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Stan & Ollie

Everyone of a certain age remembers Laurel & Hardy’s famous piano removal scene. It comes in the 1932 hit The Music Boxwhen the comic pair were the toast of Hollywood, and of their producer Hal Roach. This film starts a few years later in 1937 when their star is beginning to wane.

Stan Laurel (an astonishing portrayal […]

Shoplifters

The Japanese government, usually so quick to praise its national successes, was mysteriously silent when director Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Palme D’Or at Cannes in 2018.  Kore-eda specialises in taking a long hard look at Japanese society – I Wish (see the review on this site here) is I think his best film and centres around the effect of […]

An Impossible Love

Love is the subject of many films, but the intriguing question here is, what deems it impossible? 

At the start of the film we see luminously beautiful shy Rachel (Virgine Efira) being seduced by intriguing handsome Philippe (Niels Schneider), an intellectual narcissist who tries to control her from the very start, giving her Nietzsche to read.  Haven’t […]

Colette

I saw this at a BAFTA preview some weeks ago, and I was underwhelmed. So I am surprised to read some of the other reviews claiming this as a ‘glamourous gritty biopic’ and the wide applause for Keira Knightley’s performance in the title role. I guess I am just not a Knightley fan – her […]

Roma

The main theme in Alfonso Cuaròn’s epic Romais that life is shit. Especially if you are a woman. From the title sequence where water is being sloshed over a floor, to the recurring metaphor of piles of dog turds that the maid Cleo has to constantly clear up, the message is clear.

It is 1971 in Mexico and […]

The Favourite

The Favouriteis ‘loosely based’ on history. So what of the film is true I wonder? Was Queen Anne really a lesbian? Did the rivalry between Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough and her cousin Abigail really exist? Before writing this, I realised I knew nothing of Queen Anne, save that she was the daughter of James II, […]

Virunga

We saw this Oscar-nominated documentary in an open-air cinema, perched on the Fort Canning hillside in Singapore.  It was a magical way to see an, at times, heart-stopping film about the gorillas in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 2007 we had the privilege of visiting their cousins round the mountain in […]

Amy

This cannot be an objective review. Amy and our daughter. Louise, died within a few months of each, both from drugs. Her poison was alcohol, Louise’s was ketamine. They used to hang out in Camden together, playing pool at The Good Mixer. There is even a scene in the film with one of Louise’s friends. […]

Kingsman: The Secret Service

After a rather gruelling week, we decide we need some lightening up.  So what better than Kingsman,which ticks all the boxes: star-studded cast (Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Samuel L Jackson); comedy (British); spy thriller (James Bond spoof) and a main character who shares my name – Unwin. What more could you want?

It’s a rather old–fashioned concept, […]

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Sequels are always tricky and normally flops.  John Madden has managed to pull off anything but second-best in his return to Jaipur and our jolly geriatrics living out their twilight years in Sonny’s Marigold hotel. With the engagement and impending marriage of proprietor Sonny (Dev Patel) to Sunaina (Tina Desai) as the main event in a […]