THE KING’S SPEECH (Momentum). Who would have thought speech impediment to be world box office? One thing is absolutely certain and that is, what with the royal wedding last week, and the release of this DVD this week, the propaganda for the royal family is excellent. The film will do them nothing but good. If you have tears to shed, be prepared to shed them now. The heart-warming story is extremely well told. Colin Firth as George VI deservedly got an award for his performance. Geoffrey Rush, as the speech therapist, should also have got an award for his. The two performances are inseparable and together they provide first-rate entertainment.
ALAN PLATER AT ITV (Network). Plater was one of the best British television writers and also one of the most prolific. All his work is informed by his left wing political views. The high spot of this selection of seven plays is Coming Through (premiered in 1985) which describes the beginnings of the affair D H Lawrence (Kenneth Branagh in one of his best performances`) had with the married Frieda Weekly (Helen Mirren).
ABEL (Network). Mexican actor Diego Luna in his directorial feature debut addresses the serious problem of absentee fathers in Mexico. A 9-year-old bipolar boy, released from a psychiatric hospital, decides, in his father absence, to be father to his family and behaves in a disturbingly adult manner Christopher Ruiz-Esparza, a boy with big piercing eyes, is amazing.
DANIEL DERONDA (Second Sight). The Victorian novel is perfect for television and though this is not one of George Eliot’s best novels, it is a pleasant enough way to spend an evening or two. Heritage production values are high. The archery, for instance, is fascinating. The cast is as solid and reliable, as you would expect, and is headed by Hugh Dancy as the noble, good and caring Daniel. Romola Garai is the selfish Gwendolen.
THE TUNNEL (Second Sight). This German film made for television is set during the Cold War when the Berlin Wall was up and East Berliners were regularly building tunnels under the wall, and trying to escape from the Communist regime for the much longed-for freedom in the West. This is a straight-forward, well-meaning, worthy account, freely based on one such attempt. The most moving scene shows a young lad attempting to climb the wall and being shot and left to die.
MOVE OVER DARLING (Second Sight). Man gets married for a second time. His first wife, long presumed dead, turns up at the hotel where he is spending his wedding night. This poor fluffy romantic nonsense needs gifted farceurs who are familiar with the Hollywood screwball comedies of the 1930s. Doris Day and James Garner are miscast.
EARLY KUROSAWA (BFI). A feast for students of Kurosawa but probably not for anybody else.
Or to purchase any of the DVDs Robert has reviewed, simply click on the title of the film.
Campaigns & Issues
National Award Scheme Launched
The Elderly Accommodation Council (EAC) National Housing awards for Older People 2013 are now in full swing
This year will be the fourth year that the awards have been held, and they aim to put residents in older peoples housing right at the centre of the assessment and award process.
The WISH campaign
On Saturday, 18 May, Robert Davidson, age 70, and Anne Ludlow, age 62, will be setting out on their much-beloved e-bikes to ride from Totnes, Devon, to London. They estimate the total distance will be 250 miles, as they must take circuitous routes to sneak up on Bath from the rear - there they can pick up a Sustrans cycle trail the rest of the way to London.
They are undertaking this challenge on behalf of all people everywhere who are older than they used to be, in the firm belief that an increase in your age should not mean a decrease in your rights - above all, your right to freedom, fulfilment, and fun.
Competitions & Fun
Win a Table Top Grille and Side Fire Box!
The warmer weather is finally here and for us Brits, any hint of sun means one thing – rolling out the BBQ.
We’ve been cooking meat over flames for more than a million years and the origin of the word “barbecue” is thought to come from the Spanish word “barbacoa” which means a wooden frame used to cook meat.
Nowadays, we cook far more than meat with popular dishes including vegetable kebabs, fish and even melted chocolate chips stuffed inside bananas in their skins.
Win a prize at home or away in this month's prize draw with Silver Travel Advisor!
Enter now and you could win a prize at home or away! How about a 7 night break for 2, with flights included, in beautiful Slovenia? Or a trip to London’s glitzy theatreland, staying in a 4* hotel? Both fabulous treats which must be won!
Silver Travel Advisor is a friendly website packed with advice, tips, information and honest reviews written by and for silver travellers (aged over 50). A team of advisors are on hand to answer queries (for free), and you can share your own experiences too.
Health & Wellbeing
Too many older people falling due to poor eye sight
New research by the College of Optometrists reveals lack of awareness of the link between falls and poor vision
The majority of people are unaware of the link between poor eyesight and falls in older people, according to new research by the College of Optometrists, released in the run up to this year’s Falls Awareness Week.
Nearly half of those surveyed said they had an older friend, parent or relative who had fallen, yet less than a third (32%) knew that poor vision was a major cause of falls.
Property & Finance
2nd National Personal Budget Survey results released
2nd National Personal Budget Survey shows how councils can get the best results and improve lives for people who need care and support
A survey of more than 3,300 people who use personal budgets (PBs) in social care and their carers has found positive results when people have taken up PBs.
Leisure and Lifestyle
Robert Tanitch reviews Tanzi Libre at Southwark Playhouse, London SE1.
The redevelopment of London Bridge Station has forced Southwark Playhouse to vacate the arches under the station and relocate in a former warehouse in Newington Causeway.
This will be the theatre’s new home until the station is completed in 2018 when they will then be able to return.
The first season in the new building opens with Ellie Jones’s production of Claire Luckham’s trite and crude feminist tract, which was a big success in 1980 and hasn’t had a major revival in London in 30 years.
Returning to Blighty
A French friend called me this morning and as I spoke to him I looked out of the window and saw grey skies and raindrops hanging off the washing line. I very nearly shed tears that matched them. Why? Because it is now seven years since I left my beloved Languedoc Roussillon in the South West of France after living there for six blissful years and am now residing in West Yorkshire.
I miss the many friends I made there –contrary to popular opinion that the French despise the Brits I found this untrue. Except when England beat them at Rugby! Of course in many towns, and especially Paris, the people are sometimes just plain right rude to anyone who can’t speak fluent French. But go to the many villages and you will find them charming and very helpful as you struggle to find the right words!
Mature Times is going from strength to strength!