thu 03/12/2020

childhood

Blu-ray: The Painted Bird

Václav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird (Nabarvené ptáče in Czech) comes with a lot of baggage, a critics’ screening at the 2019 Venice Festival punctuated by mass walkouts but finishing with a ten-minute standing ovation. Then there’s the supposedly...

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The Witches review – new take lacks magic

 A long shadow looms over Robert Zemeckis’ new take on Roald Dahl’s classic 1980s book The Witches, starring Octavia Spencer, Anne Hathaway and newcomer Jahzir Bruno. That shadow is cast by Nicholas Roeg’s strange and terrifying 1990 adaptation...

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The Secret Garden review - blooming charming

With Netflix releasing Rebecca on Wednesday, who’d have thought that a kid’s film would be this week’s best adaptation about an estate haunted by the memory of the deceased lady of the manor? Written and directed by the team behind Channel 4’s...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 12: An American rarity, a British savoury, and fresh Apples

Can this weekly lineup really now be three months old?  As we move towards at least some degree of relaxation on the social restrictions that have long been in place, the offerings of theatre online continue to afford many a reason not to leave...

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Artemis Fowl review - flash bang nothing

It’s taken over 18 years for Artemis Fowl to reach the big screen, with Miramax originally buying the rights in 2001. Finally, Disney have brought the world’s youngest criminal mastermind to life, but was it worth the wait? Well, the fact it’s...

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Treasure Island, National Theatre at Home review - all aboard this thrilling adventure story

Swaggering pirates, X marks the spot, a chattering parrot, “Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum”? All present and correct. But Bryony Lavery’s winning 2014 adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson for the National, directed by Polly Findlay, also features...

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Jane Eyre, National Theatre at Home review - a fiery feminist adaptation

The National Theatre’s online broadcasts got off to a storming start with One Man, Two Guvnors – watched by over 2.5 million people, either on the night or in the week since its live streaming, and raising around £66,000 in donations. Let’s hope...

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Rumpelstiltskin, Sadler's Wells Digital Stage review - spins an engaging yarn for young audiences

The latest in Sadler’s Wells’ Digital Stage programme – an impressively assembled online offering to keep audiences entertained during the shutdown – is balletLORENT’s family-friendly dance-theatre production Rumpelstiltskin. It was...

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Four Kids and It review – a family friendly yarn that needs more magic

With over one hundred books to her name and several hugely popular TV spin-offs, including the Tracy Beaker adventures, Jacqueline Wilson takes a no-nonsense approach to children’s fiction that reflects the realities of jigsaw families, mental and...

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System Crasher review – a compelling portrait of childhood violence and pain

Benni, the central character in German writer-director Nora Fingscheidt's haunting new film, has a life of tragedy and violence. She’s the product of a dysfunctional family and an abusive childhood that has left her rage-ridden and incapable of...

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I and You, Hampstead Theatre review - now streaming online, this YA play is oddly pertinent

The way that theatres and other arts institutions have leapt into action over the past week, providing a wealth of material online and new ways to connect with audiences, has been truly inspirational. Yesterday, the Hampstead Theatre re-released on...

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Onward review - do you believe in magic?

Welcome to New Mushroomton: a fantasy land that’s forgotten itself. This is how we’re introduced to Pixar’s Onward, which is set in a Dungeons & Dragons daydream of suburbia. Director Dan Scanlon’s film is a tribute to his late father, but it...

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