Month: May 2013

Charlotte Rampling and Ménothy Cesar sit on a bed

Heading South

      Charlotte Rampling often gets a free pass in films. Sometimes that’s for all the right reasons, such as her association with great directors such as Visconti, Lelouch or Ozon. Sometimes for the wrong ones – the more generalised cultural cringe before the French, with whom she’s also

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Amy Huck as the nanny obeying Damien's orders in The Omen

The Omen

      Thirty years on, a pointless remake of the film that put quite a few bums on seats in 1976. Back then Gregory Peck was playing the American diplomat slowly realising he’s bringing up the spawn of Satan, and Lee Remick (an expert in lip-tightening panic) was the

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Dina Korzun in Forty Shades of Blue

Forty Shades of Blue

    An oblique drama which appears to be about a retired Memphis music producer and ends up being more about his much younger Russian, possibly cash-up-front, wife. Rip Torn plays Alan, the legend, blustering egomaniac and serial boozer whom everyone appears to idolise, on the surface at least. The

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Emily Watson and Gabriel Byrne in Wah-Wah


    Richard E Grant’s autobiographical book With Nails (a reference to his film debut in Withnail and I) having been something of a hit, it was probably only a matter of time before he tried his hand at directing. He’s once again in loosely autobiographical territory in this drama

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Klaus Maria Brandauer as Colonel Redl

Colonel Redl

      Colonel Redl is an adaptation of John Osborne’s play A Patriot for Me and charts the rise and fall of a soldier with opportunism where principles should be. It’s a sumptuous affair set in the dog days of the Austro-Hungarian empire and builds slowly towards a painfully

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Sabina Guzzanti Viva Zapatero

Viva Zapatero!

      After a slew of documentaries from the US, not least Michael Moore’s prodigous output, here’s a reminder that Europeans can make political documentaries too. Viva Zapatero! is a pop at Italian prime minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi by Sabina Guzzanti, whose politically satirical TV programme was

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Piper Perabo and Lena Headey in Imagine Me and You

Imagine Me and You

    A duvet-day rom-com in the Four Weddings mould but with a pair of lesbians doing the canoodling. As seems to be de rigueur these days, the plucky Brit babe is played by an American. And Piper Perabo makes a decent stab at an English accent, playing the newlywed

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Audrey Tautou, Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code

    “What, [dodges bullet] you mean Jesus wasn’t really the Son of God [jumps into speeding car] and married Mary Magdalene [hijacks armoured vehicle] who bore a child who [takes plane to an England full of half-timbered cars] established a bloodline which [evades knife-thrust of albino monk] if it

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Sima Mobarak-Shahi in Offside


      Iranian Jafar Panahi’s comedy is about a group of girls who are arrested for dressing up as boys and trying to get in to see the 2006 World Cup Iran/Bahrain qualifier, women not being allowed to watch football in Iran. Accessing another country’s culture through football is

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Arnold Schwarzenegger and Johnny Knoxville

27 May 2013-05-27

    Out in the UK This Week The Last Stand (Lionsgate, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Welcome back Arnold Schwarzenegger, just a touch arthritic after all those years running California and now, with seven projects announced on the imdb, clearly cranking them out quick before the ibuprofen wears off. So what

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