Month: September 2014

Robin Williams and Toni Collette

The Night Listener

  When he switches off the mouth, Robin Williams can be an incredibly effective actor. This is one of those turns, yet it’s ironically about a man who is a professional mouth, a DJ with a late-night show who uses his graveyard phone-in to tell and listen to stories. It’s

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Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin

The Best Films of 2014

  Of the 350+ films I saw this year, these are the best ones. Some of them were released last year and I’ve been a bit slow getting round to them. Some of them were released even longer ago. The criteria are – I watched them in 2014 and I liked

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Downtown Tokyo

Princes of the Yen

  Halfway through watching this simple but fascinating documentary, by the same team that made the equally eye-opening 97% Owned, a friend turned up. Instead of saying “How are you?” or “Wanna cup of tea?” (I’m writing this in the UK), I said, “God, I’m watching this amazing documentary about

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Adam meets Anthony in Enemy

Enemy

  If there is such a thing as “what the hellness” then Denis Villeneuve’s latest film absolutely has it. But then the French-Canadian does have form. With Incendies Villeneuve managed to turn the conflict in the Middle East into a thriller with a reveal that disconcerted and amazed. In Prisoners

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Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow

29 September 2014-09-29

  Out in the UK This Week     Edge of Tomorrow (Warner, cert 12, digital) As hyper-aware of his position in the culture as he is of a camera in relation to his three-quarter profile, Tom Cruise knows that a lot of people want to see him taking a

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Zhang Ziyi and brothel women in The Grandmaster

The Grandmaster

  There are misgivings even during the opening scene of this decade-straddling epic about Ip Man, generally described as “the man who trained Bruce Lee”. There’s legendary martial artist Ip Man (the impassive Tony Leung) in a stylish straw hat taking on a phalanx of uglies in a torrential nighttime

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Catherine Frot and Déborah François in The Page Turner

The Page Turner

    It’s often forgotten how much genre output the French make, and how well they do it. This icy thriller in a Chabrolesque mould has two brilliant performances at its centre. On the one side we have Déborah François as Mélanie, a young girl from a poor family whose

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Ingvar Eggert Sigur∂sson in Of Horses and Men

22 September 2014-09-22

  Out in the UK This Week     Of Horses and Men (Axiom, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD/digital) The jacket photo of the DVD shows a man sitting on a mare that’s being mounted by a stallion. The look of passive acceptance on the mare’s face, randy enthusiasm on the stallion’s

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Paul Barber in Dead Man's Cards

Dead Man’s Cards

    There’s a grimy directness to the Liverpool gangster drama which substitutes Scouse sarcasm for the lairiness of the mockney geezer equivalent. Made by debut director James Marquand and starring its co-writer, James McMartin, it’s the story of a washed-up boxer with a low sperm count who takes a job

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Alice Eve, James McAvoy and Rebecca Hall in Starter for 10

Starter for 10

    Write what you know, they say, and David Nicholls certainly does that here. An adaptation of his 2003 best-seller about a 1980s working class kid going to university, written by a 1980s working class kid who went to university, this comedy is full of period flavour and has

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