sat 16/12/2017

New York

Menashe review - Yiddish-language film with a heart of gold

On paper this film sounds so worthy: a widowed Orthodox Jewish father struggles to convince the Hassidic community elders that he can raise his young son alone after the death of his wife. But it’s the opposite of worthy on screen – Menashe is...

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The Melting Pot, Finborough Theatre review - entertaining morals

Israel Zangwill’s 1908 play The Melting Pot characterises Europe as an old and worn-out continent racked by violence and injustice and in thrall to its own bloody past. America, on the other hand, represents a visionary project that will “melt...

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Tina Brown: The Vanity Fair Diaries 1983-1992 review - portrait of an era of glitz and excess

Tina Brown’s first Christmas issue of Vanity Fair in 1984 had this to say about “the sulky, Elvisy” Donald Trump: “…he’s a brass act. And he owns his own football team. And he thinks he should negotiate arms control agreements with the Soviet Union...

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Good Time review - heist movie with stand-out performance by Robert Pattinson

This is not a movie to see in the front row – intrusive close-ups, hand-held camerawork, colour saturated night shots and a relentless synthesiser score all conspire to make Good Time a wild ride. An unrecognisable Robert Pattinson plays Connie...

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The Best of AA Gill review - posthumous words collected

Word wizard. Grammar bully. Sentence shark. AA Gill didn’t play fair by syntax: he pounced on it, surprising it into splendid shapes. And who cared when he wooed readers with anarchy and aplomb? Hardly uncontroversial, let alone inoffensive (he...

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Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11, Imperial War Museum review - affecting but incoherent

The Imperial War Museum’s Age of Terror: Art since 9/11 brings together art made in response to the immediate events and long-term consequences of the events of 11 September. In the main the exhibition is more historical survey of conflict-related...

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Venus in Fur, Theatre Royal Haymarket review - pain and pleasure in a starry two-hander

A hit on Broadway, David Ives’s steamy two-hander now boasts Natalie Dormer and David Oakes, well-known for their screen work, in its West End cast, with Patrick Marber on directing duties. That plus the tabloid panting over Dormer’s skimpy S&M...

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The Busy World Is Hushed, Finborough Theatre review - new play puts the G-word centre stage

God makes few appearances at the modern playhouse – so few that the Finborough Theatre saw fit to print a glossary in the programme for its latest production. What begins with Agnostic, Annunciation and Aramaic runs all the way to Spirit Guide,...

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LFF 2017: Good Time review - heist movie with standout performance by Robert Pattinson

This is not a movie to see in the front row – intrusive close-ups, hand-held camerawork, colour saturated night shots and a relentless synthesiser score all conspire to make Good Time, shown at London Film Festival, a wild ride. An unrecognisable...

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Nile Rodgers: How to Make It in the Music Business, BBC Four review - good times had by all

One New Year’s Eve in the 1970s, hot young session musicians Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards were assured by Grace Jones that they could penetrate the inner sanctum of Studio 54 by dropping her name at the door. A doorman thought otherwise and...

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Basquiat: Rage to Riches review, BBC Two – death rides an equine skeleton

An irresistible tragedy: young man of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent, from Brooklyn, multilingual, brilliantly precocious, who left his middle class home to turn to street life in Manhattan, metamorphosing into a mesmerising graffiti artist. SAMO...

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The Glass Castle review - Woody steals the film by a wide margin

People who live in glass castles might be wary of throwing stones. That clearly was not the case with American magazine journalist Jeannette Walls, who made of her often harrowing childhood a best-selling memoir that has found its inevitable way to...

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