fri 23/04/2021

old age

Album: Tom Jones - Surrounded by Time

“I'm growing old,” laments Tom Jones as his 40th studio album draws to a close. Sir Tom is “growing dimmer in the eyes” and “drowsy in my chair”. These blunt observations are not sugared with the mordant humour that, say, Randy Newman or the late...

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Minari review - a Korean family searches for the American dream

“David, don’t run,” is the refrain that runs through the first scenes of Lee Isaac Chung’s affecting, autobiographical Minari, acclaimed at Sundance, winner of a Golden Globe for best foreign language film (it’s mainly in Korean) and nominated for...

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Endgame/Rough for Theatre II, Old Vic review - Beckett played for laughs

“Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.” Director Richard Jones has certainly taken Beckett’s words to heart in this vividly comic, star-cast Old Vic double bill, pairing Endgame with a lesser-known short play – which acts as a sort of stylistic and...

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Blue, Chapter Arts Centre review - heartbreak in the family home

What's worse than grieving? That all-consuming loss. For those that have experienced it, nothing really comes close. It starts to bug Thomas (Jordan Bernarde, main picture second right) during his visit to the Williams household. Recently bereaved...

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Magda Szabó: Katalin Street review - love after life

This is a love story and a ghost story. The year is 1934 and the Held family have moved from the countryside to an elegant house on Katalin Street in Budapest. Their new neighbours are the Major (with whom Mr Held fought in the Great War) and his...

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The Height of the Storm, Wyndham's Theatre review - Eileen Atkins raises the elliptical to art

If you're going to write a play that traffics in bafflement, it's not a bad idea to have on hand one of the most beady-eyed actresses around. That would be Dame Eileen Atkins, whose keen-eyed intelligence cuts a swathe through the deliberate...

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Lavinia Greenlaw: In the City of Love’s Sleep review - curated lives

Iris is a museum conservator with a pair of pre-adolescent daughters and a failing marriage. Raif is a widower and an academic who, since writing a book on curiosity cabinets a decade ago, has quietly sunk into a kind of irrelevance. Both have...

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Olga Tokarczuk: Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead review - on vengeful nature

In a small town on the Polish-Czech border where the mobile signal wanders between countries’ operators and only three inhabitants stick it out through the winter, animals are wreaking a terrible revenge. The bodies of murdered men, united in their...

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Edie review - Sheila Hancock gets summit fever

There have been plenty of films about mountains, and they are mainly about men. The plot tends not to vary: man clambers up peak because, as Mallory famously reasoned, it is there. Whether factual or scripted, often they are disaster movies too:...

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Lisa Halliday: Asymmetry review - unconventional and brilliant

Lisa Halliday’s striking debut novel consists of three parts. The first follows the blooming relationship between Alice and Ezra (respectively an Assistant Editor and a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer) in New York; the middle section comprises a...

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Harold and Maude, Charing Cross Theatre review - Sheila Hancock serene in thin production

The practice of mining the rich seam of popular movies to turn them into stage plays or musicals seemingly never grows tired in theatreland. And sometimes it produces a gem but all too often it’s just a cynical ploy to attract ticket sales by piggy-...

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Chronic

This is a film which, if you want to see it in a cinema, needs to be caught fast. It’s unlikely to please big crowds. Chronic won Best Screenplay at Cannes in 2015 and its elliptical narrative will certainly stay with you, but it’s not a joyous...

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