About Me

I am a London-based film critic, on the search for new outlets for my work. I currently contribute to Loud and Clear Reviews, Scannain, Headstuff, and am co-host of 'Culture Corner' on Radio Harrow. I also contribute to The 250 Podcast.

I am available for articles, reviews, interviews and festivals. I have previously attended and covered:

- Cannes Film Festival

- Venice Film Festival

- BFI London Film Festival,

- Dublin International Film Festival.

If any journalists, editors, producers etc. like what they see here, get in touch:

Email: cynicalfilm@gmail.com

X/Instagram/Letterboxd: @CynicalFilm

Recent Work

Eephus review: Out with the old, but one more game first

With humour and insight, Carson Lund paints a vivid portrait of Americana in flux in baseball gem Eephus.

For his debut feature as director, the indie baseball comedy Eephus, he also co-wrote, co-produced, edited, and worked on the soundtrack. Our passions can mean the world to us, and Lund uses his debut to explore what happens when an outlet for those passions gets taken away. For all the brawny energy it brings, Eephus mourns the passing of tradition in subtle but potent ways.

It’s Sunday a

Emilia Pérez Film Review: Audiard the Audacious

Emilia Pérez is about as unlikely as a musical gets, but bombastic performances and direction make it a very memorable watch.

The French director never shies away from a challenge. After forays into English and Tamil, Audiard hops to Mexico City for his Spanish language debut, and throws himself into the staging of this most unlikely sing-song. That any of it works at all is a miracle, but it gets by on sheer chutzpah.

As a story, Emilia Pérez is pure Audiard. As a screenwriter and filmmaker,

Oh, Canada Review: Schrader's Cannes confession

Paul Schrader’s Oh, Canada is a critical but moving account of confession in the face of one’s own mortality.

If the protagonist of Oh, Canada is an avatar of the writer/director, then his anger has curdled into sickness and loneliness. This is no bad thing. The bracing honesty of Oh, Canada is refreshing, not an adjective you expect to use for work from a 78-year-old filmmaker. It refreshes because the film is so open about its main character being a terrible person. Leonard Fife isn’t a facto

Megalopolis Film Review: Coppola’s Grand Folly

Francis Ford Coppola’s self-made epic Megalopolis is big, brassy and dreadfully indulgent. Years of cult fandom and overanalysis await.

Coppola is one of the few filmmakers who can make projects of this scale, ambition and abrasiveness. Any fallout from his filmmaking remains to be seen, but Megalopolis should be appreciated for getting made in the first place, especially when risk-averse studios claim they can’t market such grandiosity and visual lunacy (How hard can it be to put “From the leg

Unfrosted Film Review: Tastes Tart, Lacks Pop

Jerry Seinfeld’s corporate satire Unfrosted fails to bring many effective jokes or a strong message to the (breakfast) table.

Thankfully, Unfrosted is just that. Director/co-writer/star Jerry Seinfeld is the world’s best-known connoisseur of breakfast cereal (Can you think of any others?), and opts to take a curious side-eyed look at the creation of that snack that you might recall having a few times as a child, but haven’t given an active thought to in decades. No-one was screaming out for Unf

Finding hope in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia

As Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia turns 25, we explore how it continues to offer hope to its characters and its audience.

*This article contains spoilers for the entirety of Magnolia.*

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past”

When William Faulkner wrote “Requiem For a Nun,” he couldn’t have imagined how much the lines above would stick with the general populace. We are all products of the past, but we are also slaves to it, never able to escape. Paul Thomas Anderson’s magnum opus Magn

Interview: Pat Collins on That They May Face The Rising Sun

John McGahern’s 2003 novel That They May Face The Rising Sun sounds like perfect material for writer-director Pat Collins. The acclaimed director of Song of Granite and Silence brings his calm and patient eye to this tale of two emigrés, Joe and Kate (Barry Ward and Anna Bederke), returning to Joe’s home in rural Ireland from London for a different pace of living. Collins and co-writer Éamon Little’s adaptation stays true to McGahern’s spirit. It honours the spirit of rural communities, while al

DIFF 2024 Review | Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World is Consistently Funny and Shockingly Intelligent

You shouldn’t judge a film by its title any more than you should judge a book by its cover, but the ethos of Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World is summed up in that title. Radu Jude’s masterful exploration of modern malaise is despairing but wise, trying to make sense of the modern world’s woes. The title evokes another woebegone exploration of the contemporary world, T.S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Hollow Men’. Like the modernist Eliot, Jude trades in provocative imagery and caustic commen

DIFF 2024 Preview | 10 Must-See Movies Coming to the Dublin International Film Festival

Since its inception in 2003, the Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) has endeavoured to bring the best of international cinema to Irish audiences, and the 2024 slate is no exception. With films from some of the most exciting filmmakers around, this year’s selection offers plenty to ponder, revile, provoke and amaze.

This year’s festival takes place from 22nd February – 2nd March. Here are 10 films we recommend catching:

London-based Irish filmmakers Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy return

Christine Molloy & Joe Lawlor on Baltimore: LFF Interview

We interview husband-and-wife writer-directors Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor on their new thriller Baltimore, a retelling of an IRA art heist.

Baltimore tells the fascinating story of Rose Dugdale, an English heiress who rejected that life to volunteer for the IRA in the early 1970s, culminating in taking part in what was then the biggest art heist ever perpetrated. In April 1974, Dugdale and three others robbed priceless gems by European masters from Russborough House, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Daaaaaali!: LFF Film Review

Daaaaaali! is sublimely nonsensical fun, not at all to be taken seriously, yet with some clever commentary at play too.

At this year’s autumn film festivals, first Venice and now London, biopics of all shapes and sizes showed that this often-predictable genre is capable of taking risks and unleashing surprises. While the likes of Ferrari and Priscilla play things safe, you’ll also find the likes of the hilarious Hit Man or the deeply felt Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus to challenge expectations. Eve

Baltimore (2023): LFF Film Review

Try as the cast might, Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy‘s film Baltimore fails to get under the skin of a determined firebrand.

In their 2022 film essay The Future Tense, husband and wife filmmaking duo Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy took stock; of themselves, their careers, their country. Though London-based, the pair retain a distinctly Irish point of view in their films, either setting them in Ireland, or at least featuring characters from the diaspora. One of the throughlines of The Futur

Selman Nacar on Hesitation Wound: Interview

We sit down for an interview with writer-director Selman Nacar to discuss Hesitation Wound, his day-in-the-life Turkish courtroom drama.

The Orizzonti strand at the Venice Film Festival is dedicated to highlighting the most interesting up-and-coming voices in world cinema. On the evidence of Hesitation Wound (Tereddüt Çizgisi), writer-director Selman Nacar is a voice worth hearing.

Hesitation Wound centres on Canan (Tülin Özen), a defence lawyer living and working in the Turkish city of Usak.

Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus: Film Review

Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus is an elegant and moving tribute to (and from) a world class musical talent.

When the death of Ryuichi Sakamoto was announced in March this year, his loss was rightly mourned by music fans around the world. Sakamoto ultimately succumbed to cancer but, taking a leaf out of the books of David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, he decided to leave a record of his work for the world to appreciate before he passed. Thus, we get Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus, a simple but beautiful tribute

Coup de Chance: Venice Film Review

With Coup de Chance, Woody Allen proves he’s still capable of delivering a short and sweet charmer, even in a new country and language.

With Coup de Chance, Woody Allen proves that a change is as good as a rest. He fulfils a long-held ambition to make a film in France with a Francophone cast, and the gambit pays off. Despite the new setting (dictated by necessity as much as anything else), the familiar speech patterns, elegant settings and wry humour are firmly in place. Even the opening cred

#Review: The Killer – Venice Film Festival 2023

An assassin has to be a ruthless and efficient machine. No distractions, no, misgivings, no room for error. It’s a discipline that Christian (Michael Fassbender) reiterates time and time again in The Killer (His repeated mantra is, “Stick to the plan.”). The same rigorous efficiency applies to David Fincher. No matter what the film, whether the playful nonsense of The Game or witnessing the birth of the future in The Social Network, Fincher commits to bringing the story to life with precision an

#Review: Maestro – Venice Film Festival 2023

It takes creativity to talk about creativity. Leonard Bernstein was one of the most consistent and engaging creatives of the 20th century. As composer and conductor, his influence continues to inspire, and not just in the world of music. Maestro was a longtime project on Steven Spielberg’s roster but, while remaining a producer on the final film, he opted to hand over the reins of the film to Bradley Cooper. The success of his remake of A Star Is Born was due in no small part to his effortless b

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