Category: Film

A feast of new year releases for the big screen

There’s a mouth-watering pairing of Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in Steven Spielberg’s The Post. The title refers to The Washington Post, the newspaper that brought down Richard Nixon after the Watergate scandal. Set in 1971, this centres on a leaked government study of the Vietnam war which basically admitted it was unwinnable. Streep plays…

There’s no business like snow business

 (15)   When Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) has a freak accident in the snow at an Olympic skiing event, she tries to build an alternative career as a cocktail waitress, a real estate agent and, finally, running high stakes poker games for VIPs. Aaron Sorkin trades heavily on Martin Scorsese’s scattergun style of directing Goodfellas…

2017 on the Big Screen

The year had hardly begun when Martin Scorsese blitzed us with Silence, his epic tale of a pair of Jesuits enduring horrendous suffering in 17th-Century Japan. It got a critical mauling for its longueurs but if you stayed with it, as is the case with most Scorsese films, it was well worth it. Most of…

From dream to nightmare in Pleasantville

 (15A)   George Clooney working with the Coen Brothers? Surely not. Would that not be a bit like Cary Grant teaming up with David Lynch? And yet here he is, doing it for a fifth time and carrying it again, calibrating the twisted parabolas of this jocosely dark parable with a deftness one mightn’t have…

Exposing an RUC cover-up of pub massacre in 1994

 (PG)   The euphoria experienced by six people in a bar in the village of Loughlinisland, Co. Down, shortly after Ray Houghton scored an unforgettable goal against Italy in a World Cup match on June 18, 1994, was short-lived. Soon afterwards three UVF men burst through the door and mowed them down mercilessly. The atrocity…

Filming the Reformation

Luther and the Tudors have been perennial subjects for the screen, writes Aubrey Malone   The first film made about The Reformation was a 1928 silent one called Luther, directed by Hans Kyser.  It was a short account of Martin Luther’s life with an American voiceover. Four years later Charles Laughton won an Oscar for…

Polio victim freed from hospital ‘prison’

 (12A) The ‘jolly hockeysticks’ depiction of England that we’ve seen in films like Notting Hill gets a retro airing in this grace-under-pressure tale of a man afflicted with polio. He was the longest living ‘responaut’, i.e. a person depending on a machine to breathe. The main problem with the film from an ethical point of…

Pythonesque lunacy in the corridors of the Kremlin

(15A) This hilarious black comedy puts one in mind of the Irving Berlin apothegm, “The world would not be in such a snarl/Had Marx been born Groucho instead of Karl”. The cast become cartoon figures as the politburo is transformed into a comedy of (t)errors. With the exception of Dr Strangelove, where Peter Bull  was…

Irish-American with a flair for innovation

(PG) I don’t tend to get very worked up about buildings. I’ve always seen them as things you go into when you want to get in out of the rain. This fascinating documentary from Mark Noonan made me re-think that. Kevin Roche is Irish but he’s spent most of his life ‘stateside’. He designed over…