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Tag: biography

Film Reviews

The Iron Claw & Priscilla

Friday, January 19th, 2024 Film Reviews,

If ever a film proves it’s possible to make a powerful story out of anything, it’s The Iron Claw. Those who spent their childhood watching World Championship Wrestling on TV may have distant memories of large, flabby men in tights roaring threats, jumping off turnbuckles, and thumping each other in a peculiarly unconvincing manner. The […]

Film Reviews

Dream Scenario & Ferrari

Sunday, January 7th, 2024 Film Reviews,

Another year, another burst of films released in time for the awards season. To cover the field expeditiously I’m going to look at two of them: Kristoffer Borgli’s engaging indie, Dream Scenario, and Michael Mann’s bio-pic, Ferrari, which – surprisingly enough – is also an independent production. Dream Scenario may have the smaller budget, but […]

Film Reviews

Maestro

Friday, December 15th, 2023 Film Reviews,

Perhaps the only way to portray someone as mercurial as Leonard Bernstein is in the Cubist manner. The American poet, Wallace Stevens, suggested there were thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird, but with Bernstein (1918-90), that barely scrapes the surface. He was conductor, composer, pianist, writer of popular musicals, educator, and celebrity. One might […]

Film Reviews

Napoleon

Friday, December 1st, 2023 Film Reviews,

Only Ridley Scott might have taken on a project as ambitious as Napoleon and avoided embarrassment. If he doesn’t entirely succeed this may be because the subject is simply too vast, too complex, to be crammed into two-and-a-half hours. There are thousands of books on Napoleon (1769-1821), with new ones being published every other month. […]

Film Reviews

Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story

Sunday, September 3rd, 2023 Film Reviews,

Michael Gudinski was a serious burner of candles at both ends. In describing the flamboyant record executive and concert promoter, most of his friends talk about his “energy” and “passion”. Director, Paul Goldman, who admits to a spiky relationship with his subject, says he set out to avoid making a hagiography. Nevertheless, this is what […]

Film Reviews

Chevalier

Friday, August 4th, 2023 Film Reviews,

Chevalier stretches the bounds of credibility from the very first scene. We are at a concert in Paris, in the late 18th century, where a cocksure Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is conducting his own music and playing the violin. When he invites requests from the audience, a black man in a periwig comes striding down the […]

Film Reviews

Oppenheimer

Friday, July 28th, 2023 Film Reviews,

No figure stands more squarely at the crossroads of 20th century science and politics than J. Robert Oppenheimer, forever known as “father of the atomic bomb”. An epic story requires an epic film, and Christopher Nolan has given Oppenheimer the treatment he demands, in a three-hour bio pic that manages to balance a portrait of […]

Film Reviews

Corsage

Friday, February 10th, 2023 Film Reviews,

Empress Elisabeth of Austria (1837-98) was the original ‘people’s princess’. She hated the pomp and ceremony of the Habsburg Court and would absent herself from Vienna for months on end. She was known for her charitable works and her affection for the common people. A famous beauty, she kept her weight down to a terrifying […]

Film Reviews

Emily

Saturday, January 21st, 2023 Film Reviews,

Emily Brontë remains one of the most mysterious figures in world literature. When she died at the age of 30 in 1848, she had written one novel and a sheaf of poems. The poems were immediately acclaimed for their “genius” but are little read today. The novel, Wuthering Heights, is a classic for the ages, […]

Film Reviews

The Fabelmans

Friday, January 13th, 2023 Film Reviews,

At a certain point in an illustrious career, many a writer has turned to autobiography. That moment usually arrives when an author has become so famous that he or she is more fascinating to the public than any work of fiction they may produce. It does, however, require a special kind of ego. Gore Vidal […]