Just the couple of days late with this round-up of Pride-appropriate film and TV…which I’m going to style out as entirely deliberate and a way to remind us all that Pride isn’t just about sponsoring a float or corporate rainbow flag branding. It’s everyday, all-day; it’s committing to support the LGBT+ community in all shapes and forms; it’s standing up against odious anti-trans protestors; it’s acknowledging that I need to do better than just focusing on the G in LGBT+ with these reviews of God’s Own Country, A Very English Scandal, and Man In An Orange Shirt. Enjoy these in the meantime and I’ll strive to do better, as should we all.

Happy Hallowe’en 2016

Halloween pumpkins
I’m on the right…

In all honesty, I’ve never been the biggest Hallowe’en fan, dressing up is a bit of a faff (spray-painting that lampshade was a job and a half…), scary movies rarely do it for me, and as a rule, horror in theatre never gets me where it should. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m far more creeped out by the arrival of a puppet child than blood and gore.

But as I did a few years back, I thought I’d delve into the world of ‘horror’ films (at least those on Netflix) once more to see if I was missing out on anything. In the cases of Dracula 2000 and Victor Frankenstein I certainly wasn’t, Dracula Untold was more enjoyable than I should probably admit, and the Ruth Wilson vehicle I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House was something of a revelation.

Audra McDonald Day

As I’m sure you’re aware, I’m a contrary fool at times, especially when it comes to people who come pre-loaded with amazing reputations. Audra McDonald was one such performer, so many people raved about her before I even know who she really was that I was sure she couldn’t possibly live up to the hype. And with such a mind-set, I saw her concert at the Leicester Square Theatre at the beginning of the year with a great deal more scepticism than was strictly necessary.

I was looking forward to getting the chance to see her perform in a show for the first time when the transfer of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill was announced, but when the small matter of a pregnancy put the kybosh on that, I decided that I would go on my own personal Audra odyssey by listening to all 5 of her albums and tracking down a televised version of the show to finally make up my own mind. Continue reading “Audra McDonald Day”

Blogged: Glenn Close

Part of the worst thing about the pathetic Poor Leo campaign that saw Mr DiCaprio bulldoze his way to victory at this year’s Academy Awards after a raft of nominations is the notion of particular unfairness, that he’d been cheated out of a trophy that should have been his. Never mind that he’s only just over 40, never mind that the similarly-aged Amy Adams has been nominated 5 times without ‘success’ too and yet still has all her dignity and never mind that someone like Glenn Close – who has been nominated six times thus far- remains unadorned. Continue reading “Blogged: Glenn Close”

In appreciation of…our elders and betters #2

It’s a little while I did the first version of In appreciation of…our elders and betters, part of my infrequent Collection series, but the piles of DVDs were mounting up and the opening of Escaped Alone – starring four absolute stalwarts of the British theatre and written by one too – seemed like as good a time as any to do the second.

Continue reading “In appreciation of…our elders and betters #2”

Blogged: Olivia Williams

I do love me a bit of Olivia Williams, so was more than disappointed that Waste at the National Theatre didn’t float my boat. Fortunately, she has a prolific body of work in both the UK and Hollywood with which I was happy to reacquaint myself, alongside some titles I was watching for the first time, like Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Now Is Good and Peter Pan (the 2003 version).  Continue reading “Blogged: Olivia Williams”

Blogged: Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman’s return to the London stage hasn’t even had its press night yet and I am already sick of people rehashing the patronising and belittling Charles Spencer quote from her turn in The Blue Room. Along with the scrutiny that her appearance has long generated, this conveniently ignores the fact that she has won an Academy Award for Best Actress and been nominated twice more and pays little credit to an illustrious acting career that stretches back to the 1990s.

So in order to redress the balance, I’ve been watching and reviewing some of those films as a gentle reminder of what she should be best known for. So we have her Oscar-winning turn in The Hours and her nominated roles in Moulin Rouge and the exquisite Rabbit Hole, plus Cold Mountain for which she was Golden Globe-nominated. I also watched three of her 2014 films – the glorious Paddington, Before I Go To Sleep and the much-beleaguered Grace of Monaco

She’s also collaborated with some interesting people so Alejandro Amenábar’s The Others, Jez Butterworth’s Birthday Girl and Lars von Trier’s exceptional Dogville also get a look. And because no-one is perfect, I watch Bewitched and The Stepford Wives so that you don’t have to!