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  • Maggie's Plan

    Maggie's Plan

    ★★★★

    Snappy dialogue, interesting characters, and a great ensemble cast add to this funny and engaging film.

  • The Man Who Knew Infinity

    The Man Who Knew Infinity

    ★★★

    This was an OK film that could have been a really interesting and ambitious film. Dev Patel was very good and sympathetic, but the direction taken was a bit bland and formulaic. I was really interested in the clash of incompatible approaches that Ramanujan (intuitive understanding) and Hardy (formal proofs) took, but they only seemed to take this so far before Hardy took the 'my way or the highway' ground, and the film resorted to musings about religion. Even Toby Jones was underused, and that's practically a criminal offence.

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  • The Secret of Kells

    The Secret of Kells

    ★★★★★

    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

    ★★★½

    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…