films seen
average score
Alive and kicking



2021 / 117m - UK
Spencer poster

After the success of Jackie, it's no surprise Pablo Larraín would go on to tackle another strong female icon. He landed on Princess Diana and managed to cast Kristen Stewart for the role, next to a pretty impressive secondary cast. The result is intriguing, though a little aimless and somewhat untrustworthy (which is always tricky for a biography).

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Princess Diana arrives at Sandringham estate to spend the Christmas period with the royal family. She hates the traditions and the way her life is lived for her at these gatherings. Her every move is watched and discussed, which puts her on edge. Even her servants worry about her physical and mental health.

Larraín keeps a tight focus and uses this particular event to showcase Diana's broader discontent with her life as a princess. A discomforting soundtrack and strong performance of Stewart add the necessary flair, but the film is rather one-note and the picture that is being painted of Diana does feel a little simplistic. At least it's a very cinematic picture, which is a nice change of pace for a biography.


2019 / 107m - Chile
Drama, Music
Ema poster

Decent drama with some telling and powerful moments, but overall a bit too Dardenne-esque for my liking. The camera work is fine, performances are decent and some of the sets are really stunning, even so the drama itself left me pretty cold and the quality wasn't very consistent. The potential was there, but film didn't always cash in on it.


2016 / 100m - USA
Jackie poster

Larrain's first big Hollywood project. The nice thing is that he didn't try to make a typical American film, even though the subject is as American as you can get. Jackie could've been a run-of-the-mill biography about one of the most famous presidential wives the US has seen, but Larrain makes it into something more.

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The film focuses on a very limited set of moments in Jackie Kennedy's life, with the main thread being an interview conducted right after the assassination of her husband. Even though the film is called Jackie, JFK is a looming presence who is felt in every scene, and in every action Jackie undertakes.

The soundtrack is notable, Portman's performance is strong and the film has a clear visual identity. Some parts are more interesting than others (I didn't care much for the White House tour) and the structure is a little predictable (though a nice variation on the more typical biopic), but all in all, a good film.


2012 / 118m - Chile
No poster

Cute, but a little long and repetitive. I wasn't familiar with the story, which is based on real events, though the comedic undertones make me a little weary of how much truth-bending was involved. Regardless, it makes for a pretty amusing film, which was more than I expected going in.

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Augusto Pinochet is forced to put a referendum regarding his presidency. Both Yes and No campaigns get 15 minutes of TV time every day. This prompts the No campaign to hire a reckless advertiser. Under strict supervision, he develops a daring plan that may win them the election.

Bernal's performance is strong and the premise is golden. I wasn't too happy with the filter to make the film look older and the advertising angle started to wear a little thing after a while. Even so, it's pretty crazy to think a version of this actually happened, and Larraín did a decent job turning that into a movie.

I'm a big fan of anthologies, and this project sounded very promising on paper. Seventy renowned directors give their vision on the future of cinema. With just one minute per short, there isn't much time to make a point, but it's disheartening to see how few of them even managed to stick to the topic.

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The saddest part was that many of the short didn't even deal with the future, but openly referred to or praised the medium's past. There's also a lot of doom and gloom, with some very basic visions of people not caring enough about arthouse cinema, or playing movies on their phones. Your typical old-man-yelling-at-cloud stuff.

There is only a small selection of directors who seem to have understood the brief, and they struggle to make the most of their limited runtime. What remains is a complete mess, with most shorts looking like they were made on people's afternoon off, and hardly anything that stands out. A disappointment.