The Jim Broadbent-Lindsay Duncan dream team with Hanif Kureishi's script and Roger Michell's spot on direction give a beautifully observed mini triumph.
One afternoon 2 years ago, I wrote 2 pages of script. Next week I'll be walking up a red carpet, in a pretty sensational (borrowed) dress to the World Premiere of a film those 2 pages have become part of.
Should we worry about these remakes, or just enjoy the opportunity to see new versions of some of our favourite stories? If we listen to the vast majority of film critics, it seems we should be rather more than worried.
Netflix is threatening the giants of the entertainment industry. The company started by targeting cable channels, leveraging a huge catalogue of content to build a subscriber base and challenge these businesses' distribution models. Now it's set its sights on cinemas.
Chris Pine ticks all the boxes as the fourth big screen incarnation of Tom Clancy's CIA analyst. Kevin Costner is excellent as his mentor; Keira Knightley gives a good American accent, and director Kenneth Branagh is solid as the villain.
Onscreen taboos and misrepresentation around abortion, when it is such a common issue in the lives of women are extremely problematic. And even Dirty Dancing may never have depicted it were it not for the amazing attitude of writer Eleanor Bergstein who turned down sponsorship for the movie to preserve the story.
Cristian Mungiu's 2007 Palme d'Or winner, '4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days' and Cristi Puiu's 'The Death of Mr Lazarescu' show the strength and quality of the Romanian New Wave.
One of my New Year's Day rituals is to go through all the films I saw in cinema the previous year and compiling a list of top 10 titles. Yes, I realise I'm a bit late posting this, but here are my favourite films from 2013:
What is often overlooked, or downright ignored, when such claims are made, is whether 'real' audiences feel misled, or lied to. Because, if audiences actually believe this, if they feel they are regularly being mis-sold or duped, then why does the trailer remain so incredibly popular? Why do millions of people search for, and download, new trailers every day?
It's De Niro versus Stallone. It's Raging Bull rumbling with Rocky. It's a film which no one thought needed to be made, but which, by sheer willpower and determination alone, overcame all the odds to win our hearts, enrich our spirits, and restore our faith in America once again. Well, not quite.
'The Wolf of Wall Street' is, by many standards, a good film. Sure, it follows all of the predictable plot beats that any given "money and drugs in the Eighties" flick entails, but it makes up for its lack of narrative surprises with its strong central performances and highly stylised depictions of excess.
In the epoch of the twitterati - when culture is more and more served to us in palatable, postmodern, bite-sized fragments, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is pure old-school - providing the grand narrative of a life very much in the style of the epic film of yore - think Ghandi or Ben-Hur, for instance.
Premiered at Cannes 2013 and nominated for Outstanding British Picture at the BAFTA 2014 Awards,'The Selfish Giant' is moving, compassionate and with astonishing lead performances, is a should-see-must-see film that places Clio Barnard as a major talent in UK cinema.
Brave's glorious Princess Merida walked that talk by rejecting the idea that a bunch of strangers should compete with each other to marry her. Instead, she competed with them to win her independence. Which she did. Go Merida. That's some impressive feminist ideology right there.
With the fanfare and build up to the Oscars, it seems timely to take a trip back to Hollywood's Golden Age. The release of the magnificent "I Used to be in Pictures", by twins Austin and Howard Mutti-Mewse, intoxicatingly takes us back to this sumptuous, glorious era.
Winner of the Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globe Awards and nominated for the BAFTAs and the Oscars, Paolo Sorrentino's 'The Great Beauty' is mesmerising with a tour-de-force performance from Toni Servillo.