Tag Archives: The Film Blog

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical | Review

★★★★

Matilda is born of whizpopping minds. From Roald Dahl’s original battle cry to young rebels to the smash hit stage musical dreamed up two decades later by Tim Minchin, Dennis Kelly and Matthew Warchus. It’s their take on the tale that forms the basis of this new film. Dahl’s book has, after all, enjoyed the pleasure of adaptation, courtesy of Danny DeVito’s fondly remembered 1998 box office flop. As though to mitigate potential reprisal for such financial failure, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical – to give the film its full title – is to be constrained to Netflix in all global territories but the UK. What a crying shame. This may be a film for and about little people but it’s a tour de force show stopper and duly demands the very biggest of screens.

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Strange World | Review

★★★

Disney seems oddly disinterested in promoting their latest toon. This being the studio’s first big budget animation since 2021’s wildly successful Encanto. Trailers have been sparse, merchandise limited and buzz low. It’s a shame because Strange World is a rather fun romp on the whole. Popping visuals dance across the screen to the tune of a full bodied orchestra in swell flow. The narrative is, truth by told, somewhat lacking. It’s fabulously Gen Z in agenda but succeeds most when it tries least. The throwaway progressive conceits on display resonate far more here than the heavier and worthy messaging that comes to dominate in the final stretch.

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Living | Review

★★★★★

Bill Nighy really does give the performance of his career in Living. This being the Oliver Hermanus directed adaptation of 1951 Kurosawa classic Ikiru, which was itself drawn from Tolstoy novella ‘The Death of Ivan Ilyich’. The pedigree of pen continues here, with none other than Kazuo Ishiguro behind the script. It’s a surprisingly easy segue from the Japanese mannerisms of Kurosawa’s film to the particularly British sensibilities of Hermanus’ 1950s setting. Visually, this is achieved via truncated period ratios, a fine grain and gorgeous attention to detail. Though melancholia haunts proceedings, it’s not hard to find reservoirs of joy in the film’s performances and faith in the power of an individual to make change happen. The final shot, though borrowed, is perfection.

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