Double diet of Austenesque adaptations

It is a truth universally acknowledged that nobody understands a woman better than another one. That’s why it’s a relief that the Jane Austen-themed Mr Malcolm’s List (PG) is both directed by a woman (Emma Holly Jones) and scripted by one – Suzanne Allain from her own (self-published) novel. Partly filmed in Ireland, it comes…

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Forgiveness, revenge, jealousy and retribution

“Jesus forgave those who crucified him.” This is the mantra underlying Francois Ozon’s achingly beautiful Frantz (Alibris). Shot partly in monochrome and partly in colour, it has an air of elegant leisureliness. It tells the story of a Parisian soldier from World War I (Pierre Niney) who’s consumed with guilt after shooting a German in…

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Sequel to much-loved classic hits the screen

Nobody expected The Railway Children to capture the public imagination the way it did in 1970. Films about displaced children in wartime usually go down well (especially if they’re tearjerkers, as this was) but its appeal went off-the-scale. People were still talking about it half a century later. It makes you wonder why they took…

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The king is dead, long live the king

It’s amazing to think we’re still seeing biopics of Elvis Presley, like Baz Luhrmann’s 3-hour audio-visual extravaganza, Elvis (PG), nearly half a century after the rock ‘n’ roll icon “left the building”. What would the man himself have thought? When he went into the army, he thought his career was over. He thought so again…

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A poet’s intimations of immortality

The Joseph Tree by Isabel Chenot (Wiseblood Books, US $14.00; the publishers can be addressed at P.O. Box 870 Menomonee Falls, WI 53052, USA, or emailed at wisebloodbooks@gmail.com) Isabel Chenot writes beautifully about the transcendent power of nature in this poetry collection. It’s dedicated to a friend who lost her baby son. The poem documenting this is…