thu 14/12/2017

Gemma Arterton

Their Finest review - undone by feeble female characterisation

Yet another excuse to snuggle down with some cosy wartime nostalgia, Their Finest is purportedly a tribute to women’s undervalued role in the British film industry. Unfortunately it comes over more blah than Blitz. Gemma Arterton plays Catrin Cole,...

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Saint Joan, Donmar Warehouse

How’s this for a Christmas-week story? Joan, a young peasant girl – played in this version by the charismatically attractive Gemma Arterton – grows up in the bleak French countryside. She hears voices. It’s 1429, and they tell her to lift the...

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LFF 2016: Their Finest / Brimstone

Among the myriad global offerings at the LFF, the resoundingly British Their Finest ★★★★★ , about a group of film-makers working for the Ministry of Information in London in 1940, is surely among the most sheerly enjoyable. Okay, it was directed by...

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The Girl with All the Gifts

Not having read Mike Carey's source novel, I enjoyed the luxury of settling down with my bag of Warner Bros promotional popcorn having no idea where this story was headed. And for the first third of the movie, this was a real bonus.Who were these...

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Nell Gwynn, Apollo Theatre

As a subject for drama, theatre history is always popular in the West End. Between Mr Foote’s Other Leg, which has recently closed at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, and Mrs Henderson Presents, which opens soon at the Noël Coward Theatre, comes Nell...

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The Voices

Horror, fantasy, bleak humour and appalling taste combine to make The Voices that rare thing, a movie that defies packaging by soundbite. Iranian director Marjane Satrapi (of Persepolis fame), abetted by screenwriter Michael J Parry, has conjured a...

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Made in Dagenham, Adelphi Theatre

A significant milestone was passed this week: Tuesday 4 November was Equal Pay Day. From that day until the end of the year, the average woman in this country effectively works for free compared to her male counterpart, such is the disparity in...

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The Duchess of Malfi, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

A candlelit theatre is one thing. A theatre when those candles are so close you could lean in and blow them out, where a good line sets them flickering in gusts of audience laughter is quite another. We’ve been spoilt by the Globe for almost 20...

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Byzantium

Byzantium is a vampire flick which in look and tone seems fashioned to resemble Tomas Alfredson's magnificently humane (if that's the right expression when speaking of the undead) Let the Right One In. Wonderfully, unlike most pictures of its ilk,...

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Song for Marion

Are films for the senior demographic the new rock’n’roll? As the population ages and people keep their marbles for longer, entertainments for the grey pound, as it’s charmingly called, must be laid on. The job of films like The Last Exotic Marigold...

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The Master Builder, Almeida Theatre

Halvard Solness and Hilde Wangel have stalked each other among the shadow goblins of Henrik Ibsen’s extraordinary symbol-laden drama in two major productions this year. In Chichester, Philip Franks’s staging and David Edgar’s new version of the text...

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Tamara Drewe

If Cold Comfort Farm and Hot Fuzz got chatting down their local one night, the conversation might go something along the lines of Tamara Drewe. Putting the “sex” in Wessex, Stephen Frears’s latest film loosens the corsets of the Hardy pastoral,...

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