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  • Conquest

    Conquest

    ★★★½

    This frivolous epic may be novelettish at best but it is also sumptuous and highly entertaining and with Garbo and Boyer in the leads it couldn't be anything less. He's Napoleon, (and Oscar-nominated for his performance) and she's a Polish countess called Marie Walewska, (the film's alternative title), with a husband over twice her age, (the great Henry Stephenson). Initially she just admires Napoleon but then falls in love with him, leaving her husband and risking scandal and the movie…

  • Christine

    Christine

    ★★

    I suppose you could call "Christine" a kind of real life version of "Network" since it tells the story of Christine Chubbuck who shot herself live on air in 1974 but this is a much more lowkey affair, an indie production and it shows. It's as if writer Craig Shilowich felt he didn't need to add any drama to a story that was supposedly dramatic enough and director Antonio Campos films it with the same cold lack of emotion he…

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  • '71

    '71

    ★★★★★

    In 1971 I was living on the fringes of Derry's Bogside. On several occasions my home was 'collateral damage' in a number of bombings and I remember lying on the floor of my bedroom in case I might fall victim to a stray bullet from one of the gun-battles raging outside. I drank in pubs that would be bombed in time and I was on the march on Bloody Sunday. Things were bad in Derry in 1971 but they were…

  • 12 Years a Slave

    12 Years a Slave

    ★★★★½

    Never before have the horrors of slavery been shown so powerfully, so movingly and so explicitly on screen as they are in Steve McQueen's remarkable film 12 YEARS A SLAVE. This relentlessly grim film is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from Saratoga, New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He is played brilliantly by the British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor and he is virtually never off the screen. It's an incredibly physical…