fri 28/01/2022

family relationships

Force Majeure, Donmar Warehouse review - fissures in a marriage

It sounds like the title of a play by Rattigan. No such luck: “Force Majeure” – a legal term with which all too few will be familiar, in which circumstances beyond anyone’s control cancel a contract – is how Ruben Östlund’s 2014 film Turist is known...

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The Humans review - staring headlong into the abyss

A small film that packs a significant wallop, The Humans snuck into view at the very end of 2021 to cast a despairing shadow that extends well beyond the Thanksgiving day during which it takes place. Adapted from the much-traveled Tony-winning play...

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A Hero review - a morality tale with no firm conclusions

A Hero, set in the ancient city of Shiraz in southwest Iran, revolves around Rahim (Amir Jadidi), a weak man with gleaming white teeth and a permanent smile. He’s on leave from prison for the weekend, an odd concept in itself, as there are no...

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Habeas Corpus, Menier Chocolate Factory review - grappling with Alan Bennett's anti-farce

In his 1973 play Habeas Corpus, now revived at the Menier Chocolate Factory under the direction of Patrick Marber, Alan Bennett had his way with the venerable Whitehall farce. Today’s younger playgoer would probably marvel at the popularity of these...

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Hope review - brilliance and honesty from Norwegian director Maria Sødahl

The story of a woman with lung cancer that has metastasised to the brain is based on Norwegian director Maria Sødahl's own experience, which is a hopeful sign in itself. But you take nothing for granted in this honest, beautiful movie, which never...

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Blu-ray: Out of the Blue

In an era when toxic masculinity has become a clichéd accusation to throw at any portrait of men behaving macho, it’s fascinating to revisit Dennis Hopper’s 1980 movie Out of the Blue.Years before his performance as the sinister Frank Booth in...

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Straight White Men, Southwark Playhouse review - an exciting Korean-American playwright arrives in the UK

The Korean-American writer Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men, currently enjoying its UK debut at Southwark Playhouse, is presented within a frame that cleverly and radically alters what’s inside it. That would be a sparkly prologue...

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Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Charing Cross Theatre review - Tony-winning play checks out Chekhov

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike has taken eight years to reach the London stage, which is surprisingly long for the Tony Award winner for Best Play of 2013: the pandemic, unsurprisingly, didn't help. But in a burst of somewhat un-Chekhovian...

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Devin Jacobsen: Breath Like the Wind at Dawn review – the disturbances of the Civil War

How do you imagine the wind at dawn? Biting, brisk, peremptory – a kind of summons as another day begins? For Les Tamplin, wife-beater, sheriff, father to three sons, it is a detective, deathly wind, "the wind that cannot be stopped" which...

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Footfalls & Rockaby, Jermyn Street Theatre review - Beckett up close and personal

Like all great art, Samuel Beckett's works find a way to speak to you as an individual, stretching from page to stage and on, on, on into our psyches. This happens not through sentimental manipulation or cheap sensationalism, but through the accrual...

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Milk and Gall, Theatre 503 review - motherhood in the age of Trump

Tuesday, 8 November 2016. Vera is in a New York hospital room giving birth to a son. On anxiously checked phones, the votes are piling up for Hillary, but the states are piling up for Trump. Vera’s world will never be the same again.Mathilde Dratwa’...

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Blu-ray: Sweet Thing

The independent filmmaker Alexandre Rockwell has flown under the radar since he made his name with the Cassavetes-vibed 1992 New York comedy In the Soup. He recently explained that his career was sabotaged by Harvey Weinstein, who was jealous,...

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