TV & Film

The Virtues – Stephen Graham is superb in Shane Meadows' new drama

In this game, it’s rare that an interview is truly harrowing. But when Miranda Sawyer spoke to Shane Meadows about his new Channel 4 series The Virtues, I don’t think anyone involved – except maybe Meadows – could have anticipated the dark places upon which their conversation would touch. What was abundantly clear from that interview is that Meadows knows deep psychological pain, the kind that leaves a scar on your soul. We might have already been able to deduce that from films such as Dead Man’

Chernobyl – Sky Atlantic's new miniseries is startlingly grim

In our May preview, we warned that Chernobyl probably wasn’t going to be a laugh riot. That turned out to be something of an understatement, as the season premiere of Sky Atlantic and HBO’s new miniseries unleashed its dark, despondent chaos. The opening scene alone deposits a crushingly heavy boulder of doom. Two years after the disaster, Jared Harris’s Valery Legasov sits at his kitchen table, recounting the mistakes made at the Vladimir I. Lenin nuclear power station on 25 April 1986. In his

Remembering Albert Finney

Today’s film industry seems to allow little room for anyone to be larger than life. Watching the speeches veer between politely dull and uncomfortably self-aggrandising at last night’s BAFTAs, you can’t help but pine for the unpredictability – for better and worse – of yesteryear’s more vividly drawn stars. I didn’t know Albert Finney, who sadly passed away on Thursday, but there was little about the man that ever came across as blank or boring. Finney the man always seemed as fascinating…

‘Hunters In The Dark’ – True Detective season 3 episode 6 review

There are elements to this season of True Detective that work and some that are starting to feel like they’re getting in the way. It may be that they’re all heading towards the same point on the horizon but so far, some feel slightly irritating and unnecessary, like that passenger who wants to pull in and use the toilet when you’re 20 minutes away from your destination (full disclosure: that’s usually me). ‘Hunters In The Dark’ is a hard episode to review for that very reason. I feel myself groa

What to binge watch this weekend (and New Year’s) – Cheers

Just before Christmas, my wife and I welcomed our second child into the world. Needless to say, the occasion was a joyous one and our daughter has been as well-behaved and easy-going as a tiny, remorseless, burping, pooping and feeding machine can be. We loved her immediately, but good God is it exhausting having two kids, especially at Christmas. Life is now a kind of waking stupor (even when we’re asleep) wherein anything that requires more than minimal brain power is overwhelming and upsettin

HOT CORN Awards | The best TV of 2018… The full list

20. FOREVER – It’s not exactly new to examine how even the most exciting relationships turn stale, but Forever took the concept and came at it from a completely unexpected angle. To say any more would ruin the impact of the superb second episode – Amazon gave strict instructions to press on what they could and couldn’t say prior to release, which was a little out of the ordinary for a dramedy about marital ennui. Twists and turns aside, Forever was frequently charming, sometimes moving and alway

Bill Heck on the Tender, Dusty Romance at the Heart of Buster Scruggs

Picture a cowboy. Some of you might see John Wayne, walking across a saloon like his legs are made of tin. Some of you might have conjured up Clint Eastwood, the tail end of a smoke clinging on to the corner of his lip, a dirty poncho draped around his shoulders. Or the more romantically inclined might see a ruggedly handsome young man in denim and boots, the kind of man who’s seen hardship and cruelty, but somehow kept it at bay. Bill Heck fits firmly into that latter category. In ‘The Gal Who

'Janet(s)' – The Good Place season 3 episode 9 review

Have you ever felt like the universe is listening to you? Have you ever said, “I’d give my right arm for some pizza” and then walked right past someone handing out free slices of pizza? Have you ever taken a free slice of pizza from a stranger on the street and thought, “I really hope this isn’t drugged” and then not woken up tied to a chair in an abandoned warehouse? Have you ever sat dejected after a crappy date with a 4-foot sack of racist jokes and cat puke (who claimed to be 6’4” and a dead

If you only stream one thing this week: Soul Of America

In Alanis Morissette’s ‘Ironic’, a man wins the lottery and dies the next day. Another takes his first ever flight and dies in a plane crash. To Alanis, these situations – while ironically not being ironic – are as shit as it gets, the brief tastes of joy that bring the whole thing crashing down. And while Alanis would no doubt consider soul singer Charles Bradley’s life in keeping with the characters in her song, the whole thing overlooks the value of even the briefest joy and the price…

Sean Bridgers on Get Shorty and the Return of Deadwood

While he has his share of fans in and out of the industry, Sean Bridgers is a name that might not immediately ring bells with the casual film and TV fan. His face is a different matter. If you’ve watched anything that’s gritty, funny and violent over the last decade, chances are he’s been in there somewhere. Deadwood? That’s him as the astoundingly simple Johnny Burns. Rectify? That’s him lurking around the fringes as the sinister Trey Willis. His roles in Justified and Midnight Special were sma

From Bob’s Burgers to Making It – Five shows to soothe the soul

This world can seem like an awful place at times. Racism, misogyny, prejudice, homophobia, aggression… and that’s just Donald Trump. There are times when turning on the news feels like an act of masochism, when the myriad tragedies all around the globe coalesce into something too overwhelmingly appalling to even process. It’s important in times like these to face abhorrent events head on and take stock of where we’re headed...

From Maniac to Kidding: Five new TV shows to get excited about

Summer is over. It’s always a hard fact to accept, but this year, we can return to the dank shadows (note to self: get that damp problem sorted), confident that we’ve done our bit. We’ve stood outside aimlessly, not having any need to be there but aware that it’s too warm to be where we really want to be (inside). We’ve panic bought ineffective desk fans in the hope of being able to stop sweating long enough to fall asleep. And we’ve indulged in seasonal madness, like buying shorts, wearing a ve

'Camp Rules' – Queer Eye season 1 episode 5 review

All I could think the first time I watched ‘Camp Rules’ was how much Bobby Camp looks like Mark Ruffalo. The second time round, the idea had taken root to the point that every time someone said “Bobby”, my brain took a moment to remember that his name wasn’t Mark. At one point Jonathan said he was aiming to turn Mar… Bobby into Chris Pratt meets George Clooney. I mean, that’s essentially Mark Ruffalo, right?

Sharp Objects and its exceptional use of music

It’s a wonder that we don’t revere music supervisors the way we do directors, writers and cinematographers. When you consider how intertwined music and images are in our minds, how the right song can lift the emotional impact, they arguably play as big a role as anyone else involved in the construction of a scene. Probably the finest example of the power of the music supervisor is Susan Jacobs. Her stellar judgement made soul music the backbone of Big Little Lies…

Breaking Apart Stereotypes with Actor Filipe Valle Costa

Everyone’s heard the cliché of the small-town kid with big time dreams, turning up in LA determined to become an actor. That clichéd kid might have set out for Hollywood from somewhere in the Midwest, but it’s pretty rare for a youngster to begin their journey to stardom by travelling from Lisbon to Lamoni, Iowa. There’s no question that Filipe Valle Costa has taken the long way around, dragging his dreams of being a tennis star and then an actor all the way across the Atlantic to the tiny Iowan
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