Film

Review: What Maisie Knew

By Brigit Grant, August 26, 2013

In a week when it is possible to “virtually” touch a tyrannosaurus in Jurassic Park (3D) or ogle Amanda Seyfried as a porn star in Lovelace, it would be easy to forget What Maisie Knew. But I am glad I did not. The most amazing thing about this film is that it is based on a Henry James novel written in 1897 about a little girl who becomes a tragic pawn in her parents’ bitter divorce battle.

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The Book Thief

By Zoe Winograd, August 23, 2013
An early peak at the film adaptation of Markus Zusak's best selling novel, The Book Thief. In the film, Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson play the central characters who hide a Jewish man from the Nazis during the Second World War. Published in 2006, The Book Thief was listed on the The New York Times best seller list for over 230 weeks.

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Get your kicks from this sequel

By Brigit Grant, August 18, 2013

Jane Goldman aka Mrs Jonathan Ross wrote the screenplay for Kick Ass (2010) together with its director Matthew Vaughn and it was a huge hit. The film appealed to me enormously, along with anyone else who can see the funny side of watching an eleven-year-old girl — played by the then unknown Chloë Grace Moretz — beat up bad guys and spit out shocking expletives.

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Jewish mother comics Ronna and Beverly star in The Heat

August 15, 2013

Comic duo Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo are known for their roles as overbearing fiftysomething Jewish mums in the global TV, stage and podcast live chat show, Ronna and Beverly.

But now the garrulous Los Angeles-based actresses are taking on Hollywood with their film debut alongside Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat.

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Review: The lone ranger

By Brigit Grant, August 12, 2013

He may be one of the most successful producers of all time, but it can’t be easy being Jerome Leon Bruckheimer.

At least not this month. And though I’m not asking you to cry for him — his reported annual earnings exceed $120 million — when you are accustomed to making blockbuster hits, it’s aggravating when one misses, as The Lone Ranger appears to be doing.

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Review: Heaven’s gate

By Brigit Grant, August 5, 2013

If seeking to be culturally controversial in 1980, admitting to liking Heaven’s Gate was a surefire way to do it. Bathed in the post-Oscar glow of The Deer Hunter, director Michael Cimino had banked on achieving similar success with his $44 million epic Western based loosely on the little known Battle of Johnson County.

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Monsters University 3D

By Brigit Grant, July 15, 2013

Many years ago, I got to hug Billy Crystal. He had just been accused of “selling out” as a comedian by a strident NME journalist and I was the next one in to interview him. Let’s just say I was able to reassure the actor sufficiently of his talent for him to want to embrace me. All I could think at the time was “I’m hugging the Harry who met Sally” and I’ve never forgotten it.

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Review: Despicable Me 2

By Brigit Grant, June 28, 2013

Attention parents, bubbas and zaidas everywhere. If the thought of another blanket grey weekend spent in soft-play hell with the kids is more than you can stand, fear not. Gru, his adopted orphans and those dinky yellow minions, have returned to chase away the bouncy castle blues and, like a good family board game, delight everyone from six to 96.

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Jessie Eisenberg and Isla Fisher in Now You See Me

By Zoe Winograd, June 24, 2013

Two of our favourite Jewish actors will be gracing UK cinema screens next week.

Isla Fisher, who converted to Judaism before marrying Sacha Baron Cohen, and Jessie Eisenberg both star in Now You See Me, a film about illusionists who pull off bank heists during their shows.

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Finding the Suite smell of success

By Gerald Jacobs, June 13, 2013

As you read this, Harvey Weinstein is producing a film of the late French writer Irene Nemirovsky’s spectacularly celebrated novel, Suite Francaise, starring Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas and Matthias Schoenaerts. Meanwhile, acclaimed translator Sandra Smith is working on her 11th Nemirovsky title, Fires of Autumn — “a First-World-War Suite Francaise”.

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