Review: Southpaw

By Brigit Grant, July 23, 2015

Super-pumped and six-packed Jewish actor Jake Gyllenhaal sweats testosterone in Antoine Fuqua's Southpaw and could probably floor heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko with all the training he did to play boxer Billy "The Great" Hope. The rule of thumb (or fist) for boxing movies is to build a tale of triumph over tragedy around a likeable, but not infallible fighter and the template works.


Review: Best of Enemies

By Brigit Grant, July 23, 2015

Best of Enemies presents the war of words that took place between liberal author and social commentator Gore Vidal and right-wing zealot and talk show host, Bill Buckley in 1968.


Review: Ruth and Alex

By Brigit Grant, July 16, 2015

Films about elderly people moving house because they can't handle the stairs don't come along very often. It's a tough concept to pitch to a studio executive. But silver surfers searching for an apartment with a lift clearly rang true for somebody as it is the story of Ruth & Alex - and I know a lot of people who will really enjoy it.


Review: The Choir

By Brigit Grant, July 9, 2015

Watching François Girard's The Choir is a lot like eating nouvelle cuisine in the 1980s.


Review: Amy

By Brigit Grant, July 2, 2015

I only met Amy Winehouse once, in 2005, and fittingly it was in a pub in Camden Town, two years after the release of her critically acclaimed debut album, Frank. She was just a Jewish girl from Southgate with huge expressive eyes, a wicked sense of humour and a need to perform. That is the Amy I recognised in the early part of Asif Kapadia's much-lauded documentary.


Review: She's Funny That Way

By Brigit Grant, June 25, 2015

It's been so long since Peter Bogdanovich made a memorable movie, you'd be forgiven for thinking he had passed on. Or moved to Miami Beach. Earlier this month, his demise was even reported on Facebook which was a nasty hoax as the Jewish director who made the unforgettable The Last Picture Show is very much alive.


Listening to the terrible silence of men involved in the Indonesian genocide

By Stephen Applebaum, June 25, 2015

I first met Jewish-American film-maker Joshua Oppenheimer at the Berlin Film Festival following a screening of his documentary about the 1965-1966 anti-communist purge in Indonesia, The Act of Killing. The setting was apt because whereas Germany has confronted its descent into barbarism, in Indonesia it had become almost taboo to talk about the genocide that claimed a million lives.


Reviews: Entourage and Accidental Love

June 18, 2015

Two films open today that interested me, but if the name Ari Gold means anything to you I suggest you only see one of them. Transferring the hit US HBO series Entourage to the big screen was always going to be a leap of faith.


Review: Jurassic World 3D

By Brigit Grant, June 11, 2015

Thanks to Steven Spielberg, I have known for 22 years precisely what to do if I ever saw a dilophosaurus - (run fast) or a brachiosaurus (offer it a leafy branch). With his seminal Jurassic Park, Spielberg provided us with enough info about genetics and dinosaurs to bluff our way through a date with a paleontologist and simultaneously experience what CGI could really do for a movie.


Review: Man Up

By Brigit Grant, May 28, 2015

In the age of social networking blind dates have surely bitten the dust. It is now possible to find out almost everything about an individual ahead of meeting them, which takes all the mystery out of a clandestine rendezvous. But what if you inadvertently wound up on someone else's blind date?