Costume Drama

The Childhood of a Leader

The story of a sociopath learning his trade, beautifully crafted in old-school filmmaking.

The Assassin

It’s been eight years since Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s last feature, the Paris-set Flight of the Red Balloon (2007), and the idea for his latest film, The Assassin, had been gestating in his mind for a quarter of a century. But now, Hou’s unique and idiosyncratic take on the wuxia (martial arts films) has finally […]


Women voting, no big deal, right? But it is. For centuries, British women not only lacked the vote but enjoyed no rights within the home. Requests for justice were met with immovable male condescension until the requests escalated into demands and women activists embarked on a Weather Underground-style insurgency. Contrary to their prim image today, […]

Carol | Cannes 2015

Of all the films in the official Cannes Film Festival competition this year, Carol should have been awarded the Most Valuable Player. It ticks off nearly all the boxes: strong acting all around; a rich, muted, Edward Hopper–esque palette; impeccable period details, namely the prim and proper costuming; and, most importantly, the straightforward direction by […]

Far From the Madding Crowd

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg Produced by Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich Written by David Nicholls, based on the novel by Thomas Hardy Released by Fox Searchlight Pictures UK/USA. 120 min. Rated PG-13 With Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge, Juno Temple, and Jessica Barden Wow, Carey Mulligan, why are you making those faces […]

Beloved Sisters

Written and Directed by Dominik Graf Produced by Uschi Reich Released by Music Box Films Germany/Austria. 170 min. Not Rated German with English subtitles With Hannah Herzsprung, Florian Stetter, Henriette Confurius, Maja Maranow and Andreas Pietschmann This beautiful historical drama passionately depicts how the political, social, and cultural revolutionary fervor sweeping late 18th-century Europe inspired […]

Stonehearst Asylum

Directed by Brad Anderson Produced by Bruce Davey, Mel Gibson, Mark Amin Written by Joe Gangemi, based on the short story “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether” by Edgar Allan Poe Released by Millennium Entertainment USA. 112 min. Rated PG-13 With Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine, Brendan Gleeson, and David […]

The Beast/Immoral Tales

The Beast (1975). 93 min. Immoral Tales (1974). 103 min. Written & Directed by Walerian Borowcyk French with English subtitles Back in the early 1970s, as porn was poking it’s way into the mainstream, a few daring filmmakers raised on arty fare like Bergman and Fellini tried to incorporate some deep ideas with blatant erotica, […]

Miss Julie

Written and Directed by Liv Ullmann, based on the play by August Strindberg Produced by Synnove Horsdal, Oliver Dungey and Teun Hilte Released by Wrekin Hill Entertainment USA. 129 min. Not rated With Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, and Nora McMenamy Creating a film version of a three-character 19th-century play for modern audiences is […]