DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Simon Curtis Stars: Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Dancy, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Robert James-Collier, Dominic West, Laura Haddock, Imelda Staunton, Tuppence Middleton, Joanna Froggatt, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech, Lesley Nicol, Kevin Doyle, Nathalie Baye, David Robb, Fifi Hart, Douglas Reith, Samantha Bond. Singing in the Abbey?  Creator Julian Fellowes seems determined to squeeze every last drop out of the Downton Abbey saga. The popular television series set in the Continue reading

THE LADY IN THE VAN

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Nicholas Hytner Stars: Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Roger Allam, Jim Broadbent, Dominic Cooper, James Corden, Frances de la Tour, Sam Spruell, Claire Foy, Cecilia Noble. Based on the stage play written by Alan Bennett, one of most successful contemporary playwrights in England with credits including The History Boys, The Madness Of King George, etc, this is "mostly a true story" that mixes fact and fiction in an entertaining mix. The play was inspired by Bennett's encounter with Mary Shepherd (dual Oscar winner Maggie Smith), the Continue reading

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 OLD LADY

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Israel Horovitz Stars: Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas, Dominique Pinon, Noemie Lvovsky, Stephane Freiss. Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline) is a thrice divorced, down and out failed writer and suicidal former alcoholic whose life is a mess. A native New Yorker he arrives in Paris intending to sell the spacious apartment he has inherited from his estranged father for some much needed cash. But to his consternation he finds that the apartment is occupied by the feisty 90 year old Mathilde Girard (Maggie Smith) and her daughter Continue reading

JEWISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2014

by GREG KING. JIFF 2014 brings audiences new films from Israel and Jewish themed films, including award winning films from 43 major international festivals. JIFF is an opportunity to challenge our preconceived ideas on religion, politics, news. The opening night film is the drama Gett: The Trial Of Vivianne Amsalem, about the tribulations faced by a Jewish woman who wants to get a divorce. The film won the Best Film at the Jerusalem Film Festival. There are also a number of Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers and special events exploring aspects of the Jewish Continue reading