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  • Come Back, Little Sheba

    Come Back, Little Sheba

    ★★★½

    William Inge really is Tennessee Williams-lite, and his tropes are just as recognisable. A run down guest house in a quiet midwestern town, alcoholism, a failing marriage, regrets for lost opportunities, and a free-spirited pretty young girl at risk of going to far.

    Burt Lancaster is far too tall, muscular and handsome to be the shambolic old Doc Delaney whose best days are far behind him, but Shirley Booth steals every scene as his kindly wife Lola in a role which garnered her a Tony on Broadway and the Best Actress Oscar (the year after Vivien Leigh got hers for Streetcar)

  • The Dark Mirror

    The Dark Mirror

    ★★★

    Not a prequel to Charlie Brookers' Black Mirror series, but rather a psychological noir in which Olivia de Havilland plays twins, one of whom is suspected of murder... but which one.

    Hitchcock would have done better than Robert Siodmak does in the director's chair with a clearer narrative thread and better mystery to draw in the audience. The best reason for watching is Olivia's performance.

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  • Balance, Not Symmetry

    Balance, Not Symmetry

    ½

    (Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019)

    First of all... I like boring films. I love all 200 minutes of Jeanne Dielman. In 2010 I watched Joanna Hogg's Archipelago with glee. And I'll fight anyone who badmouths Kevin Costner's The Postman.

    I even like Jamie Adams' boring films. A Wonderful Christmas Time has some great improvised lines (especially Sara Pascoe) and the lovely Black Mountain Poets shows that pairing up Alice Lowe and Dolly Wells will never be a bad idea. However,…

  • Hamilton

    Hamilton

    ★★★★★

    My 500th film (including short films) this year. And what a special choice for it! The perfect nexus between cool (hip hop) and geeky (18th Century political history) - something which somehow manages to give The Federalist Papers mainstream appeal. More than that. It has people paying the price of a secondhand Fiat Punto for tickets to a theatre show about the reorganisation of public credit to manage the national debt of a new nation. Amazing.

    However, this isn't really a feature film. It's the filming of a live stage show. Some people hate these, but I really love them. So full marks from me.