wed 18/09/2019

Helen Mirren

Prime Suspect 1973, ITV

The prequel is here to stay. In the end every popular TV drama flogs itself to death. The star wants out, or the writer dies, or the original source material runs dry, or the public falls asleep. And there’s nowhere else to go. Nowhere, that is,...

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Eye in the Sky

Colonel Powell (Helen Mirren) has a problem: she suspects that a British woman who converted to Islam and tops the international terrorism hit list is holed up in a house in a suburb of Nairob controlled by Al-Shabaab. Can her local agent (Barkhad...

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Trumbo

Trumbo depicts the 13-year struggle by the screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) to break the blacklist imposed on him and the other members of the Hollywood Ten in 1947. By continuing to get his scripts produced throughout the Fifties, Trumbo...

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DVD: The Long Good Friday/Mona Lisa

“No other city has in its centre such an opportunity for profitable progress.” Anyone depressed and outraged by London’s gentrification plague will find this the most chilling statement by visionary gangster Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins), as his...

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The Hundred-Foot Journey

Imagine The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel crossed with Chocolat. That’s The Hundred-Foot Journey in one, meshing a previous success of director Lasse Hallström with the previously neglected but growing genre of 'the mature person's movie'. After all,...

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Live from the National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage, BBC Two

These celebrations of our yesterdays can easily end up all camembert and wind. But while film people and television people will generally cock such things up, we do still have the odd cultural institution which can be relied upon to throw the right...

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Monsters University

It’s practically a pub game for overgrown children: factoring in the technical awesomeness, the solid virtues of the plot, the script’s adult-friendly appurtenances of irony and wit, what in your considered opinion is the best film in the Pixar...

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Phil Spector, Sky Atlantic

David Mamet has composed a love letter to Phil Spector. It may not be the most mellifluous ever written, and its tone may occasionally jar, but that’s what this fictional film, which he also directs and which stars Al Pacino as the bewigged...

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Hitchcock

A pedestrian talent hitches a ride on genius in Hitchcock, director Sacha Gervasi's often cringemakingly banal look at the filmmaker in the run-up to the mother of all horror movies, Psycho. One can only imagine what the Great Man himself would...

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DVD: Tempest

That’s Tempest, not The Tempest. It’s not the only thing askew with Julie Taymor’s visit to Shakespeare’s island of exile. Prospero has become Prospera, the banished Duchess – rather than Duke – of Milan. Taymor has transfigurative form, so much so...

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The Debt

John Madden's mainstream remake of Israeli thriller Ha-Hov – The Debt – features three Mossad operatives despatched to Sixties Berlin on an Eichmann-style mission to kidnap a former Nazi and escort him to Israel for trial.In pursuit...

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Arthur

Back in 2004, Russell Brand performed Russell Brand's Better Now at the Edinburgh Fringe, one of the best shows I have ever seen. In it he described his recovery from addictions to alcohol and drugs and how he had lost his job as an MTV presenter...

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