‘Brooklyn’ distilled

It’s the ‘fifties again, folks – like ‘Carol’ which I’ve just reviewed, a nostalgic look in the rearview mirror. Irish girl leaves poverty and the Old Country to find a new life and love in America – after a suitable quantum of struggle, of course. Beautifully shot – but whereas the visuals in ‘Carol’ are psychological as well as broodingly romantic, here the visuals are just props for a sentimental journey. Director: John Crowley. Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen Verdict: Consumer-friendly, enjoyable. Tea and biscuits.


Heard of ‘lady balls,’ have you? Apparently there are people in the advertising business who’d have you think that ‘lady balls’ is a thing. Running in cinemas near you, at least if you’re in Toronto, is an advocacy campaign about ovarian cancer. Good idea, or so you’d think. Except that the ad is built around a series of lady-jock exclamations – women should have the ‘lady balls’ to do this, the ‘lady balls’ to do that. Who comes up with this stuff? Life is simply too short for bad language. And ‘lady balls’ truly is awful.

Planet Earth

Renowned scientist Stephen Hawking suggests (for the BBC article, see Hawking: Humans at risk of lethal ‘own goal’ – BBC News ) that the explosion of scientific knowledge creates – along with the many and obvious benefits – new risks of things going wrong, nuclear disaster and global warming being just two of them. The risks, in any event, of some cosmic event beyond our control are ‘almost certain,’ over the longer term, so over the longer term, he believes, we’d better be finding ourselves another planet. But until then, we’ve only got this one, and we’d better look after it. (A […]


America in the ‘fifties. Two women – one older, wealthy and sophisticated and on her way to a divorce, the other an ingenue shopgirl, begin a relationship. Complications inevitably arise. There is a slow-burning interiority to the movie, and moments of incandescence that are utterly convincing. Director: Todd Haynes. Cate Blanchette, Rooney Mara Verdict: Still waters flow deep. Bourbon. On the rocks.

School’s out

Have you ever had that dream where you realise the final school exams are just around the corner, and you haven’t even started studying? In fact, you haven’t been to class for so long, you’re not even sure what goddamned subjects you’re taking? You can see you’re going to fail, and you’re sweating, and you wrench yourself awake and realize hey wait a minute, I’m not in school, there are no exams, I matriculated about a hundred years ago. I passed, dammit! Seems this is one of those things that lots of us have recurring dreams about. I have, throughout […]