The Guardian


Under the Shadow

Iran-born, London-based writer/ director Babak Anvari’s brilliant Farsi chiller was shot in Jordan but was the UK’s entry for the foreign language film Oscar. Focusing on a mother and daughter [played by Avin Manshadi, above] besieged by forces both worldly and otherwise in a Tehran apartment block, it was a genre-straddling delight. As with The Babadook, Anvari’s debut feature made you scared because you cared, conjuring a

Historians will cite Mark Jenkin’s Bait as a milestone in the evolution of British cinema

drama that worked equally well as a feminist fable, a fractured family drama and a full-on frightfest. This was also the year in which I wrestled with reviews of Son of Saul, Embrace of the Serpent and Notes on Blindness

– very different movies from around the world, all of which reminded me why I first fell in love with cinema.