tue 22/05/2018

England

A Very English Scandal, BBC One review - making a drama out of a crisis

There was a time when Hugh Grant was viewed as a thespian one-trick pony, a floppy-haired fop dithering in a state of perpetual romantic confusion. But things have changed. He was excellent in Florence Foster Jenkins, hilariously self-parodic in...

Read more...

On Chesil Beach review - perfect playing in a poignant Ian McEwan adaptation

Ian McEwan has said that he decided to adapt his 2007 novel On Chesil Beach for the screen himself at least partly because he did not want anyone else to do so (with earlier works, including Atonement, he was glad not to have taken on the adaptation...

Read more...

Elizabeth, Barbican review - royal romance under scrutiny

Everyone knows that Elizabeth I was a monarch of deep intelligence and sharp wit. Fewer know how good she was at the galliard. This was a virile, proud, demandingly athletic dance, usually performed by the men at courtly gatherings, and the fact...

Read more...

DVD: 50 Years Legal

Simon Napier-Bell’s film has a huge appetite for its subject, which is, of course, the half-century of gay history in Britain that followed the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality brought by the Wolfenden Report in 1967. 50 Years Legal barely...

Read more...

Jeff Beck: Still on the Run, BBC Four review - a legend without portfolio

As Aerosmith’s guitarist Joe Perry put it, “there’s a certain amount of fuck you-ness in everything Jeff does.” Perhaps it’s this which has allowed Jeff Beck to achieve the rare feat of surviving into his seventies as what you might describe as a...

Read more...

Beast review - mesmerising and murky in equal measure

Two fast-rising actors, Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn, lend genuine flair to a thriller that needs its mesmerising star turns to rise above the murk. Densely plotted, if sometimes suffocatingly so, TV director Michael Pearce's feature film debut...

Read more...

DVD/Blu-ray: They Came to a City

Ealing Studios veteran Basil Dearden may have directed it, but 1944’s They Came to a City is mostly a JB Priestley film, an engaging blend of the mundane and the metaphysical. The work’s stage origins are clear; apart from the newly-written prologue...

Read more...

The Queen's Green Planet, ITV review - right royal arboreals

QCC isn’t the name of a new football club, nor some higher qualification for those toiling at the Bar, but stands for "Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy". Had you heard of it? On the eve of the Commonwealth conference, along came Jane Treays's gently...

Read more...

The Moderate Soprano, Duke of York's Theatre review - love and opera with a flinty edge

"What could be more serious than married life?" asked Richard Strauss, whose operas became a surprising pillar of Glyndebourne's repertoire some time after the early days dramatised in David Hare's play. "Honour" might have been the answer of...

Read more...

Lynne Murphy: The Prodigal Tongue review - two nations divided by a common language?

For as long as I can remember, and long before I set foot in America for the first time at age 24, I have been intrigued by America – the “idea” of it, conjured up through music, and, as it turned out, the reality – and the common language which (...

Read more...

Another Kind of Life, Barbican review - intense encounters with marginal lives

“I start out as an outsider, usually photographing other outsiders, and then at some point I step over a line and become an insider,” wrote American photographer Bruce Davidson. “I don’t do detached observation.” A large number of the images in...

Read more...

Dark River review - haunted rural realism

Country darkness falls quickly when Alice (Ruth Wilson) goes back to the farm. She stops before entering to gratefully absorb the Yorkshire countryside’s sunny beauty. But after that, Clio Barnard’s third film deals mostly in mud, rain, silence and...

Read more...
Subscribe to England