Fiona Mountford

Awards season loses its shine when no one can go to the cinema

Here it is again, a couple of months later than usual but back nevertheless. It’s the time of the annual jamboree that is film awards season, a three-month extravaganza that predominantly revolves around three key events: the Golden Globes, the Baftas and the Oscars. All three of these celebrations of artistic excellence and mutual backslapping

The importance of a good funeral

In ITV’s otherwise terrible drama Finding Alice, one line struck me with particular force. A funeral director is addressing our heroine, who finds herself unexpectedly having to organise last rites for her partner. Wicker coffins are particularly popular now with relatives, says the undertaker, and I found myself nodding in strong agreement. A light woven

Women need to take control and take the wheel

There is a Saudi Arabian film that I love. It is called Wadjda and is about a young girl who longs to have her own bike, so that she can play outside and ride wherever and with whomsoever she likes. Yet Riyadh’s restrictive patriarchy frowns upon women having agency over their means of transport, even

Sets appeal: the distracting beauty of TV backdrops

Never mind the regal and political tussles depicted in The Crown; the real action comes with the closing credits. This is the kind of list of job titles of which many feature films can only dream. In addition to the seven art directors of various ranks, there is an art department co-ordinator, art department assistant,

Just the ticket: why I love collecting stubs

I know the exact day when my future life as a critic was set on its course, because I still have the ticket stub to prove it. It was 5 June 1992 — seat D4 at the 8.15 p.m. screening, to be precise — when I went to the Curzon Phoenix cinema in central London

Covid has exposed our confusion about food

These past five Covid-buffeted months have shone a spotlight as never before on the choices we as a nation make about and around food. We are quite confused when it comes to eating. The government’s two recent messages on the subject are in conflict with each other: it’s our civic duty to ‘eat out to

The unexpected joy of going to church online

During Holy Week and Easter I went to church five times. Or more accurately, I should say that I logged onto Facebook Live on five separate occasions. There I watched with joy and no little sense of amazement as my suburban parish church, by no means at the cutting edge of modern technology, skilled up