Martin Pope

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One Life Review


Excellent
The camera work on this nature documentary is so staggering that it really is worth seeing on a very big screen. With razor-sharp clarity, we are given an intensely close-up tour of a wide range of animal life.

The central premise, intoned by Craig's authoritative and sometimes witty narration, is that all life is connected by its need to eat and procreate. So we watch an astonishing collection of creatures all over the world doing just that, often in unexpected ways that are not only astonishing on their own but captured by the skilled cinematographers in such a way that each segment almost seems staged for the cameras. And virtually every scene makes us gasp.

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Glorious 39 Review


Excellent
Telling a story from a rarely examined period of British history, this pre-war drama is a bundle of suspense, mystery and personal emotion that's beautifully filmed and sharply played by a first-rate cast.

Anne (Garai) is the adopted eldest daughter of powerful politician Alexander Keyes (Nighy) and his wife (Agutter), who went on to have two of their own children (Redmayne and Temple). It's the glorious summer of 1939, when Britain felt like it had averted conflict with Hitler, so when Anne stumbles on hints of a government conspiracy, she turns to a fellow actor (Bonneville) and her boyfriend (Cox) for help. But the mystery only deepens, compounded by a sinister Home Office official (Northam) and the distracting presence of her Aunt Elizabeth (Christie).

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The Heart Of Me Review


Weak
The British love their melodramas. The makers of this one seem to have lost sight of when having too much of it becomes boring and burdensome. Based on a 1953 novel called The Echoing Grove by Rosamond Lehmann, the style of sentimentality brought to intense levels of angst amid constricting mores seems aimed at audiences of that era. As a new release, Lucinda Coxon's screenplay is likely to foster ennui well before it reaches its climax (no pun intended).

The plot is thin, if not threadbare, presenting the too-oft-seen love triangle. Perhaps the notion of a pair of sisters in love (in their particular ways) with one's husband seemed like an original idea, but it comes off as derivative and tedious. Paul Bettany, who played Chaucer in A Knight's Tale and John Nash's imaginary roommate in A Beautiful Mind, takes on the colorless banker-husband-lover Rickie, the object of the sisters' desires. Stuffy though he may be, we understand why he's prone to stray from his wife, Madeleine (Olivia Williams), a caustic and chilly socialite who criticizes her younger sister with haughty superiority. She seems to think that there's something wrong with Dinah (Helena Bonham Carter) for remaining unmarried and free-spirited when, as we see it, Dinah is the more attractive and sensual of the two.

Continue reading: The Heart Of Me Review

Martin Pope

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Martin Pope Movies

One Life Movie Review

One Life Movie Review

The camera work on this nature documentary is so staggering that it really is worth...

Glorious 39 Movie Review

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Telling a story from a rarely examined period of British history, this pre-war drama is...

The Heart of Me Movie Review

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The British love their melodramas. The makers of this one seem to have lost...

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