sat 22/07/2017

America

Orange Is the New Black, Season 5, Netflix review - counterpoint in a three-day prison riot

Rippling outward from the initial story of a seemingly nice WASP woman who finds herself having to adapt in a women's prison, Orange Is the New Black quickly developed into the most multilayered, almost indigestibly rich of American TV dramas. By...

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The Beguiled review - silly but seriously well-made

An isolated girls' school finds its hermetic routine shattered by the arrival of Colin Farrell, who wreaks sexual and emotional havoc as only this actor can. Playing a Civil War deserter with a gammy leg, Farrell's Corporal McBurney is at first...

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Spider-Man: Homecoming review - fresh, funny version of the arachnid avenger

First introduced into the burgeoning “Marvel Cinematic Universe” in last year’s Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland’s incarnation of Spider-Man is another triumph for this exuberant franchise (even if some might feel a pang for the fine and...

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The Mentor, Vaudeville Theatre review - having fun with artistic integrity

German writer Daniel Kehlmann’s light-touch 90-minute comedy is a chic satire on the slippery business of making art – and especially on the difficulty of assessing it. Whose judgement matters, after all? This production now in the West End was...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Daughters of the Dust

Julie Dash’s remarkable 1991 film tells the story of the Peazant family, the descendants of freed slaves who live on the Georgia Sea Islands, an isolated community on the South-Eastern seaboard of the USA, more in touch with African traditions than...

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Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Wyndham's Theatre review – searing stuff

Broadway so frequently fetes its visiting Brits that it's nice when the honour is repaid. That said, it's difficult to imagine audiences anywhere remaining unmoved by Audra McDonald's occupancy – "performance" seems too mundane a word – of the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Falla, Ravel, Antoine Tamestit, The American Brass Quintet

 Falla: Nights in the Garden of Spain, Ravel: Piano Concertos Steven Osborne (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ludovic Morlot (Hyperion)Steven Osborne's solo Ravel anthology is among the best available, and it's good that he's now...

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Gloria, Hampstead Theatre review – pretty glorious

As with life, so it is in art: in the same way that one can't predict the curve balls that get thrown our way, the American playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins defies categorisation. On the basis of barely a handful of plays, two of which happen now...

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Whitney: Can I Be Me review - tragic account of superstar who fell to earth

The statistics of Whitney Houston’s career are flabbergasting in this post-CD era. Her 1985 debut album sold 25 million copies. “I Will Always Love You” is the best-selling single by a female artist in music biz history. Its parent album, the...

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DVD/Blu-ray: One-Eyed Jacks

One-Eyed Jacks, the only film Marlon Brando ever directed, is a masterpiece by any reckoning, a classic western about love and treachery, as well as a startling and boundary-breaking re-invention of the genre.The tragedy unfolds, through many twists...

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Elif Batuman: The Idiot review - memories of student life and travels meander

University, anyone? Student days? If you were ever an undergraduate, who does not remember the simultaneous sense of dislocation and excitement, the feeling of the familiar combined with a heady awareness that we might fall off a cliff,...

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The Handmaid's Tale, Channel Four review - triumphant dystopian drama

The second episode of Bruce Miller’s brilliant dramatisation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale on Channel 4 finds Offred (the wonderful Elisabeth Moss) being penetrated by Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes, looking conflicted). Of...

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