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
The Pensions Bill
The Pensions Bill provides for the state pension to be increased in line with earnings, not the triple lock.
In fact the triple lock guarantee has no statutory underpin, it is based purely on the coalition agreement. It can be withdrawn at any time.
Ed Balls has spoken about pensioner benefits in recent weeks, he has expressed support for the triple lock, without nailing his colours firmly to the mast.
Cash-strapped adults are moving back in with their parents to cut costs
Increasingly large numbers of 20-35-year-olds are moving back in with their parents - dubbed the Magpie Generation, because they come home to roost.
Around three million ‘Magpies’ have gone back to live with mum and dad to cut down their overheads, but ageing parents are left counting the financial costs.
Competitions & Fun
War veteran Stan Lendrem has admitted his family call him a “fitness freak” because of his love of pumping iron – AGED 90.
Sprightly Stan – a body builder and football fanatic – hits his local gym three times a week and swims every day.
Stan, a former RAF aircraft fitter, walks three miles to the gym from his home in Wellington, Shrops., before jogging home and finishing the day with a well earned whisky.
He even marked his 90th birthday last month with a two hour gym session where he bench-pressed his heaviest set of weights of 40kg.
Win one of three Great British Breaks with Silver Travel Advisor this month
Enter now and you could win one of three Great British Breaks. This month you have a choice of venues – life on the ocean wave, messing about on the river or on feet firmly on the ground!
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
Lie ins are good for you!
Having a lie in at the weekend could help prevent the onset of diabetes, it has been revealed.
Doctors have found that sleeping longer on Saturday and Sunday mornings can cut the risk of developing the type 2 strain of the illness, which usually strikes in middle age.
It is known to be linked to lack of sleep and obesity and can have complications that include strokes, heart attacks, blindness, kidney disease and nerve and circulatory damage, which can eventually require limb amputations.
Property & Finance
Divorce costs £2600 per year in expected retirement income
Retirees who have been divorced expect a £13,800 annual retirement income compared with £16,400 for those who have never had a marriage breakdown.
Around one in five divorced people do not have private pensions.
22 per cent of previously divorced people retiring in 2013 are doing so with debts.
Divorce reduces average expected retirement income by around £2,600 or by as much as 16 per cent a year, according to new research from Prudential.
Leisure and Lifestyle
Britain’s last surviving Dambuster marked the 70th anniversary of the legendary raid with a special screening of the iconic film and said: “I’m the proudest man alive”.
Heroic George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, 91, joined fellow RAF veterans to commemorate the 1943 raid at a cinema just yards from the mess hall he had used as a young airman.
The 617 Squadron veteran served as a ‘bomb aimer’ in the daring mission - credited with turning the tide of WWII - to destroy three dams in the German Ruhr Valley.
George was charged with releasing an 8,500 lb ‘bouncing bomb’ from a Lancaster bomber flying just 30 ft above the water of the Sorpe Dam.
Ten Top Tips For Travel Writing
Everyone seems to be at it, travel writing that is! Travel blogs, reviews and articles abound on the internet, and at Silver Travel Advisor we have some marvellous pieces of writing which really tell you all you need to know about a destination that’s good for over 50s travel. We’ve brought together some of our top tips, from successful travel writers.
- Read travel articles in papers, magazines or blogs and work out what really draws you into the writing. Try to find 3 or 4 phrases that create a real ‘pull’ and why that is. It could be the action, the descriptions or the humour.
I have received a copy of you paper from our Community Centre for the last two years and really look foreword to reading it. Thank you!