wed 11/12/2019

America

Fairview, Young Vic review - questioning the assumptions of race

Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Fairview comes to the Young Vic with the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama under its belt, and a reputation for putting audiences on their mettle through a build-up of theatrical surprises that culminate in a denouement about...

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Honey Boy review - coming to terms with dad

Blue periods can lead to golden streaks. Such is almost the case with Honey Boy, which Shia LaBeouf wrote during a court-ordered stay in a rehab clinic for the treatment of PTSD symptoms. Based on LaBeouf’s upbringing and childhood acting years, the...

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Blu-ray: Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom is stuffed with director Wes Anderson’s familiar tropes. Elaborate sets, artfully designed props and Bill Murray all feature, the usual eccentricities tempered by genuine affection for the film’s young heroes. Anderson’s eighth...

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Elizabeth Strout: Olive, Again review - compassion, honesty and community

Elizabeth Strout is fond of plain titles. Much as her stories are interested in subtlety – the quiet complications and contradictions of ordinary life – her books advertise themselves by means of telling understatements. Olive, Again ...

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The Wolf of Wall Street, 5-15 Sun Street review - energetic but to what end?

Of all the groups you probably wouldn’t want to be part of, surely the hyper-adrenalised, hardscrabble populace of The Wolf of Wall Street, the Jordan Belfort memoir made into an amphetamine rush of a film by Martin Scorsese, must rank near the...

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White Christmas, Dominion Theatre review - breezy but bland

Nostalgia for things that probably never were is an animating theme in politics these days. Much the same feeling displaced to the realm of showbiz, lends a vaguely dampening air to White Christmas, this latest stage retread of the 1954 Bing...

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The Sinner, Series 2, BBC Four review - a white-knuckle ride into spiritual darkness

The first series of The Sinner in 2017 starred Jessica Biel as a disturbed woman who seemingly inexplicably stabbed a man to death on a beach, then could remember nothing about the crime. This second season on BBC Four finds Biel on board as...

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John Grisham: The Guardians review - nail-bitingly good

Some two million Americans are currently in prison in America. A disproportionate number are black and nearly 200,000 are estimated to be innocent. John Grisham’s quietly horrifying new novel is a damning indictment of the inequities and corruption...

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Country Music by Ken Burns, BBC Four review - grand history of fiddlers on the hoof

Ken Burns is the closest American television has to David Attenborough. They may swim in different seas, but they both have an old-school commitment to an ethos that will be missed when it’s gone – the idea that television is a place to communicate...

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Harriet review - potentially stirring biopic proves a slog

A defining chapter in American history is all but sold down river in Harriet, director Kasi Lemmons' tubthumpingly banal film about the extraordinary bravery and courage of the American freedom fighter, Harriet Tubman. Telling the same story more...

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Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi review, Royal Festival Hall - musical togetherness

Leonard Bernstein talked about “the infinite variety of music” and the late maestro would have been thrilled by the variety on display at the Royal Festival Hall where Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi were as exciting and exhilarating as...

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Greener Grass review - American suburbia goes haywire in surreal dark comedy

The pink, turquoise and orange world of Greener Grass is a riot of derangement. Here is the suburban dream gone haywire, where, out of politeness, a woman gives her baby to her friend because she admires it. Every adult wears braces, hair...

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