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The Railway Man

This is the perfect example of a smartass director taking a perfectly good book and prostituting it for Hollywood.

Actually the book on which this ‘true story’ is based is not so much a well-written book as a fascinating and sickening tale of Japanese brutality in the Second World War. I was drawn to it as […]

12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slavelooks set to win the ultimate accolade of Best Picture Oscar, having beaten Gravityat the Golden Globes. While Chiwetel Ejiofor lost out on Best Actor, McQueen to Cuaròn and newcomer Lupito Ngong’o to Hollywood darling Jennifer Lawrence, it nevertheless looks set to make history – and who knows, McQueen may yet become the […]

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The only way is up! Looking back on my review for the first film in the series [add link], I see I only gave it one star: I must have been feeling very grumpy. After I had posted that review, I met up with director Iain Softley who praised the film to the hilt and […]

The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug

Less than a week after having a huge chunk removed form my calf, I am itching for some light entertainment. Flipped between Hunger Games and The Hobbit, and Hobbit won, on the basis that it was a better book than the former and carries so many childhood memories. 

Happily ensconced in the Everyman’s premier seats, complete […]


I am no lover of sci fi but due to the buzz about Gravitydecided to try my luck. Also Cuarón is both a versatile and first rate director and producer of many films, including Y Tu Mamá También, Rudo y Cursi,  The Children of Men, Pan’s Labyrinth(a bit dodgy for me) and, of course, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The good […]


I love James McAvoy – dear little Mr Tumnus, Starter for 10, Atonement andLast King of Scotland – but I have never been an Irving Welsh fan.  I only went to see Trainspottingbecause I also love Ewan McGregor. So what on earth possessed me to go and see this?

My misgivings were fulfilled, I’m afraid. This seedy and bleak movie […]

How I Live Now

Still on a mission to cheer up the mother-in-law after last week’s failure with the aptly titled Blue Jasmine, this week’s outing was a bare notch up from the last. Director Kevin Macdonald is no slouch when it comes to movie-making, and I loved The Last King of Scotlandand Touching the Void, but it is a calculated risk […]

Blue Jasmine

I admit I was taken by surprise when I saw Blue Jasmine.  The bush telegraph drums – yes, dear reader, I was in Africa with no wi-fi, internet or even phone –had extolled the virtues of the new Woody, so on return I rushed to see it, taking mother-in-law who needed cheering up.

Oh dear! Thinking it would […]

What Maisie Knew

Once again, the smaller, niche film triumphs. Be gone Hollywood blockbusters like The Great Gatsbywith all its OTT schmaltz and glitz, bienvenue grade A acting from an ensemble ranging from the famous to the unknown.

I was not sure how Henry James’s eponymous short story would transfer to a contemporary custody battle.  But by telling the story from […]


This week I pay homage to another indie gem that barely made the light of day. Yet again, Singapore Airlines delivers the goods; yet again, I had heard of this movie but failed to catch it on the big screen.

It’s a movie that satisfies emotionally on so many levels: coming-of-age, love, suspense, loyalty, friendship, and […]