Spooks lurk in the shadows but there's no horror in this Hamburg thriller, only shades of grey. Philip Seymour Hoffman's final career performance is nuanced and subtle, and a perfect fit for this modern-day Le Carre spy-fishing story. When the pace dips, the tension still simmers and soon crackles once more all the way until the conclusion.
"I'd like to do a song of great social and political import..." So said Janis Joplin in 1970 before launching into the recording of Mercedes Benz, her mock-psalm of consumerism. It's a funny song from a funny lady, capturing her vitality and cheekiness.
Pride is a movie of great social and political import, and the blurb in the 'what's on' listings will no doubt serve as a Joplin-style introduction to potential audiences. Gay rights, the miners' strike, prejudice and injustice…
My Top 20 most memorable (for a variety of reasons) Cloud Atlas characters:
20. Dr Henry Goose (Tom Hanks) - whiskery 19th-century quack with dubious intent and even more questionable dental hygiene (which may explain why he values other people's teeth so highly).
19. Ovid (Halle Berry) - balding, pointy-bearded, cyber-eyed back-street surgeon / locksmith. Appropriately named as Berry's transformation is one of the greatest metamorphosis moments in the whole movie.
18. Older Ursula (Susan Sarandon) - 66 years old…
A rom-com! In black and white! Filmed at his own house in bloody Santa Monica! With all his mates in it! And the screenwriter's almost 450 years old! Well, of all the self-indulgent, pretentious pet projects we've seen from fashionable Hollywood directors down the years, this has to be right up there...
Twenty minutes into Much Ado About Nothing, and the above concerns were still lingering. What an incredible house though, I thought - actually the perfect filming location, even…