Doctor Zhivago

Four out of five stars. A 4k restoration at the BFI and  – wow! – does it deliver. David Lean’s 1965 epic  literally jumps off the screen with stunning cinematography by the great Freddie Young. Sure the narrative is clunky at times and you can feel the compression of events from the source material in […]

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Black Mass

Three and a half out of five stars. Enjoyable gangster film in the tradition of Scarface. So queue the dodgy hairstyles and sideburns topped off by some pretty brutal scenes – you’re never five minutes away from your next shooting. But entertaining as it is, Black Mass lacks the panache of a Goodfellas. Sure Johnny […]

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A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

3.5 out of 5 stars Watching this classic more than half a decade later (for the first time on screen), it’s obvious that its visual and conceptual creativity are way ahead of its time. The same cannot be said, however, about the stereotypical acting, ranging from David Niven’s stiff upper lip English toff to Marius […]

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Steve Jobs

4 out of 5 stars Maybe my fellow bloggers’ less than stellar reviews have managed my expectations or maybe I’m just more used to Aaron Sorkin’s wordy style after years of watching his work on TV and in films, but I respectfully disagree with the other reviews here: the 2hrs running time flew by for […]

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The Lady in the Van

3.5 out of 5 stars While you will not be disappointed if you come to see Maggie Smith acts her filthy hobo socks off on screen; the film is about her Miss Shepherd as much as it is about Alan Bennett who let her and her van sit in his driveway for 15 years. So […]

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The Danish Girl – Trailer

Yesterday, I saw the new trailer for The Danish Girl, the new film with Eddie Redmayne. From the trailer, I gathered that it is about a pretty male Danish painter who marries a female one. One day, he models for her by dressing up as a woman and he likes it. A lot. She gains […]

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Xanadu – Southwark Playhouse

“A place where nobody dared to go” Actually it’s the Southwark Playhouse continuing to deliver with another in its run of forgotten musical gems. Perfect campy fun; great production values and excellent central performances all round. As productions go, the Subtitled Friends really had a wonderful evening. As Patron Wong said, Suddenly, it’s Magic. And […]

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The Program

2.5 out of 5 stars Despite Stephen Frears’ directing, which admittedly has its moments of inspiration and flair, John Hodge’s proficient (though occasionally over-expositional) script, and Ben Forster’s portrayal of Lance Armstrong which goes beyond impersonation to get at the man’s essence (his almost-sincere smile is a killer here); the film feels like a collection […]

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Brooklyn

3.5 out of 5 stars A charming film about an Irish girl’s journey from County Wexford to the titular New York borough, mirroring her own maturing into womanhood, it is competently made and beautifully acted, in particular, Julie Waters’ Mrs. Kehoe who brings the laughs, filtered through with a huge dose of Irish witticism and […]

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Brooklyn

3.5 out of 5 stars Home is where the heart is Sumptuous, if at times saccharine, adaptation of Colm Toibin’s novel anchored by a sublime central performance from Saoirse Ronan.

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