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  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2011

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    Review first published by Film4

    Synopsis: John Madden (Shakespeare In Love, The Debt) gives seven English pensioners a new lease of life in Jaipur.

    Review: "You won't see better for your grey pound."

    So says an English estate agent as he shows off a poky retirement bungalow to Douglas (Bill Nighy) and Jean (Penelope Wilton) near the beginning of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The salesman's words are part and parcel of his characterisation as an insensitive, unctuous idiot -…

  • The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears 2013

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    First published as part of an end-of-year listicle thingy in Grolsch FilmWorks, as (probably) my favourite UK theatrical release of 2014.

    A labour of love from Belgian writer/director couple Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, and forming a complementary diptych with their female-focused 2009 feature debut AmerThe Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears is a giallo-inflected journey into a middle-aged man's troubled psyche.

    When the wife of Dan Kristensen (Klaus Tange) vanishes in their locked-from-the-inside apartment, the businessman turns to…

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  • Nymphomaniac 2013

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    review from Film4 (slightly altered)
    www.film4.com/reviews/2013/nymphomaniac

    Descriptive synopsis: Controversial Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier rounds off his 'Trilogy of Depression' with a tale (in two parts) of sexual liberation, oppression and exploitation.

    Review:
    "Fill all my holes, please."
    It is perhaps not as catchy as the line "Chaos reigns" from Lars von Trier's Antichrist (2009), the first film of the so-called 'Trilogy of Depression' (which Nymphomaniac closes) - but nonetheless it is a line repeated several times by the heroine…

  • Starred Up 2013

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    Review for EyeforFilm eyeforfilm.co.uk/review/starred-up-2013-film-review-by-anton-bitel

    Starred Up is a story of fathers and sons, of violence and control, of pent-up emotions and revolving doors, of self-perpetuating problems and unwanted (if certainly effective) solutions. In other words, it is a film about masculinity and society, which just happens to be set in the closed system of a prison. That said, its allegorical underpinnings are offset by a pervasive realism: for it is the first screenplay by Jonathan Asser, who has spent 12…