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Legend
Written by Sheila Seacroft   
23 09 2015

ImageDirected by Brian Helgeland

A double image of Tom Hardy as the Kray Twins greets you on the poster of Legend, and you'd be right in thinking that the word applies to his riveting performance as much, if not more, than the film's subject matter. It's well-made but fairly run of the mill gangster stuff, but watching Hardy bring his customary compelling subtlety to each brother is never dull, and gives a layer of depth to their antics and relationship that carries it far above its actual mundane level.

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Mistress America
Written by Sheila Seacroft   
10 09 2015

ImageDirected by Noah Baumbach

Families, loneliness, self-delusion are the themes of this film, the third in less than two years from Baumbach, who with his prolific output, throw-away one-liners and articulate, needy, self-deceiving New Yorkers, can't but put you in mind of vintage Woody Allen. A new student in New York, Tracy (Lola Kirke) is unhappy and lonely, until she meets her future elder sister Brooke (Greta Gerwig), the daughter of her mother's new husband-to-be. Enthralled by her kooky charm and the entrée into thrilling city life she provides, Tracey becomes a fascinated admirer.

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Marshland (La isla mínima)
Written by Sheila Seacroft   
01 09 2015

ImageDirected by Alberto Rodriguez

No colour, no thrilling landscapes or shiny urban setting, no vibrancy, no articulated passion. No sun. This isn't the Spain you might have come to expect from film. The ‘marshland', the salt marshes of the Guadalquivir in Andalucia, are flat, colourless, mysterious, inhabited by a reserved, male-dominated people. It's 1980, towards the dog-end of Franco's poisonous rule, and his long shadow squats like some swamp thing over the land and people. We're used now to Scandi-noir where sunless and bleak landscapes are ready metaphors for their twisted and heartless crimes. Here the uncovering of evil things is all one with the brackish waters and the mud, the mists, the roads that lead to nowhere, the sunless sky.

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