tue 21/11/2017

childhood

Heartstone review - huge visuals, close-up performances

Icelandic writer-director Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson has made an impressive feature debut with this story of crossing the threshold from childhood to young adult experience. Heartstone acutely and empathetically catches the path from innocence to...

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Philip Pullman: La Belle Sauvage review - not quite equal

La Belle Sauvage, the first instalment of Philip Pullman’s eagerly-awaited new trilogy The Book of Dust, opens in the Trout, a rambling Thames-side pub on the outskirts of Port Meadow, north of Oxford. Here all kinds drink: scholars, labourers,...

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Hansel and Gretel, Pop-Up Opera review - salty-sweet production takes wry pleasure in classic fairytale

They’ve done it in a boat and a barn, a former poorhouse and even a tunnel shaft, and now Pop-Up Opera bring their latest production to a museum. Bethnal Green’s 19th-century Museum of Childhood provides an evocative frame for Engelbert Humperdinck’...

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DVD: Centre of My World

Director Jakob M Erwa's Centre of My World may be a coming-of-age story, but it’s definitely not a “coming out” one. Youthful hero Phil (Louis Hofmann) has barely reached the third sentence of his voiceover narration before he tells us he’s gay, and...

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The Glass Castle review - Woody steals the film by a wide margin

People who live in glass castles might be wary of throwing stones. That clearly was not the case with American magazine journalist Jeannette Walls, who made of her often harrowing childhood a best-selling memoir that has found its inevitable way to...

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Goodbye Christopher Robin review - no escape for a boy and his bear

“Isn’t it funny/How a bear likes honey?/Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!/I wonder why he does.” Those immortal words, said by the bear of very little brain in chapter one of Winnie-the-Pooh, don’t sound quite the same after watching a shell-shocked AA Milne (...

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Royal Ballet review - a feast of visual delights

I can imagine Monica Mason, the artistic director who commissioned Christopher Wheeldon's 2011 Alice, feeling pretty pleased with herself as she looked around the Covent Garden auditorium last night at an audience buzzing with excitement for the...

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Roddy Doyle: Smile review - return of the repressed

Although he made his name with the generally upbeat grooves and licks of his Barrytown Trilogy, Roddy Doyle has often played Irish family and social life as a blues full of sorrow and regret. In his Booker-winning Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, a bitter...

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Pagliacci/L’enfant et les sortilèges, Opera North review - off and on with the motley

The first two one-acters in Opera North’s season called The Little Greats were unveiled on Saturday. There are six in all, scheduled on a mix-and-match basis so Leeds opera-goers can choose their own tapas menu: grab one show, choose from various...

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DVD/Blu-ray: My Life as a Courgette

Describe the plot of My Life as a Courgette to someone who’s not been lucky enough to see it and they'll find it hard to understand how a film with such a bleak premise can be so funny and emotionally involving. Swiss director Claude Barras’s...

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Blu-ray: Lord of the Flies

This is a timely rerelease of the 1963 version of the William Golding novel, coinciding as it does with the debate about a planned remake with an all-female cast. Peter Brook’s adaptation sticks closely to the original text: according to a...

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Educating Greater Manchester, Channel 4 review - a study of hope, humanity and heart

Cast your minds back, if you will, to 2011. Remember Jamie Oliver’s Celebrity Fight School? I think that was the title… in any case, it was an astonishing vanity project which seemed to suggest that the reason so many kids were being failed by...

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