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Funny Cow film review: a morbidly gloomy drama about a struggling female comedian

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Film, Reviews, Screen |

Director Adrian Shergold’s morbidly gloomy drama Funny Cow follows a working class female comedian as she struggles through the Northern England stand-up scene circa the 1970s. Tony Pitts’ screenplay paints a general picture of life on skid row, rather than a particular insight into the craft of comedy or what motivates joke-makers to flagellate themselves in

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Ant-Man and the Wasp film review: tiny ideas in second film starring Marvel’s miniature hero

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Film, Reviews, Screen |
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The first appearance of the miniature superhero Ant-Man was in a 1962 comic book called Tales to Astonish, published five years after The Incredible Shrinking Man arrived in cinemas. This classic midnight movie is famous for scenes featuring the titular protagonist battling a spider with a pin raided from a sewing kit, and navigating comparatively huge household

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Nanette review: Hannah Gadsby’s brilliant Netflix special is going to set fire to the internet

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Reviews, Screen, TV |

To say that Hannah Gadsby’s Netflix comedy special Nanette leaves a lasting impression is to put it very, very lightly. I’ve watched this extraordinary show twice, on both occasions fighting back tears in its final minutes, struck by a range of emotions: shame, shock, consternation, compassion, something resembling hope for a brighter future. Taking the

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Mystery Road TV review: acclaimed neo-noir transitions to the small screen in excellent ABC series

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Reviews, Screen, TV |
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Director Rachel Perkins’ six-part ABC TV series Mystery Road is the third instalment in the titular franchise, following two hardboiled movies from filmmaker Ivan Sen and star Aaron Pedersen – including the terrific, big thinking neo-noir/western Goldstone. Among Mystery Road’s many virtues is a gravitas-weeping performance from Pedersen as outback detective Jay Swan, the actor

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The Magic Pill film review: Pete Evans’ intellectually poisonous diet documentary

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News & Commentary, Screen |

With the addition of the Pete Evans-produced health documentary The Magic Pill to its library, Netflix continue a slate of commissions and acquisitions that are either bold or tone deaf, depending on your perspective. See also: the second season to the controversial 13 Reasons Why, among the most socially irresponsible television shows of the 21st

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The Picnic at Hanging Rock TV series: six exquisite shots

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When news arrived that a Picnic at Hanging Rock TV series was in the works, many of us reacted with cynicism. Why go there? What kind of folly was this? Although technically an adaptation of Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel, the show invariably lives in the shadow of Peter Weir’s 1975 masterpiece – one of the great

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Tully film review: Charlize Theron impresses in a monstrously shot and contrived drama

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Film, Reviews, Screen |
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Charlize Theron plays a sleep-deprived, overworked and under-loved mother of three young children in Tully, whose spirit is rejuvenated when a ‘night nanny’ provides a panacea for her woes. Screenwriter Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman (their third collaboration, following Juno and Young Adult) revisit Mary Poppins by way of bleary-eyed Middle America, substituting the

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