period drama tagged posts

The Old Man and the Gun

Director: David Lowery

Writer: David Lowery (script), David Grann (The New Yorker article)

Cast: Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, Elisabeth Moss

Cert: 12 (TBC)

Running time: 93mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: Texas, 1981. Aged escaped convict Forrest Tucker (Redford) embarks on a string of bank robberies, but the law is close behind.

What’s the verdict: The Old Man and the Gun was initially announced as Robert Redford’s acting swansong. Reportedly this may no longer be the case, but David Lowery’s irresistible crime caper is a wonderful summation of Redford’s screen legend.

The Sundance Kid may now be an old man, but as career criminal Forrest Tucker both the actor’s baby blues and infectious smile shine brightly as ever.

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Rules Don’t Apply

Director: Warren Beatty

Writer: Warren Beatty (screenplay), Warren Beatty, Bo Goldman (story)

Cast: Warren Beatty, Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Matthew Broderick, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Oliver Platt, Steve Coogan, Taissa Farmiga

Cert: 12

Running time: 127mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: Young Marla (Collins) is brought to 1950s Hollywood as one of billionaire Howard Hughes’ many movie star ingenues. She and sensitive chauffeur Frank (Ehrenreich) are soon pulled into the dangerous, exciting orbit of Hughes (Beatty).

What’s the verdict: Warren Beatty’s return to the big screen fifteen years after the catastrophic failure of Town & Country, may be the now octogenarian’s final silver screen outing.

Befitting its subject, OCD-crippled billionaire Howard Hu...

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Jackie (2016)

Director: Pablo Larraín

Writer: Noah Oppenheim

Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Billy Crudup, Greta Gerwig, John Hurt, John Carroll Lynch, Caspar Phillipson

Cert: 15

Running time: 100mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: Weeks after the assassination of President John F Kennedy, a journalist (Crudup) is granted an interview with Jacqueline Kennedy (Portman), who recalls moments of her life as First Lady.

What’s the verdict: From the opening close-up of Natalie Portman’s pinched, pale face and the strings of Mica Levi’s woozy score, it is clear Jackie aims for something beyond a standard soup-to-nuts biopic.

Director Pablo Larraín (who had a better 2016 than most with this and Neruda) and writer Noah Oppenheim (a long way from his scripts for Allegiant and The Maze Runner) con...

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Silence (2016)

silence-posterDirector: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Martin Scorsese & Jay Cocks (screenplay); Shûsaku Endô (novel)

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Tadanobu Asano, Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Issei Ogata, Liam Neeson

Cert: 15

Running time: 161mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: Two Portuguese priests journey to 17th century Japan to discover the whereabouts of a colleague who has reportedly renounced his religion. The two priests also attempt to spread Catholicism, but find danger in the ruling class attempting to drive foreign beliefs from the land, often violently.

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What’s the verdict: Even ignoring The Last Temptation of Christ, religion and chiefly Catholicism have loomed large in Scorsese’s work...

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Miss Hokusai

Miss-Hokusai-posterDirector: Keiichi Hara

Writer: Miho Maruo, Hinako Suguira (comic)

Cast: Anne Watanabe, Yutaka Matsushige, Shion Shimizu, Kumiko Aso

Cert: 12

Running time: 93mins

Year: 2015



What’s the story: In 1814 Edo (now Tokyo) 50 year old artist Tetsuzo casually produces masterpieces, assisted by his daughter O-Ei. Using the vibrant city, its inhabitants, the seasons and superstitions they create works of art revered to this day.

Miss-Hokusai---O-Ei,-magic-hourMiss-Hokusai---O-Ei,-painting-society-woman

What’s the verdict: Don’t worry if you have never heard of Japanese artist Tetsuzo, or his most famous assumed name Katsushika Hokusai. You will be familiar with his wood block print The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. It’s that striking flat perspective view of a giant blue wave engulfing fishing boats that adorns everything from mugs to mouse pads to many a student bed...

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Carol

Carol-poster---Blanchett,-MaraDirector: Todd Haynes

Writer: Phyllis Nagy (screenplay), Patricia Highsmith (novel, The Price of Salt)

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy, KK Heim

Cert: 15

Running time: 118mins

Year: 2015


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The lowdown: Heartbreaking and intoxicating, Carol is a majestic experience. Cate Blanchett is on Blue Jasmine-level form as Carol and Rooney Mara delivers her best performance to date as Therese, two women who fall for each other in 1950s New York. This threatens a custody battle in which society woman Carol is embroiled and store worker Therese’s relationship with her decent but dull boyfriend. Haynes has total control of the emotions and sumptuous visuals in a film that echoes Wong Kar-wai’s In The Mood For Love. No small praise indeed.

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The full verdict...

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Suffragette

Suffragette-posterDirector: Sarah Gavron

Writer: Abi Morgan

Cert: 12

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Anne-Marie Duff, Helena Bonham-Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Geoff Bell, Ben Whishaw, Meryl Streep

Running time: 106mins

Year: 2015




The lowdown: Absorbing and emotional telling of the fight for women’s voting rights, likely to garner plenty of attention come awards season. Brick Lane director Sarah Gavron avoids chocolate box period cosiness, delivering a harder-edged experience than you may expect, and Carey Mulligan proves once more she’s fast becoming the actress of her generation.

Suffragette---Carey-Mulligan,-Anne-Marie-DuffSuffragette---Carey-Mulligan

The full verdict: The opening shot of a woman’s heel sending ripples through a puddle reflecting a sweatshop laundry sets the tone. The political, social and personal status quo is soon to be forever disrupted.

Adopting the 12 Ye...

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Far From The Madding Crowd (2015)

Far-From-The-Madding-Crowd---quad-posterDirector: Thomas Vinterberg

Writers: Thomas Hardy (novel), David Nicholls (screenplay)

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Mattias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge

Cert: 12A

Running Time: 119 mins

Year: 2015

The lowdown: A quality combination of Dogme director Thomas Vinterberg and class act Carey Mulligan turns Thomas Hardy’s nineteenth century novel into a thoroughly modern romance. Gorgeous scenery and sensual imagery transport Dorset back to its glorious haymaking heyday. Spritely in pace without losing its sweeping scope, there’s no time to parley in the barley – this is period drama for the impatient.

Far-From-The-Madding-Crowd---Carey-Mulligan,-Mattias-SchoenaertsFar-From-The-Madding-Crowd---Carey-Mulligan,-Michael-Sheen

The full verdict: Excluding contemporary 2010 reworking Tamara Drewe, the last big screen version of Thomas Hardy’s classic tale of love, passion and animal husbandry was released ne...

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