Film Reviews by NR

Welcome to NR's film reviews page. NR has written 3 reviews and rated 168 films.

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A Poet in New York

Dylan Thomas reincarnate

(Edit) Updated 16/02/2020

The last months of Dylan Thomas's troubled life, and his early death in 1953 in New York, provide good material for a biopic, but to be wholly convincing it needs someone who looks and sounds just like the drunken poet. (Recordings exist of his readings.) Tom Hollander fulfils this role perfectly. He not only talks like Dylan Thomas - who had a distinctive matured-in-the-barrel voice which suited his often melodramatic delivery, something few poets attempt these days - he manages to look remarkably like Thomas. (Hollander apparently put on two stone to resemble the corpulent poet.) Infuriating, amusing, exhausting and finally very sad, Hollander reincarnates Dylan Thomas in an astonishing performance. All the supporting actors are very good too. Well worth watching even if Thomas is not one of your favourite poets. If he is, you are in for a treat

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Parade's End

The real thing

(Edit) Updated 20/01/2020

Most costume dramas get the clothes and cars/carriages pretty well right but almost everything else wrong. (Call it Downton Abbey Syndrome). They ignore the crucial point that in the past people not only dressed differently but in certain ways walked, talked, thought and even felt differently, being governed by different moral and social imperatives. Here Benedict Cumberbatch, in perhaps his finest role to date, plays Tietjens, an utterly honourable and honest man with deeply old-fashioned convictions, caught up in a tangle in which he comes to seem the exact opposite. Tietjens exhibits less stiff upper lip than highly starched forehead. Cumberbatch's brilliant performance is matched by Rebeca Hall's as Sylvia, his glamorously promiscuous wife wife who, despite everything, is a devout Catholic. Completing the triangle is Valentine Wallop, marvellously played by Adelaide Clemens, a militant suffragette whom Tietjens really loves although almost everything conceivable thwarts their love until the very end. Other parts are played equally convincingly - and yes, the cars and clothes are okay too. Tom Stoppard has adapted Ford Maddox Ford's great tetralogy with typical flair and brilliance. Watch it as an antidote to the pap normally on offer.

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Phantom Thread

For Daniel Day Lewis addicts only

(Edit) 28/07/2018

This is one of the least plausible or convincing films I have seen for a long time. At first glance it looks very beautiful - as you would expect - but the feebleness of the plot is matched only by the stilted, two-dimensional acting of the principals. This may not be their fault - the script is risible - but it does not make for a good film. If you want endless close-up shots of Day Lewis (and he is handsome enough), it is perhaps worth watching. Otherwise, ignore it.

4 out of 10 members found this review helpful.