tue 27/07/2021

family relationships

Riders of Justice review - revenge, coincidence and the meaning of life

All events are products of a series of preceding events. Or is life just a chain of coincidences? And if so, what’s the point in anything? Danish director Anders Thomas Jensen’s brilliantly inventive, genre-busting black comedy starts with a bicycle...

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Two of Us review - a lesbian love story with a difference

“Do you have a problem with old dykes?” demands Nina (the superbly ferocious Barbara Sukowa) of a bland, nervous young estate agent, halfway through this wonderfully original first feature from director Filippo Meneghetti. No, he stammers. “You see...

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Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare's Globe review - unsatisfactory mix of clumsy and edgy

"It is dangerous for women to go outside alone," blares the electronic sign above the stage of the new Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare's Globe. This disquieting sentiment obviously takes some of its resonance from the Sarah Everard case, yet it also...

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French Exit review - Michelle Pfeiffer faces mortality

Michelle Pfeiffer all but purrs her way through French Exit, as befits a splendid actress who cut a memorable Catwoman onscreen nearly thirty years ago. Playing a New York grande dame who deals with bankruptcy by decamping with her son Malcolm (...

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Hairspray, London Coliseum review - brighter and more welcome than ever

A revival of a multi-award winning musical, with a big star or two, may look like a safe choice to re-open London’s largest theatre, the Coliseum, but there was a tingle of jeopardy in the air, exemplified when the show catches you by surprise...

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Under Milk Wood, National Theatre review - Michael Sheen at his most magnetic

There's commanding, and then there's Michael Sheen, who sweeps on to the Olivier stage 15 minutes or so into the new National Theatre revival of Under Milk Wood and scoops up the entire production with it. Inheriting a role made to order for this...

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Raya, Hampstead Downstairs review - a richly fraught reunion

Thirty years on, Alex and Jason meet at a university reunion and cab it back to Jason’s old student house where Alex is thinking “probably…” and Jason is thinking “probably not…”  - each, it turns out, with good reason. We look on as the clumsy...

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The Reason I Jump review - compelling and controversial

Back in 2017, a non-speaking autistic teen, Naoki Higashida wrote and published The Reason I Jump. He hoped it would offer some insight into the minds of people with autism. The book was subsequently translated by Keiko Yoshida and her husband,...

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Surge review - jittery and joyless

Seventeen years after Ben Whishaw shot to attention playing Hamlet, this terrific actor is again playing someone "mad-north-northwest". Marking TV director Aneil Karia's feature film debut, Surge casts Whishaw as a jittery wreck called Joseph, whose...

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Trying, Apple TV+ review - the road to parenthood takes a fresh path

An attractive and likeable cast remains the principal drawing card of Trying, the Apple TV+ romcom centred around the efforts of a 30something couple to adopt a child. Following on from the first season aired last spring, Andy Wolton's creation...

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Rare Beasts review - Billie Piper as triple threat

Emotions don't come in half-measures in Rare Beasts, with which Billie Piper makes a commendably edgy debut as writer-director onscreen while affording herself a stonking star part. Dedicated., we're informed, to "all my friends and all their woes...

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End of Sentence review - an American father and his estranged son reconcile in Ireland

It’s not until the final moments of End of Sentence that Frank (John Hawkes) lets himself laugh – he’s swimming in the icy waters of an Irish lake - and what a relief it is to hear. Icelandic director Elfar Adalsteins’s debut feature (Sailcloth, a...

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