Film

Imogen Poots and Owen Wilson

She's Funny That Way isn't funny at all

27 June 2015
She’s Funny That Way 12A, Nationwide

The writer and director Peter Bogdanovich has made three of my favourite films of all time (The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, What’s Up, Doc?) but I don’t think I’ll… Read more

Women only: The Gift of Fire

Why is a festival of Israeli film fighting for censorship in London?

20 June 2015

You might think that Jews, faced with a relentless campaign to ban their culture, would think once, twice, a hundred times, about instituting bans themselves. After they had thought about… Read more

ThinkstockPhotos-454433897

Don’t tell me not to be scared of sharks

20 June 2015

For 40 years, ever since Jaws set box-office records and struck terror into the hearts of a generation, there’s been a counter-movement to rehabilitate the reputation of sharks. Marine scientists… Read more

Sir Ian McKellen as Mr Holmes

I dozed through it quite significantly: Mr Holmes reviewed

20 June 2015
Mr Holmes U, Nationwide

Mr Holmes stars Ian McKellen as the great detective in his old age and while it could have proved a touching character study — who are you, not just when… Read more

London Road is a must see

The choreographer that does things to tango couples that Relate would not recommend

20 June 2015
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui — milonga Sadler’s Wells
London Road Cinemas nationwide

I often regret that I’m writing in the past tense here, but never more than about milonga. It is such a smash show in every way that by rights it… Read more

Adi Rukun tests the eyes of one of the men who killed his brother

Stunning, riveting, horrifying: Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence reviewed

13 June 2015
The Look of Silence 15, Nationwide

With Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing you’d be minded to think that’s it, that’s the Indonesian genocide (1965–66) done, but now he’s returned with a second film that is… Read more

John Boorman's Queen &  Country

Completely unmemorable - even though I saw it yesterday: Queen & Country reviewed

6 June 2015
Queen & Country 15, Nationwide

Queen & County is John Boorman’s follow-up to his 1987 semi-autobiographical film Hope & Glory, although why a sequel now, after 28 years, I don’t know. (We’re not in regular… Read more

You want a sinkhole to appear and swallow them up: Simon Pegg (Jack) and Lake Bell (Nancy)

Man Up review: a film that treats female singledom as if it were cancer

30 May 2015
Man Up 15, Nationwide

Man Up is a British rom-com starring Simon Pegg as Jack and Lake Bell as Nancy. Nancy’s problem, at the outset, is that she is 34 and still single —… Read more

Thousands of protesters gather for an anti-war demonstration in New York, 2003

We Are Many reviewed: does anyone think this anti-Iraq War film will change anything?

23 May 2015
We Are Many 12A

Big-screen documentaries never change the world. Blackfish has not shortened the queues to see maltreated killer whales leap through hoops at SeaWorld. Super Size Me reduced neither the all-American waistline… Read more

One of Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s Scots pines in the French Pavilion

Martin Gayford finds a few nice paintings amid the dead trees, old clothes and agitprop of the Venice Biennale

16 May 2015

At the start of Canto XXI of the ‘Inferno’, Dante and Virgil look down on the pit of Malebolge, the Eighth Circle of Hell, in which sinners guilty of simony,… Read more

Seeking a berth in Valhalla: Nicholas Hoult as Nux in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

Mad Max: Fury Road reviewed - your inner 12-year-old will be in heaven

16 May 2015
Mad Max: Fury Road (3D) Nationwide, 15

No one goes slack-jawed in wonder at the movies any more. In our cyber-enabled times, kid designers can mega-pixelate any old apocalypse on to the screen of your local Imax.… Read more

Titanic: Orson Welles as Falstaff in ‘Chimes at Midnight’ (1966)

Don’t believe Orson Welles, says his biographer Simon Callow — especially when he calls himself a failure

9 May 2015

Orson Welles would have been 100 this month. When he died in 1985, aged 70, the wonder was that he had lasted so long. His bulk was so immense, his… Read more

Chris Rock as Andre Allen alongside Rosario Dawson as Chelsea Brown

Top Five reviewed: Chris Rock hits rock bottom

9 May 2015
Top Five Nationwide, 15

The oeuvre of Chris Rock may not be fully known in this parish. He was the African-American stand-up who made a packet out of saying the unsayable about race. Richard… Read more

Spirited but always stylish: Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba

Far from the Madding Crowd reviewed: a proper film with proper acting and a proper story

2 May 2015
Far from the Madding Crowd Nationwide, 12A

Firstly, a message to all Marvel fanboys: there is nothing for you here. Nothing. No CGI, no endless battles, no superheroines with their boobs on show, no deafening soundtrack and… Read more

Back to black: Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

Avengers: Age of Ultron reviewed - confusing, undramatic, repetitive and loud

25 April 2015
Avengers: Age of Ultron 12A, Nationwide

Avengers: Age of Ultron is the second film in the Avengers franchise, as written and directed by Joss Whedon, and stars Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark (Iron Man), Chris… Read more

Tippi Hedren helps save schoolchildren in The Birds. Hitchcock confided to François Truffaut that he’d had ‘some emotional problems’ with Hedren during the shoot. For the final scene, live birds were attached to Hedren’s clothes. The actress became increasingly hysterical over the course of the week it took to film it, and when a bird finally went for her eyes, she collapsed

A profile of the worlds’s most famous film director — with the most famous profile

18 April 2015
Alfred Hitchcock: The Man Who Knew Too Much Michael Wood

New Harvest, pp.129, £14, ISBN: 9780544456228

Alfred Hitchcock Peter Ackroyd

Chatto, pp.279, £12.99, ISBN: 9780701169930

‘Do it with scissors’ was Alfred Hitchcock’s advice for prospective murderers, though a glance at these two biographies reminds us that scissors are also the chosen implement of the silhouettist.… Read more

Gardeners’ world: Alan Rickman (Louis XIV) and Kate Winslet (Sabine De Barra) at Versailles

A Little Chaos review: Kate Winslet emotes her little socks off

18 April 2015
A Little Chaos 12, Nationwide

A Little Chaos is a period drama directed by Alan Rickman and starring Kate Winslet as a woman charged to design and build a grand fountain garden for Louis XIV… Read more

Bette Davis, 1940 (Photo: STF/AFP/Getty)

Why Bette Davis loathed theatre

18 April 2015

It was called Frankly Speaking and by golly it was. The great screen actress Bette Davis was being interviewed by not one but two men: George Coulouris, with whom she… Read more

Italy’s highest-paid heart-throb, Mastroianni as Guido Anselmi, a film director in ‘creative limbo’

How Fellini made his modernist masterpiece

11 April 2015

Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita was a box-office triumph in Italy in 1960. It made $1.5 million at the box office in three months — more than Gone With the… Read more

Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’

Woman in Gold review: even Helen Mirren is weighed down by the script’s banalities

11 April 2015
Woman in Gold PG, Nationwide

Woman in Gold feels rather like a Jewish version of Philomena as this too is about an older woman seeking justice for what has been stolen from her in the… Read more

A still from the indie game Monument Valley

How gaming grew up

28 March 2015

Sometimes a guy feels abstracted from the world. He visits Europe’s finest galleries, but the paintings seem to hang like corpses from the walls. The great symphonies fail to stir… Read more

Ella (Lily James) with her evil stepmother (Cate Blanchett)

Lily James's Cinderella is more of a doormat than my actual doormat

28 March 2015
Cinderella U, Nationwide

Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella is a Disney film based on a Disney film, so is double Disney, if you like. It is a live-action adaptation of the 1950 animated version, and… Read more

Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) with his dinner date, Fiona (Gemma Arterton)

The Voices review: a hateful, repellent, empty film

21 March 2015
The Voices 15, Nationwide

The Voices is ‘a dark comedy about a serial killer’, which is not an overcrowded genre, and I think we can now plainly see for why. I was up for… Read more

French villager Lucile Angellier, played by Michelle Williams, falls for a Nazi soldier

Suite Francaise review: what is this film playing at, when it comes to Jews in attics?

14 March 2015
Suite Française 15, Nationwide

Suite Française is being billed as a second world war romance about ‘forbidden love’ and, in this regard, it is handsome, solid, well played and probably fine, if you haven’t… Read more

Staying power: Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in ‘Blade Runner: The Final Cut’

How Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic, Blade Runner, foresaw the way we live today

7 March 2015

In 1977 a journeyman actor called Brian Kelly optioned a science-fiction novel called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The book’s author, Philip K. Dick, had been writing science fiction… Read more