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Tag: Hollywood

Film Reviews

Academy Awards 2024

Saturday, March 9th, 2024 Film Reviews,

Over the past couple of years, I’ve found myself wildly out of step when it comes to picking winners at the annual Academy Awards. Naturally I’m convinced it’s the world, not me, that keeps getting it wrong. My mistake has been to try and nominate the best film, when it would have been smarter to […]

Film Reviews

May December

Saturday, February 3rd, 2024 Film Reviews,

In May December, Todd Haynes suggests there may be worse things than being a convicted sex offender. One could, for instance, be a TV actor prepping for a starring role in a movie. The film derives its inspiration from the story of American teacher, Mary Katherine Schmitz, who in 1997, at the age of 34, […]

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

The Boys in the Boat & The Holdovers

Friday, January 12th, 2024 Film Reviews,

In those heady days when John Wayne was dispatching hostile injuns by the dozen, no-one could have envisaged Hollywood making clean-cut white Americans into the bad guys. It would have taken a clairvoyant to predict the tide of identity politics that has swept over the United States in recent times, engendering a new generation of […]

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

The Hunger Games: the Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Thursday, November 23rd, 2023 Film Reviews,

It’s hard to believe it’s been eight years since the last Hunger Games movie, the fourth part of a ‘Hollywood trilogy’. Those films drew on the star power of Jennifer Lawrence as heroine, Katniss Everdeen, but the actor’s light has dimmed in recent years, the low point being the dismal sex comedy, No Hard Feelings […]

Film Reviews

Dumb Money

Saturday, October 28th, 2023 Film Reviews,

I’m no investor, but there have been times when I’ve walked into some booming retail outlet and thought: “This might be worth buying a few shares.” It’s hard to believe anybody could ever have felt that way about a GameStop store, which in the movie, Dumb Money, comes across as a lifeless, understocked franchise that […]

Film Reviews

Killers of the Flower Moon

Saturday, October 21st, 2023 Film Reviews,

In the language of Hollywood, “based on a true story” usually means: “a wildly distorted account of some real event that retains a mere spectre of the truth.” This usually prompts me to go home and look up the actual story, if only to satisfy my worst suspicions. After three-and-a-half hours of Martin Scorsese’s Killers […]

Film Reviews

The Exorcist: Believer

Friday, October 6th, 2023 Film Reviews,

It took at least forty minutes for anything weird to happen in William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973), often said to be the scariest film ever made. David Gordon Green’s The Exorcist: Believer proceeds in an equally methodical fashion, letting us get to know the main characters before winding into the big confrontation with the demon. […]