Monthly Archives: November 2007

THEATRE REVIEW: ‘The Women of Troy’ at the National

By Ray Bennett LONDON – There are moments in Katie Mitchell’s staging of Don Taylor’s version of “Women of Troy” when the fate of all women condemned to suffering by war and oppression is made sorrowfully clear. An imprisoned queen, … Continue reading

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British Independent Film Awards winners

By Ray Bennett The Joy Division biography “Control” was the big winner at the British Independent Film Awards Wednesday night with five prizes including best picture. Anton Corbijn was honored twice as best director and best first-time director while Sam … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Chris Weitz’s ‘The Golden Compass’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Philip Pullman’s trilogy of secular children’s adventures, “His Dark Materials,” was a welcome antidote to the religiosity of C. S. Lewis’ “Narnia” books although equally difficult to read for anyone past adolescence. Somehow, the National … Continue reading

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VENICE FILM REVIEW: Michael Caine, Jude Law in ‘Sleuth’

By Ray Bennett VENICE – Kenneth Branagh’s new version of the crime caper “Sleuth” looks smashing and it features several great lines by screenwriter Harold Pinter. But despite top-flight acting from Michael Caine and Jude Law, it loses its grip … Continue reading

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VENICE FILM REVIEW: Wes Anderson’s ‘Darjeeling Limited’

By Ray Bennett VENICE – The whimsical and insightful charm that Wes Anderson and his filmmaking pals have displayed in such films as “Rushmore” and “The Royal Tenenbaums” curdles ruinously in the Indian sun that shines so brightly in their smug and … Continue reading

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THEATRE REVIEW: ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ the musical

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Pumped up and shrill, the sound system almost overwhelms some decent performances of classic Blondie songs in the new stage musical based on the film “Desperately Seeking Susan.” It’s not a bad idea at all … Continue reading

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Remembering Renée

I met Renée Rich by the pool at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City in 1982. We got together a year later and married in England in 1984. We lived in Toronto, Los Angeles, Boise, and West Palm Beach. We … Continue reading

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THEATRE REVIEW: ‘Statement of Regret’ at the National Theatre

By Ray Bennett The conflict between blacks of direct African descent and their Caribbean cousins is at the heart of British playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah’s third play, “Statement of Regret.” While clearly a source of considerable anguish for those concerned, the … Continue reading

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TV REVIEW: Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins in ‘Cranford’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – As pretty as an English village green in summer and as bracing as a winter’s meadow brook, the BBC-TV’s new five-part period drama “Cranford”, which starts on Sunday, is an instant classic. Starring some of … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Ridley Scott’s ‘American Gangster’

By Ray Bennett Ridley Scott has been saying in interviews lately that he likes to make his movies quickly. Maybe that’s why “American Gangster,” which opens in the U.K. Friday, lacks his customary visual flair. It’s a workmanlike crime picture … Continue reading

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