Macbeth: William Shakespeare

Macbeth

★★★★ ½

(directed by Justin Kurzel, 2015)

When enthusing about Dorothy Dunnett’s superlative novel King Hereafter, or Kurosawa’s gripping Throne of Blood, I’d always felt a secret shame that I hadn’t actually ever seen the source material: the Scottish play itself. But now I can hold my head high thanks to Justin Kurzel’s new film, which sounded so promising that it persuaded me to go to the cinema for the first time since March 2014; and, with a couple of friends, I descended on Covent Garden Odeon for opening night.

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Midnight in Paris (2011)

Midnight in Paris

★★★

(directed by Woody Allen, 2011)

Several people have told me over the last few months that I had to watch this film.  ‘You’ll really like it,’ they said, friends and colleagues alike, ‘it’s just up your street.’ Clearly my conviction that I should have been born in another age (preferably as Lucy Honeychurch) isn’t as secret as I thought. And it’s little wonder the film has been so popular.  Whimsical and light-hearted, it’s set in one of the world’s most photogenic cities and stars Owen Wilson, on mellow form, as a romantic, vulnerable and misunderstood writer.  The concept is fresh and clever, but at heart it’s  a deeply traditional fable of the kind Hollywood loves, all about finding yourself and realising that happiness is about facing up to your problems rather than running away from them.  It’s the kind of film you watch on a girls’ night in with white wine and chocolate truffles.  It was always going to be a hit.

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