A new perception on modern marriage

A new perception on modern marriage

Crazy Rich Asians (dir. John M Chu, cert. 12A) is an unusual romcom as the enamoured couple have already been together a year in New York when Nick Young (Henry Golding) asks Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) if she wants a break somewhere east. He means further east than Queens. Nick is to be best man […]

The spiritual landscape of Leonard Cohen

The spiritual landscape of Leonard Cohen

By the Rev Steve Parish   …and Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water. Leonard Cohen’s songs are littered with biblical allusions, and, even during his time exploring Zen Buddhism, his Jewishness remained formative. His death, at the age of 82, gives another chance to assess his contribution to music (and to […]

Faith and frailty on Iona

Faith and frailty on Iona

Iona is a marvellous drama tinged with tragedy and set on the Hebridean island. Ruth Negga plays Iona, named after the place, who left hurriedly some years ago and now returns with her 15-year-old son Billy or “Bull” (Ben Gallagher). Brief flashbacks provide the reason for her return, a search for sanctuary. Her relationship with […]

Malala’s desire to be free

Malala’s desire to be free

He Named Me Malala (cert. PG) is an intriguing biopic of the youngest winner of the Nobel peace prize. Malala Yousafzai, from the Swat valley in Pakistan, was shot in the face in 2012 by a Taliban “fighter” because of her championing of girls’ education despite the Taliban opposition, and their policy of destroying schools. […]

Streep steals the show

Streep steals the show

In Suffragette (cert. 12A), Carey Mulligan plays invented East End laundry worker Maud Watts, drawn into the women’s suffrage movement by her workmate Violet (Anne-Marie Duff) and articulate pharmacist Edith Ellyn (Helena Bonham Carter). It’s 1912, nearly 10 years since the Women’s Social and Political Union had broken from moral force National Union of Women’s […]

Contemplating life and death on Mars

Contemplating life and death on Mars

The Martian (dir. Ridley Scott, cert. 12A) puts Matt Damon as astronaut Mark Watney, stuck by himself on Mars. Caught in a dirt storm as his colleagues scramble to blast off before their escape rocket tilts too far, he’s presumed dead as his bio-data device reads no life. Wounded but alive, he wakes to realise […]

Macbeth brought to life

Macbeth brought to life

I first saw Macbeth as a play when I was about eight – and was petrified by the witches and saw nothing after I was taken out of the theatre. Film versions abound (I’m trying to pin down one set among modern gangs in Sheffield) and while this Macbeth (dir. Justin Kurzel, cert. 15) is […]

Film: Cycling with Molière

Film: Cycling with Molière

You don’t need a degree in French literature for Cycling with Molière (Alceste à bicyclette, French with English subtitles, cert. 15). It helps to attune the ear for the alexandrin metre of the original French, if only to sympathise with retired actor Serge Tanneur (Fabrice Luchini). He lives on the Île de Ré off France’s […]

Tracing the life of Britten

Tracing the life of Britten

From a small Norfolk-based company, Capriol Films, comes Benjamin Britten – Peace and Conflict (cert. PG). It’s a drama-documentary by Tony Britten, no relation, best known for composing the UEFA Champions League theme. It seems to start as a feature film with John Hurt doing extended narration duties, showing Benjamin (Alex Lawther) aged 14-16 in […]

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