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

MR HOLMES

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Bill Condon Stars: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hattie Morahan, Patrick Kennedy, Roger Allam, Frances de la Tour, John Sessions, Nicholas Rowe. Ever since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first created the fictitious character of Sherlock Holmes in 1887, he has become one of the most enduring and popular character in detective fiction. Holmes has become a staple of the big screen, where he has been played by the likes of Basil Rathbone (who gave us arguably the definitive portrayal in 15 film appearances), Nicol Continue reading

A ROYAL NIGHT OUT

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Julian Jarrold Stars: Sarah Gadon, Bel Powell, Rupert Everett, Emily Watson, Jack Reynor, Jack Laskey, Jack Gordon, Roger Allam. Based loosely on fact, A Royal Night Out is a light weight and frothy romp and has something of an old fashioned feel. This is a film that could have been made by Ealing Studios in their heyday. And its release has been perfectly timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, which should add some further curiosity value. On May 8, 1945, VE Day, the royal princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Continue reading

TAMARA DREWE

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Stephen Frears Stars: Gemma Arterton, Roger Allam, Tamsin Greig, Bill Camp, Luke Evans, Jessica Barden, Charlotte Christie, Dominic Cooper. The press advertisements for Tamara Drewe somewhat grandiosely call it "the best British film of the year!" Such hyperbole doesn’t say much for the state of the British film industry if true! It also ignores the far superior efforts like 127 Hours, Made In Dagenham, The King’s Speech and Mike Leigh’s wonderful Another Year. This is a laboured and surprisingly flatly directed and Continue reading