Monthly Archives: January 2015

20 Gene Hackman films you must see

By Ray Bennett With most movie stars it’s not very difficult to sort out a Top 10 of your favourite films but Gene Hackman’s exceptional 40-year career has included so many terrific performances in such a wide range of films … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’

By Ray Bennett “Kingsman: The Secret Service” could put the nail in the coffin of secret agent movies just as “Blazing Saddles” put the kibosh on westerns in the 1970s. It takes the increasingly absurd violent action of recent James … Continue reading

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When Maggie Smith called me a horrible man

By Ray Bennett To meet a movie actor you admire can sometimes be a disappointment but Maggie Smith, whose 80th birthday salute is coming to an end at the BFI, was exactly how I hoped she would be. She told … Continue reading

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London Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards highlight fringe

By Ray Bennett Fringe and repertoire theatres triumphed at the London Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards today as prizes went to productions at the Almeida, Chichester Festival, the Young Vic, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Court and the Bush Theatre. … Continue reading

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Theatre news: Spacey as Darrow, Suchet as Lady Bracknell

By Ray Bennett Latest casting news in London’s West End includes Kevin Spacey’s return as Clarence Darrow at The Old Vic, Lara Pulver and Peter Davison with Imelda Staunton in the transfer of “Gypsy” and David Suchet as Lady Bracknell. … Continue reading

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Martin Shaw hasn’t always been a TV copper

By Ray Bennett Martin Shaw, who turns 70 today, is known best for playing TV coppers in “The Professionals” and “Inspector George Gently” but he also has had a long stage career in roles from Stanley Kowalski to Lord Goring … Continue reading

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‘Boyhood’, ‘Under the Skin’ top London critics’ awards

By Ray Bennett The London Critics’ Circle Film Awards on Sunday shared the plaudits among several films including “Boyhood”, which won three prizes, and “Under the Skin”, which won two.

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FILM REVIEW: Damien Chazelle’s ‘Whiplash’

By Ray Bennett “Whiplash” is a cracking little picture that draws on the philosophical notion that you can achieve anything so long as you’re willing to sacrifice everything else, including blood. A sort of “Full Metal Drumkit”, in which percussion … Continue reading

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Miranda Richardson to receive Critics’ Circle’s top prize

Delighted that the wonderful Miranda Richardson will be honoured at the Critics’ Circle Film Awards on Sunday. Sat next to her at a Fox dinner at the Toronto International Film Festival two or three years ago and she is delightful company … Continue reading

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Peter Cook’s pact with the devil for Dudley Moore

By Ray Bennett There’s a general view that comic genius Peter Cook, who died 20 years ago today, was a bitter and unhappy man who resented the film success of his former partner Dudley Moore. That’s not how he appeared … Continue reading

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