and depression.

The BFG – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

There’s a dash of old-school movie magic in Steven Spielberg’s whizzpopping family fantasy.

Neruda – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The great Pablo Larraín delivers a stirring, soaring portrait of Chile’s most treasured poet.

Staying Vertical – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

French director Alain Guiraudie follows up Stranger by the Lake with another alluring and elliptical thriller.

Café Society – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Despite an effervescent Kristen Stewart, Woody Allen’s frothy period comedy fails to deliver a coherent message.

Deniz Gamze Ergüven: ‘Women are perceived through a filter of sexualisation’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The director of Mustang on why women must fight against conservative oppression.

Mustang

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

An extraordinary modern fairy tale about femininity and sisterhood from Turkey’s Deniz Gamze Ergüven.

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Evolution

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

This opaque, gorgeous mystery movie is Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s follow-up to 2004’s Innocence.

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Christian Bale: ‘Terrence Malick is a great destroyer of vanity’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Wales’ finest son sheds his batsuit to search for God and transcendence in Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups.

Tales of Cinema No. 5 – Troma’s Exploding Car

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

One of the founders of the maverick movie studio tells the story behind its famous trademark.

A practical guide to making your first short film

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Five emerging filmmakers offer essential first-hand advice for how to bring your creative vision to life.

Sensual queer shorts from before Stonewall

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center has curated a season dedicated to early explorations of LGBT themes.

Is Oslo, August 31st the coolest film ever made about being sad?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Before you see Louder Than Bombs revisit director Joachim Trier’s haunting meditation on depression.

Adult Life Skills – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Rachel Tunnard’s impressive debut feature takes a lighter look at the stresses of modern living.

I Am Belfast

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

A lyrical ode to the Northern Irish capital from writer/director Mark Cousins.

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Nasty Baby

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Sebastián Silva directs and stars in this astonishing queer drama about adult infertility.

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Sebastian Schipper: ‘I’m so fed up with people trying to sugarcoat everything’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The German director of Victoria reveals the craziest thing he’s ever done for love.

Court

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

This detailed and fascinating insight into India’s justice system throws up plenty of surprises.

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Alice Winocour: ‘I put all of my fears into this film’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

A female director making a tense action thriller is a rare beast. We meet a new and great one.

Marguerite

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

American socialite and soprano Florence Foster Jenkins is the subject of this elegant French drama.

review

Why are there no openly gay Premier League footballers?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

BFI Flare’s opening film, The Pass, is about a prominent footballer who represses his sexuality. We explore why this is still happening for real.

How to make a film out of personal experience

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

An aspiring filmmaker reveals how she set about channelling real-life struggles into her first script.

Why should we engage with films about suffering?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

A new film, PS Jerusalem, asks some difficult questions about the way we consume stories of socially marginalised people.

Anomalisa

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Beauty and tragedy abound in Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s melancholic stop-motion treasure.

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Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson: ‘We didn’t know if we were ever going to finish this movie’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

One of America’s most lauded screenwriters and a maestro of stop-motion animation have teamed up for Anomalisa.

The Witch

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Something wicked this way comes... Robert Eggers’ New England folk tale is steeped in magic and menace.

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László Nemes: ‘I wanted recreate the experience of Auschwitz’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The Hungarian director reveals how personal obsession fuelled his award-winning Holocaust drama, Son of Saul.

BAFTA Shorts 2016

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Who Framed Roger Rabbit animator Richard Williams is one of seven directors featured in this excellent short film compendium.

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How to Be Single

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson shine in this progressive comedy about sex and singledom.

review

Does Sexy Beast contain cinema’s best description of love?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Jonathan Glazer’s 2000 film mixes in a sweet, lilting romance with all the violence and swearing.

Janis: Little Girl Blue

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The iconic American singer-songwriter gets a fitting tribute from doc heavyweights Amy Berg and Alex Gibney.

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Six reasons Why Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet still rocks

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Twenty years on, Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes are as irresistible as ever in this swooning melodrama.

Kathryn Bigelow throws her hat into the race ring

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The director is shelving her Bowe Bergdahl project for a new film about the 1967 Detroit race riots.

The art of truthful storytelling

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Boston Globe journalist Mike Rezendes, played by Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight, reveals how to speak the truth.

Michael Caine: Every Bloody Thing

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The British screen icon reflects on his remarkable career ahead of his starring role in Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth.

Want to be a member of the jury at an international film festival?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

My French Film Festival, now in its sixth year, is a new form of film festival that is accessible to all.

RIP Alan Rickman – One of the good (bad) guys

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The late British actor was a star of both stage and screen, but what was it that made him such a compelling movie villain?

Letters to Leo

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

A self-confessed Leonardo DiCaprio fangirl pens a series of passionate letters describing how she fell in and out of love with The Revenant star.

Meet the teenage girl directing her way to cult success

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

First-time filmmaker Kansas Bowling talks us through the weird world of cult production house, Troma.

Will filmmakers’ visions have authority in an online future?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Xavier Dolan’s open letter to Netflix highlights a wider issue concerning the way movies are consumed in the digital age.

A vital new film tells the story of 86 women killed by their male partners

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Love You To Death immerses the viewer in the powerful and revealing stories of bereaved families and friends.

Sisters

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are good value in this fun but forgettable sibling-based comedy.

review

Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson and the moving power of artificiality

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The filmmaking duo discuss their beautiful, bewildering fever dream.

Is love a conservative force?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

A talk on queer melodrama in cinema introduced a Freudian idea that has blown our minds.

Terence Davies: ‘I’ve got a huge amount of anger inside me’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The British maestro on bringing his bucolic passion project, Sunset Song, to the big screen.

My Skinny Sister

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Anorexia as seen from all vantages within the nuclear family is the subject of this impressive drama.

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Carol

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Todd Haynes’ period romance starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara is a beaming masterpiece.

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Watch this short film about a man trying to open a bank account

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Discover this rarely seen animated gem by a one-time Buster Keaton collaborator.

The Russian Woodpecker

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Ukrainian artist Feder Alexandrovich serves as a key witness to the untold story of the Chernobyl disaster.

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My Nazi Legacy

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Two German men confront the sins of their fathers in this exceptional documentary.

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Can Xavier Dolan save Taylor Kitsch’s film career?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The True Detective star joins Jessica Chastain and Kit Harrington in the director’s first English language project.

Watch this amazing Michael Caine masterclass on film acting

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The veteran British actor discusses his craft in this essential archive interview.

The pros and cons of watching a 13 hour film at the cinema

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Help our writer to decide whether she should take on the ultimate cine-challenge: Jacques Rivette’s Out 1

The Lady in the Van

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Alan Bennett’s hit autobiographical play from 1999 receives a mild but quietly magical screen adaptation.

review

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The final roll of the dice for Katniss and crew sadly doesn’t match previous instalments.

review

Brief Encounter (1945)

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Rural train platforms were transformed forever by this high peak of screen romance from David Lean.

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He Named Me Malala

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

This cagey documentary portrait fails to do justice to its inspiring subject, Malala Yousafzai.

review

Burnt

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Bradley Cooper as an egomaniac master chef makes for unintentionally hilarious viewing.

review

Saoirse Ronan: ‘I felt a huge responsibility making this film’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The Brooklyn star on stepping back into 1950s New York and how Colm Tóibín’s source novel affected her.

Make More Noise! Suffragettes in Silent Film

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

A collection of early Suffragettes films – some great, some not so much.

review

Why I love Louis Theroux

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

LWLies sings the praises of one of Britain’s most intrepid and endearing film journalists.

The Geena Davis brand of feminism is irresistible

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The actor brought us to tears at her recent London Film Festival symposium.

Carey Mulligan: ‘I don’t have the guts to endure what these women did’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The British actress describes the brutal realities of the Suffragette movement.

What makes a feminist porn film?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Erika Lust is a Swedish porn director informed by sex-positive, feminist, art-film values.

Dressed as a Girl

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

This episodic jaunt through east London’s drag scene offers colour a-plenty though lacks cohesion.

review

Orion: The Man Who Would Be King

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Don’t miss Jeanie Finlay’s portrait of an enigmatic Elvis impersonator.

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The seven provocations

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

A London panel event looked to ask questions about how best to achieve gender equality in the film industry.

Tangerines

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Estonia’s first Oscar-nominated feature gleefully exposes the inherent absurdity of war.

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In Cold Blood (1967)

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Richard Brooks’ adaptation of Truman Capote's seminal work is well worth revisiting.

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Can movies be a form of medicine?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Do films like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and The Wolfpack examine how cinema can help us to understand life?

45 Years

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay are on top form in Andrew Haigh’s devastating relationship drama.

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Why the sex scene in 45 Years is a modern classic

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Andrew Haigh captures the timeless terror, trepidation and humour of sex in his brilliant new film.

Addicted to Sheep

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

If you love staring at sheep for long periods of time, this may be your Citizen Kane.

review

Andrew Haigh: ‘I try to make my characters as complex and messy as possible’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The director of Weekend and 45 Years talks to LWLies about how he creates authentic, lived-in characters.

The Forgotten Kingdom

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

This Lesotho-set drama of family reconnection is the enemy of dramatic originality.

review

Gemma Bovery

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

This quaint French farce brings the best out of its star, Gemma Arterton.

review

52 Tuesdays

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Gender reassignment surgery is the MacGuffin in this Australian time-lapse family drama about growing up.

review

Greta Gerwig: ‘I’ve never felt successful at being someone who looks perfect’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The writer and star of Mistress America opens up about how she learned to love her flaws.

Inside Out

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Pixar are firing on all pistons with this wonderful, colour-coded exploration of a child’s inner psyche.

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A letter to a teenage girl

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The BBFC says that the target audience for The Diary of a Teenage Girl shouldn’t be able to see it.

Should cinemas programme screenings for avid phone users?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Getting annoyed with socially maladjusted idiots could soon be a thing of the past.

Watch this short film about sex from a female perspective

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Check out this choice cut from director Signe Baumane’s brilliant The Teat Beat of Sex series.

A 10 point guide to saving 35mm

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Director of the Close-Up Film Centre Damien Sanville offers a possible route to a 35mm revival.

Amy

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Asif Kapadia’s intimate portrait of the late soul singer is too set on driving its own narrative agenda.

review

Five reasons to celebrate male objectification in Magic Mike XXL

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Channing Tatum and co’s triumphant return is an endorsement for sexual empowerment, not exploitation.

Magic Mike XXL

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Channing Tatum leads a troupe of sensitive male strippers in this explosively sexy road trip movie.

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Why The Land Before Time is one of the greatest kids’ movie ever made

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

In the wake of his untimely death, we remember James Horner’s vital contribution to this family classic.

Les Combattants

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Adèle Haenel’s ingenue allure elevates Thomas Cailley's sweet-natured survivalist romance.

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A guide to being a minority in the film industry

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

A recent interview with Marianne Jean-Baptiste has inspired our angry sarcastic side.

Can films change the world?

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

It’s possible for a movie to have a positive impact on society and the individual.

The Look of Silence

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Joshua Oppenheimer’s bloodcurdling and brilliant follow-up to his doc smash, The Act of Killing.

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The Supreme Price

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

This rousing documentary provides a personal, feminist entry point to Nigeria’s pro-Democracy movement.

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Marguerite et Julien – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Anaïs Demoustier and Jérémie Elkaïm are perfectly cast in this rewarding tale of forbidden love.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

This monochrome Iranian vampire skater movie announces its director Ana Lily Amirpour as an exciting but wayward talent.

review

Youth – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The director of The Great Beauty returns with a gorgeous, flippant comedy on mortality with Michael Caine in the lead.

Inside Out – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Pixar’s delightful and sophisticated latest takes us on a dazzling journey into the mind of a child.

Mia Madre – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Nanni Moretti’s chronicle of the death of a filmmaker’s mother is continuously out of thematic focus.

Amy – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Asif Kapadia’s melodramatic portrait of the late jazz singer fails to hit all the right notes.

One Floor Below – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Romanian New Waver Radu Muntean delivers a superlative twist on the murder mystery genre.

Standing Tall – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Emmanuelle Bercot kicks off this year’s Cannes in blistering style with this sensitive delinquent drama.

James Horner reveals the story behind five of his classic film scores

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The lauded movie composer goes deep on Steven Spielberg, Terrence Malick and Rick Moranis.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Joss Whedon has once again assembled a creamy cast to have a whole lot of fun with the blockbuster template.

review

Adam Driver: The Limits of Control

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

LWLies talks to the actor whose star is currently in swift and unstoppable ascent.

The Voices

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Talking household pets are the source of a murderous rampage in Marjane Satrapi’s wicked, comic-tinged slasher movie.

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Xavier Dolan: ‘I’ve never experienced love as something calm and tender’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The mercurial Mommy writer/director talks candidly about love, life and superheroes.

Kim Longinotto: ‘I’m bewildered by the way we don’t talk about things’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The acclaimed British documentarian on Dreamcatcher and why we all need to start standing up to child abuse.

The Duke of Burgundy and the mysterious language of love

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Despite its lesbian and lepidoptera themes, Peter Strickland’s relationship drama is anchored by universal truths about domestic role-play.

Fifty Shades of Grey

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

A femme-driven cumming-of-ager with ripe dialogue, nudie montages and a feisty lead in Dakota Johnson.

review

Knight of Cups – first look review

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

This glistening pearl from Terrence Malick is a heady, transcendent treatise on love.

Whiplash

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Shake, rattle and brawl. A student drummer faces off with his psycho teacher in Damien Chazelle’s pulsating drama.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Could this satire on the power of propaganda be the greatest third part to a film franchise ever?

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The Imitation Game

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Benedict Cumberbatch’s pitch perfect turn as Alan Turing isn’t enough to decipher this remarkable true story.

review

Mr Turner

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Timothy Spall grunts his way to glory in Mike Leigh’s elegantly composed portrait of JMW Turner.

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Mike Leigh: ‘I’m interested in the space between words’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

LWLies sits for the British cinema icon who doesn’t mince his words to talk Mr Turner.

How women can improve their lot in the film industry

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Bleak stats aside, women are making positive steps towards equality.

The Boxtrolls

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

A delightful, comic animation with sophisticated social themes from the makers of ParaNorman and Coraline.

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Pride

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Stranger-than-fiction events power this affirmative, funny and well-cast social drama about solidarity.

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Robert Pattinson: ‘I want to do a Godard movie’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The Rover star reflects on his swift transformation into an actor who's always up for a challenge.

Chinese Puzzle

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Cédric Klapisch rounds off his star-spangled, globe-hopping serial in the Big Apple, with mildly amusing results.

review

Blue Ruin

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

This hard-boiled, unironic revenge thriller is held together by a mesmerising lead performance from Macon Blair.

review

A Story of Children and Film

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The itinerant and inquisitive cinephile delivers this moving child-based addendum to his mammoth The Story of Film.

review

Why ‘Under the Skin’ author Michel Faber is one of the best writers around

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Celebrating the reclusive author whose words have been transformed into one of the year’s most beguiling movies.

The Invisible War

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

A tough, traumatic investigation into widespread rape in the US army by veteran documentarian Kirby Dick.

review

Alain Guiraudie: ‘I’m dealing with my own experience of sexuality’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

The French director has finally reached the mainstream with a murder mystery set on a gay nudist beach. LWLies met him.

Spike Jonze: ‘I try to make everything I make personal’

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

LWLies gets up close and (too?) personal with the cherished Her director.

Blue is the Warmest Colour

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Abdellatif Kechiche’s passionate lesbian love story is a screen romance that’s built for the long-haul.

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Nymphomaniac

By Sophie Monks Kaufman

Lars von Trier’s two-part psychosexual epic makes for invigorating, profound and occasionally baffling viewing.

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Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, LWLies has been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.

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