Peter and Alice: John Logan

Peter and Alice: John Logan

★★★

(Noël Coward Theatre, London, until 1 June 2013)

One of four plays in the Michael Grandage Season at the Noël Coward Theatre, Peter and Alice was already virtually sold out in January when I booked my ticket. Last Tuesday night, I found myself in my customary spot up in the back of the balcony, opera glasses at the ready. I hadn’t read any reviews of the play (I try not to, until after I’ve made up my own mind about things) and I’d been really looking forward to it.

Continue reading

Skyfall

Skyfall

★★★★½

(directed by Sam Mendes, 2012)

Sam Mendes isn’t the kind of director you’d expect to see at the helm of a Bond film, but the gamble paid off: for me, this is the most intelligent and thoughtful instalment in the entire franchise. The essence of Bond is still here – the writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have been involved with the series since the Brosnan era – but it follows Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace in distilling that essence into a sleeker and more modern format. That tension between the old and the new, the traditional and the innovative, underpins the entire film.

Continue reading

Bright Star

Bright Star

★★★★

(directed by Jane Campion, 2009)

Even as a self-consciously angsty teenager I never got into Keats or, indeed, the rest of the Romantic poets. When I needed romance or torment, I turned to Shakespeare. But tonight, for the first time in my life, I wish I had a proper book of Keats’s poetry. Bright Star is one of those rare films which didn’t really grip me at the beginning, but which grew on me throughout. Now that it’s finished I’m sitting in silence in a lamplit room, watching this year’s second snow fall in dark London streets. I am almost afraid to do anything, lest it shatter the mood.

Continue reading