Category: Film

Highlights of an unusual year in films

Film Review 2021 “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” For the first half of the year, Covid-19 had us under house arrest. Starved of cinemas we found sustenance in mini-series, box-sets, the occasional gem from streaming platforms. The Oscar ceremonies went ahead in February in the kind of funereal…

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Politics, love, and the power of parenting

My favourite joke about the JFK assassination concerns the dyslexic who thought President Kennedy was murdered by the ICA – the Irish Countrywomen’s Association. One could be forgiven for expecting Oliver Stone to have finished with conspiracy theories surrounding his death with the humungous JFK back in 1991. Not so. He’s still banging on about…

From Princess of Wales to Queen of Hearts

The late lamented Princess Diana is once again centre stage in Spencer. Featuring Kristen Stewart in the title role, it’s set at Christmas in the 1990s. She spends a traumatic weekend with the Royal family at Queen Elizabeth’s Sandringham estate. It’s a speculative piece by the great Pablo Larrain, allowing him to re-visit the terrain…

Gore, gunplay, girls, and galimoney

Something violent this way comes… Deadly Cuts is a black comedy with Angelina Ball and Victoria Smurfit playing two hair stylists who swap their scissors for knives as they take on local Dublin hoods. You can also expect tomato ketchup in The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel to The Sopranos. Michael Gandolfini (real life…

Strong women from all walks of life

This seems to be women’s month. Annette is a musical romance about a couple who have a ‘puppet’ daughter with an unusual gift – she can sing in her mother’s voice. Rose Plays Julie has a veterinary student looking for the mother who put her up for adoption years ago. Gunpowder Milkshake features three generations…

Coming of age in its various forms

Someone said to me recently, ‘What was Bill Nighy before he got old?’ I thought it was a good question. I saw him for the first time in Love Actually in 2003. He was no spring chicken then. I thought to myself: Where had he been before that? Had he arrived from outer space? Was…

Be afraid…be very afraid

Who will ever forget the summer of 2021 when both the weather and Covid-19 conspired to keep us out of cinemas? When we went back to them, all they seemed to offer us was horror. Old is a supernatural thriller from M. Night Shyamalan about a family who find themselves ageing at an alarming rate…

Tales of love, hate and eccentricity

The Last Bus is an offbeat story about a widowed pensioner (Timothy Spall) who travels from John O’Groats to Land’s End with his wife’s ashes in a suitcase. He uses only local buses. The people he meets on his journey – the longest one can make in Britain – help him deal with his loss.…