Category Archives: Film

Film Review: Ruby Sparks ****

Imagine you’re a neurotic single novelist, relatively successful but emotionally unfulfilled.

You base the female protagonist of your latest novel on your dream girl, and she miraculously comes
to life. Not only that, but she becomes your lover and you’re able to influence everything she thinks, says and does through the words emanating from your typewriter. Flinging ethics to one side for a moment, the ability to wield godlike power would help you to iron out any difficulties the relationship faces. What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading

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Oscars, Schmoscars

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Following Sunday night’s tediously predictable Oscars ceremony, the awards season is over for another year. Anyone with even a passing interest in the film industry could have correctly identified the major winners a month or so ago.

I have no problem with Michel Hazanavicius’ charming The Artist taking home the honours and plaudits. Alexander Payne’s win for adapted screenplay was deserved too – The Descendants is one of my films of this year so far. Because, Hollywood, when considering the best films of the year I go by the Gregorian calendar (January-December) and The Descendants wasn’t given a wide release in the UK until January 2012. Still, it has won the 2011 Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, presented confusingly on 26 February 2012. Continue reading

Film Review: Shame ****

I went to see Shame on Friday evening, a film surely destined to become infamous due to its content and topicality, which if you didn’t know, concerns addiction of the sexual variety.

Shame stars Michael Fassbender, whose ubiquity in films over the last year or so ensures lazy tabloid hacks invariably prefix his moniker with ‘flavour of the month’ in every single article they write about him.

Fassbender is Brandon; a handsome, corporate, quite literally dick-swinging New Yorker with a penchant for sex in all its myriad forms, and impeccable taste in scarves. The explicit scenes are lushly – but not glamorously – scattered around the film by director Steve McQueen (not that one). We see Brandon masturbate, indulge in cyber sex, solicit prostitutes, engage in ménage à trois, have rough sex with a woman in an alleyway and even receive a blowjob from a bearded man in a gay bar, to assuage his unwavering libido.

Of course we don’t actually see the aforementioned acts in their entirety – this is arthouse cinema, not a porno – though Brandon’s/Fassbender’s penis does make an appearance, in all its, ahem, considerable glory. Continue reading