Film Review: Never Let Me Go (2010)

Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley all impress in the muted tones of this adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go

“Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time”

It is years since I first watched Never Let Me Go and it’s kinda interesting to look back now and see it capturing an early(ish) career moment for three young British actors who all now boast 2 Oscar nominations to their names. Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley have all done pretty well for themselves and this film is an interesting, offbeat showcase for them all.

Adapted from the Kazuo Ishiguro novel by Alex Garland, it takes a sci-fi concept and removes all of the futuristic, tech stuff from it, leaving bare a stark tale of humanity. The trio play Kathy, Tommy and Ruth who all attend the same boarding school in an alt-reality Britain where their health and wellbring is being prioritised above all else, but for a grimly chilling purpose. Continue reading “Film Review: Never Let Me Go (2010)”

Film Review: The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021)

Some may enjoy this more than me but I found The Electrical Life of Louis Wain to be almost insufferably twee despite Benedict Cumberbatch working hard

“The more intensely he suffered, the more beautiful his work became”

If you were playing Oscar-bait bingo, then you’d definitely want to draw biopic The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. Central character with vaguely defined mental condition, with a wife who dies young, plus Olivia Colman AND Benedict Cumberbatch in the cast. Maybe we should do shots rather than bingo, it might make the film a touch more bearable… 

Will Sharpe’s film seems likely to divide audiences. Not between dog lovers and cat fanciers as you might expect, but to weed out those who have a high tolerance for the insufferably twee. For in its attempts to depict the unique brain chemistry of artist Louis Wain, it errs towards a sepia-tinged, Colman-narrated vision of whimsy and wonder that belies the essential tragedy here. Continue reading “Film Review: The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021)”

News: Audible to release new readings of Virginia Woolf

Vanessa Kirby, Kristin Scott Thomas, Samuel Barnett and more star in Audible’s Virginia Woolf Collection

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2021, Audible has released a new version of Virginia Woolf’s iconic collection with an all-star cast.

The Virginia Woolf Collection stars Oscar winner Tilda Swinton; five-time BAFTA Award winner and Olivier Award nominee Kristin Scott Thomas; award-winning actress Jessie Buckley; BAFTA winning Vanessa Kirby; Adetomiwa Edun, Johnny Flynn; Juliet Stevenson, Andrea Riseborough, Tracy Ifeachor and Samuel Barnett. Continue reading “News: Audible to release new readings of Virginia Woolf”

2020 British Independent Film Awards nominations

Best British Independent Film
Rocks – Sarah Gavron, Ameenah Ayub Allen, Faye Ward, Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson
Calm with Horses – Nick Rowland, Joe Murtagh and Daniel Emmerson
The Father – Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton, David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi and Philippe Carcassonne
His House – Remi Weekes, Aidan Elliott, Martin Gentles, Arnon Milchan, Edward King and Roy Lee
Saint Maud – Rose Glass, Andrea Cornwell and Oliver Kassman

Best Director
Remi Weekes – His House
Nick Rowland – Calm with Horses
Florian Zeller – The Father
Sarah Gavron – Rocks
Rose Glass – Saint Maud Continue reading “2020 British Independent Film Awards nominations”

Book review: The Half – Simon Annand

The Half – Photographs of Actors Preparing for the Stage by Simon Annand

Just a quickie for this book as The Half – Photographs of Actors Preparing for the Stage by Simon Annand was released in 2008. But with an imminent new exhibition of these photos and a bargainous copy of the book popping up on Ebay, I thought I’d take the plunge.

And I’m glad I did as it is a proper work of art in its own right. Annand has been photographing actors for over 25 years and as such, has a veritable treasure trove of shots to share with us, resulting from the trusting relationships he has built up with so many, from the new kids on the block to veritable dames. Continue reading “Book review: The Half – Simon Annand”

2017 British Independent Film Awards nominations

Best British Independent Film
God’s Own Country
The Death of Stalin
I Am Not a Witch
Lady Macbeth
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Director
Rungano Nyoni – I Am Not a Witch
Armando Iannucci – The Death of Stalin
Francis Lee – God’s Own Country
Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
William Oldroyd – Lady Macbeth Continue reading “2017 British Independent Film Awards nominations”

TV Review: The Witness for the Prosecution

“You’re a liar, aren’t you”

After the success of And Then There Were None last Christmas, it was most pleasing to see another Agatha Christie adaptation on the schedule for this year. And given how good The Witness for the Prosecution was, here’s hoping that the BBC can persuade Sarah Phelps to make this a new annual tradition as it is proving to be a most fruitful creative enterprise, completely reinvigorating a genre that has arguably gotten a little too cosy, stale even.

Originally a Christie short story from 1925, later adapted into a courtroom-based play in 1953 (a version of which I saw a few years ago), the story revolves around the murder of wealthy femme d’un certain âge Emily French. The prime suspect is Leonard Vole, her lover, who we discover is a married man and who just happens to have been made the sole beneficiary of French’s will. Vole’s court case relies on the testimony of his wife Romaine but naturally, things prove not to be quite that simple. Continue reading “TV Review: The Witness for the Prosecution”

TV Review: National Treasure, Episode 1

“Is he supposed to be nice?”

Just a quickie to cover the first episode of this new Jack Thorne drama on Channel 4, and I’ll review the series as a whole once all four episodes have aired. National Treasure takes its inspiration directly from Operation Yewtree and its revelations about the nefarious activities of veteran TV personages, to give us an exploration into how such a scandal could unfold, sweeping up everyone in its path and uncovering a painstakingly hidden past.

Robbie Coltrane takes the role of Paul Finchley, one half of a much-loved TV comedy duo, whose world is rocked by a historical accusation of rape. Placed under investigation by the police, his personal life is shaken, not least his marriage to Julie Walters and his shaky relationship with recovering addict daughter Andrea Riseborough. And once the news conveniently slips into the media, his professional life is also called into question as the number of accusations multiplies. Continue reading “TV Review: National Treasure, Episode 1”

21st Screen Actors Guild Awards winners

Film
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything as Stephen Hawking
Steve Carell – Foxcatcher as John du Pont
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game as Alan Turing
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler as Louis “Lou” Bloom
Michael Keaton – Birdman as Riggan Thomson

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Julianne Moore – Still Alice as Dr. Alice Howland
Jennifer Aniston – Cake as Claire Bennett
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything as Jane Hawking
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl as Amy Elliott-Dunne
Reese Witherspoon – Wild as Cheryl Strayed Continue reading “21st Screen Actors Guild Awards winners”