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Bridge of Spies
Written by Sheila Seacroft   
27 12 2015

ImageDirected by Steven Spielberg

A rubbish title for a great film! Last week I saw Carol, a film in 50s love-melodrama mode, with colour and emotion and gorgeous frocks, roles to die for, reminiscent of the great mournful-eyed divas of old Hollywood - what would those days have been called a ‘woman's picture'. And then in the same week along comes a ‘man's picture' - subdued palette, men in suits, subsidiary women, courtrooms and panelled offices, international shenanigans, moral choices, and at the heart of it a role that would have been taken by one of the greats. Tom Hanks has the heft and honesty of, say, James Stewart or Joel McCrea, managing to combine gravitas with an almost playful touch, a deeply moral hero who wears his decency lightly.

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Carol
Written by Sheila Seacroft   
21 12 2015

ImageDirected by Todd Haynes

Carol is a grand, intense love story in the mode of 50s weepie-meister Douglas Sirk, awash with luscious retro fashion, heartbreak, meaningful glances, inch-perfectly composed shots, with an extra dose of social worthiness that no-one can disagree with. The critics have fallen into a collective swoon-fest over it, so much that I'm wondering if my slightly lukewarm reaction is because my expectations were unrealistically raised. The truth is, it never truly touched me, despite my great admiration for the Patricia Highsmith novel on which is based.

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Radiator
Written by Sheila Seacroft   
01 12 2015

ImageDirected by Tom Browne

Only a few months after Andrew Haigh's 45 Years, a devastating portrait of the undercurrents of a superficially happy marriage, Tom Browne's stunning and moving debut takes a painful look at a the dog-ends of a more obviously troubled and uncomfortable one. Richard Johnson plays Leonard, an angry bully, raging against the dying of the light in a ramshackle farmhouse in Cumbria.

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