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Dark Heart

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* BBC Films

* The Guardian (Film)

  • post The 50 best films of 2018 in the UK: No 7 ? Cold War - 13 December
  • A couple?s passionate relationship mirrors postwar Poland?s political turmoil in Pawe? Pawlikowski?s romantic epicSee the rest of the UK countdownThe best culture of 2018Having smashed his last film out of the park ? the Oscar-winning Ida from 2013 ? Polish director Pawe? Pawlikowski repeated the feat with Cold War, which has already won him the best director award at Cannes and a bunch of best foreign-language nominations. It is superficially similar to Ida ? period Polish setting, stylish black and white photography, a preoccupation with Poland?s past socio-historical compromises ? but there the resemblance ends. While Ida was a spare, distilled piece that perfectly reflected the unspoken crisis beneath its frozen surface, Cold War is more obviously epic and romantic, with an overpowering appeal to universal values.Cold War, as its title indicates, is clearly working on two levels: it?s a reference to the geopolitical events that irretrievably marked entire generations in eastern Europe ? including Pawlikowski?s parents, who are named in the final credits ? and which actively dominates and shapes the film?s central liaison. This is between an aspiring singer, Zula, who auditions for a folk-singing troupe and Wiktor, the troupe?s musical director who hires her; their instant, chemical passion soon develops into a cold war of its own. Continue reading...
  • post Free Solo review ? jaw-dropping high jinks on a 3,000ft rock face - 13 December
  • A daredevil with a samurai?s intensity, Alex Honnold scales a vertiginous cliff without ropes in this visually staggering documentaryHere?s a film that brought to my mind Mary Poppins?s famous order: ?Close your mouth please Michael, we are not a codfish.? I spent most of this film with my jaw on the floor. It?s a visually staggering documentary from National Geographic about the climber Alex Honnold who specialises in the most mind-boggling and gasp-inducing ?free solo? climbs ? without a rope, up sheer rock faces, the sort of thing usually undertaken by Tom Cruise or Spider-Man.This film is about Honnold?s freakily dangerous free solo attempt in 2017 at El Capitan, the 3,000ft-high rock formation in Yosemite Valley, California. We see his difficult relationship with his girlfriend Sanni McCandless. Like all those close to Honnold, she is in the purest form of agony as Honnold makes his almost supernaturally difficult climb. Why is he doing this crazy thing? The nearest Honnold comes to a because-it-is-there moment is comparing his physical and mental intensity to that of a samurai. Continue reading...
  • post If Beale Street Could Talk: Barry Jenkins shows that more is less - 13 December
  • In his follow-up to best picture winner Moonlight, the director?s mixed adaptation of a James Baldwin classic boasts lush visuals but a flawed scriptFrom a lush opening shot designed to astound to costume choices that aim for awe, Barry Jenkins? If Beale Street Could Talk, his much-anticipated follow-up to game-changing best picture winner Moonlight, shows a world suffused with glamour.At its best, the director?s adaptation of James Baldwin?s 70s-set Harlem romance recalls the work of Wong Kar Wai (a film-maker Jenkins has often referenced) with its unbroken shots of hands touching and gazing lovers set to crackly soul records. It?s an inarguably impressive piece of film-making but technique and style only go so far and unlike in his previous, superior work, he?s never quite able to dip beneath the glassy surface. Continue reading...
  • post The Mule review ? Clint Eastwood's drug running drama is a slow misfire - 12 December
  • The director?s second film in a year is a strangely inelegant tale cursed with a clumsy script, uneasy politics and a lethargic paceThere?s been an air of mystery lingering around Clint Eastwood?s drug-running drama The Mule, which, despite some considerable star power and an effectively tense trailer, has been kept from critics until the very last second. It?s become a rather telling sign of a studio either unsure of how to position a film or, more likely, a studio aware that they have a disaster on their hands. Related: Bumblebee review - Transformers spinoff that dumps 'Bayhem' for old-school spirit Continue reading...
  • post Mary Poppins Returns review ?  a spoonful of state-of-the-art genetically modified sweetener - 12 December
  • Emily Blunt is the magical nanny in this scarily accomplished clone-pastiche sequel, which starts terrifically and ends cloyingly ? just like the originalWith pastel/primary colours of headspinning prettiness and all-new showtunes polished to a gleam, this sequel to the 1964 Disney standard Mary Poppins is an almost scarily accomplished clone-pastiche of the original, a spoonful of state-of-the-art genetically modified sweetener. It is written by David Magee, with music by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman ? with supervising input from legendary original songwriter Richard Sherman ? and directed by Rob Marshall. The first film was all about the magical nanny who flies in to help a family in Edwardian London ? a celebrated movie debut for Julie Andrews. This one takes place 20 or so years later; everyone else is older but Mary remains the same. In place of Andrews? guileless demeanour and serene self-belief, there is a subtly more worldly and droll-looking Emily Blunt, more clenched and ramrod in her bearing, who exaggerates and caricatures her natural English voice into the kind of poshness portrayed by American actors pretending to be a Brit: the sort of delivery that converts ?very? into ?veddy?. Related: Mary Poppins: why we need a spoonful of sugar more than ever Continue reading...
  • post Quiz: Are you a festive film fanatic? - 06 December
  • So, you fancy yourself as a bit of an authority on Christmas cinema ? but do you know your Elf from your Snowman? Or how Gonzo, Kermit et al line up in the Muppet Christmas Carol? Test yourself with this fun festive quizWhat is the first booby trap ?wet bandits? Harry and Marv encounter when they try to gain entry to the McCallister residence in Home Alone?They both get shot with a BB gun Marv stands on glass Christmas ornaments after climbing through the windowHarry burns his hand on the front door knobThey both slip on the frozen stairsWho plays Charles Dickens in the Muppet Christmas Carol?Fozzie BearKermit the FrogGonzoMiss PiggyIn the film Elf, what is Buddy?s job growing up in the north pole?Looking after reindeerToy testingWrapping up presentsMaking the teaThe Polar Express was based on the book written and illustrated by which children?s author?Chris Van AllsburgRaymond BriggsJackie MorrisClement Clarke MooreIn the film Love Actually, who plays the recently appointed prime minister?Colin FirthHugh GrantMichael CaineMartin FreemanIt?s Raining Men by Geri Halliwell featured on which festive film?s soundtrack?Bridget Jones?s DiaryThe HolidayLove ActuallySleepless in SeattleIn the film the Snowman, what present does Father Christmas give to the boy?Snowman glovesA snowman scarfA teddy bearA bookWhich US city was While You Were Sleeping, featuring Sandra Bullock, set in?SeattleNew YorkBostonChicagoWhat is the name of George Bailey?s guardian angel in It?s a Wonderful Life?Clarence OdbodyMary HatchErnie BishopClarence SmithWho plays terrorist Hans Gruber in the 1988 film Die Hard?Joe PesciGene HackmanJeremy IronsAlan RickmanIn the Czech Republic, the title of Bad Santa was changed for the local market. But what was the literal translation of its Czech name? Naughty SantaSanta is a pervertUnacceptable Santa ClausSanta goes rogue9 and above.You?re a shining star on top of the Christmas tree! You?ve probably got all of your Christmas shopping done too. Thankfully for you, it?s very nearly socially acceptable to crank Mariah Carey?s Christmas album up in the office ? Merry Christmas.4 and above.A fair festive effort, but there's certainly room for improvement. So why not put on your cosiest Christmas jumper, curl up on the sofa with a hot chocolate, and get stuck into some Christmas classics?0 and above.Oh brussels sprouts, that could have gone better. But look on the bright side ? now you have an excuse to watch all the Christmas movies you can lay your hands on before the big day itself.Find the perfect TV to watch your favourite Christmas films on at AO.com Continue reading...
  • post Les Misérables with 'contemporary relevance' to air on BBC - 12 December
  • Victor Hugo?s historical novel brought up to date in Andrew Davies adaptation
    With social unrest brewing in France and Emmanuel Macron accused by protesters of being the ?president of the rich?, the BBC is to air an adaptation of Victor Hugo?s historical novel Les Misérables, which the writer Andrew Davies says has been given a timely ?contemporary relevance? by the injustices and divisions within society today. The BBC has brought Hugo?s novel ?right into the 21st century?, according to its director general, Tony Hall, with one of its most ?inclusive casts? ever. Continue reading...
  • post Women-led films dominate at the box office, study finds - 12 December
  • Media research agencies found that films with female leads that pass the Bechdel test did better than male-led equivalents at every budget levelBlockbuster films with female leads outperform male-led equivalents at the global box office, a new study has reported.In a report compiled by media research agency Shift7 in collaboration with leading agency CAA, revenue for 350 high-grossing films released between 2014 and 2017 was assessed, and the average results for female-led films did best, at every budget level. Continue reading...
  • post Ralph Breaks the Internet hangs on as Redford's swansong makes UK box office debut - 11 December
  • The Old Man & the Gun shoots into the Top 10 but family-friendly animations dominate the top of the chartA dearth of major releases meant Ralph Breaks the Internet faced no serious challenge retaining the top spot at the UK box office. Takings declined by 39% from its opening weekend, and the tally after 10 days is Ł7.4m. Continue reading...
  • post Oscars consider having no host after Kevin Hart quits - 11 December
  • Organisers are reportedly struggling to replace the comedian after his sudden decision not to present the 2019 Academy Awards ceremonyThe organisers of the Academy Awards are considering dispensing entirely with a host for the ceremony after the abrupt departure of Kevin Hart, it has been reported.According to Variety, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences are struggling to replace Hart after the comedian stepped down from Oscar hosting duties following sustained outrage over his history of homophobic statements. Continue reading...

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* Recent Posts

Re: Budwiser 2017 by Nath
[December 12, 2018, 07:48:34 AM]

Re: Luce, by Nath
[December 12, 2018, 07:44:52 AM]

Budwiser 2017 by genie
[December 11, 2018, 08:45:02 PM]

Re: Luce, by genie
[December 11, 2018, 11:16:44 AM]

Re: Luce, by genie
[December 11, 2018, 11:07:59 AM]

Re: Luce, by Nath
[December 11, 2018, 07:01:52 AM]

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