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
Oldest old ‘not a drain on society’
ILC-UK responds to 2011 Census data on the oldest old published today
David Sinclair, Assistant Director, Policy and Communications at ILC-UK, responding to the results, said:
"This new evidence reveals that 8.8% for those aged over 85 are still caring for someone. And half of these older carers are providing support for more than 50 hours a week.
The Elders honour the memory of their Founder, Nelson Mandela
The Elders are deeply saddened by the death of their founder, Nelson Mandela. They join millions of people around the world who were inspired by his courage and touched by his compassion. All will mourn his passing.
Mandela – or Madiba as he is known in South Africa – called the Elders together in 2007, urging them to be bold, independent and to speak the truth. He told them to be a robust force for good, and to work in the interests of peace for all humanity.
Competitions & Fun
Fairytale of New York voted top Christmas driving song!
With the festive season fast approaching and Christmas songs becoming a daily feature of radio station playlists, a 1st Central Insurance survey reveals The Pogues' Fairytale of New York is the nation's favourite Christmas song to drive along to.
Whilst drivers surveyed found the radio the least distracting in-car activity compared to mobile phones, children, satellite-navigation systems and chatting to passengers; 1st Central is cautioning motorists to remain focussed whilst behind the wheel this festive season.
Win one of 31 fabulous travel treats from Silver Travel Advisor this December
Enter now and you could win one of the 31 travel treats from our Christmas Stocking.
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
Winterproof your skin
Radiant, glowing skin can be yours whatever the weather. We let you in on some expert secrets
The weather has a huge impact on how you look and feel and the secret to healthy glowing skin is to adapt your skincare regime according to the season. Follow these steps and your skin will repay you with a gorgeous glow that will last right through to spring.
At this time of year cold harsh winds and the drying effects of central heating can wreak havoc on your skin and it may need extra hydration to give back what Mother Nature takes away. ‘The lipid layer, the outermost layer of the skin, needs to be protected to create a barrier that keeps natural moisture intact and stops it from escaping,’ explains dermatologist Victoria Pugh.
Property & Finance
Costly Christmas Needs Careful Budgeting
Nearly a third of Brits won’t be able to make November’s salary last until Christmas
Only 26 per cent have budgeted for the festive expense
The Christmas countdown is on and with three weeks to go, Britain’s number one comparison site MoneySuperMarket.com reveals nearly a third (30 per cent) of Christmas spenders won’t be able to make their November salary last to fund the festivities.
Leisure and Lifestyle
Joyce Glasser reviews Frozen
Frozen is seasonal, family entertainment at its best with Executive Producer John Lasseter (UP, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Brave) working his magic once again. This combination of romantic comedy and musical adventure story was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s 1845 fable, The Snow Queen and features, at its core, an unusual, schmaltz-free sisterly bond.
That might be because the film is co-directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, with Lee, the first female director of animation in Disney’s history, in charge of the script. It’s hard to imagine any demographic that won’t be drawn to its varied characters, settings, and superb 3D animation, not to mention its wise messages and music.
Driving home for Christmas
Chris Rea’s song 'Driving Home for Christmas' is a one that resonates with many of us at this time of the year.
While it’s the time to spend with family and friends, many of us will be embarking on a car journey home before we enjoy the festive cheer.
But before you make that journey home, it’s important to do a few checks to the car.
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