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DVD releases

Cloclo Does it His Way

Films about singers and musicians often chart a predictable course from youthful hedonism into addiction, overindulgence, heartbreak and early death. So it’s a relief to report that Cloclo, the stylish biopic of French chanteur Claude François, is not your run-of-the-mill… Continue Reading →

Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957)

“You work like a horse but you never seem to get anywhere.” After decades in the cinematic wilderness, director J Lee Thompson’s Woman in a Dressing Gown returns to cinemas this week, reminding us how tough it was to be… Continue Reading →

La Grande Illusion

La Grande Illusion celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, but Jean Renoir’s First World War drama isn’t really showing its age. The digitally restored DVD I watched was refreshingly free of all the snap, crackle and pop I used to… Continue Reading →

Murder by Decree is a Not-So-Ripping Yarn

The sight of Sherlock Holmes flirting with a "defrocked" dominatrix or wrestling with his personalised ringtone has proved irresistible to fans of the BBC's Sherlock. Call me a boring old traditionalist, but I prefer the World's Greatest Consulting Detective to… Continue Reading →

Mastering the Art of Conversation: Andrew Haigh's Weekend

“So is this some Notting Hill moment?” Perish the thought. Andrew Haigh’s Weekend is so far removed from dewy-eyed Hollywood romance, that it’s a shock to hear Roger Michell’s bland romcom referenced here – even in jest. This is love… Continue Reading →

Dracula Prince of Darkness

The first Hammer film I ever saw was She, in which Ursula Andress dons some extravagant headgear to play the immortal Queen Ayesha — “She who must be obeyed”. I’m guessing the star of Dracula Prince of Darkness, Christopher Lee,… Continue Reading →

Broken Lines

It’s tempting to reach for some tried and trusted sporting clichés to describe Paul Bettany’s performance in Broken Lines. Like many other critics, I think he’s a knockout as partially paralysed ex-boxer, Chester. Atrophied muscles and a bruised psyche have… Continue Reading →

Sarah’s Key

Her name is synonymous with classy dramas — in English and French — but it would be wrong to classify Sarah’s Key as another Kristin Scott Thomas vehicle. She does deliver a typically cool and intelligent performance here as a… Continue Reading →

The Conversation

Who made The Conversation? In between the first two Godfather films, Francis Ford Coppola wrote and directed this devastating psychological thriller about the downfall of virtuoso surveillance expert Harry Caul (played by Gene Hackman). But in a story that hinges… Continue Reading →

Potiche

From The Umbrellas of Cherbourg to the (temporary) boss of an umbrella factory — you could say that Catherine Deneuve’s long screen career has come full circle. François Ozon’s frothy comedy Potiche reunites her with another giant of postwar French… Continue Reading →

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