Well bugger me with a candlestick and call me Karen if it isn't that time of year again: it's the London Film Festival, a whole entire festival of films about London Records, the label that was home to such stellar talent as The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top and Gay Dad. What's that? Oh, right. Ignore me. Here are some film reviews!
There's much to love here, not least some eye-ripplingly gorgeous animated sequences and a pivotal performance from Felicity Jones, but while Bayona is busy tugging on your heartstrings in the final act he's letting the opportunity for a truly thought-provoking fable slip through his fingers. Also, just a thought: when writing the lonely, awkward schoolboy with problems at home requiring a supernatural solution these days, I'm fairly sure writers aren't legally obliged to include the three antagonistic bullies, the leader of whom is clearly destined for a nasty comeuppance. And yet here we are.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour award at this year's LFF for the most comically extended scenes of fanny-on-fanny action which do more to titillate than advance the plot, although at least Abdellatif Kechiche's 2013 sapphic slurpathon had a believable and tender love story behind it.
Park's film, based on Sarah Waters' novel Fingersmith, is a tale of con artists, double-crosses and heavy scissoring which starts off slowly, finds its rhythm in the middle and reaches a satisfying climax, but goes on so long your buttocks eventually get sore. Completely rewriting the novel's third act, Park stretches the story into a flabby revenge tale that lacks the lean, mean spark of his celebrated Vengeance trilogy. As expected, it's sumptuously shot and has a healthy seam of black humour running through it, but Park's shock tactics have lurched from smartly-crafted stomach-churning violence and brain-spinning plot wrinkles to adolescent lesbian fantasies. That's all well and good if you just fancy a wank, but less so if you came to the cinema for a different kind of stimulation.