wed 24/02/2021

America

To Olivia review - Keeley Hawes rises above brainless biopic

Sure, Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but is that any excuse for a film quite so saccharine? He of all challenging and complex men, with a temperament to match, seems an odd subject for the sort of weightless, paint-by-numbers...

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Music review - a few music videos cobbled together

What did Sia want to achieve with Music, her deeply confused first stumble into filmmaking? The reclusive Australian has enjoyed years of global fame for a successful music career. Was it never enough?Music is about an autistic girl called Music (...

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Framing Britney Spears, Sky Documentaries review - the rollercoaster ride of the former teen icon

She became one of the most successful pop stars in history, but Britney Spears has also become a paradigm of the horrors and pitfalls of life in the white heat of showbusiness. This new documentary by Samantha Stark (made by the New York Times)...

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Patricia Lockwood: No One is Talking About This review - first novel goes beyond the internet

This is a novel, says Patricia Lockwood in her Twitter feed, about being very inside the internet and then being very outside of it. At first, I thought the title referred to aspects of the internet and its disappearing history, as in, “'MySpace was...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story

In the autumn of 1975, Martin Scorsese was finishing Taxi Driver, Bob Dylan began his Rolling Thunder Revue tour, and Orson Welles’ F for Fake premiered in New York. Welles’ manipulation of found documentary footage of art forger Elmyr de Hory into...

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Bliss review - simulation or real life?

Bliss gets off to a powerful start. Stressed-out Greg Wittle (an endearing Owen Wilson) is in his office, trying to do several things at once: draw his dream seaside home in great detail; talk to his daughter; renew his painkiller prescription by...

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Malcolm & Marie review - actorly grandstanding in beautiful black and white

Do you want to spend 105 minutes trapped in a house with two people arguing, or do you already feel that your life under lockdown is quite quarrelsome and claustrophobic enough? If your answer is the former, then Malcolm & Marie is the...

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Album: Foo Fighters - Medicine at Midnight

The massed rock audiences which caused Dave Grohl’s old band such angst have fuelled the Foos. This tenth album was finished early in their 25th year, with a celebratory lap of 2020 festivals booked. Now these are anthems without an audience,...

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The Capote Tapes review - lush portrait of the louche writer

"A candied tarantula" is one of the many great descriptions of Truman Capote that light up this conventionally made but enjoyable profile of the American author most famous for Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood. Written and...

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Eddie S Glaude Jr: Begin Again - James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Today review - can America avoid the fire this time?

I suspect that the work of James Baldwin is not all that familiar to readers in Britain, perhaps not even to black readers in Britain – just as, for a time at least, it seemed that Martin Luther King, a much more visible figure in black history...

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Album: Eminem - Music To Be Murdered By Side B

Becoming a has-been is Eminem’s main raw material now, the rocket-fuel for his rhetorical flights. He was a folk-devil 20 years ago, then a prescription drug-zombied recluse, then a huge comeback pop star. Extending that third act has been hobbled...

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Servant, Apple TV+ review - shocks, shivers and black humour in missing-baby saga

The oeuvre of M Night Shyalaman has tended to veer between unsettling creepiness and sometimes hilarious misfires, but, working as Executive Producer with screenwriter Tony Basgallop, he’s hit the spot with this unnerving series for Apple TV +. Just...

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