THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: John Madden Stars: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel, Bill Nighy, Richard Gere, Ronald Pickup, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Tamsin Greig, Tena Desae, Lillet Dubey, David Strathairn, Diana Hardcastle, Shazad Latif. Is this the most ironically apt film title of the year? The original and life affirming Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was one of the surprise hits of 2012, so it's not surprising that the producers have had a second bite at the cherry with this obligatory sequel. But the film suffers from the usual fate of most Continue reading

MY WEEK WITH MARILYN

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Simon Curtis Stars: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Julia Ormond, Dougray Scott. Hollywood created a superstar, but fame was the steep price Marilyn Monroe had to pay for her image. There are lots of apocryphal stories concerning the behaviour of legendary film star Marilyn Monroe, from her messy personal life to her erratic behaviour on set. The two most famous examples of her diva-like behaviour on set concern her movies The Prince And The Showgirl (1957) and the classic comedy Some Like It Continue reading

J EDGAR

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Clint Eastwood Stars: Leonardo Di Caprio, Armie Hammer, Judi Dench, Naomi Watts, Ken Howard, Jeffrey Donovan. For nearly fifty years, J Edgar Hoover was the most powerful man in American law enforcement. Not only did he establish the FBI and its well respected forensics laboratories and impressive data bases, but he was also a power hungry, paranoid and ambitious man who gathered secret files on the sex lives of everyone prominent in public life. For Hoover, secrets and information represented power, and he used those files to Continue reading

JANE EYRE

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Cary Fukunaga Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Sally Hwkins, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench. This is the umpteenth version of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel of a plain, obscure and poor orphan girl who lands a job as a governess and eventually captures the heart of her mysterious employer. This 22nd version of the timeless Gothic romance is a visually sumptuous and handsomely mounted production, but it is also quite bland and dull. Technical contributions are excellent, from Adriano Goldman’s gorgeous cinematography, to Will Continue reading

THE SHIPPING NEWS

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Lasse Hallstrom Stars: Judi Dench, Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett, Pete Postlethwaite, Scott Glenn, Rhys Ifans, Gordon Pinsent. Previous literary adaptations from the potent combination of Miramax and Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat, The Cider House Rules, etc) have attracted award nominations and critical acclaim, and their latest joint effort will probably be no exception. Based on the acclaimed novel by Annie Proulx, The Shipping News is another example of the beautifully shot, literate adaptation that Miramax does so Continue reading