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  • Sunset Boulevard

    Sunset Boulevard

    ★★★★★

    Art Imitating Life

    Silent screen star Mary Pickford once said: ‘It would have been more logical if silent pictures had grown out of the talkies, instead of the the other way around.'

    It's a sentiment echoed by many film historians in the years since. Sound may have brought cinema to mainstream audiences, but it also made it easier for screenwriters to be lazy, with expositional dialogue to explain plot, ambient noise to set tone and score to elicit immediate emotional…

  • Eyes of a Stranger

    Eyes of a Stranger

    ★★½

    Harrowing account of a reporter’s campaign of terror against active serial killer.

    Her little sister, a blind-mute-deaf Jennifer Jason Leigh, hangs around the kitchen preparing low-key food.

    Turns out psychological trauma associated with rape can be cured - with more rape. You just have to commit.

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  • Breakfast at Tiffany's

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

    ★★★★★

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a bit of an anomaly. It's a film that is frightened of its own material.

    The reasons are manifold. Capote (who wrote the novella) wanted Marilyn Monroe for the part of Holly Golightly; the weed-smoking alcoholic prostitute who has a casual affair with a gigolo writer. The studio wanted Hepburn, whose image was less sexually overt and more dignified. Audrey’s prostitute needed to be enigmatic, so the more salacious material in the story was dropped. Meanwhile,…

  • The Imitation Game

    The Imitation Game

    ★★½

    The Imitation Game plays like the polite dinner conversation at a party, before drinks have been served to loosen everybody up. It's so mannered and inoffensive that it seems to come at us from the chamber of a prettily-furnished snow globe.

    It's a biopic that chronicles three interwoven periods in the life of mathematician Alan Turing, a solitary introvert who developed a machine that deciphered codes the Nazis used to deliver tactical messages during WW2. A latent homosexual, the film…