Brigit Grant

Arts genius who has become the job inbetweener

By Brigit Grant, April 23, 2015

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at Tessa Ross's Friday night dinner last week. Chances are the BBC arts editor, Will Gompertz, was harnessed to a lamppost on her Camden street in order to get wind of the "real" story behind her departure from the National Theatre as chief executive.

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Review: The Good Lie

By Brigit Grant, April 23, 2015

The poster for The Good Lie features a winsome looking Reese Witherspoon looking off into the distance while, beneath her, three Africans in tribal dress wander across a sun-bleached plain. But don't let the poster fool you.

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Review: The Last Five Years

By Brigit Grant, April 17, 2015

If you hated Tom Hooper's epic screen production of Les Misérables and were ready to walk out of Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd, I'm guessing that movies which rely on songs to tell a story aren't your thing. And that is exactly the format for The Last Five Years, which is Richard LaGravensese's film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway stage show by Jason Robert Brown.

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Review: Altman

By Brigit Grant, April 2, 2015

In striking contrast to most actors, directors are almost always interesting, none more so than the rebel Robert Altman who defied the conventions of Hollywood cinema to make his own movies, which exploded myths about American culture.

In Ron Mann's affectionate documentary tribute we hear the maverick auteur dismiss the idea that he was intentionally taking a swipe at the system - "I reflect

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Cinderella

By Brigit Grant, March 26, 2015

I moaned when they remade Audrey Hepburn's Sabrina.

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Review: The Face of an Angel

By Brigit Grant, March 19, 2015

There has already been a film about the murder in Italy of British student Meredith Kercher but, as it wasn't directed by Michael Winterbottom, you probably haven't heard about it.

This has been steeped in the sort of controversy that bodes well for the box-office as accused Amanda Knox's lawyers threatened to sue the moment they got wind of the movie and the Kercher family gave it their blessi

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Review: The Second BestMarigold Hotel

By Brigit Grant, February 26, 2015

So the Oscars is over and there will be no more soapbox rants for a better world delivered by multi-millionaire actors waving little gold men. Not until next year anyway.

Cue the new, though March is not the best time for films as they won't be remembered when the nominations come around again.

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Mel Brooks's 2,000 Year Old Man - is this the greatest comedy sketch ever?

By Brigit Grant, February 26, 2015

George Burns threatened to steal him. Edward G Robinson wanted to take him to Broadway, and if you went to the right Hollywood parties in the 1950s, you would have met him.

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Review: Selma

By Brigit Grant, February 5, 2015

Privileged film industry types complaining about a lack of Oscar nominations annoys me, but in the case of Selma, I'm right there with them.

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Review: Mortdecai

By Brigit Grant, January 22, 2015

Though it isn't compulsory, as the critic for a Jewish newspaper I try to choose films that are either subject relevant or bursting with the artistic contributions of a Jewish cast and crew. With only the name - Mortdecai - to go on before shooting began, I wrongly assumed actor Johnny Depp had accepted his first Orthodox role and was ditching Captain Jack Sparrow's tricorne for a shtreimel.

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Testament of the Rakusen's matzah boy who's made a cracker of a film

By Brigit Grant, January 15, 2015

Unless food is the focus of a film, it rarely comes up in conversation with the director, but with James Kent, 51, it was inevitable. His great-grandfather was Lloyd Rakusen of matzah-making fame and it happens to be my favourite snack. "Mine, too," says James enthusiastically. "They are just so more-ish and delicious with scrambled eggs.

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Review: American Sniper

By Brigit Grant, January 15, 2015

When an octogenarian delivers a 21st- century war film to rival anything a younger gun could produce, he deserves our respect. So it's hats off to Clint Eastwood, who at 84 clearly has no problem commanding epic material from behind the lens. Unfortunately, American Sniper, like a number of other films he has directed, doesn't tick all the emotive boxes - or any, in my case.

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Review: The Theory OF Everything

By Brigit Grant, January 8, 2015

A Brief History Of Time is always the mostpristine tome on any shelf. No doubt the owner made the purchase with the intention of reading it, but simply hasn't found the... time.

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Review: Into the Woods

By Brigit Grant, January 8, 2015

Having made the mistake of walking out of Sunday in the Park With George some years ago (which I grew to love) I've always felt I owed Stephen Sondheim. The staccato rhythm and rhyme of his music was drummed into my head from an early age by my mother, so I was educated in the ways of the maestro who some embrace as musical theatre's answer to Pinter.

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Review: Night at the Museum:Secret of the Tomb

By Brigit Grant, December 18, 2014

Back in 2006, the American Museum of Natural History was struggling to attract visitors and facing budget cuts.

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Review: The Green Prince

By Brigit Grant, December 11, 2014

The decision to bring Mosab Hassan Yousef's book, Son of Hamas to the screen can't have been an easy one. Least of all for Mosab. Coming out in a paperback as an Israeli spy when your father is a radical Palestinian liberation leader is questionable, but to narrate his own story on camera seems like the act of a mad man with a death wish.

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Review: Horrible Bosses 2

By Brigit Grant, November 27, 2014

There is a simple rule when it comes to sequels. If you gave the first film a thumbs down, there is no point going to see what happened next.

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Review: My Old Lady

By Brigit Grant, November 20, 2014

It was the poet Philip Larkin who provided the most damning and potentially accurate assessment of parenting when he wrote: "They f--- you up, your mum and dad. /They may not mean to, but they do./ They fill you with the faults they had/ And add some extra, just for you."

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Review: Life Itself

By Brigit Grant, November 13, 2014

Film critics are a very strange breed. Deprived of natural light for much of the working week, the profession is more exciting in the telling than in practice.

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The Jewish Duchess of Downton Abbey

By Brigit Grant, November 6, 2014

For the 150 million viewers who watch Downton Abbey globally, the chance to have breakfast with the series director would feel like a Lottery win.

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