sat 18/09/2021

Hollywood

Oscars 2021: Sluggish, yes, but some surprises too

“God gave us 12 notes,” said Jon Batiste as he accepted the Best Score Oscar for the animated film Soul. True enough, even if it felt from very early on as if the 93rd Academy Awards might well last 12 hours, the ceremony flickering to life in its...

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The Columnist review - taking out the trolls

There aren't many unforgettable moments in The Columnist, but one occurs when the eponymous Dutch journalist Femke Boot (Katja Herbers) clambers from the skylight of her house and, unseen by her middle-aged neighbour (Rein Hofman), who's doing DIY...

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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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Blithe Spirit review - cloth-eared Coward

Noel Coward's 1941 comedy was one of the theatrical casualties of the first lockdown last March in a Richard Eyre-directed West End revival that aimed to mine the pain beneath this play's abundance of bons mots. And now as if to pick up the baton,...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Dementia

The cheaply made experimental exploitation indie Dementia (1955) is one of those footnotes in movie history that makes cultists salivate. And with good reason – it’s a wry blend of film noir and horror that makes you wonder if it was a...

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Blu-ray: Ivansxtc

“Every cliché about Hollywood is true,” director Bernard Rose remarked in 2018, at the screening Q&A of the restored version of his 1999 Ivansxtc that appears as an extra on this Arrow release – and, post-#MeToo, the film’s satire of that milieu...

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The Movies: The Seventies review - a mirror on malaise

Sky’s 12-part documentary series The Movies is an unabashed celebration of American cinema. Barrages of clips make it an entertaining survey of Hollywood (and occasionally Off-Hollywood) through the years. Downplaying film as art, and scarcely...

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Blu-ray: Safety Last!

Comparing Harold Lloyd with Keaton and Chaplin is difficult. Though the input he brought to his films was crucial, Lloyd didn’t write or direct, and there’s much discussion as to whether he was a genuine comedian or a straight actor playing the part...

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Women Make Film: Part Two review - two steps forward, one step back

The second half of Mark Cousins’ documentary on films by women filmmakers starts with religion; it ends with song and dance. This is a second seven-hour journey through cinema. It reconfirms Women Make Film as a remarkable feat of excavation and...

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Reborn review - horror on the Hollywood skids

The Frankenstein-style, electrical storm-sparked resurrection of a dead baby in a hospital morgue, and her theft by its creepy attendant, is followed by a homage to Stephen King’s supernaturally potent teenagers, from Carrie to Firestarter, in a...

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Hollywood, Netflix review - rosy escapism serving good causes

If you're catering for wish fulfilment, you might as well go the whole hog. Some say that Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, in their latest peachy extravaganza, aim no higher than the cheesier fantasies of the late 1940s Hollywood they take into...

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Blu-ray: Fuller at Fox

This new Eureka! boxset of 4K and 2K restorations provides ample evidence as to why Samuel Fuller was venerated by such a wide range of film-makers, including Godard, Wenders, Scorsese and Tarantino. Often characterised as a purveyor of pulp...

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