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tv   The Film Review  BBC News  December 13, 2020 7:30pm-7:46pm GMT

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yes, that's exactly right — 1a,000 lights on this train, each one of them individually controllable. simon, the lighting man, thinks that is a new world record. the trains are covid—safe in an operation kept going by around 500 volunteers. you have steam trains, we have the magic of christmas and we have these wonderful lights, so, it's just simply magical. magic that now runs all the way to christmas and beyond. light amid the darkness of 2020. duncan kennedy, bbc news, in hampshire. i wonder if we ought to be lighting up i wonder if we ought to be lighting up the weather map at christmas. sadly nick miller hasn't been able
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to do that, we didn't give him much notice! so it is a conventional weather map, but a colourful forecast. hello. after today's rain, we have a windy night to come. there will be a few sunny spells around. the persistent rain will clear away north and east as we go away this evening. some of these showers will be heavy and possibly thundery and accompanied by some gusty winds as well. temperatures are continuing to head up and rising overnight across parts of scotland and north—east england. it will be a mild start on monday. a day of some sunny spells. showers will affect all parts as they push eastwards during the day that they will be some spots in the east with a couple of showers. the rest of the day will be dry with sunny spells. it will be windy tomorrow with gusts around 60 mph. these are average speeds, blustery particularly as the showers move on through. it is a mild start to the week and it is looking fairly mild throughout the week but with further
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rain at times. hello, this is bbc news with shaun ley. the headlines. another deadline extended — brexit talks will now continue as both sides agree to carry on after being unable to come to an agreement. i am afraid we are still very far apart on some key things that where there is life, there is hope. we will keep talking in the uk certainly won't be walking away from the talks. i think people expect us to go the extra mile. we have accordingly mandated our negotiators to continue the talks and see whether an agreement can be reached, even at this late stage. all schools in greenwich have been told to close from tomorrow after the council leader said coronavirus rates in the south east london borough have reached its highest level "than any time since march".
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a warning to the prime minister — relaxing coronavirus restrictions this christmas will lead to a third wave of infections. angela merkel announces tighter coronavirus restrictions — to run through christmas until january the 10th. now on bbc news it's time for the film review with mark kermode. hello, and welcome to the film review with me, mark kermode — rounding up the best movies available to view in cinemas and in the home.
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back in 2016, denzel washington produced, directed, and starred in a screen adaptation of august wilson's stage play fences, earning a supporting actress oscar for violet davis, alongside nods for best actor, best picture, and a posthumous screenwriting nomination for wilson. davis looks like an awards contender once again for her dynamite role as mother of the blues in ma rainey‘s black bottom — the latest screen adaptation of wilson's work on which washington again serves as producer. a—one, a—two, a—you know what to do. this'd be an empty world without the blues. i try to take that emptiness and fill it up with something. in 1920s chicago, the already humid atmosphere of a recording studio is made hotter by the broiling
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tensions between musicians, producers, and an increasingly recalcitrant star in a session to cut the titular song. most of the musicians are resigned to their lot, living modestly from gig to gig. but a young trumpet player — brilliantly played by chadwick boseman in his final screen role — has bigger plans. i ain't like you — i got talent. me and this horn, we is tight. if my daddy had know—ed i would turn out like this, he'd have named me gabriel. not only does he have designs on ma's trademark bluesy anthem, he also dreams of leading his own band and recording his own songs. i'm going to get me a band and make me some records. i done gave him some of my songs i wrote, and he say he'll let me record them when i get my band together. ijust gotta finish the last part of the song. like fences, ma rainey‘s black bottom showcases some tour de force acting. davis does a fabulous job of portraying both the vulnerability and the unstoppability of her character — a sturdy figure with fire in her eyes who's learned
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to stand her ground. we'll be ready to go in 15 minutes. we'll be ready when i says i'm ready to go — and that's the way it goes around here. by contrast, boseman — who got james brown's moves down pat in the underrated get on up — plays his character as a fleet—footed hustler bristling with pride over his fancy new shoes, hiding ancient hurt behind nervy smiles. yet, also like its predecessor, the theatrical origins of ma rainey‘s black bottom weigh heavy on director george c wolfe's rather stage—y cinematic production. despite the best efforts of screenwriter ruben sa ntiago—hudson, this still feels like a collection of theatrical set pieces — whether it's a soulfully delivered soliloquy reliving brutal childhood trauma, or a third act tragedy that reportedly produced gasps on stage, but feels oddly contrived on screen. sterling music, production design, and costume work from bra nford marsalis, mark ricker, and ann roth respectively add to the classy
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package, but it's the performances that win the day. it's available in cinemas now and on netflix from 18 december. there is another great performance, albeit in a completely different register, at the centre of falling — the directorial debut from viggo mortensen. lance hendriksen is in career—best form as willis, a character who could most generously be described as irascible, and who is increasingly showing signs of dementia. mortensen himself plays willis's son, john, who, along with his sister sarah, played by laura linney, has suggested that their dad move from his rural home to california for his own safety. but willis is a ball of rage,
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deriding his son for being gay, lashing out at anyone who tries to help him, and goading everyone into rows and arguments with whichjohn staunchly refuses to engage. you said you wanted to come live near me and sarah. "as long as it has a garden," you said. why isn't your sister here? is she out wasting money on women's crap with your mother again? it's a school night, for christ's sake. sarah lives in ventura with her family. she's coming for dinner on sunday. intercutting between two time periods, falling makes clear that willis's anger issues predate his current health problems — even as a younger man, when he's played by sverrir gudnason, he's character who it's very hard to like. so now, i can't relax and have a smoke in my own home. but henriksen, a veteran of genre favourites like near dark and aliens, breathes real life into a character who makes bruce dern in nebraska seem warm and cuddly, delivering his most fearsomely uninhibited and bravely
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unsympathetic performance. there is a sly cameo by canadian film—maker david cronenberg, who directed mortensen in eastern promises, and solid support from the ensemble cast. but this is henriksen‘s film, and it's every bit as convincing, enraging, and sometimes hard to stick with as the character he plays. you can find falling in cinemas and on virtual screenings online. surely you know who i am. at the very least, i would like a room next to the spa. there is no spa. angie, what is this place? we're all going to get stabbed and stuffed, you know that, right? 0rbitz gave it three stars. do you have any cabins? for something altogether more fluffy and upbeat, why not try the prom — a campus christmas musical comedy that's now on netflix? directed by ryan murphy from the stage show of the same name, it features meryl streep
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and james corden as actors whose new broadway show has opened to a career—killing reviews. desperate to save their public images by supporting a worthy cause, they hop on a bus to edgewater, indiana, where a highschooler is trending after refusing to be allowed to take her girlfriend to the prom. alsojumping on the bandwagon are nicole kidman‘s embittered chorus girl, angie, and actor—cum—barman trent, played by andrew reynolds who does such great work in the new film the boys in the band. from a spotlight—stealing meryl streep performing a big production number ironically entitled "it's not about me" to nicole kidman delivering home—school lessons about the zazz, this likeable film has a showy oomph to spare. let's get this party started! # it's time to build a prom for everyone. # show them all it can be done. # if music blares and no one cares...
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admittedly it's hardly ground—breaking fare, and you're pretty much required to check your cynicism and at the door as the film proceeds to tick off every cliche in the book — albeit in pastiche fashion. but i enjoyed the idea of a group of self—proclaimed broadway liberals descending upon a small town where not even two tony awards will get you a suite in the local hotel, but the high school principal, played by keegan michael key, just happens to be a huge fan. oh, and for the record, james corden‘s pretty funny, too, and not annoying — really. from the frothy to the frankly bizarre with cold meridian — a seven—minute oddity from peter strickland,
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the maverick genius behind berberian sound studio and in fabric. commissioned by the london short film festival where it premiered back in january, this indefinable weirdy explores the strange world of autonomous sensory meridian response — or asmr, as it's popularly known, a physical response to certain tactile sounds. the film, which satirises the voyeurism of the internet, futures two dancers preparing a routine while being watched in an almost dreamlike state from lonely computer screens — all played out to the sounds of page turning, hair washing, and pencil scratching. having become obsessed with asmr while making in fabric, strickland, whose work is never less than fascinating, here provides a rather wry parody of the fetishistic phenomenon — all neatly packaged in a film that's only marginally longer than this review. seriously, in the time it's taken me to describe it to you, you could've watched cold meridian for yourself. check it out on mubi. you good, maya ?
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we can go as fast or slow as you're comfortable out here. goes for you too, sully. no rush, understood? oh, my god. no view quite like it. let's finish with something more out of this world — the midnight sky. adapted from lily brooks—dalton‘s novel good morning, midnight, and directed by george clooney — who also costars — it's a haunting tale set in 2049 in the wake of a global catastrophe that has effectively rendered planet earth uninhabitable. from the frozen arctic, clooney‘s scientist, augustine, struggles to make contact with ether, a spaceship returning home after a mission to seek out strange new worlds.
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on board is felicityjones's sully, who, along with her crewmates, has no idea why earth has fallen so silent. it's clear that there's some fundamental connection between augustine and sully — although the film teases out its twists and turns an elegant style as it slips between their two narratives — between the ground and the sky. like alfonso cuaron‘s gravity, in which clooney costarred, the midnight sky combines introspection with a degree of action — particularly in a spacewalk sequence that takes a genuinely alarming turn. but for the most part, this is impressively low—key fare, sharing some of the existential angst of the swedish—danish sci—fi film aniara, or even of steven soderbergh's remake of solaris — which, again, featured clooney, who is clearly a sci—fi fan. how much of you picked up about the conditions out there? we've received nothing. strong support from david 0yelowo and very impressive production design from jim bussell — whose impressive credits
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include spielberg's et — add to the film's eerily melancholy spell. you can find it in cinemas now and on netflix from 23 december. that's it for this week. thanks for watching the film review. next week, it'll be my round up of the year. until then, stay safe. i ain't started blues the way you're saying. blues always been there. but if they want to call me the mother of blues, that's all right with me, don't hurt none. hello and welcome to sportsday. i'm sarah mulkerrins. coming up: salah saves liverpool's blushes, but their draw at fulham denies them the chance to go top of the premier league. the formula one season draws to a close as red bull's max verstappen romps to victory in abu dhabi.


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