The Boat That Rocked (DVD)

Radio GaGa

Richard Curtis surely owns the rosiest glasses in the film business. According to him, the UK is a gentle, slightly eccentric place, where good things happen to good people and well-mannered chaps generally get the girl. And, despite the inclusion of brash American Philip Seymour Hoffman and a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack, The Boat That Rocked is cut from the same warm and fuzzy cloth. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its charms, but it would be nice to see Curtis step out of his comfort zone.

Continue reading

Doubt (DVD)

Sister of mercy?

Watching her play God-fearing nun Sister Aloysius Beauvier, you would be forgiven for thinking that Meryl Streep had simply chosen the role that was the furthest removed from her colourful, energetic turn in Mamma Mia! (And who could blame her for wanting to shake off that mantel as quickly as possible.) But, whatever her reasons for choosing Doubt Streep is, as ever, one of its highlights.

Continue reading

Synecdoche, New York (2008)

Life is a cabaret…

Charlie Kaufman has long been regarded as one of America’s most intriguing screenwriters. Having penned such films as Being John Malkovich (1999), Adaptation (2002) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), his works delve deep into the human psyche, confronting issues of identity and self-awareness in outlandish ways that could easily intimidate and alienate an audience. But thanks to the strength of Kaufman’s writing and the clarity of his vision, his films have proven to be some of the most interesting and acclaimed projects fighting their way out of the originality-vacuum that is modern Hollywood. And his latest, Synecdoche, New York – which marks Kaufman’s debut as a director – is undoubtedly his finest work to date.

Continue reading