tue 11/05/2021

mental health

The Artist's Wife review - uninspired portrait of dementia in the Hamptons

“The only child I’ve ever had is you,” the artist’s wife (Lena Olin), spits at the artist, her considerably older husband (Bruce Dern), who retorts, “That was your goddamn choice so don’t blame it on me.”Although the setting – a wintery East Hampton...

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Edward St Aubyn: Double Blind review - constructing 'cognition literature'

If it weren’t for the warning on the blurb, the first chapter of Double Blind would have you wondering whether you’d ordered something from the science section by mistake. It's a novel that throws its reader in at the deep end, where that end is...

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Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche review - memorialising her mother

There was always something a little diffident about teenage Marion Elliott-Said, who created her on-stage persona Poly Styrene after putting together her band X-Ray Spex from a small ad in the back pages of the NME in 1977. Male fans and the music...

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Words on Bathroom Walls review - well-meaning but glib

Adam (Charlie Plummer) is being tested for glaucoma at the start of Words on Bathroom Walls, the director Thor Freudenthal's adaptation of Julia Walton's 2017 Young Adult novel. In fact, the indrawn teenager is suffering from schizophrenia and will...

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Luxor review - Andrea Riseborough stars in cathartic drama about healing old wounds

Zeina Durra’s sophomore feature arrives on our screens a decade on from her debut, The Imperialists Are Still Alive! It was worth the wait. Luxor is a subtle, low-key drama that possesses an atmosphere of meditative calm, exploring a life that has...

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Relic review – a deadly disappearing act

The bleak power of the Australian horror movie Relic, Natalie Erika James’s feature debut, derives from its masterful use of a simple metaphor. The creepy house wherein Kay (Emily Mortimer) and her daughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) first seek and are...

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LFF 2020: Supernova review – Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth shine as couple on the road

Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of pleasure to be had watching Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth as a mature couple pootling around the UK in their humble camper van. They bicker about the satnav voice, argue the merits of the shipping forecast, and both...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Sally Anne Gross and Dr George Musgrave, authors of 'Can Music Make You Sick?'

Today is World Mental Health Day and of course that means an awful lot of hugs and homilies, thoughts and prayers, deep-breathing exercises and it’s-good-to-talk platitudes from people speaking from positions of immense privilege – ranging from the...

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Saint Maud review - creepy and strangely topical psychological horror

It only takes a few seconds of Saint Maud – dripping blood, a dead body contorted on a gurney, a young woman’s deranged face staring at an insect on the ceiling, an industrial clamour more likely to score the gates of hell than the pearly...

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Eternal Beauty review - imagination in every frame

Barring a few outliers, British indies tend to follow the same formula: serious subjects told seriously. Whether it’s a council estate, a rural farm, or a seaside town, you can always rely on that trademark tension and realism we Brits do so well....

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Playing Sandwiches & A Lady of Letters, Bridge Theatre review - the darkness dazzles, twice over

"Getting dark," or so comments Irene Ruddock (a pitch-perfect Imelda Staunton) in passing midway through A Lady of Letters, and, boy, ain't that the truth? Both this monologue, and the one that precedes it (Playing Sandwiches, featuring the mighty...

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Wayne Holloway-Smith: Love Minus Love review – powerfully excavating the tormented poet's psyche

Roughly two years since “the posh mums are boxing in the square” scooped first place in the 2018 National Poetry Competition, Wayne Holloway-Smith returns with Love Minus Love, his second full-length collection. The follow-up to Alarum (2017)...

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