Rafe Spall:
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Rafe Spall

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Picture - Rafe Spall and Elize du... London United Kingdom, Wednesday 25th March 2015

Rafe Spall and Elize du Toit - A variety of stars were snapped as they arrived at the BBC Films 25th Anniversary Reception which was held at BBC Broadcasting House in London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 25th March 2015

Picture - Rafe Spall and Elize du... London United Kingdom, Wednesday 25th March 2015

Rafe Spall and Elize du Toit - A variety of stars were snapped as they arrived at the BBC Films 25th Anniversary Reception which was held at BBC Broadcasting House in London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 25th March 2015

Picture - Rafe Spall - Celebrities at... London United Kingdom, Friday 13th March 2015

Rafe Spall - Celebrities at the BBC Studios to Aid Dermot O'Leary's Marathon Dance for Comic Relief at BBC Portland Place - London, United Kingdom - Friday 13th March 2015

X + Y Review


With a gentle current of comedy, this relaxed British drama finds some cleverly involving ways of approaching the concept of grief, specifically how various people need to deal with their inner pain in their own ways. It's a strikingly observant film that's also thoroughly engaging thanks to a terrific cast of actors who are given the space to develop their characters in organic ways we can easily identify with.

As a young boy, Nathan (Edward Baker-Close) folds into himself when his father (Martin McCann) is killed in a car crash. His optimistic mother Julie (Sally Hawkins) doesn't quite know how to deal with either his natural mathematical ability or his autistic inability to relate to people, but she does the best she can. And it's when he hits his teen years (now Asa Butterfield) that he begins to open up to his bristly tutor Humphreys (Rafe Spall), who encourages Nathan to travel to Taiwan to train with the British team for the International Mathematical Olympiad. In Taipei, Nathan has even more challenges as he learns to work with both the team coach Richard (Eddie Marsan) and his local study partner Mei (Jo Yang). And as Nathan begins to understand who he is, Julie also discovers that maybe she can cope after all.

Director Morgan Matthews and screenwriter James Graham have a remarkably light touch with the plot, allowing events to unfold naturally while never pushing the sentiment. They also thankfully figure out an inventive way to make a movie packed with mathematical formulae that actually feel meaningful to even the most maths-phobic member of the audience. Impressively, this lets the film get into Nathan's perspective to reveal how he sees the world and interacts with the people around him. And Butterfield plays the role with raw honesty that completely wins us over.

Continue reading: X + Y Review

Picture - Elize du Toit and Rafe... London United Kingdom, Sunday 7th December 2014

Elize du Toit and Rafe Spall - Photographs of a host of stars as they arrived for the Moet British Independent Film Awards which were held at the Old Billingsgate in London, United Kingdom - Sunday 7th December 2014

Get Santa Review


Solidly entertaining Christmas movies are so rare that when one comes along it feels like the best gift ever. Perhaps more horror filmmakers should turn their hand to family-friendly action comedies. This one is written and directed by Christopher Smith, the British filmmaker behind freak-outs like Severance and Triangle. But this movie is a pure joy, deploying a warped sense of humour that will have adults laughing a bit more than the kids, who will be caught up in a terrific wish-fulfilment adventure of their own.

In London, Steve (Rafe Spall) has just been released after two years in prison, and his first priority is to see his 10-year-old son Tom (Kit Connor), who lives with Steve's ex Alison (Jodie Whittaker) and her new husband. That same night, Tom finds a beardy man (Jim Broadbent) in the garage who claims to be Santa Claus and needs Steve's help. Steve is more than a little skeptical, but wants to spend time with Tom so heads off on a rescue mission that gets increasingly complicated with every passing moment. Mainly because Santa gets himself arrested while trying to liberate his reindeer after they were caught roaming around the city streets. Coincidentally housed in Steve's old prison, he gets some help from Steve's former fellow inmates (including Stephen Graham, Warwick Davis and Nonso Anozie), while Steve discovers that maybe something magical is going on after all

This may be one of those "find your childhood love of Christmas" movies, but Smith never pushes the sentimentality. Instead, he keeps the story moving with brisk momentum, piling on some hilariously deranged gags along with madcap action set-pieces that include chases, dress-up silliness and, yes, a prison break. The script is tight and funny, including the requisite poo and fart jokes, as well as some more sophisticated movie sight-gags and clever character detail. These people may be faintly ridiculous, but the actors dive in headlong and bring us with them.

Continue reading: Get Santa Review

Rafe Spall:
News Pictures Video Film

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