Archive for the ‘Cultural issues’ Category


A review of the new sci-fi movie “Alita: Battle Angel”

February 13th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

A movie co-written and co-produced by the legendary James Cameron (“Avatar”) and co-written and directed by the innovative Robert Rodriguez (“Sin City”) was always going to mean that something special was on offer and attract the attention of this sc-fi fan and I made sure to see it on an IMAX screen in 3D.  Set […]

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A review of the new movie” Green Book”

February 10th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

We are back in the territory of “Driving Miss Daisy” but with a role reversal. Here the driver is white – a traditional, working-class, family-orientated Italian-American – while the passenger is black – an educated and cultured African-American pianist who is a lonely figure unable to identify with either black or white communities. Another major […]

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A review of the new film “Mary, Queen Of Scots”

February 9th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

In 1972, I went to the cinema to a see a film with exactly the same title, telling the same late 16th century story, with Vanessa Redgrave as the Scottish Catholic queen and Glenda Jackson as her English Protestant cousin and rival Elizabeth.  Almost half a century later, I returned to the theatre to see […]

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A review of the new film “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

February 8th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

On the face of it, this is not a story that would have seemed to have had sufficient appeal to succeed as a movie, since it is centred on two profoundly lonely souls, one of whom is a forger, the other of whom is a serial trickster, both of whom drink far too much and […]

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A review of the historical novel “Munich” by Robert Harris

February 3rd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

This is the latest and twelfth historical novel from this acclaimed master storyteller and the sixth that I have enjoyed. Whereas the first, “Fatherland”, presented a counterfactual view of the end of the Second World War – Germany and Britain sign a peace treaty and Hitler lives to be 75 – “Munich” is an essentially […]

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A review of the Dick Cheney bio-pic “Vice”

February 2nd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Adam McKay stunned us with the “The Big Short” in which, as co-writer and director, he endeavoured to tell the complicated story of the sub-prime crisis in the USA economy in a virtuoso style. Now, as sole writer and director, he attempts the tell the incredible account of how Dick Cheney somehow became the most […]

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A review of the new film “Colette”

January 27th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

“I’ve been a fan of Keira Knightley since “Bend It Like Beckham” in 2002. She’s had her critics but she’s maturely nicely as an actress and, in the eponymous role, this is among her best work, together with films like “Atonement” and “The Duchess”.  Here she plays real-life writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette in late 19th century/early […]

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A review of the Oscar favourite film “The Favourite”

January 26th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

By the time I went to see this film, it had already received 10 Acadeny Award nominations, so there was an incredible buzz around the work. Is this deserved? Well, it is an exceptional work but an odd one too. Losely based on actual events, this is a (very) black comedy set at the English […]

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A review of the new political film “The Front Runner”

January 19th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Gary Hart was a US senator for Colorado who, after a credible but failed attempt to win the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984, was the eponymous leader in the race to secure that nomination in 1988 when he was forced to withdraw because of news of an extramarital affair. This story is told in a […]

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A review of the recent film “The Florida Project”

January 14th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

In 1984, I took my son – then coming up to aged eight – to Disney World in Florida and we stayed in a hotel in the delightfully-named little town of Kissimmee. I would never have imagined then that 35 years later I would view a film located in such an unlikely setting as a […]

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