Category Archives: Film

FILM REVIEW: Natalie Portman in ‘Vox Lux’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Just as in ‘Jackie’ two years ago, Natalie Portman gives a scintillating performance of a driven and complicated woman in a not very successful picture. Director and screenwriter Brady Corbet’s ‘Vox Lux’, which opens today … Continue reading

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Film Review Brief: Trevor Nunn’s ‘Red Joan’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Trevor Nunn’s slightly old-fashioned espionage drama ‘Red Joan’, which opens in the United Kingdom today, won’t set any box-office records but it is an absorbing drama. Sophie Cookson (pictured above with Stephen Campbell Moore) is … Continue reading

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On Stanley Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Stanley Kubrick’s controversial ‘A Clockwork Orange’ starring Malcolm McDowell is re-released in the United Kingdom today. As always with Kubrick, it is a striking combination of visual power, evocative music and powerful drama. Now controversial … Continue reading

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Michael Caine: recalling a class act at the 2000 Oscars

By Ray Bennett Spending time with Michael Caine is always a pleasure and since today is his 86th birthday, here’s one of my favourite encounters from 2000. LOS ANGELES – It’s ironic that the word on everyone’s lips following Michael Caine’s … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Cruz and Bardem in ‘Everybody Knows’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Married Spanish Oscar-winners Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem have become a reliable partnership onscreen and their latest feature together, ‘Everybody Knows’, is a bright addition to their canon. It opens today in the United Kingdom. … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Adam McKay’s ‘Vice’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – American writer-director Adam McKay’s political satire ‘Vice’ does for Washington what his 2015 film ‘The Big Short’ did for Wall Street with the same mix of techniques that includes sharp humour, characters speaking to camera, … Continue reading

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‘Roma’, ‘The Favourite’, ‘Cold War’ top London critics awards

By Ray Bennett LONDON – There were few surprises at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards on Sunday as Alfonso Cuaron’s black-and-white Spanish drama ‘Roma’ won best picture and he was named best director while costume romp ‘The Favourite’ picked … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Josie Rourke’s ‘Mary Queen of Scots’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Josie Rourke’s pedestrian costume saga ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ offers a revisionist and modernist view of the would-be monarch who threatened Elizabeth I’s reign and was executed aged 44 in 1587 but it fails to … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Jon S. Baird’s ‘Stan & Ollie’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Jon S. Baird’s ‘Stan & Ollie’ appears well intended but it has two central problems. One is the decision to portray the great silent comics Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as sad clowns and the … Continue reading

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‘The Favourite’ set to clean up at the Bafta film awards

By Ray Bennett LONDON – This year’s Bafta Film Awards nominations are predictably conventional but it hardly matters as the immensely popular ‘The Favourite’ (pictured) is a shoo-in for many of its 12 nominations including the actress prizes, Brits Christian … Continue reading

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