Monthly Archives: December 2012

Quartet – review

Dustin Hoffman squanders a high-grade cast in a stale directorial debut about a group of retirement-home singersDustin Hoffman’s directorial debut about four old people in a retirement home for classical musicians and singers has some polish,… Continue reading

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The Impossible – review

Ewan McGregor produces a sledgehammer performance as a father floundering in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in an intelligent drama by the makers of The Orphanage Continue reading… Continue reading

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Life of Pi – review

The versatile Ang Lee brings Yann Martel’s tale of shipwreck and spirituality to the big screen in magnificent fashion

The Taiwan-born Ang Lee rapidly established himself in the 1990s as one of the world’s most versatile film-makers, moving on from the trilogy of movies about Chinese families that made his name to Jane Austen’s England (Sense and Sensibility) and Richard Nixon’s America (The Ice Storm). If he revisits a place or genre it’s to tell a very different story – a martial arts movie in medieval China (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) is followed by a spy thriller in wartime Shanghai (Lust, Caution), and a western with a US civil war background (Ride With the Devil) is succeeded by a western about a gay relationship in present-day Wyoming (Brokeback Mountain).

He adopts different styles to fit his new subjects, and while there are certain recurrent themes, among them the disruption of families and young people facing moral and physical challenges, there are no obsessive concerns of the sort once considered a necessity for auteurs. He has a fastidious eye for a great image but he also has a concern for language.

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A Beautiful Mind hides ugly truths

Nobel prize-winning boffin John Nash gets a Hollywood makeover in this dumbed-down, sexed-up biopic Continue reading… Continue reading

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False Trail – review

Released in Sweden as Jägarna 2 (Hunters 2), False Trail is an overlong sequel to Kjell Sundvall’s 1996 Scandinavian noir, Jägarna. The careworn Rolf Lassgård (TV’s Kurt Wallander) stars as a homicide cop dispatched from Stockholm … Continue reading

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Aubrey Plaza: ‘I’m a poster child for irony’

From hipster crush on the US comedy scene to making it big with her first major film role: deadpan TV star Aubrey Plaza talks frankly about having a stroke, working with Charlie Sheen and why she’s nothing like her character in Parks And Recreation Con… Continue reading

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Life of Pi: ‘I felt like I was going insane’

When Suraj Sharma, an unknown teenage actor, landed the starring role in Ang Lee’s film adaptation of Yann Martel’s book, little did he know what was in store

It would be an exaggeration, says Suraj Sharma with a laugh, to describe what he did in the adaptation of Life of Pi as “acting”, despite the admiration he is swiftly accumulating for his role as Piscine Patel, the boy stranded on a lifeboat for 227 days with a Bengal tiger.

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Seven Psychopaths – review

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Star Trek: Benedict Cumberbatch is truly tantalising

With the debut trailer out, big questions remain about the bad guy Cumberbatch is playing in his first big Hollywood role Continue reading… Continue reading

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