Tag: review

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The Pleasure Garden review – bittersweet musical romance amid the roses

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It is 1850s south London and the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens is in its last decade of offering spectacular public entertainment, including concerts and circus acts. More adventurous types head for the secluded rose-stre...

The Tragedy of Macbeth review – McDormand and Washington deliver noirish nightmare

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What’s the point of another Macbeth movie? It wasn’t that long ago we had Justin Kurzel’s big realist version, with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Well, there’s always a point if the film is as compelling an...

Birds of Paradise review – Amazon’s ballet drama is no Black Swan

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Two beautiful, lithe, painfully thin dancers compete for a coveted spot in a ruthless ballet program, come together and apart as two halves of a whole amid drugs, hallucinations and sex until one breaks. You’d be righ...

Creature review – Akram Khan’s anticlimactic apocalypse

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It opens with a deafening rumble and Richard Nixon’s telephone call to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin after they landed on the moon. “Because of what you have done, the heavens have become part of man’s world,” he tel...

The Man Who Sold His Skin review – art-world satire runs only skin deep

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Here is a muddled caper of movie that doesn’t know what it wants to say; it doesn’t work as a satire of the international art market, nor as a commentary on the racism of white European culture. And its attitude to Sy...

Sessions Arts Club, London EC1: ‘Decadent and sexy’ – restaurant review

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Sessions Arts Club in Clerkenwell is not a private members’ club, but it has the feel of some of the best ones from the 1980s and 1990s, back when such places were secretive and insalubrious boltholes. Pop in on a Thu...

Dune review – David Lynch’s intergalactic epic shoots for the moon

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With Denis Villeneuve’s new adaptation of Dune almost upon us, here is a chance to revisit David Lynch’s ill-starred attempt from 1984: the version of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel he wrote and directed under t...

A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century review – self-help laced with pseudoscience

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Imagine discovering a fence in the middle of a desert. Not immediately seeing its purpose, you might think: “Let’s get rid of this useless fence!” But are you sure about that? Maybe you’re at the edge of a field of an...

Gold of the Great Steppe review – breathtaking exhibition reveals lives of history’s ‘barbarians’

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A young archer was buried around 2,700 years ago in the foothills of the Tarbagatay mountains of eastern Kazakhstan. In 2018, his bones were found preserved in the permafrost, surrounded by exquisite ornaments and wea...

The Alpinist review – nerve-shredding climbing doc barely holds on to its subject

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This documentary about Canadian climber Marc-André Leclerc, chockful of nerve-shredding footage, is most certainly not a film for anyone who gets sympathetic vertigo from watching people near precipices. Presumably it...

Sweetheart review – good-natured caravan-park romance

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The holiday romance coming-of-ager is the genre that’s given writer-director Marley Morrison her likable feature debut. And if you thought Ammonite was going to be this year’s only gay love story set in Dorset, think ...

Gagarine review – close encounters of the banlieue kind

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We are used to seeing Paris’s tough banlieues filmed with a kind of blistering verité. Think of La Haine and Ladj Ly’s recent Les Misérables – angry films about the pressure cooker caused by poverty, police racism, un...

Siberia review – Willem Dafoe and Abel Ferrara on fine freaky form

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The WTF factor is always high in the work of Abel Ferrara and this movie is no exception: a wintry internal dream-odyssey in which sex and death are prominent. At one stage, this even features Willem Dafoe capering ar...

Sex Actually With Alice Levine review – the cam couples turning love into porn

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Nikita and Sam started as friends. Forced to live together in lockdown, they started having sex with each other to earn money online. “Then feelings just hit and we fell in love.” Now they have joint and individual ca...

The Lodger review – fights, forgiveness and midlife reckonings

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Robert Holman’s play contains some great riches. A story of sisters and midlife reckonings, it puts two older women centre stage and comes with a seismic sibling betrayal. The Lodger is also the story of good and bad ...

Intrusion review – Netflix home invasion thriller passes muster

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There’s an adequately scattered trail of breadcrumbs running throughout the brisk Netflix thriller Intrusion that starts us off in one subgenre before leading us somewhere entirely different. It’s not that either plac...

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