Reviews

Don Giovanni

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Unambitious production of Mozart’s classic. Lacklustre set and fairly conservative staging are countered by a very good orchestral accompaniment (marring some clumsy passages from the upper strings) and some excellent singing by the lead roles. Like most Mozart, this is light-hearted and engaging opera and the production delights in these qualities — a very accessible work for those new to the genre. A humorous example from the libretto:

Women of every rank,
Every shape, every age. …  Read more »

3

84 Charing Cross Road

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A captivating adaptation of the 1970 book by Helene Hanff detailing an international correspondence between her and a rare bookshop on Charing Cross Road, London, England. Moving in parts and a little slow in others, the film presents an insightful if unhurried picture of international correspondence in the 1950s, and highlights some of the cultural differences between London and New York with wit and charm.

3

Stardust

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Partakes of the fairytale genre’s conventions to an astonishing extent yet manages to avoid banality through irony and humour; its characters may have been walking clichés, but they excude charm and magic. Recommended.

4

Alcina

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Stunning baroque opera; Handel at the height of his powers.

4

Sunshine

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Awful, awful science fiction film about a group of astronauts on a mission to restart the sun; about as interesting as it is plausible: the ship’s computer, ‘Icarus’, is a pale imitation of the HAL 9000, the characters are of the cardboard and completely irrational variety; music is more suited to a teenage horror film than a mature piece of sci-fi. Obvious mythological references quickly become tiring, and the crazed messiah-villain is cliché beyond all imagination. Avoid like a great hulk of orbital wreckage.

1

A Perfect World

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Interesting film about an escaped convict and his 8 year old hostage; the child is a somewhat implausible character but the dynamic between the two characters is interesting and nuanced. The plot is frustratingly unremarkable.

2