sun 18/08/2019

Hollywood

Dark Money, BBC One review - powerful idea poorly executed

It’s a topical idea, at least. Isaac Mensah, a child actor from a working-class family in London, has been cast in a Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster, and when he returns home his family and friends are agog to find out what his amazing movie experience...

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Bitter Wheat, Garrick Theatre review - Malkovich monologue is more chaff than wheat

John Malkovich is back in town - and he's starring in the most controversial play of the year. Trouble is, it might well also be the worst. When the subject of veteran American playwright David Mamet's new drama was announced as being about a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christian Lindberg, John Williams, Alexandra Dariescu

 Christian Lindberg: Steppenwolf – Viola Concerto, Tales of Galamanta, Peking Twilight Rafael Altino (viola), Odense Symphony Orchestra/Christian Lindberg (BIS)“I do not write in any style whatsoever! I just listen to what my brain and my soul...

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Destination Wedding review - a misanthropic modern-day romance

Recently, Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder have found themselves in a career renaissance. Reeves has made a remarkable comeback as the dog-loving action-hero John Wick, while Ryder won audiences over as the grief-stricken mother, Joyce Byers, in...

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The Life I Lead, Park Theatre review - pleasant enough but lacks bite

I am deeply jealous of Miles Jupp's dressing gown in The Life I Lead, the solo play at the Park Theatre. It's a silky-grey patterned number of exquisitely comfortable proportions, and just the sort of thing a chap should wear to tell the story of...

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A Previn treasury

In a way, he was a second Bernstein. Only 11 years Lenny's junior, and living to the much riper age of 89 – his 90th birthday would have been on 6 April – André Previn was a film composer and arranger at the start of his 70-plus-year career, a jazz...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Composer Michel Legrand

“I want to be a man without any past,” said Michel Legrand, who has died at the age of 86. He had perhaps the longest past in showbiz. Orchestrator, pianist, conductor, composer of countless soundtracks, who else has collaborated as widely - with...

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Life Itself review - epically vapid

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade: that bromide is about the only one absent from the astonishingly bad Life Itself, which in actuality might require a stiff drink to make it through the film intact. Folding together an interconnected set of...

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The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand, BBC Four review - genius of song and dance

The movie musical: money making or true art – or both? This was a programme to sing along to, in the company of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard. In this second instalment of Neil Brand’s brilliant three-part history, he...

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse review - a new hope for the superhero genre

After Sam Raimi’s original mixed-bag trilogy, Andrew Garfield’s all too familiar outing as the webslinger, and last year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, it would be fair to say we’ve had enough Spider-Man films. Despite the potential fatigue from yet-...

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True West, Vaudeville Theatre review - sizzling take on seminal Sam Shepard

Don't be deceived by Kit Harington's matted, slicked-back hair that is immediately visible the minute the audience enters the boisterous West End revival of True West. By the time the director Matthew Dunster's production has roared to a close two...

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Dietrich: Natural Duty, Wilton's Music Hall review - elegy for one

Getting the look right is half the battle: in that, Peter Groom's one-time-Captain Marlene Dietrich is a winner from the start. The looks at the audience nail it too, heavy-lidded and lashed but transfixing, charismatic, winning instant complicity....

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