Category: Biography

Kat Dennings in To Write Love on Her Arms

To Write Love on Her Arms

    Is there anything more life-sapping than listening to a druggie talking about drugs? Yes, a film about one, and it’s not less boring but more if it also offers a redemptive ta-daa. To Write Love on Her Arms is a film about one such, a young woman, played twixt

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Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette

    It’s tempting to look at writer/director Sofia Coppola’s biopic about Marie Antoinette as a coded self-portrait – young woman born into immense privilege, continuing in the family business, expected to have an understanding of the hoi polloi though with no experience thereof, allowed to indulge her whims, and

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Gregg Sulkin and Helena Bonham Carter in Sixty Six

Sixty Six

    Bernie, a London Jewish boy who sees his barmitzvah as the very peak of his young life, suddenly realises it’s taking place on the same day as the 1966 football (soccer) World Cup final. Will anyone come, especially once the home team start morphing from total no-hopers to potential

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Leonard Coen and U2

Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man

    For decades Cohen’s music has been misrepresented as the soundtrack to suicide. In fact the old (now 73) groaner is something of a comedian, though his wit is so dry it’s taken non-aficionados decades to catch on. He’s also something of a master of self-mythology, the sort of

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Ben Affleck and Diane Lane in Hollywoodland

Hollywoodland

    Looking on paper like something better than it actually turns out, Hollywoodland is one of those films purporting to lift the lid on Hollywood, LA Confidential style. It tells the lightly fictionalised story of George Reeves (Ben Affleck) the man who played Superman on 1950s US TV, and

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John Lennon and Yoko Ono in front of a version of the Stars and Stripes

The U.S. vs. John Lennon

    Professional musician and amateur situationist John Lennon has always been an easy target for anyone wanting to level a charge of hypocrisy. “Imagine no possessions,” he sang, and the fingers started pointing at his lavish lifestyle – insert your own version of the story about the fur coats kept

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Zhang Ziyi and brothel women in The Grandmaster

The Grandmaster

  There are misgivings even during the opening scene of this decade-straddling epic about Ip Man, generally described as “the man who trained Bruce Lee”. There’s legendary martial artist Ip Man (the impassive Tony Leung) in a stylish straw hat taking on a phalanx of uglies in a torrential nighttime

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Ewan McGregor and Renee Zellwegger

Miss Potter

  The dramatised story of Beatrix Potter, creator of children’s character such as Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck, with Renee Zellweger as the Edwardian miss who’s 32 years old and still not married. It’s about a woman struggling against the odds, against familial indifference, social expectation and industry hostility to

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André Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix in All Is by My Side

Jimi: All Is by My Side

  Here’s a problem for anyone about to make a film about Jimi Hendrix, genius guitarist, 1960s icon, member of the 27 Club of rock’s premature expirers – how do you get inside a character who was private, taciturn, shy and elliptically cool? With a voiceover? A confidant? Newsreel footage? It’s

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Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in Philomena

Philomena

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     26 August   Mother Teresa born, 1910 On this day in 1910, Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu was born in Skopje, Albania (now in the Republic of Macedonia). Raised a Catholic, from an early age she was

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