sat 02/03/2024

Film Reviews

True Grit

Adam Sweeting

Henry Hathaway's 1969 version of True Grit famously won John Wayne his solitary Oscar for Best Actor.

Read more...

Nénette

Jasper Rees

This is not the first starring role in cinema history for an orang-utan. That honour belongs to King Louie, the banana-clad jungle VIP in Disney’s 1967 version of Kipling’s The Jungle Book. It’s not actually the second either, or even the third.

Read more...

The Fighter

Graham Fuller

A paean to working-class bellicosity set (and shot) in the rundown industrial town of Lowell, Massachusetts, David O’Russell’s boxing film The Fighter relishes its brawls. In one inspired scene, a character is unceremoniously slammed to the ground and punched repeatedly in the face. Not Queensberry Rules?

Read more...

Rabbit Hole

Matt Wolf

So many stage shows (musicals, mostly) are these days fashioned from films that the arrival of Rabbit Hole reminds us of the time-honored habit of plundering yesteryear's Broadway hit for this movie season's trophy-minded bait.

Read more...

Antonioni Project, Barbican Theatre

Carole Woddis Putting the mic into Michelangelo Antonioni: Marieke Heebink as Lidia and Hans Kesting as Giovanni

Back in the early 1960s, anyone with half a curious cultural brain in their heads would take themselves off to small fleapit cinemas like The Academy or the Classic in Oxford Street (now defunct). There you could catch the latest European art film. And at one of these I remember seeing Italian director Antonioni’s La Notte with Jeanne Moreau and Marcello Mastroianni. Such was its impact that neither I nor the flat mates I was with were able to utter a word until we reached...

Read more...

Brighton Rock

Adam Sweeting

Revisiting Brighton Rock was bound to cause an uproar. A couple of weeks ago, The Daily Telegraph’s Simon Heffer launched a ferocious assault on Rowan Joffe’s new screen version of Graham Greene's novel, while admitting he hadn’t seen it. Mind you, he had read some hostile comments on the internet. “Well ought to have been left alone,” he decreed.

Read more...

Men on the Bridge

Ismene Brown

As a child I lived for a while near the footings in Ortaköy of the Bosphorus Bridge, which was being constructed over the breathtaking straits of Istanbul. Our life as oil expatriates was many worlds away from the skinny hawkers, whistling traffic cops and sweating construction workers whom our car passed every day. Four decades later this magnificent bridge has brought a global political metaphor, an entire little commercial ecosystem, and a raft of deeply affecting human existences.

Read more...

Hereafter

Adam Sweeting

The depiction of a tsunami roaring up the beach and surging down the main street of an Indonesian seaside resort makes an enthralling opening to Clint Eastwood's latest creation. It's a terrifyingly visceral sequence that grabs you by the throat and forces you to confront the polarities of a comfortable life interrupted by sudden death.

Read more...

How Do You Know

Jasper Rees

Just to fill in that blank left by the title, how do you know when you’re in love? It’s the question posed by every romantic comedy ever made, satisfactorily answered only by the good ones.

Read more...

Barney's Version

Neil Smith

Canadian writer Mordecai Richler’s eclectic contribution to film includes uncredited work on Room at the Top, the screenplay for Fun with Dick and Jane and the original book behind Richard Dreyfuss’s early success The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. Like that 1959 novel, his final tome, Barney’s Version, dealt with the colourful history of a Montreal Jew.

Read more...

Biutiful

Emma Simmonds

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s stunning, painfully sincere - if somewhat laborious - latest is a heartfelt paean to fatherhood, built around an agonising escalation of misery. It is bolstered by a mesmerising performance from Javier Bardem as a terminally ill man experiencing physical deterioration alongside spiritual elevation, who bridges the gap between this life and the next.

Read more...

NEDS

Veronica Lee

Actor/director Peter Mullan describes NEDS, his third film as director (after Orphans and The Magdalene Sisters), as “personal but not autobiographical”, although it undoubtedly draws heavily on his working-class upbringing in 1970s Glasgow.

Read more...

Black Swan

Ismene Brown

They’re calling Black Swan BS on some of the dance websites, and while they’re right about the dancing, this is a whale of an enjoyable outing to the flicks: lush, Gothic, psycho and flavoursomely OTT. I don’t much care that Natalie Portman can’t dance for toffee - Tobey Maguire probably didn’t satisfy jockeys with his style in Seabiscuit, or Hilary Swank the boxing clubs in Million Dollar Baby.

Read more...

Get Low

Matt Wolf

Time, and a scruffy beard, can't dim the unshowy magnificence that is Robert Duvall, the actor's actor among American film stars who turned 80 earlier this month. That milestone might represent a cue in some quarters to hang up your cleats or, at least, to coast into old age via a kindly supporting role or two, of the sort Duvall essayed in Crazy Heart.

Read more...

Morning Glory

Matt Wolf

 

Read more...

Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould

graham Rickson

The classical-music industry loves dead icons; witness the endless reissuing and remarketing of recordings by Kathleen Ferrier and Jacqueline du Pré. Canadian pianist Glenn Gould died from a stroke at the age of 50 in 1982 and his seminal Bach discs have never been out of the catalogue since. Françis Giraud told Gould’s story on screen before in his 1993 film Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, an imaginative series of vignettes depicting scenes from Gould’s life.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

St Matthew Passion, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Whelan, St Patr...

After last year’s small-scale, big-impact Messiah in the Wigmore Hall, superlatives are again in order for the IBO’s performance of the...

Lisa Frankenstein review - a bitchy trawl through the high-s...

Diablo Cody’s biggest screenwriting hit was 2007’s Juno, a larky but tender story of teenage pregnancy. She’s gone back to high school...

First Person: violinist Tom Greed on breaking down barriers...

For musicians, the period from early 2020 to mid-2021 was one of great reflection, with so many questions to puzzle over. Could we satisfy the...

Album: Squarepusher - Dostrotime

Over the years, Tom “Squarepusher” Jenkinson has covered a lot of ground over three decades, from dank cellar ambience to refined baroque...

Standing at the Sky's Edge, Gillian Lynne Theatre revie...

Can there be anyone from Sheffield who has not seen ...

Anna Reid: A Nasty Little War - The West's Fight to Rev...

During the Cold War, US presidents often claimed that the West and the Soviet Union had...

Der fliegende Holländer, Royal Opera review - compellingly l...

The shadow of Nosferatu hangs heavily over Tim Albery’s powerfully austere staging of...

Cruel Intentions, The Other Palace review - uneasy vibes, hi...

Transgression was so deliciously enticing. Back in the Eighties when I saw Les Liaisons Dangereuses in the West End on three...

Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - Bruckner...

Sir Mark Elder conducted Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 for his first time in last night’s Hallé series concert, a reflection of his untiring...