tue 19/01/2021

drama

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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The Midnight Sky review – flawed but moving apocalyptic sci-fi

The last time George Clooney was in a space movie, Gravity, he and Sandra Bullock were marooned above Earth and desperate to get home. The Midnight Sky has the opposite dynamic: here Clooney is Earthbound, urgently trying to warn...

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Mank review – David Fincher’s brilliant, bitter-sweet paean to Hollywood’s Golden Age

For so much of the year, Tenet was cited as the film that was going to save cinema – the tentpole extravaganza that would draw virus-conscious punters back to the big screen. The assertion was always fanciful, the pandemic being too long a...

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Another Round review - delight and despair

You can practically smell the fumes coming off Thomas Vinterberg’s latest drama Another Round, known in Denmark simply as "Druk". Co-written with Tobias Lindholm, the story is anchored in a theory proposed by Finn Skårderud that humans have a blood...

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Luxor review - Andrea Riseborough stars in cathartic drama about healing old wounds

Zeina Durra’s sophomore feature arrives on our screens a decade on from her debut, The Imperialists Are Still Alive! It was worth the wait. Luxor is a subtle, low-key drama that possesses an atmosphere of meditative calm, exploring a life that has...

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Cordelia review – Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Johnny Flynn star in an off-kilter tale of trauma

There's something deeply uncanny about Adrian Shergold's Cordelia. When the film's poster was released on social media, many mistook it for a kinky period drama with the power dynamics reversed. It definitely isn't a costume drama, but...

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LFF 2020: Nomadland review - Francis McDormand gives a career-defining performance

Chloé Zhao’s The Rider was a film of rare honesty and beauty. Who would have thought she’d be able to top the power of that majestic docudrama? But with Nomadland she has.To call it a loose adaptation of Jessica Bruder’s Nomadland: Surviving America...

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LFF 2020: Another Round review – a glass half empty

In 2012, two great Danes, director Thomas Vinterberg and actor Mads Mikkelsen, teamed up for the powerhouse drama The Hunt, about a teacher victimised by his community when wrongly accused of abusing a pupil. For their reprise, Mikkelsen again...

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LFF 2020: Supernova review – Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth shine as couple on the road

Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of pleasure to be had watching Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth as a mature couple pootling around the UK in their humble camper van. They bicker about the satnav voice, argue the merits of the shipping forecast, and both...

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