sat 24/07/2021

drama

The Father review - gripping dementia drama

Florian Zeller: the name might not be familiar in the world of cinema. But watch this space. His stage play Le Père was widely praised, made its way to Broadway and, following the success, the young French director has adapted it into The Father, a...

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The Mauritanian review – moving 9/11 drama

Whether he’s making documentaries or dramas, director Kevin Macdonald has an eye for the bleak moments in our history, and a dynamic way of recreating them, from the Oscar-winning doc Four Days in September, about the Munich massacre, to the...

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Wander Darkly review - bold psychodrama falls short

Like the sun-happy LA of this film’s setting, there’s a hard-to-pinpoint sham quality to Wander Darkly. It feels like too much phoney dialogue crept in to the final script of this “serious” film by writer-director Tara Miele. Sienna Miller is a...

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Berlinale 2021: Petite Maman review – magical musings on the parent-child relationship

Hot on the heels of her 2019 triumph Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma’s fifth feature continues a perfect track record; this is yet another gorgeous and perceptive film, told from a determinedly female perspective but with a wisdom...

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Judas and the Black Messiah review - powerful biopic

One of the sadnesses of covid is that films like Judas and the Black Messiah have been held over for release in the hope that cinemas will reopen. Immersive, intense features like this deserve to be seen in a darkened theatre with no...

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Malcolm & Marie review - actorly grandstanding in beautiful black and white

Do you want to spend 105 minutes trapped in a house with two people arguing, or do you already feel that your life under lockdown is quite quarrelsome and claustrophobic enough? If your answer is the former, then Malcolm & Marie is the...

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The Dig, Netflix review - a haunting exploration of time and timelessness

The Sutton Hoo burial site in Suffolk has proved to be one of the most valuable archaeological finds ever made in Britain, shedding priceless light on the Anglo-Saxon period of the 6th and 7th Centuries. Simon Stone’s drama (adapted from John...

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Persian Lessons review - confusing Holocaust drama

This is an odd film, made even odder by a caption near the beginning, which claims it is "inspired by true events" but doesn’t elaborate. Produced in Belarus, it’s a Holocaust drama based on a novella by the veteran East German screenwriter/director...

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One Night in Miami review - black history come alive

In 1964, Cassius Clay, NFL superstar Jim Nathaniel Brown, soul legend Sam Cooke and political firebrand Malcolm X gathered for one night in a dingy room at the Hampton Motel. It was a meeting that became a symbol of hope for black Americans. A photo...

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Best of 2020: Film

It all started so promisingly. Parasite's triumph at the Oscars was a resounding response to 2019's saccharine and problematic Green Book. Art house was in and here to stay. And in some ways, this came to pass - with cinemas caught in a cycle of...

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom review - keeping things theatrical

There was always bound to be a hint of melancholy watching George Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Try as you might to focus on the film, you can never quite shake the fact that you’re watching the final performance of Chadwick Boseman, whose life...

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Nine Lessons and Carols, Almeida Theatre review – spiky portrayal of a world turned upside down

How do you create a secular version of the Nine Lessons and Carols? The original can feel like a formulaic trot through tunes and stories as stale as fossilised mince-pies. Yet it helps to remember that in essence it reflects on the story of a world...

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