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Gran Torino – stereotypes, old, Asian, ethnic meet Dirty Harry

Tweet Gran Torino – Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry got to be old. And mean. I guess we expected that. Curmudgeonly, cranky, rollie-smoking, beer-drinking – a can and by-the-neck man, nary a glass in sight – ex-Korean War vet Walt Kowalski isn’t actually cop Harry Callaghan, just a kind of alter ego ‘with-no-name’ grown old, prejudices […]

Oscars 2009 – Update: Bumblog Squillionaire cleans up

TweetOscar 2009 – Update Well my predictions just get worse. Glad I was wrong about Kate. Thrilled I was right about Man On Wire – if you haven’t seen it, make sure you do. Inspirational. I’m as disappointed about Benjamin Button as I was in 2006 when Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s masterly Babel was also virtually […]

Oscars 2009 – Nominations, Predictions, Choices and Comments

TweetOscars 2009 – Nominations Predictions, Choices and Comments London: 01.40 GMT – Just in under the wire before the announcements are made. I do this every year as a kind of personal aide-memoire. Historically I’ve been crap at prediction. And my personal preferences, though supported by arguments in reviews are always at root personal. So […]

Vicky Christina Barcelona – Woody’s sexual wonderland. Fantasy rules OK?

Tweet Vicky Christina Barcelona – Woody Allen Woody Allen doesn’t simply film women: he makes love to them with the camera. I don’t really know how healthy this is or even by what criterion of health one should judge it. Cinema is irreducibly voyeuristic so we are complicit. If you doubt me consider this: by […]

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button – myth, magical realism, time, age, love and loss

Tweet The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button This simply is the best film of the Oscar year 2008/9. Don’t let negative reviews put you off. It always arouses my interest when a film receives diametrically opposing reviews. It proves that thought and critical faculties are alive and well. Was there ever a genuinely original work […]

Doubt – review, angry, outspoken, minor spoilers

Tweet Doubt – John Patrick Stanley God I hate this beautifully acted film. Seldom has so much talent been squandered on such a shallow, mealy-mouthed apologia for the Catholic Church’s shameful history of dealing with the long-term, life-destroying abuse of children by Catholic Priests. Even setting this morally muddled, spiritually vapid drama in 1964 when […]

BAFTA Awards 2009 – poverty-chic fable cleans up

TweetBAFTA – Winners 2009 A mystery: why is a film setting a ‘feel good’ fairytale in a Mumbai slum called “courageous”? I applaud the four technical BAFTA awards to Slumdog Millionaire; especially the award of best music to A R Rahman’s superb musical score. Editing, cinematography, sound – no complaints there either. But calling Slumdog […]

Ruth – Poem: love, respect, daughter

TweetRuth You are my dawn the first light of my days As I awake from rumpled sleep I think of you and my world’s at peace You are my morning the warmth of my new day and on my present journey I think of you and my doubts are stayed You are my noon my […]