fri 26/02/2021

family relationships

Hymn, Almeida Theatre online review - highs and lows of a soulful brother bonding

Contact without touch: among the many readjustments that the pandemic has brought to theatre, its demands that restrict direct contact almost to nothing must be among the most testing. We have learnt much about how rigorously any new production –...

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To Olivia review - Keeley Hawes rises above brainless biopic

Sure, Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but is that any excuse for a film quite so saccharine? He of all challenging and complex men, with a temperament to match, seems an odd subject for the sort of weightless, paint-by-numbers...

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Rams review – softhearted bush-loving drama

Kiwi and Aussie screen legends Sam Neill and Michael Caton have teamed up in this heartfelt and humorous remake of Grímur Hákonarson’s 2015 Icelandic original. The template of Hákonarson’s story has been transplanted but all the details and fillings...

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Penguin Bloom, Netflix review - stirringly acted if sentimental

Two genuinely lovely performances elevate an often-simplistic tale in Penguin Bloom, based on a 2016 memoir of the same name. Telling of the rehabilitation of an Australian athlete, Sam Bloom, who – true to her surname – learns to blossom...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Relic

Relic's deliberate drabness hits home first; set in Victoria, Natalie Erika James’s modern horror shows us a grey contemporary Australia, a place bleached of all colour. We first see Kay and her daughter Sam (Emily Mortimer and Bella Heathcote,...

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theartsdesk Q&A: actor Polly Walker on 'Bridgerton' and the new breed of period drama

Polly Walker's character in Netflix's sumptuous new Regency romance, Bridgerton, could've easily been little more than a villainous Mrs Bennet. We meet Lady Featherington as she's forcing one of her daughters into a tiny corset, muttering about how...

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Back, Channel 4 review - return of sibling-rivalry comedy with Mitchell and Webb

It has taken three years for the second series of Back to reach our screens (a combination of the creator being busy, a star being unwell and Covid), but it was worth the wait. To recap for those who didn't see the first series of Simon...

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Baby Done review - romcom done right

Romcoms. We all know the tried and tested formula: immature guy, uptight girl, they meet, they like each other, hate each other, and end up in love. It’s as reliable as it is unrealistic, and sometimes it takes a film like Baby Done to remind you...

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Finding Alice, ITV review - thriller, comedy or melodrama?

Or, What The Durrells Did Next. Writer Simon Nye, writer/director Roger Goldby and star Keeley Hawes are all veterans of ITV’s Corfu-based fantasy, and while Finding Alice superficially resembles a thriller, like its predecessor it’s more of an...

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Blithe Spirit review - cloth-eared Coward

Noel Coward's 1941 comedy was one of the theatrical casualties of the first lockdown last March in a Richard Eyre-directed West End revival that aimed to mine the pain beneath this play's abundance of bons mots. And now as if to pick up the baton,...

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Pieces of a Woman review - a home birth ends in tragedy

This is not a film to watch if you’re pregnant. One of the first scenes, a 24-minute continuous take of a home birth that ends in tragedy, is extraordinarily powerful and painful to watch – almost unbearable sometimes – and Vanessa Kirby as...

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Roald and Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse, Sky One review – twinkly tale for troubled times

They say "never meet your heroes". That may be true, but it forms the premise of a new TV drama concerning two of the world’s most famous children’s authors – Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl – who encounter each other at opposite ends of their life....

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