Ecrire une critique de film en anglais

You have to write a film review. Here is some advice for levels B2 & C1.

First, ask yourself some questions: A) what is the name of the film, who is the director, who stars in the film. B) What is the genre of film (Horror, War, Comedy, Science Fiction, Thriller, Detective… C) What is the plot – but don’t give away any « spoilers ». (An important part of the story, usually the ending, which stops people from going to see the film because you have told them everything.) D) Think about the special effects, music, scenary, costumes, acting. Finally, E) What is your opinion? Do you recommend the film or not? (Not all film reviews say that the film is great – it could be absolute rubbish!)

Next, you need to use appropriate and rich vocabulary. Normally, the grammatical structure is not complicated – it is possible to write the review in the present simple tense. Just don’t forget the « s » for the 3rd person singular (he, she, it). It is the vocabulary, the number of words, the word order and control of grammar which will determine your level of English.

Here’s an example:

No-one can remember the Beatles’ hits. No-one that is, except Jack. YESTERDAY: A comedy by director Danny Boyle (2019)

Jack Malik, wonderfully played by Himesh Patel, is a 27 year old Anglo-Indian who has abandoned his teaching career in favour of trying to make it in the music industry. His long-term best friend, Ellie, played by the beautiful Lilly James, is still working as a Maths teacher by day and as his roadie/manager at the weekend. Having little to no success as a singer-songwriter, Jack is at the point of going back to teaching when for some inexplicable reason the lights go out all over the world and at the same time Jack is hit by a bus causing a minor head injury and the loss of two front teeth. When he is discharged from hospital he realises that in this post-blackout world The Beatles, who are arguably the most famous group in history, have been erased from the world’s collective memory, along with all their songs. Yes, it is an implausible plot, but bear with me.

There is a mad panic as Jack attempts to Google them and can find no trace. The craziness of the situation is nicely portrayed by the Director, Danny Boyle by using a 45° tilt on the camera.

The British sense of humour is perfectly depicted when Jack’s friends buy him three presents after his accident. First, a set of joke teeth, next, a framed photo of a bus, and finally, a beautiful new guitar and the encouragement not to give up his dream. It is while singing Paul McCartney’s song « Yesterday », that he realises that no-one has heard of The Beatles and that he can take financial advantage of this situation.

Jack racks his brains to put together the words to as many Beatles’ songs as he can remember and it isn’t long before he has recorded a few songs which come to the attention of Ed Sheeran (who plays himself) and his manager. The plot jumps from the UK to Los Angeles to Moscow to Liverpool and finally to Wembley Stadium. We are informed of this by large lettering moving across the screen in various colurs and directions.

It goes without saying that the music is fabulous and the ending is bitter-sweet. But does Jack become rich and famous? You will have to see the film to find out.

I highly recommend this film to anyone who loves Beatles’ music and I hope it will inspire a new generation to discover this iconic group.

(level C1) Look at the expressions in bold. Look at the structure of the review. What does each paragraph describe? Now – you try! Good luck!