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Let us rejoice at the resurrection – no, double resurrection – of James Bond. In Skyfall he is ‘killed’ by friendly fire in the first reel, which fools nobody. 007 dead before the opening credits? Do me a favour. But the more significant resurrection...
A real game of thrones
A ROYAL AFFAIR Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction and A Royal Affair rather illustrates that. Of course, no film can be entirely true but this one, though adapted from a novel, is firmly based on fact and remarkable enough that, were it...
Film reviews: 23 March
The question this film immediately raises is: what exactly is the target audience? The star is Robert Pattinson, aka Edward Cullen, the dashingly handsome vampire in the Twilight series, and probably the most lusted after young actor in movies today....
People have been trying to film Jack Kerouac's semiautobiographical novel, the bible of the Beat Generation, for more than 50 years. Now at last it arrives as a multi-national coproduction, directed by Walter Salles, episodic, always interesting but...
There was a time, not so long ago, when Ben Affleck was best known as one half of Bennifer, the other half being Jennifer Lopez, in an amorous relationship that attracted international publicity and no little ridicule. Not any more, though. In the last...
Forget the naff title – this is not at all a bad film, although it has, I think, been somewhat overpraised. It’s good but not that good. On the other hand, you have to give it full marks for boldness because both its protagonists, Bradley Cooper and...
Here’s a cheering thought – life begins at 75. Well, for Dustin Hoffman, at least, life as a film director does because this adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play marks his debut in that role. A somewhat unexpected choice for Hoffman it is, too. For this...
Lincoln is the front-runner for this year’s best picture Oscar, just as its star Daniel Day-Lewis is for best actor. This seems to me exactly right. The Golden Globe may have gone to Argo, but ignore that. Globes are handed out by 80-odd car salesmen...
As a fellow CIA agent says of Maya (Jessica Chastain) in Kathryn Bigelow’s excellent film: ‘It’s her against the world.’ Indeed it is. Maya – based on a real CIA operative who is now, for obvious reasons, living undercover – was the woman who found...
First a confession: I am a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino’s films – not all of them; I didn’t much care for the Kill Bill movies – because he, more than most, knows the value, power and beauty of words. At its best his dialogue makes his fi lms not only...
Woody Allen is the Marmite of the movies. You either love him or loathe him. For the most part – though not all the time – I fall into the former category. Allen at his best is still the wittiest, cleverest comedy film-maker around but of late, as he...
Film Reviews: 14 September
SHADOW DANCER A bit early yet to be talking about Bafta and Oscar nominations but right now I reckon Andrea Riseborough must be in with a pretty good shout. It would be unfair to say that she alone carries Shadow Dancer, a downbeat but gripping British...
Film Review: 31 August
THE BOURNE LEGACY Same old, same old – a sequel too far. Which is not to say that this is a bad film; once you decide there's not much point in trying to make head or tail of the plot it's really quite entertaining. But essentially it's a rehash of the...
Film Review: 3 August
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES So that's the end of Batman. Well, it is until someone else kick starts the series all over again. But I imagine that will be some years down the line because the final part of director Christopher Nolan's trilogy wraps things up...
Film Review: 20 July
THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT Interesting how one's perception of actors can change. I first became aware of Emily Blunt in The Devil Wears Prada wherein, as Meryl Streep's assistant, she had unbecoming reddish hair and not very good make-up. She seemed...
Film Review: 22 June
PROMETHEUS Just before Christmas 2093, the eponymous spaceship Prometheus, about the size of a small castle, lands on a far, far distant planet. Its mission: to discover the origin of human life, no less. But don't get too excited; by the end, before...
Film Review: 15 June
THE DICTATOR Just for a while there as Sacha Baron Cohen tenderly kissed a woman's hairy armpit the fearful thought arose that the man was getting soft on us. But no, it's OK; The Dictator is certainly a far more conventional film than Borat or Brüno...
Film Reviews: 25 May
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE At this time of year when summer is about to break (or more likely pour) upon us the fi lm industry seems to believe that we've all decided to give our brains a rest for a few months. We don't want movies that are going to make us...
Film Review: 4 May
AT CINEMAS NOW Turning a daft idea into gold Heart-warming, with a classy cast, this is good old-fashioned entertainment The critics have been rather sniffy about this one, much as they were with Love Actually, sucking their teeth reprovingly over the...
Film review: 20 April
What is it with these Scandiwegians? For decades Americans led the way in writing crime fiction but in recent years they've been overtaken by such Swedes as Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson and now the Norwegian Jo Nesbø. (Actually I have my doubts...

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