On movies.

Page 4

Phew: “Iron Lady” is OK!

The worst charges one can make against the movie Iron Lady don't stand up. I see that her family and close admirers might be angry about it, but the rest of us can probably be glad there's an account of her time in office and life which is broadly fair (and broadly supportive, probably in spite of itself). To the slightly differing but very positive comments by Matthew Parris (in the LA Times) and by Iain Dale in his blog I mostly want to reinforce the latter's sense that this film will help the non-committal see why Mrs T was a force for good. Read more...


12 January 2012

DSK, “Spiral”, “The Ides…”, Leveson and Max.

Now we seem to have the perfect story - and, yes, I rather admire Andrew Marr for describing it as such on his show this morning. There is plausibe speculation that DSK was the victim of a sting or scam worthy of the view of French politics as portrayed in Spiral. Or should we say that it might be a sting or scam worthy of  American habits, as portrayed by The Ides of March? At the level of script, narrative, theatre, thriller, or whatever, we are having a ball. Read more...


27 November 2011

Contagion (USA, 2011): A good, solid effort

One doesn't expect a disaster movie to be quiet and respectable - still less that it might be engaging all the while. I'm more used to cutting my losses: thrills and tension come at the expense of what Matt Damon calls a "paranoia aesthetic", and there's usually lashings of anti-corporate, pseudo-dissident claptrap too. Read more...


10 November 2011

The Debt (2011, USA) vs The Debt (2007, Israel)

The new slick version of The Debt is a pretty good thriller but I couldn't help feeling it was just the tiniest bit exploitative. It has some advantages over the original Israeli version (called Ha-hov and released in 2007). Its storyline is more richly complex. The acting is better and the scenes in which the Nazi doctor manipulates his captors are more taut. There are more thrills and spills. Read more...


09 November 2011

“Beginners”: a small movie on the brink of greatness

Ewan McGregor shines in this movie. There's not a hint of the Norman Wisdom which sometimes afflicts him in cheekier moments. But the charm is certainly there. He is much more credible as an existentially sad man than he was as a writer in Ghost. But this isn't a sad film and it scrupulously avoids the feel-good too. It's the kind of paint-dryer one may well watch again and again. Read more...


12 August 2011

Win Win: **** going on *****

You expect Tom McCarthy to be marvellous: The Station Agent and The Visitor set a high bar. But this new one can more than hold its own: it has a morally complex story, a real development, lovely acting from everyone. It’s a feel-good piece, but has no hint of vulgarity about… Read more...


16 June 2011

My Dog Tulip: 3 stars?

I was ho-hum about The Illusionist and an absolute sucker for Waltz With Bashir. So I was bound to be curious about My Dog Tulip. My first tiny beef is that (like The Illusionist, if I recall) this period piece couldn't be bothered to get the London taxis half-way right. And I wasn't at all sure about the accuracy of Ackerley's Putney flat either. Such things are not small beer, and can mar good work.... Read more...


15 June 2011
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