Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace is a highly rated film which for me failed to live up to its reputation. Not a lot happens, you don’t get to learn much about the two main characters who are on screen almost the entire film. It’s OK but nothing special.
Oh and I’m not keen on these auditoriums that only have half a dozen rows – it’s just too close to the screen.

Continue reading “Leave No Trace”

L’Amant Double

L’Amant Double is a slow moving, erotic thriller. It’s a bit of nonsense with a crazy ending. In fact the whole movie is crazy. I didn’t get it.

Not for the prudish!


What a terrific film Beast is, with a tremendous performance from Jessie Buckley in the leading role as a troubled young woman rebelling against a stifling home and mother. A thriller, with surprises right up until the end – go see it!

No sunshine is expected here until Tuesday, so one might as well be in the cinema. Three cheers to the Wimbledon Curzon for not dimming the lights during the adverts and trailers, which meant that I could read my novel!

You Were Never Really Here

A brutal movie!

It looks good, sounds good, but otherwise is difficult to like.

Screen-1 at the Curzon in Victoria is tiny, a mere 47 seats, but what comfortable, Pullman seats they are! I’m not a fan of allocated seating, even less so when someone is sitting in your allocated seat. With just 4 rows in the auditorium the wing seats are quite a way off centre and the front row is pretty close to the screen. Despite ending up in a seat out on the wing, the view was not a problem.

On the train into London there was an extremely distressed infant and in the evening I watched the disturbing We Need to Talk About Kevin, by the same director, Lynne Ramsay. All in all a pretty disturbing and cheerless day.

Lady Bird

At my age I probably shouldn’t be going to see a coming-of-age comedy-drama at the cinema – I just didn’t get the 5-star rating. However, the Curzon cinema in Soho has a very nice auditorium though I’m still struggling to understand why cinema adverts and trailers need to be unbearably loud.

Molly’s Game

There were just over 20 people in the Wimbledon Curzon, lunchtime audience watching Molly’s Game. Usually at that time there’s less than a handful.

It’s a terrific, dialog-heavy film, superbly acted by the main actors, Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba and Kevin Costner. Maybe not to everyone’s taste – American, fast dialogue, a story based around the game of poker, but I would heartily recommend it.

Continue reading “Molly’s Game”

The Big Sick

A romcom is not usually my thing, conjuring up images of trailers for an endless number of Jennifer Aniston films on tv. However, on an overcast day and with no sign of the promised sunshine, The Big Sick has been well reviewed and was showing at my almost-local cinema.

A film about relationships and cultural differences, it’s a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. A fair amount of humour, a couple of paper-hankie moments, and a likeable and well acted cast of characters, make for a pretty decent movie.

My Life as a Courgette

I was the only person in the Wimbledon HMVCurzon cinema – a first for me! That wasn’t too surprising as it was a lovely sunny day and it would have been lunchtime for most people.

Incidentally, an air-conditioned cinema on a hot day can feel uncomfortably cold.

As for the film, it’s s 66 minute, sub-titled, stop-motion animation. Set mainly in a small orphanage, it’s OK, it’s cute and it has a happy ending, but I can’t say I was as impressed as the critics. It didn’t help that it was so cold – brrr.

With 25 minutes to spare before my return train, I entered Copperfield Books, a very cramped but large, second-hand bookshop and came away with three novels. It’s well worth a visit as well as a repeat visit.

Nobody sits in the front row out of choice!

The cinema has 108 seats and there were just a dozen patrons waiting to see the subtitled film. So why did an oldish man enter the auditorium and sit in the front row, bang in the middle, followed a minute later by another oldish man who also sat in the front row but at the seat at the end of the row? Nobody sits in the front row out of choice! How do you take in the full width of the screen whilst reading the subtitles? But the two men stayed the full 2 hours duration of the film, so unless they were there for a sleep (costing £8.50 each), they must have gained some pleasure from watching it. Very odd.

As I often do, I Bing’d “front row of the cinema” (until recently I googled) and found this lovely little blog post on this very subject. Enjoy!


And a final thought, I also Bing’d “Googling vs Bing-ing” and came across this charming 2010 article


After the Storm

Going to see a film just after lunch was probably not a good idea. I was struggling to read whilst on the train to the cinema and drifted off to sleep, nearly missing my stop.

The film is almost 2 hours long. There is no action, and I mean no action, and at times I again found myself drifting off. Did I mention it’s a Japanese film with subtitles?

It’s an OK film that is interesting for portraying the life of an ordinary Japanese family.

Lady Macbeth

On a cold, overcast day it seemed appropriate to go see a film.

Lady Macbeth seemed longer than its 90 minutes but that doesn’t mean it dragged. Atmospheric and stark, there’s little dialogue, but lots of silence and sounds, and it looks terrific. A fine performance by the leading lady, Florence Pugh.

Story-wise, I’m not sure, but for the senses it was a pretty good experience. Recommended, but not if you’re looking for action.

Personal Shopper

At almost 2 hours long, Personal Shopper is an absorbing film, but very odd. Its star, Kristen Stewart, is barely off-screen and gives a fine performance in a confusing ghost story. I would recommend the film, for some.

It’s been a while since I last went to the cinema! There were just 6 film-goers in the Wimbledon HMVCurzon cinema, which is about par for a lunchtime viewing. I can’t remember the last time I sat in a cinema that was crowded. I don’t think I would like the noise from, and proximity to, so many people!


VictoriaThe really notable thing to know about the film Victoria is that it was shot in a single, unbroken, unedited, continuous take of 2¼ hours duration.

Before seeing the film all I knew was that it has been described as a heist movie set in Berlin. I found the first hour somewhat slow, wondering where it was going, but gradually a story developed and reached a satisfactory conclusion.

An interesting and technically impressive film, overall I can say I enjoyed it and can recommend. Some may find it overlong. [Warning: At the beginning, the nightclub scene has extreme flashing and very loud music!]

There’s a short Wiki listing the few films that have been shot in a single take.


Anomalisa is a very weird animated stop-motion film. I’ve no idea what to make of it, but I’m glad my wife decided not to come with me!
With a 90 minute running time, it seemed longer. I guess the guy was struggling with life – was he having a mental breakdown? There’s a pretty explicit [animated] sex scene in it!

So I turn to some reviews for help, but I’m not much the wiser. There’s apparently a clue in the name of the hotel (Fregoli). There’s a medical condition, the Fregoli Delusion, where someone believes different people in their lives are actually the same person in disguise – [see http://glennmillermd.com/the-fregoli-delusion/]. A curiosity of a film – technically brilliant, but puzzling.


Room is a wonderfully moving film, with tremendous performances from the two main characters, the mother who was abducted, and the child who was born in captivity. It’s an emotional and sometimes traumatic film – take your hankies – and is very highly recommended.

(I can’t believe it’s 14 months since I last went to the cinema – far too long!)


The Fear of 13

Fearof13The Fear of 13 is a truly, truly astonishing documentary about a prisoner on death row. What an amazing guy.

Seek it out – the 90 minutes whiz by – but do try to avoid finding out anything about it before watching!

Currently showing on BBC iPlayer but also available on DVD etc.

The film reminds me of the equally amazing 1988 documentary The Thin Blue Line. Seek this one out also!

The Hitch-Hiker (B & W movie from 1953)

Hitch-Hiker-movie-1953I randomly picked The Hitch-Hiker, a 1953 b&w movie from the Internet Archive. It turned out to be a tense and highly watchable thriller and, at a mere 70 minutes, well worth watching. It was the first film noir by a female director (Ida Lupino).

The Internet Archive is “a non-profit digital library offering free universal access to books, movies & music, as well as 435 billion[wow!] archived web pages”, and looks as if it could be an interesting place to explore.

Oscar Restaurant & Bar, Charlotte Street, London

CaptureOscar is a lively and attractive restaurant which is part of the Charlotte Street Hotel. For £35 per person we enjoyed a three-course late-lunch, followed by a film (Gone Girl) in the private cinema.

One of the cheaper bottles of wine at £27, plus coffees and a service charge of 12.5% bumped it up to £200 for the four of us, but we did have a very nice time and I would thoroughly recommend Oscar.

The film was pretty good, too, though the front couple of rows in the comfortable and small cinema are pretty close to the screen! The film Gone Girl is a curiosity. It’s a thriller, with several twists, that holds your attention for well over two hours. I was disappointed midway through the film when the the basic mystery was revealed. And I think many people were left stunned by the ending (“No way!”). But overall it was a pretty good movie.

The Imitation Game

the-imitation-game-poster-ukThe Imitation Game is a terrific film about the mathematician Alan Turing. Finely constructed and beautifully acted, particularly by its star, Benedict Cumberbatch, it is very highly recommended. Based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma, by Andrew Hodges, the film inspires one to want to know more about Turing and his code-breaking work during WW2. I shall be hoping for a copy of the book in my Christmas stocking. [UPDATE 25.12.2014: Thank you, Santa!]

We watched the film at the new Curzon cinema in Victoria (London). It was our first visit and we liked the very comfortable and roomy seats. The cinema is ultra modern, more like a modern bar or club [not that we would know!). At the late-morning showing it was extremely quiet so probably not the best time to judge the design and atmosphere.

Cold in July

imageCold in July is a rubbish film. Slow and plodding, disjointed and lacking in tension and with a poorly executed violent ending, it’s deeply unsatisfying. This sort of thing was done so much better in the magnificent Blood Simple and A History of Violence.

The Soho Curzon is undergoing refurbishment and is a mess. Fingers crossed it will be as good as it was.

Dallas Buyers Club

We enjoyed the film Dallas Buyers Club. Set in the 1980s, it tells the story of Ron Woodruff who, on being told he has HIV and has 30 days to live, sets out to find alternative treatments and to make a bit of money. A terrific performance from Matthew McConaughey in the lead role.

There’s an interesting alternative view of the film in this Guardian review.

Gravity 3D

My first 3D film and the special effects are pretty damn good. Other than that, it’s a load of hokum!  See it for the effects but for no other reason.

[Is it just me, but are the staff at Wimbledon hmvcurzon always miserable?]

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑