wed 05/10/2022

Spain

Official Competition review - satire served cold

There are four main protagonists in Official Competition and they all have one thing in common: an overriding ambition to spend more time with their egos.The first of this quartet is Humberto Suárez (José Luis Gómez). He is an 80-year-old...

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Phoebe Power: Book of Days review - the clack of walking poles, the clink of scallop shell

The word “shrine” somersaults me back to the path of the Camino de Santiago. I have lost count of the faces that smiled up from photos positioned in the hollow of trees, some with little plastic figurines for company, others set in stone next to a...

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The Good Boss review - Javier Bardem at his creepy best

The Good Boss's Julio Blanco (Javier Bardem) is not short of belief in his talents as a leader. Not just good, he evidently thinks he is the best boss ever. We watch him on the prowl, exerting influence and power over his family business, micro-...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Parallel Mothers

Parallel Mothers unfolds at a daringly slow pace, and there are moments in the first half of Pedro Almodóvar’s 2021 drama when you wish that things would speed up. And then you’re wrong-footed by the unexpected shifts in tone and direction, and...

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Operation Mincemeat review - Colin Firth and co practise the fine art of deception

The story of the fictitious Major William Martin, whose waterlogged corpse washed up on the Spanish coast in 1943 bearing bogus documents designed to fool the Germans, was previously filmed in 1956 as The Man Who Never Was. That version took a few...

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Parallel Mothers review - letting the dead speak

Almodóvar has rarely returned to the petrified Spain of his youth, flinging off Franco’s oppression by ignoring it in his early films of freewheeling provocation, where anarchic, hot freedom was all of the law. In this sober tale of secrets and lies...

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Off the Rails review - go for the scenery, not the script

Mamma Mia! hovers unhelpfully over every frame of Off the Rails, a road movie of sorts in which three women make a music-fueled pilgrimage to Mallorca to honour the wishes of a fourth friend, who has died before time of cancer.The difference here is...

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Memories of My Father review - the richness of childhood, the cruelty of history

Spanish director Fernando Trueba’s Memories of My Father adapts the Colombian writer Héctor Abad Faciolince’s 2006 family memoir, which was published in English as Oblivion: the Spanish-language title of both book and film, El Olvido Que Seremos (“...

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Agustín Fernández Mallo: The Things We've Seen review - degrees of separation

Trilogies (it is noted, in the term’s Wikipedia entry) “are common in speculative fiction”. They are found in those works with elements “non-existent in reality”, which cover various themes “in the context of the supernatural, futuristic, and many...

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Stile Antico, The Cardinall's Musick, Wigmore Hall online review – lightening our darkness

Suitably enough, this year’s musical Christmas arrived at the Wigmore not in a dazzle of joyful light and bedecked with winter greenery, but with a lonely band of singers facing the gloom of an unlit, empty hall as fear and confusion multiplied...

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Dalí Theatre-Museum, Figueres, virtual tour review - tantalising but unsatisfactory

Salvador Dalí’s house at Portlligat on the Costa Brava is straight out of the pages of a lifestyle magazine, its sunbaked white walls dazzling in the sunshine, and light pouring in from every angle. It was a fisherman’s hut when Dalí moved there in...

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Camino Skies review - NZ documentary brings no surprises

A documentary about six middle-aged Antipodeans, four women and two men, walking the 500 mile pilgrims’ path through France and Spain to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela sounds uplifting, inspiring, even fun. Just the ticket, perhaps, when...

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