Phoenix and Witherspoon star in the cartoon-like film.
From comedy to confusion, Inherent Vice shows the corruption of the hippie dream
By Ryan Gilbey - 29 January 10:22

Thomas Pynchon's novel makes for a wistfully funny film adaptation.

I ain’t afraid of no girls: why the all-female Ghostbusters will be good for Hollywood
By Sarah Ditum - 28 January 16:59

After Parks and Rec30 Rock and Bridesmaids, why do some in the industry still doubt women are funny?

The use of anachronistic music, as in “Marie Antoinette”, is increasingly gaining acceptance.
Why do we care about anachronisms in films?
By Oliver Farry - 28 January 12:05

Our desire for historical accuracy in films, TV programmes and books often tells us more about ourselves than it does about art.

Beyond Clueless: a visual essay on teen movies from 1994-2004.
Beyond Clueless: a giant campus of candy-coloured teen life
By Ryan Gilbey - 23 January 13:10

Half-love letter, half-biopsy, Charlie Lyne's documentary analysis of teen movies is full of flashes of madness.

Have we met before? The mutable Oscar Isaac.
Welcome to Oscar season — Oscar Isaac season, that is
By Ryan Gilbey - 22 January 12:52

Oscar Isaac exploits his unique charisma and mutable appearance in two of the biggest films released this awards season.

Alex Garland with Alicia Vikander on the set of Ex Machina. Photo: Universal
Alex Garland’s Ex Machina: can a film about an attractive robot be feminist science fiction?
By Helen Lewis - 22 January 7:16

In Ex Machina, Alex Garland – writer of The Beach and 28 Days Later  suggests that the brave new dawn of artificial intelligence will not kill off our crappy old gender dynamics. Helen Lewis meets him.

Why women are getting a bum deal on film posters
By Ralph Jones - 20 January 14:31

Film posters are addicted to showing a faceless woman from behind, with her legs framing the real hero.

Miles Teller and J K Simmons in the percussion-based psychological thriller Whiplash.
Whiplash and Foxcatcher show there's more than one way to skin a fox
By Ryan Gilbey - 15 January 13:46

Despite strikingly similar prodigies and deranged mentors, Whiplash and Foxcatcher offer two very different takes on the mentor/pupil relationship.

Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for AACTA
From a black James Bond to a female Sherlock, diverse casting isn’t PC gone mad – it makes stories better
By Helen Lewis - 15 January 10:39

There was a bit more to Agincourt than a dozen Rada graduates standing around between two curtains.

Eddie Redmayne (right) as the young Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything”.
Stephen Hawking would not be Stephen Hawking if he had been born with his disability
By Alex Taylor - 14 January 12:32

The physicist is held up as an example of what you can achieve in life if you have a disability, but he was only diagnosed with motor neurone disease when he was 21 – his career was set in motion while he was still able-bodied.

Marilyn Monroe, photographed on 3 December 1961, when she was 35. Photo: Archive/AFP/Getty Images
From Marilyn Monroe to Audrey Hepburn: why dead women make the ideal brand ambassadors
By Karen Yossman - 12 January 12:35

The trend for using long-dead actresses to front campaigns aimed at female consumers is at best tasteless and at worst insidious.

Take another look: visitors to the National Gallery in Frederick Wiseman’s documentary. Photo: ANDREW EVANS
A view unbroken: the poignancy of Frederick Wiseman's National Gallery documentary
By Ryan Gilbey - 08 January 16:55

The paintings are anything but dry in Frederick Wiseman's documentary about the London gallery.

Meryl Streep, looking less glamorous than usual for Into the Woods.
Stephen Sondheim: A life’s work in progress
By Leo Robson - 08 January 16:06

On Stephen Sondheim’s 85th birthday, he will be revered as the genius of musical theatre. But his failures are just as fascinating as his successes.

Ethan Hawke.
Ethan Hawke on working with River Phoenix: “I never felt more ordinary in my life”
By Ryan Gilbey - 05 January 18:33

The smart, insightful and oddly underrated US actor Ethan Hawke on first meeting River Phoenix, the Sony hacking crisis and “the beauty of censorship”.

David Robert Mitchell’s chiller It Follows offers more than just frights (although it does those too).
From monster franchises to arthouse gems: films to look forward to in 2015
By Ryan Gilbey - 01 January 11:10

The new year already offers the promise of Tilda Swinton in a fetching wig and the scariest film since Halloween. What's not to like?

We love ya, tomorrow: Quvenzhané Wallis stars in the new remake of Annie, directed by Will Gluck
Thrills, flops and hard knocks: films to watch this Christmas
By Ryan Gilbey - 22 December 15:54

Ryan Gilbey casts an eye over the Christmas fare.

The Bardarbunga volcano in south-east Iceland in September 2014. Photo: Bernard Meric/AFP/Getty Images
From Werner Herzog to Pompeii: the difficulties of capturing volcanoes in film
By Oliver Farry - 22 December 10:59

It is strange that the full terror of the volcano has rarely been harnessed for narrative purposes – most films about eruptions end up as camp disaster flicks.

Premiere.
Gossip about the hacked Sony emails isn’t news, or newsworthy, or remotely justifiable
By Ryan Gilbey - 18 December 11:01

These are not politicians, or powerful corporations meddling with our data, they are Hollywood executives bickering like anyone else. The free speech argument just doesn’t add up.

Manic pixel dream Orcs: suspense-free battles fail to convince in the third Hobbit film.
Time to say goodbye: the end cannot come too soon for the third Hobbit film
By Ryan Gilbey - 12 December 13:04

The first two parts of Peter Jackson’s super-sized Hobbit trilogy held their own, but the director squanders all his best assets in this sorry mess of a final installment.

Chris Rock is right – Hollywood has a race problem. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET
Why Hollywood needs to listen to Chris Rock about its race problems
By Sam Moore - 10 December 13:16

On screen and off, Hollywood is terrible at giving opportunities to anyone who isn’t white, and one of the US’s biggest stars is calling them out on it.

Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in the forthcoming biopic “The Theory of Everything”.
The lure of the biopic: the best of an ever-popular film format
By Ryan Gilbey - 09 December 15:34

Cinemas are going to be full of biopics in the next couple of months – in preparation, Ryan Gilbey picks the best examples of the form from the past few years.

Hard bargain: Rabourdin (left) and Emelyanov in Eastern Boys
Station to station: Eastern Boys is a cool French take on the politics of desire
By Ryan Gilbey - 04 December 15:56

This gritty tale of eastern European rent boys in Paris might at first sound like Ken Loach gone gay. But the effect is more redolent of a Gus Van Sant spin on Oliver Twist.

Fellini’s La Dolce Vita is among the more famous examples of mid-twentieth century Italian cinema.
La dolce vita once more: the new confidence of Italian cinema
By Oliver Farry - 03 December 12:27

The golden generation that made Italy such a cinematic force in the mid-twentieth century may be long gone, but recent output suggests that Italian cinema is more vibrant than it has been in a long time.

Ridley Scott cast the commercially “safe” Christian Bale in a leader role in Exodus.
Why Ridley Scott is wrong to say films with non-white stars won’t get financed
By Musa Okwonga - 27 November 17:29

This is Ridley Scott we are talking about. He’s a superstar director. If anyone is a position to challenge Hollywood’s prejudices, it’s him.

Sleazing on a sunny afternoon: Bill Murray shows Jaeden Lieberher how to do it in St Vincent. PHOTO: REX/WEINSTEIN COMPANY/COURTESY EVE
Return of the slacker: the scuzzy appeal of Bill Murray in St Vincent
By Ryan Gilbey - 27 November 16:02

Murray plays Vincent, a crabby, pasty-faced soak whose days are spent mooching around his neighbourhood, frequenting dive bars and canoodling with a pregnant prostitute. 

Mark Wahlberg as real-life Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell in Lone Survivor. Photo: Universal
Lone Survivor: just because a film shows the ugly side of war, doesn't mean it's an anti-war film
By Sam Moore - 24 November 16:49

Anti-war films often aren't because they still glamourise combat, or fail to ask questions about the wider political reasons for nations to go to war.

Jonathan Brugh.
From Orson Welles to What We Do in the Shadows: A brief history of the mockumentary
By Ryan Gilbey - 20 November 17:40

The greatest offerings from the only new film genre to have emerged in the last 50 years.

Big chill: Bilginer walks in the bleak landscape of Ceylan's Palme d'Or-winning drama
Cold, cold heart: Winter Sleep is far from a Turkish delight
By Ryan Gilbey - 20 November 16:00

While it is no hardship to gaze upon ravishing images of the landscape as its autumnal glow vanishes under an icy crust, there’s not much to keep the intellect thrumming over the course of 196 minutes.

Heavy-handed treatment: Benedict Cumberbatch is Alan Turing in The Imitation Game
Computer says no: How has The Imitation Game managed to make Alan Turing’s story so dull?
By Ryan Gilbey - 13 November 16:39

The way Turing’s story is told is comparable to the montage in Big Brother when Davina McCall told evictees: “Let’s have a look at your best bits.” The Imitation Game is Alan Turing’s best bits.

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