thu 24/08/2017

California

Tom of Finland review - engaging biopic of gay pioneer

Finnish director Dome Karukoski has made a sympathetic and quietly stylish biopic of Touko Laaksonen, the artist who did as much as anyone to define 20th century male gay visual culture. There’s a degree of irony in the fact that we know him by...

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GLOW, Netflix review - not quite comedy or drama

How much plotting went into GLOW? It has been gussied up by the people who brought you the jumbo Netflix hit Orange Is the New Black. Both shows are based on a true story and feature women of all ethnicities bitching and slapping in a contained...

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Michael Connelly: The Late Show review - mesmerising and believable characters

Readers have been committed fans since 1992, when the sometime crime reporter Michael Connelly turned novelist. Connelly’s best-known sequence has featured, over three decades now, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective Hieronymus Bosch...

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The Last Word film review - Shirley MacLaine's spit and vinegar remain intact

If you're going to cobble together an entirely pro forma film, it's not a bad idea to give Shirley MacLaine pride of place. At 83, this redoubtable pro is no more capable of falsehood now than she ever was. It means that, although individual moments...

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Summer of Love: How Hippies Changed the World review - the weird and wonderful roots of the Sixties counterculture

As the accompanying music reminded us, it's the time of the season for looking back in languor at the psychedelic daze that descended on America's West Coast in 1967. It was an era when one was enjoined, if going to San Francisco, to "be sure to...

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Unforgettable review - forgettable film

Within seconds – literally seconds – of Unforgettable it becomes apparent that this is the kind of film that in the late Eighties and Nineties used to be referred to as “straight to video”, a label that covered a plethora of trashy, sexist, by-the-...

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Big Little Lies, Sky Atlantic

It happened in Monterey, but we’re not entirely sure what yet. Adapted from the novel by Australian writer Liane Moriarty, with the action transplanted from a small town in Oz to the splendid oceanside scenery of Monterey, California, Big Little...

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20th Century Women

It would be easy to dismiss this sweet, wayward film as Michael Mills’s self-indulgent love letter to his mother, who raised him alone in California after his father moved out, but it’s subtler and more complex than that. This is an ensemble piece,...

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The Kite Runner, Wyndhams Theatre

Khaled Hosseini's 2003 bestseller ticks all the boxes as an A-level text. A personal story with epic sweep, it interweaves the bloody recent history of Afghanistan with a gripping family saga. Its treatment of racism and radicalism is timely. Other...

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CD: AYBEE - The Odyssey

Berlin's electronic music world has been traditionally been very white. Sometimes, as with the inward-looking minimal techno of the 2000s, it could feel painfully so. Obviously a city can't really help the nature of its demographic, but monoculture...

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Sunday Book: I Am Brian Wilson

For decades Brian Wilson was depicted as the mad, lost genius of the Beach Boys, but these days, at 74, he's looking more like one of pop's great survivors. After all, he has comprehensively outlived his brothers Dennis and Carl, and has restored...

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Blood Father

Having been to Hollywood hell and back, Mel Gibson is perfectly placed to play the battered big daddy par excellence. Here he is, in the person of John Link, ex-jailbird on parole, recovering alcoholic and former outlaw biker, now eking out a living...

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