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  • The Intouchables

    The Intouchables 2011

    ★★★★★ Watched 20 Sep, 2014

    Fantastic: moving and uplifiting, without ever being sentimental or saccharine.

  • Mud

    Mud 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 08 Feb, 2014

    I thought this was brilliant. All the cast give stunning performances (particularly the actors playing the two boys, Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland) and it has a realism and emotional weight that isn't very common.

    The story starts as a kind of 'kids go off on their own and have an adventure' thing, but quickly deepens and becomes much more complex. It's quite tough and unsentimental, but all the better for that.

    The landscape also provides a brilliant character of its own, and the photography reveals that well without trying to make it too pretty. Great film.

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  • The Secret of Kells

    The Secret of Kells 2009

    ★★★★★ Watched 26 Nov, 2011

    Along with Grave of the Fireflies, I think this has to be the most beautiful animated film I've seen. I was entranced and stunned by the sheer style of it the whole way through. The story is based around the creation of the Book of Kells - an illuminated Gospel produced around 800 AD, but weaves in elements of Celtic mythology. The hero - a young monk called Brendan - lives in the monastery of Kells, where his Uncle is…

  • Venus

    Venus 2006

    ★★★½ Watched 12 Nov, 2011

    A blackly-comic film centred around three elderly actors, and the infatuation that Maurice (played by Peter O'Toole) develops for a young woman.

    It's such a treat to see a film focussing on older characters, and with such incredible actors, it becomes a privilege. For example, there are some wonderful scenes in which O'Toole, Leslie Phillips and Richard Griffiths sit in a cafe and chat. It's touching, funny, at times gloriously foul-mouthed, and I could watch an entire film in which…