tue 25/02/2020

legal drama

Just Mercy review - soul-stirring true story about race and justice in America

Just Mercy, the latest film from Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), is based on a New York Times bestseller. It has a star-studded cast. It’s emotionally moving as well as intellectually accessible. But it’s no easy film to watch. “They can call...

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On the Basis of Sex review – real-life legal drama

When the world is as crazy as it is right now, its political life dominated by dolts and villains, it needs a new kind of hero. That’s why Americans are embracing an octogenarian woman with more guts and integrity than virtually anyone at her level...

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If Beale Street Could Talk review - love defies racism in James Baldwin adaptation

Films that show a young couple’s love deepening are rare because without personal conflict there’s no narrative progression. They're especially rare in the current mainstream American cinema since romantic dramas are commercially risky, though LGBTQ...

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Ralegh: the Treason Trial, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - gripping verbatim court case

Forget the cloak in the puddle. Never mind potatoes and tobacco. The children's book cliché of Sir Walter Raleigh (or Ralegh as he seems to have preferred in an age of changeable spelling) represents little of the real man and is at best misleading...

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Black Earth Rising, BBC Two review - Blick's new blockbuster

As writer and director, Hugo Blick has brought us two of the twistiest dramas in recent-ish memory (The Shadow Line and The Honourable Woman). Looks like he’s done it again here, if not more so, since the eight-part Black Earth Rising takes as its...

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Keeping Faith, BBC One review - this summer's watercooler drama

How well do you know the person you love? Are they someone completely different when you’re not around? This is the central question Eve Myles (main picture) has to answer in the BBC’s latest mystery drama. Faced with the sudden disappearance of her...

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Consent, Harold Pinter Theatre review - exhilarating

Question: is Consent, transferred from the National to the West End, a sharp-tongued comedy or an acute reinvention of a revenge drama? There are more than enough smartly placed laughs throughout the tart, increasingly taut first act, to make you...

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Mood Music, Old Vic review - riveting critique of the music biz

Playwright Joe Penhall and the music biz? Well, they have history. When he was writing the book for Sunny Afternoon, his 2014 hit musical about the Kinks, he had a few run-ins with Ray Davies, the band’s lead singer. A couple of years ago The Stage...

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The Split, BBC One, review - Abi Morgan’s densely packed divorce drama

A few years ago Abi Morgan was everywhere. For the cinema she scripted Shame, The Iron Lady, The Invisible Woman and Suffragette. On television she adapted Birdsong and created The Hour and, most recently, River. But she’s mainly been quiet for a...

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The Good Fight review - 'flawless writing and acting'

If Robert King and Michelle King, creators of The Good Wife, took the Joss Whedon line on sequels – “They are inevitably awful” – then we would not have The Good Fight (More4) gracing our screens. But, thankfully, this sequel (actually, more a spin-...

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Denial

As alternative facts go, few are as grievous as the assertion that the Holocaust didn't happen. That's the claim on which the British historian (I use that word advisedly) David Irving has staked an entire career. Its day in court provides...

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Prom 45: The Makropulos Affair, BBCSO, Bělohlávek

Karel Čapek, the great Czech writer who pioneered some of the most prophetic dramatic fantasies of the early 20th century, thought Janáček was nuts to want to set his wordy play about a 337-year-old woman to music. He could not have anticipated what...

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