Carey mulligan

A marvel – how did Bradley Cooper pull it off? Maestro reviewed

As the overture to Candide blazed away during the ovation for Maestro at the Venice Film Festival, three members of the audience flung their arms around in an imitation of Leonard Bernstein’s conducting style. They were his children, Jamie, Alexander and Nina, and their reaction said it all. Bradley Cooper, the film’s star and director, had pulled off a piece of cinematic chutzpah worthy of Lenny himself. His secret? The last quality you associate with the most embarrassingly flamboyant genius in American musical history: understatement. It’s easy to imagine the ghastly three-hour biopic Cooper didn’t make. West Side Story goes from near-catastrophe to wild triumph. Children all over America are

The best food podcasts

You have to hand it to Ed Miliband. After bacon sandwich-gate, he might never have eaten in public again, but there he was, wolfing down cod and chickpeas, eggs and Za’atar on the chart-topping podcast Table Manners with Jessie Ware. Presumably he thought that audio would be a fail-safe medium in which to redeem himself. No cameras, no aggressive questioning (the show is co-hosted by singer Jessie Ware and her mum Lennie), no risk. Suffice it to say he underestimated this one. An early part of the conversation, in précis, ran like this: ‘What’s your go-to dish?’, ‘I’m a recipe-box follower and a recipe follower.’ ‘Which recipe books?’, ‘That’s a

Clever, funny and stomach-knotting: Promising Young Woman reviewed

Promising Young Woman is a rape-revenge-thriller that has already proved divisive but is a wonderfully clever, darkly funny, stomach-knotting — my stomach may never unknot — exploration of what #notallmen seem to get: it isn’t OK to have sex with a woman who has had a few too many and isn’t in a position to give consent. Unless, of course, she is also out late at night and wearing a short skirt in which case: asking for it. We all know that. This is written and directed by the extraordinary polymath that is Emerald Fennell, who was head writer for the second series of Killing Eve, has collaborated with Andrew

The Golden Globes: 8 of the best nominated films to watch

‘When it comes down to it, I’d rather have an action figure than a Golden Globe.’ – Chadwick Boseman The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the annual Hollywood Press Association Awards by two months; for the first time the show will be a bi-coastal affair, broadcast from the usual venue of The Beverly Hills Hilton on the West Coast and from The Rainbow Room in New York City. In their fourth crack at the gig,  the Golden Globe hosts will be Tina Fey (East Coast) and Amy Poehler (West), taking over from Ricky Gervais, who took his fifth turn at presenting the awards last year, where his trademark snark was felt by some

Remarkably moving: The Dig reviewed

Just before the outbreak of the second world war a discovery was made in a riverside field at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk. It was an immense buried boat, dating from the 7th century, and it yielded gilded treasure after gilded treasure, thereby wholly changing our understanding of the Dark Ages. ‘They weren’t dark… by Jupiter!’ as one archaeologist puts it here. It is a fascinating story that could have been told as a full-on thriller. But instead the film employs a delicious, graceful restraint, paying as much attention to deeply buried feeling as to what’s buried deeply in the earth. It’s remarkably moving. By Jupiter, I even cried by the

Beyond The Dig: is there more buried treasure in Suffolk?

Where is England’s ‘valley of the kings’? You’d be forgiven for not knowing. The Anglo-Saxon monarchs buried there are, like much of the rest of that period, little more than a footnote in the crash course in history you get at school.  When the Romans headed home in the fourth century, it’s often thought that not much happened in Britain for a few hundred years. If those who took the road back to Rome were cultured and civilised, the people they left behind were, well, anything but. But a new film by Netflix on the Anglo-Saxon treasure unearthed at Sutton Hoo puts paid to the idea that the Romans’ successors