Robert Fox

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Gala screening of 'Salome' - Arrivals

Robert Fox - Stars arrived at the South Bank in London for the Gala screening of 'Salome' London, United Kingdom - Sunday 21st September 2014

Notes on a Scandal Review


Excellent
If you don't already worship at the Church of Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal may be the film that causes your conversion. Dame Judi tears into the meaty role of secretive spinster teacher Barbara Covett with relish. You won't soon forget the look on her shriveled face as she commits outrageous acts of emotional blackmail.

Narrated by Barbara from her own diary entries, what we have here is a classic case of a very unreliable narrator, but one with a quick wit. As the new term begins at a bustling lower-class middle school, history teacher Barbara, who is utterly burned out and simply going through the motions (she calls education "crowd control"), is beguiled by the new art teacher Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett), a 37-year-old upper-class beauty who really believes in teaching.

Continue reading: Notes on a Scandal Review

Notes on a Scandal Review


Excellent
If you don't already worship at the Church of Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal may be the film that causes your conversion. Dame Judi tears into the meaty role of secretive spinster teacher Barbara Covett with relish. You won't soon forget the look on her shriveled face as she commits outrageous acts of emotional blackmail.

Narrated by Barbara from her own diary entries, what we have here is a classic case of a very unreliable narrator, but one with a quick wit. As the new term begins at a bustling lower-class middle school, history teacher Barbara, who is utterly burned out and simply going through the motions (she calls education "crowd control"), is beguiled by the new art teacher Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett), a 37-year-old upper-class beauty who really believes in teaching.

Continue reading: Notes on a Scandal Review

Iris Review


Excellent
In the refined and sobering drama Iris, we witness a loving but unconventional relationship between a strangely elegant couple -- English critic John Bayley and his Alzheimer's-stricken, novelist wife Iris Murdoch. Writer-director Richard Eyre, who wrote the script with Charles Wood based on Bayley's memoirs Iris: A Memoir and Elegy for Iris, delivers an amazingly touching portrait of resilient and everlasting passion between two eccentric creative forces who have contributed to the literary world immensely. Iris is an enchanting and finely-acted personal drama that manages to absorb the pleasures and pain of an undying spirit of togetherness. Expressionistic and resoundingly involving, Eyre's thought-provoking film is perceptively engaging.

Eyre does a terrific job in showing us the deterioration of a brilliant-minded woman in Iris Murdoch. It is always frustrating to witness anybody's decline in health, but it must be particularly awful for a talented author with an impeccable series of written work to her name. The film shows us the two phases of Iris's life -- as a free-spirited young woman in 1950's Oxford, England and as an aged, sickly soul trying to survive her last days in the 1990s while her husband tends to her needs. Titanic heroine Kate Winslet plays the youngish and energetic Iris while Oscar-winning actress Judi Dench portrays her ailing years.

Continue reading: Iris Review

Closer Review


Terrible
Love and romance are tough stuff. Leave it to Mike Nichols and his adaptation of the callous play Closer to make it even tougher.

The setup holds promise: Four characters in dreary London couple and de-couple, falling in and out of relationships over a four year span. The story is told piecemeal, as it focuses on brief events in the couples' lives, separated by months or years. It begins as American stripper Alice (Natalie Portman) meets British obituary writer Dan (Jude Law) by happenstance. A year later, Dan encounters photographer Anna (Julia Roberts), whom he immediately begins to lust after. Later, Dan plays an internet prank on dermatologist Larry (Clive Owen), which unexpectedly sends him into the arms of Anna. They marry, and Anna promptly starts an affair with Dan. Dan confesses to Alice, she becomes a stripper again. Anna confesses to Larry, and she leaves him, sending Dan to Alice for the first time. And round and round we go until everyone's had a shot at everyone else.

Continue reading: Closer Review

A Month By The Lake Review


OK
Take a base of Enchanted April, a little of Il Postino, maybe some Mediterraneo, throw them together, and what do you get? A mess, to be sure, and I'm guessing it the result is something like A Month By the Lake, John Irvin's new film about two star-crossed lovers who find romance in their "golden years."

Vanessa Redgrave and Edward Fox play the leads of Miss Beaumont and Major Paulo, aging British singles who vacation at a lake in 1937 Italy, just before World War II. The pair soon discover each other: She is a headstrong photographer. He is a crusty businessman who dabbles in sleight-of-hand. Clearly, they are meant for each other, and a love/hate relationship develops on the spot. As the romance progresses, the two abuse and play off each other's insecurities so well, you'd think they really were a couple. When youngsters Miss Bentley (Uma Thurman) and Vittorio enter the picture and complicate matters, the film becomes a game of sly cat and mouse, where you never know who is chasing after whom.

Continue reading: A Month By The Lake Review

The Hours Review


OK
Stephen Daldry's The Hours is the quintessential highbrow arthouse picture of the year, the one film critics from the coasts will adore but is guaranteed to alienate audience members more in tune with Maid in Manhattan, Analyze That or The Two Towers.

Consider yourself warned. A Masters degree and a penchant for PBS' Masterpiece Theatre aren't required to fully comprehend and enjoy the picture, but they help. Hours masterfully weaves together three individual stories about three interconnected women existing in three different decades. Mentally ill author Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) is on suicide watch in 1920s England as she pens her novel Mrs. Dalloway. Suburban housewife and mother Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) reads the same novel in 1951 as she suffers through a loveless marriage with her WWII veteran husband (John C. Reilly) and overprotected son, Richie (eight-year-old Jack Rovello). And modern day New York City book publisher Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep) mirrors the character of Mrs. Dalloway as she plans a party for her dying ex-lover, Richard (Ed Harris), who recently won a literary prize.

Continue reading: The Hours Review

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