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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 […]

Big Eyes

Tim Burton returns to earth in his latest collaboration with Ed Woodscreenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. After his recent horrors – I didn’t see Frankenweenieas I foundAlice in Wonderlandsimply grotesque (read my review here) – he returns to the subject of a much-misunderstood artist, in this case Margaret Keane.

The film is based on the strange-but-true story of […]

Inherent Vice

In a year when movie-makers were challenged by declining viewing figures and were taking no chances with experimental or risky ventures, Inherent Viceshines out as an exception. Paul Thomas Anderson has faithfully adapted Thomas Pynchon’s novel, which has won him a Best Screenplay Oscar nomination. For a stoner novel to morph into a stoner movie is […]

Whiplash

So I called it right on the Oscars – Eddie Redmayne and Birdman. I hadn’t seen Whiplashbefore the ceremony so had no opinion on J. K. Simmons, who won Best Supporting for his bullying, foul-mouthed music teacher.

For a movie shot in only 19 days, it certainly delivers and some of the big blockbusters could learn from the […]

The Imitation Game

Whoever heard of interview by crossword puzzle? Well, that’s how Alan Turing insisted that his team was selected for the job of cracking the Enigma Code.

Poor old Turing. Arguably he was as big a hero as any of the military commanders in winning the war, but until recently his role has been diminished and overlooked […]