drama

The Beguiled

July 15, 2017
Colin Farrell treads a tightrope on one leg among Miss Farnsworth's ladies

It was a novel experience last week to see Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, followed a few days later by Eleanor Coppola’s Paris Can Wait. Eleanor is the wife, and Sofia the daughter, of the more famous Francis Ford Coppola, but the entire family seems to have cinema in their DNA. In 2013, grand-daughter, Gia Coppola, … More


Lady MacBeth

July 7, 2017
Florence Pugh gives us the hard stare in 'Lady MacBeth'

Never underestimate the power of boredom. In Nikolai Leskov’s novella, Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk (1865), we hear about “that peculiarly Russian boredom, the boredom which… it is said, makes even the thought of hanging oneself seem a cheerful prospect.” In his debut feature, British director, William Oldroyd, transposes the Leskov’s Gothic tale from provincial Russia … More


A Quiet Passion

July 1, 2017
Emily Dickinson... how to have fun without leaving your room

How dreary – to be – Somebody! How public – like a Frog – To tell one’s name – the livelong June – To an admiring Bog! For Emily Dickinson (1830-86) there was a distinction in being Nobody as opposed to Somebody. Now considered one of the greatest American poets, Dickinson spent almost her entire … More


Una

June 22, 2017
Una and Ray: who'll blink first?

Few subjects today inspire such blind outrage as child sexual abuse. It seems that all communities require one exemplary outlet for pent-up anger and hatred. Or is it a human need to feel morally superior to someone, anyone? Our liberal attitudes have ruled out the racial and sexual prejudices of our forebears, but one would … More


My Cousin Rachel

June 14, 2017
Young Philip Ashley explores the grassy paddocks of Cornwall with his cousin Rachel

Daphne Du Maurier (1907-89) is one of those writers destined to be forever suspended between literature and pulp fiction. Her work has echoes of the great Victorian novelists but also a tinge of Gothic horror. She may not have beeen deep but she knew how to tell a fabulous, gloomy story. It’s the pulp aspect … More


Alien Covenant

May 19, 2017
Katherine Waterston meets the Alien

Damien Hirst must feel pissed off that the release of Alien Covenant occurred after he’d already completed his massive Venice Biennale exhibition, Treasures From the Wreck of the Unbelievable. Amid bronze and marble effigies of every conceivable mythological creature, every pop culture icon from Mickey Mouse to Yo-Landi of Die Antwoord, the only character missing … More


Rules Don’t Apply

May 5, 2017
Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 9.29.51 am

Does anybody remember Howard Hughes? Rules Don’t Apply, Warren Beatty’s fictionalised portrait of the eccentric billionaire, was reputedly decades in gestation. In the meantime we’ve had The Aviator, Martin Scorsese’s bio pic of Hughes’s early life, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning five. Thirteen years … More


Frantz

April 8, 2017
Pierre Niney and Paula Beer in 'Frantz' (2016)

Towns don’t get much more German than Quedlinburg. Nestled in the heart of Saxony it has about 20,000 inhabitants, but calls itself “the first capital of Germany” because King Heinrich was crowned there in 919 CE. Throughout the years of division its medieval buildings were preserved intact by the poverty of the East. Quedlinburg is … More


A Man Called Ove

March 31, 2017
Rolf Lassgård in 'A Man Called Ove' (2015)

“You don’t need to put Christmas into everything,” complains Ove, whose life story has become a surprising worldwide hit. A Man Called Ove is unashamedly sentimental but this doesn’t seem to be a problem for most cinema-goers. Earlier this year, Ove earned Sweden an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Being part of … More


A Cure for Wellness

March 29, 2017
Dane DeHaan in A Cure of Wellness (2016)

For the first hour of Gore Verbinski’s A Cure for Wellness, one feels dazzled by the stylishness of a New Age horror flick in which the world of high finance seems scarier than anything a mad doctor could dream up. But as this over-long story puffs its way to the finish line one pictures Verbinksi … More