sat 19/01/2019

America

American History's Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley, BBC Four review - rewriting history in the Land of the Free

The multi-costumed Lucy Worsley is television marmite, loved or loathed: her gesticulating enthusiasm can grate, as can her stream of bland platitudes. Typically the title is Worsley-twee, evoking fibs instead of lies and falsehoods; are we in the...

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Beautiful Boy review - well-acted but a slog

The tortuous road to addiction and back again – or maybe not – makes for a faintly tedious experience in Beautiful Boy, notwithstanding the committed performances of an A-list cast. On the road to his second consecutive Oscar...

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Magnum P.I., Sky 1 review - slick and formulaic remake of Eighties original

Perhaps inspired by the success of the revived Hawaii Five-O, CBS and Universal have gone back to the Eighties, and back to Hawaii, to see if the venerable Magnum P.I. could benefit from a similar overhaul. Early evidence suggests that as formulaic...

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On Drums... Stewart Copeland!, BBC Four review - no drummer, no rock'n'roll

On Drums was inhabited by a parade of fine-looking young and middle aged multi-ethnic anglophone drummers, all introduced by Stewart Copeland, the American drummer of the Police. In vintage film and contemporary interviews his chosen musicians...

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VOD: 1985

Dallas writer-director Yen Tan has brought 1985 back to stylistic basics, and the resulting resolute lack of adornment enhances his film’s concentration on a story that achieves indisputably powerful, and notably reserved emotion. Independent cinema...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Rider

A cannily crafted biographical docudrama about the Lakota Sioux broncobuster and horse trainer Brady Jandreau – playing himself as Brady Blackburn – The Rider will resonate with anyone whose dreams have gone up in smoke. Jandreau was 20 when, on...

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Escape at Dannemora, Sky Atlantic review - Ben Stiller's breakout drama impresses

The facts of Escape at Dannemora (Sky Atlantic) are notorious in America. Convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Indeed a less enquiring version of the story might have been...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Ashley McBryde - Girl Going Nowhere

Ashley McBryde had a very busy year in 2018. After the Arkansas singer-songwriter and "curly-headed bourbon enthusiast" played a tiny stage at Country To Country, she released her debut album to huge acclaim and a Grammy nod; toured with fellow no-...

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Best of 2018: Theatre

Will pride of place amongst theatre productions every year go in perpetuity to the work of Stephen Sondheim? One might be tempted to think so given the preeminence during 2017 of Dominic Cooke's breathtaking revival of Follies (due back in the...

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The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand, BBC Four review - genius of song and dance

The movie musical: money making or true art – or both? This was a programme to sing along to, in the company of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard. In this second instalment of Neil Brand’s brilliant three-part history, he...

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Sweat, Donmar Warehouse review - America at once fractured and fractious

A tremendous year for American theatre on the London stage is resoundingly capped by Sweat, the Lynn Nottage Pulitzer prize-winner that folds the personal and the political into a collective requiem for a riven country. But the wounding if sometimes...

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Springsteen on Broadway, Netflix review - one-man band becomes one-man show

When Bruce Springsteen’s one-man show opened at the Walter Kerr Theatre on New York’s West 48th Street in October last year it was only supposed to run for six weeks. This being Springsteen, however, demand proved almost limitless, so the season was...

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