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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 […]

Birdman

It’s a misconception that true life imitates art. Smartass critics have tried to compare Michael Keaton’s Batman career as a mirror of Birdmanand a genius sleight of hand by Iñárritu. Before we get carried away by this faux parallel of a has-been celebrity trying to rediscover his mojo with a seemingly doomed Broadway production of a Raymond […]

The Theory of Everything

So, if the Golden Globes are anything to go by, which they usually are, it looks like the Oscars are going to be a two-man competition for Best Actor between Eddie Redmayne for his Stephen Hawking, and Michael Keaton for Birdman.

The Theory of Everything, which was 10 years in development, is an adaptation of Jane Hawking’s […]

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

Peter Jackson has finally completed his magnum opus with Part Three of The Hobbit. I am surprised that this has received so much critical acclaim, as this last installment managed to spin out the thinnest of plot lines for just shy of two and a half hours and proffers only the shakiest of nods to Tolkein’s […]

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Katniss Everdeen is back to save the world – but hang on a minute, what’s this? Mockingjay Part 1?  Hollywood’s enslavement to mammon knows no bounds these days, what with Hobbits 1, 2 & 3– talk about sow’s purse from a silk ear  – not to mention the Star Warsindustry, and now this. Husband is extremely annoyed. The pity is […]

Nightcrawler

It’s impossible to be anything than utterly mesmerised by this ghoulish satire of modern times.  Lou Bloom is a petty criminal, driven to the limits of entrepreneurship to cobble together a living from scrap metal. One night, on his nocturnal rounds, he comes across a car smash and the ambulance-chasing crime ‘reporters’ filming the bloodied corpses […]

Gone Girl

Gone Girllives up to the hype. The column miles trumpeting its arrival – the debate surrounding its purported misogyny and claims to be a portrait of modern marriage – have all been hashed and re-hashed ad infinitum. The bottom line is that it is a film noir that self-consciously echoes the very best of the […]