Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic produce a disproportionately large number of talented actors, most of whom end up based in London. One of the younger crop is Cillian Murphy. He came to international notice as the hero of Danny Boyle's 2003 sci-fi horror film 24 Days Later.
It is now clear that filming in Britain brings out the worst in Woody Allen - or at least makes painfully clear just how tin-eared and clueless he can be when attempting to depict a culture outside his own. His last film to open in the UK, You will meet a tall dark stranger, was arguably worse than Match Point, Scoop and Cassandra's Dream.
The Debt is the most remarkable film of the year so far: an exciting espionage thriller, a love story and a provocative meditation on crime and punishment. A remake of Assaf Bernstein's 2007 Israeli film, Ha-Hov, it reveals John Madden, director of Shakespeare in Love and Mrs Brown, as a master of action and suspense.
It is its provenance as much as the promise of its trailer that make Cowboys and Aliens such a disappointment. Directed by Iron Man's Jon Favreau, its producers include not only Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, but Steven Spielberg.
Chris Weitz could have parlayed his success as the director of Twilight: New Moon into an even bigger film. Instead, he used it as an opportunity to make a small, intimate drama about a Mexican illegal immigrant called Carlos, who does back-breaking work to provide for his teenage son, Luis, while trying to keep him out of the gangs in their poor East Los Angeles neighbourhood.
The comic-book superhero Captain America was the creation of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, both Jewish, both the sons of immigrant tailors. He first appeared in print in December 1940. Though it was a full year before the United States was to enter the war, the series took a firmly interventionist, anti-Nazi stance.
There were many moments in Holy Rollers when I wished that it had been made by someone like Danny Boyle. Armed with a good script, the director of Slumdog Millionaire would have been able to convey with conviction the rich strangeness of Chasidic life, the seductive temptations of the drug trade, and all the dilemmas that would confront a young man caught between the two.