fri 17/08/2018

Film Reviews

On Chesil Beach review - perfect playing in a poignant Ian McEwan adaptation

Tom Birchenough

Ian McEwan has said that he decided to adapt his 2007 novel On Chesil Beach for the screen himself at least partly because he did not want anyone else to do so (with earlier works, including Atonement, he was glad not to have taken on the adaptation). The sensitivity of the...

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The Rosenkavalier film, OAE, Paterson, QEH review - silent-era muddle expertly accompanied

David Nice

Let's face it, Robert "Cabinet of Dr Caligari" Wiene's 1926 film loosely based on Strauss and Hofmannsthal's 1911 "comedy for music" is a mostly inartistic ramble. Historically, though, it proves fascinating.

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Filmworker review - a life dedicated to Stanley Kubrick

Saskia Baron

What would have happened to Leon Vitali if as a schoolboy he had gone to see that other 1968 hit sci-fi movie, Barbarella rather than Kubrick’s 2001? It’s impossible to imagine that a life devoted to the oeuvre of Roger Vadim would have merited a documentary.

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Cuckmere: A Portrait/Environment 2.0, Brighton Festival review - landscape, politics and art collide

Nick Hasted

Sitting between the South Downs and the sea, Brighton’s borders are defined by nature. The Downs’ 2010 designation as a National Park also legislatively limits urban encroachment.

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Anon review - adventures in cyber-noir

Adam Sweeting

Though set in a futuristic (although not by much) world in which information technology has almost taken over the human psyche, Anon still relies on a crumpled whisky-drinking gumshoe for its protagonist.

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Revenge - a blood-soaked joy

Owen Richards

Deep in an unnamed desert, a violent and psychedelic retribution is sought. The aptly named Revenge is a brutally rewarding experience, bringing classic horror and exploitation tropes kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

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Entebbe review – Seventies hijack drama remains grounded

Adam Sweeting

The freeing of a plane-load of hostages by Israeli forces at Entebbe airport in Uganda in 1976 produced an instant spate of movie versions.

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Lean on Pete review - a different kind of road trip

Owen Richards

British director Andrew Haigh's Lean on Pete is a heartfelt and surprisingly stark affair.

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Tully review - Charlize Theron plumps for sentiment

Markie Robson-Scott

Inside Tully – or maybe inside Charlize Theron’s massively pregnant belly – is a darker, more daring film trying to get out.

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Nothing Like a Dame review - actresses undimmed by time

Matt Wolf

If only there were more: that's a first response to Nothing Like a Dame, Roger Michell's affectionate yet clear-eyed portrait of four of Britain's finest actresses, all now in their 80s. As the camera circles around Maggie Smith,...

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Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank review - the artist puts himself in the frame

Sarah Kent

Shot in 2004 when photographer Robert Frank was 80 (main picture), this award-winning film was aired on The South Bank Show the following year, but is only now on release.

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Beast review - mesmerising and murky in equal measure

Matt Wolf

Two fast-rising actors, Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn, lend genuine flair to a thriller that needs its mesmerising star turns to rise above the murk. Densely plotted, if sometimes suffocatingly so, TV director Michael Pearce's...

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The Wound review - gay love hurts in strong South African drama

Tom Birchenough

The title of South African director John Trengove’s powerful first feature works in more ways than one. In its literal sense, it alludes to the ritual circumcision, or ukwaluka, that accompanies the traditional rite of passage for young Xhosa men, and the process of healing that follows....

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The Deminer review - life on the edge in Iraq

Owen Richards

Major Fakhir is a deminer, responsible for disarming hundreds of mines around Mosul every week. His American counterparts know him by a different title: Crazy Fakhir, a man who rides the edge of his luck, constantly in imminent danger.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society review - artery-furring whimsy

Jasper Rees

There’s a serious film to be made about the German occupation of the Channel Islands. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is not that film. The absolute gobful of a title more than hints at artery-furring whimsy.

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Funny Cow review - Maxine Peake is stellar

Veronica Lee

One of the joys of writing about comedy over the past few years is the decreasing frequency with which I am asked to comment on “women in comedy”, “female comics” or, most egregiously, “are women funny?” I think we can all agree that you're either funny or you're not, no matter which gonads you carry around.

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