Film

Your essential guide to the film festival

By Nick Johnstone, October 3, 2008

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Review: Brideshead Revisited

By Gerald Aaron, October 3, 2008

 (12A)

The key question is this. Does this English Heritage-drenched film of Evelyn Waugh's classic 1945 novel match up to the landmark 1980s ITV mini-series. Regrettably, the answer is no.

Having worked (in a very lowly capacity) on the TV series, I find director Julian Jarrold's film perhaps more faithful to the novel's religious themes, but a much lighter, lesser piece of work, and, compared with the mini-series, seriously under-cast.

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Review: How to Lose Friends And Alienate People

By Gerald Aaron, October 3, 2008

 (15)

There is a great deal to enjoy in this amusing roman à clef based on British journalist Toby Young's best-selling memoir of his rather less than glorious two years as a contributing editor of the prestigious magazine Vanity Fair in New York.

For obvious reasons Young's sardonic story of decline and fall has been smartly fictionalised by screenwriter Peter Straughan.

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Review: The Righteous Kill

By Gerald Aaron, September 26, 2008

 (15)

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino have only ever appeared together in one brief scene in the 1995 crime thriller Heat. Here, though, they share centre-screen in an enjoyable thriller casting them as New York policemen on the trail of the vicious killer who is eliminating villains the law cannot catch.

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Review: I've Loved You So Long

By Gerald Aaron, September 26, 2008

 (12A)

Writer-director Philippe Claudel's gets the best out of Kristin Scott Thomas as the key protagonist of his compelling and affecting drama, cleverly using her usual cold screen persona to superb dramatic effect.

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Review: Appaloosa

By Gerald Aaron, September 24, 2008

 (15) 

Ed Harris, directing his second film, rides on to the celluloid range with the most enjoyable Western since Clint Eastwood set about saving the genre from big-screen extinction.

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Review: Then She Found Me

By Gerald Aaron, September 19, 2008

Schoolteacher April Hunter - played with understated conviction by Helen Hunt - is Jewish - a fact established at the start with her wedding to boyish Ben (Matthew Broderick). That said, there is nothing particularly Jewish about her character in this witty bittersweet comedy which finds her suffering various family traumas. Hunt's low-key directorial debut is impressive, eliciting effective performances from the other players in a moving and amusing story. More importantly, she allows Bette Midler to give possibly her best performance as the Jewish mother par excellence.

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Review: Tropic Thunder

By Gerald Aaron, September 19, 2008

(15) 

There is a long tradition of Hollywood movies that bite the hand that feeds them - Robert Altman's The Player and Singin' in the Rain are two examples. Ben Stiller ventures into this genre with a tastelessly entertaining comedy, which begins with hilarious trailers for films starring the four leads.

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Pineapple Express

By Gerald Aaron, September 12, 2008

 (15)

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The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas

By Gerald Aaron, September 12, 2008

(12A)

The story is simple and stark. Eight-year-old Bruno (Asa Butterfield) has to leave his plush home in World War Two Berlin when his Nazi officer father (David Thewlis) is transferred to oversee a "new project".

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