Saturday, December 31, 2016



Saturday, December 31, 2016

10 moments to cherish...2016

  1. La La Land. The music; the dancing in the stars; Emma Stone changing her shoes before a big tap number; Ryan Gosling's eyes at the end of the film; the opening number; that epilogue; the auditions; Ryan Gosling beeping his horn; Emma Stone's one woman show; their voices; that sunset; but above all that feeling of pure joy and escapism that the world needs right now. One of cinema's great films.
  2. Drive It Like You Stole It. And the rest of the joyous Sing Street.
  3. László Nemes bringing the horror of the holocaust to horrific life with Son of Saul. 
  4. Robbie Ryan's camerawork in American Honey and I, Daniel Blake. Two very different films that he helps bring to life immeasurably.
  5. The third act of Moonlight.
  6. Celebrated actors pushing themselves. Amy Adams' delivering two great (and very different) performances for two of the exciting directors with Arrival and Nocturnal Animals; Ralph Fiennes proving The Grand Budapest Hotel wasn't a fluke with Hail, Caesar and A Bigger Splash; Mathias Sconehearts' silent observations in Disorder and A Bigger Splash; Ryan Gosling as America's most entertaining and charming leading male with The Nice Guys and La La Land; and Kate Beckinsale reminding everyone she has genuine talent in Love & Friendship. 
  7. I, Daniel Blake suggesting that cinema can be a voice for the unheard and have political agency. Hopefully.
  8. Michael Giacchino's score for Rogue One. Who thought John Williams' score could be equaled in the Star Wars universe?
  9. Visiting Pathé Tuschinski in Amsterdam, Kinemathek in Berlin and Eltz Castle in Germany (a real-life Disney castle). 
  10. Watching Julianne Moore (for Freeheld) and Nicole Kidman (for Lion) in conversation, in the flesh. Being in the same room as Cate Blanchett, Ben Whishaw, Lindasy Duncan and Maggie Smith. Interviewing Ralph Fiennes, Jane Horrocks and Glenda Jackson.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Top of the class. Film 2016.

  1. La La Land
  2. Son of Saul
  3. Arrival
  4. Nocturnal Animals
  5. Moonlight
  6. Everybody Wants Some!!
  7. Little Men
  8. The Neon Demon
  9. The Nice Guys
  10. Sing Street
Honourable mentions: I, Daniel Blake, Rogue OneVictoria, Zootropia 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Top of the class. Performances 2016.

  1. Géza Röhrig in Son of Saul
  2. Amy Adams in Arrival
  3. Ralph Fiennes in A Bigger Splash
  4. André Holland in Moonlight
  5. Trevante Rhodes in Moonlight
  6. Emma Stone in La La Land 
  7. Sasha Lane in American Honey
  8. Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys
  9. Kate Beckinsale in Love and Friendship
  10. Elle Fanning in The Neon Demon
Honourable mentions: Laia Costa in Victoria, Isabelle Huppert in Things to ComeJake Gyllenhaal in Nocturnal Animals, Ashton Sanders in Moonlight, Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Top of the class. Directors 2016.

  1. Damien Chazelle for La La Land
  2. László Nemes for Son of Saul
  3. Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
  4. Tom Ford for Nocturnal Animals
  5. Denis Villeneuve for Arrival
  6. Ira Sachs for Little Men
  7. Nicolas Winding Refn for The Neon Demon
  8. Ken Loach for I, Daniel Blake 
  9. Richard Linklater for Everybody Wants Some!!
  10. Sebastian Schipper for Victoria 
Honourable mentions: Andrea Arnold for American Honey, Shane Black for The Nice GuysAlejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant, Charlie Kaufman for Anomolisa

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

10 thoughts on Rogue One.

1. I'm never going to call it 'a Star Wars story'
Awful subtitle. 

2. What a refreshingly diverse cast
It's a joy to see tentpole film's like this lead the way for mainstream casting. I would suggest that the gender, sexuality or race of the main protagonists is irrelevant and thankfully that didn't result in a white and male ensemble. Instead it is truly mixed. Well other than...

3. Why are there so few women outside of Felicity Jones?
It seems odd that she is alone, especially in the scene where *spoiler* some rogue rebels support her. I also wasn't too impressed when Diego Luna returns to save her at the end. It's terrific to see a strong female character leading the film, but she could definitely have had female company and saved her own life.

4. How can you replace John William's score!?
With Michael Giacchino's truly great music. It respects the melodramatic style of the original music but, dare I say, gives it a more nuanced presence at perfect moments. *Spoiler* I will forever treasure the moment when the imperial starships shall through the defence field in the final battle. A perfect combination of visual, music and story. 

5. The cameos
There were so many small cameos from actors from the stage (Danny Mayes) and screen (Geraldine James). Always a joy with Star Wars.

6. This is Star Wars 
But bolder. And more thrilling to watch. I was never keen on the idea of spin offs but I am now converted and hope that Disney ensure they all meet the heights of their first attempt.

7. CGI resurrections 
I'm not sure how I feel about this, especially for the deceased actor who makes a return. Ultimately I could not stop myself from turning into a giddy child when he arrived on screen, but afterwards felt uncomfortable. And a little bit unconvinced that the technology is there to truly make that work...yet.

8. Droids are the best
It's no secret that my favourite characters in the Star Wars universe are C3PO and R2D2 (and I'm a big fan of BB8), so it shouldn't surprise anyone that K2SO is probably my favourite new character. Another camp yet much edgier version of his fellow droids. 

9. There's not just good or bad guys
I think this is almost the most striking element of this film. Diego Luna, in particular, kills an innocent person and thoughtlessly follows the commands of the rebel alliance who we themselves acting in a questionable way. This doesn't have the moral clarity of the other films, and it's all the better for that.

10. Overall how does it compare to the other seven films?
This is something I will think about further but I think it matches the highs of the other films (the final battle sequence, the humour between characters, the romantic moments, the final sequence with Darth Vader) yet has too many flaws (the first 40 minutes, the lack of characterisations) to be a truly great film, which I think the original trilogy are. Still, a worthy and exciting entry to the series.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

5 wishes for...Oscars 2017 post-Golden Globe nominations

  1. La La Land and Moonlight don't suffer from audience backlash, as many great movies have done when succeeding in the race to Oscar. Both are terrific movies and will be remembered, regardless who top prize.
  2. Nocturnal Animals finds itself with some nominations.
  3. Amy Adams somehow finds herself in the Best Actress list. It does seem tough as she's in a sci-fi film that'll unlikely be nominated for Best Picture.
  4. Mel Gibson does not have his comeback.
  5. Isabelle Huppert continues to win for Elle...

Monday, December 12, 2016

How do you describe a feeling?


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Top of the class. Theatre 2016

  1. Amadeus (National Theatre)
  2. Love (National Theatre)
  3. Groundhog Day (The Old Vic)
  4. Cleansed (National Theatre)
  5. Ophelia Zimmer (Royal Court)
  6. The Deep Blue Sea (National Theatre)
  7. Faith Healer (Donmar Warehouse)
  8. Jekyll & Hyde (The Old Vic)
  9. The Flick (National Theatre)
  10. Joint: Boy (Almeida Theatre) and Oil (Almeida Theatre)

Friday, December 09, 2016

An image to treasure.

Two regular guys (in looks and lifestyle) with a complicated hang out post-sex. A refreshing change in an industry that perpetuates perfection, especially in young gay men. For this and much more, The Other People marks Chris Kelly as a filmmaker to get excited about.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Top of the class. Theatre performances 2016

  1. Glenda Jackson in King Lear (The Old Vic)
  2. Billie Piper in Yerma (Young Vic)
  3. Andy Karl in Groundhog Day (The Old Vic)
  4. Stephen Dillane in Faith Healer (Donmar Warehouse)
  5. Helen McCrory in The Deep Blue Sea (National Theatre)
  6. Pheobe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag (Soho Theatre)
  7. Adam Gillen in Amadeus (National Theatre)
  8. Sophie Melville in Iphigenia in Splott (National Theatre)
  9. Ron Cook in Faith Healer (Donmar Warehouse)
  10. Lisa Dwan in No's Knife (The Old Vic)

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Having a party x4