Favorite films

  • Napoleon
  • The Innocents
  • Gone with the Wind
  • The Devils

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  • Luck

    ★★

  • National Theatre Live: Twelfth Night

    ★★★★

  • Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

    ★★★

  • Second Best Bed

    ★★½

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  • Napoleon

    Napoleon

    ★★★★★

    One of my 1000 recommended films.

    I haven't seen this for quite a few years but today (all day) I watched this unique film on the big screen, in the 5 and a half hour Photoplay restoration with score conducted live by Carl Davis with the Philharmonia Orchestra.

    The story of how Kevin Brownlow has spent nearly half a century working on restoring this film to as close to Abel Gance's original vision as possible is well known - and…

  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★★★★

    One of my 1000 recommended films.

    Recently I saw the beautiful new print of this film directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and can report that after fifty years it still looks amazing, with vibrant colours, a remarkably rich score, and performances that linger long in the memory.

    The doomed romance of the modern Romeo and Juliet, Polish American Tony (Richard Beymer, all teeth and eyelashes and so pretty…

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  • Luck

    Luck

    ★★

    Skydance Animation's first film for Apple TV is a bland story of a girl without a family or much luck who meets a Scottish black cat and finds a way through the portal to the Land of Luck and leprechauns.

    There's nothing particularly wrong with the animation, but the plot is one we have seen many times before. The voice cast is fine but the film itself is cringe and goes on for far too long. Children will probably get bored, and adults will lose patience.

  • National Theatre Live: Twelfth Night

    National Theatre Live: Twelfth Night

    ★★★★

    Gender-bending in Shakespeare is nothing new. We have had female Hamlets (Frances de La Tour, Maxine Peake), Lears (Kathryn Hunter, Glenda Jackson), Richard IIs (Fiona Shaw), Henry IVs (Harriet Walter), Prosperos (Helen Mirren), and even Horatios and Poloniuses on film.

    Last year I saw a gender-flipped Taming of the Shrew with the male roles played by women, and the female roles by men.

    Twelfth Night itself has been played by an all-male cast before, and here we have women playing…

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  • Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy

    ★★★★

    This was one of the films on my list of shame, I had been long aware of it but had never got around to seeing it, until now.

    I knew the theme was Nilsson's 'Everybody's Talkin'' and that Jon Voight's character was a would-be hustler, and Dustin Hoffman's character was a low-down dirty rat. But that's about it.

    The film is nothing like I expected. It has some fantastic moments - the way Voight and Hoffman eyeball each other as…

  • A Single Man

    A Single Man

    ★★★★

    This bittersweet film gets another star on a rewatch. It's Colin Firth's best performance in years as stuffy professor George Falconer ('it takes a long time to become George'), who suddenly finds himself bereaved by the sudden death of his partner Jim in a car accident, and finds it difficult to cope until he decides he needs to make a momentous decision.

    This being the 1960s he cannot talk openly about it, or even grieve, nor can he seek a…