sun 20/10/2019

biopic

Official Secrets review – powerful political thriller

Early in the political drama Official Secrets, Keira Knightley’s real-life whistleblower Katharine Gun watches Tony Blair on television, giving his now infamous justification for the impending Iraq War, namely the existence of weapons of mass...

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The Last Tree review - young, angry, and black in '90s UK

Putting a radical spin on a fish-out-of-water story, The Last Tree explores troubling aspects of the African diaspora experience in an England riddled with xenophobia and black-on-black racism. Shola Amoo’s semi-autobiographical second feature is...

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Hotel Mumbai review – Dev Patel shines in harrowing real-life drama

Like recent films about the Anders Breivik terror attacks in Norway, Hotel Mumbai unavoidably raises questions of taste. Do audiences really need to be subjected to harrowing recreations of real-life suffering, when the events themselves...

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The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles below is well worth your attention.Ad Astra ★★★★★ Maybe the most complete and profound sci-fi since...

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The Shock of the Future review - for the music nerds

The Shock of the Future is for anyone who's watched a music biopic and thought "that's not how it works!" Directed and co-written by Marc Collin of Nouvelle Vague fame, it's perhaps the most realisitic film about recording music ever made. But as...

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Blinded by the Light review – flawed but feelgood

Filmmakers have an obsession with the music world that is beginning to seem unhealthy. In quick succession we’ve had two Abba musicals, biopics of Freddie Mercury and Elton John, A Star is Born with Lady Gaga and the Beatles fantasy...

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The Current War review – lacks the spark of invention

We like to think of scientists and inventors as innocent dreamers, trampled upon by the cruel old world. Of course, that’s not wholly true. Just look at today’s tech and social media industries. In fact the man cited as America’s greatest ever...

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Vita and Virginia review - more Gloomsbury than Bloomsbury

“You do like to have your cake and eat it, Vity. So many cakes, so many,” laments Harold Nicholson (Rupert Penry-Jones) to his wife Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton) as she embarks on an affair with Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki).The...

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Rocketman review - fabulous musically but a tad miserable too

Rocketman opens with its hero in flamboyant stage costume stomping into a drab group therapy session. Pulling the sparkling horns off his magnificent head-dress and shuffling his feathered wings into a seat, Elton John demands of his fellow addicts...

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Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile review - pedestrian Ted Bundy biopic

Why make a feature film about Ted Bundy, the notorious 1970s serial killer when you’ve already made Conversations with a Killer, a four-part factual series for Netflix about him? A charitable explanation would be that it offered documentarian Joe...

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Tolkien review - biopic charms but never wows

Finnish director Dome Karukoski’s Tolkien follows the same formula of many literary biopics, with a tick-box plot of loves, friendships and hardships that forged the writing career of one the 20th Century’s greatest fantasy writers.We open at the...

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The White Crow review - gripping depiction of the brilliance of Nureyev

Genius is as genius does, and Rudolf Nureyev made sure nobody was left in any doubt about the scale of either his talents or his ambitions. Based on Julie Kavanagh's biography Rudolf Nureyev: The Life, The White Crow pairs director and actor...

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