tue 23/07/2019

melodrama

The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles below is well worth your attention.Apollo 11 ★★★★ Archive documentary on first moon landing is an awe-...

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The Aftermath review - it looks great but it lacks bite

Is it time for the rebirth of the old-fashioned wartime weepie? If so, this time next year The Aftermath will be dragging a clanking heap of statuettes round Hollywood, attached to the rear bumper of its 1940s army staff car. If not…A cynical person...

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An Impossible Love review - toxic romance across the years

This is a love that begins sweetly, turns terrible, and is told with unflinching directness. Directed by Catherine Corsini, An Impossible Love is based on a novel by Christine Angot (known in France, and increasingly elsewhere, for her powerful...

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Isabeau, Opera Holland Park review - Mascagni's lumpy Godiva-ride rarity

Valiant Opera Holland Park, always taking up the gauntlet for Italian operas which should mostly never be staged again. Worst was Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini, where musical ambition vastly outruns technique and inspiration. Mascagni's Iris with...

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Tosca, Welsh National Opera review - ticking the traditionalist boxes

Opera-lovers: if you’ve finally had enough of the wheelchairs and syringes, the fifties skirts and heels, the mobile phones and the white box sets, and the rest of the symbolic paraphernalia of the right-on modern opera production, pop along to the...

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Doctor Foster, Series 2, BBC One review - belief suspended for a pacy and tense return

They say that living well is the best revenge. To be fair, they also say it’s a dish best served cold and I’m pretty sure they’re thinking of gazpacho, so I’m not entirely clear how much real meaning is to be found in these dictums. I’m also not...

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Coming soon: trailers to the next big films

Summer's here, which can only mean Hollywood blockbusters. But it's not all Spider-Man, talking apes and World War Two with platoons of thespians fighting on the beaches. There's comedy, a saucy menage-à-trois, a film about golf and even a ghost...

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My Cousin Rachel review - du Maurier remake too florid by half

From the breathless questions posed at the beginning onwards, My Cousin Rachel charges forward like one of leading man Sam Claflin's fast-galloping steeds. Presumably eager not to let this period potboiler become staid, director Roger Michell swoops...

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An Octoroon review - slavery reprised as melodrama in a vibrantly theatrical show

Make no mistake about it, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a playwright to watch. London receives its first opportunity to appraise his vibrant, quizzical talent with this production of An Octoroon, for which he received an OBIE in 2014 (jointly with his...

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Blu-ray: Mildred Pierce

Joan Crawford’s towering, lauded and Oscar-awarded lead performance in Michael Curtiz’s powerful 1945 film Mildred Pierce has the potential to diminish appreciation of the film as a whole. It can be watched for her career-reviving depiction of the...

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DVD: The Spring River Flows East

There’s rich irony in the timelining of 1940s Chinese blockbuster The Spring River Flows East. Cai Chusheng and Zheng Junli’s melodrama dates its 14-year timespan – events unroll from 1931 to the end of the war in 1945 – with reference to the...

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CD: Ben Chatwin - Heat & Entropy

Ben Chatwin's music speaks loudly of solitude. He lives and records on the coast of the Firth of Forth, just outside Edinburgh – not exactly the most isolated of spots, but it's not hard to hear in his waves of texture and simple repeated motifs the...

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