‘Fantastic Beasts 2’: imperfect, but worth the wait.

Fantastic Beasts : The Crimes of Grindelwald is a feast for the eyes and the heart. Unfortunately, even the best efforts of J.K. Rowling and some excellent acting from Johnny Depp and Zoë Kravitz cannot save this overly-busy sequel from a schlocky script and a plot more confusing than Father’s Day on Game of Thrones.

Apostle (2018) : Review

If the point of Apostle was to purge Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey, then it has more than succeeded. While boasting some fine mythology and disturbing reflections on mankind’s love for inflicting pain, Gareth Evans’ bonkers folk horror suffers from a weak script, a shoddy supporting cast, hideous violence, a lamentable lack of subtlety and the stupidest ending…

Holmes and Watson discuss ‘Holmes and Watson’.

‘To the man who loves art for its own sake,’ remarked Sherlock Holmes, tossing aside the advertisement sheet of the Daily Telegraph, ‘it is frequently in its least important and lowliest manifestations that the keenest pleasure is to be derived.’ ‘My dear friend, how can you say such a thing?’ I exclaimed with some surprise,…

‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ by George Saunders (review).

This is a difficult novel, full of pain and agony. If you have lost a loved one, you probably shouldn’t read it, and yet probably should. In President Lincoln, you will see yourself, and Willie will become for you the spitting image of the loved one you lost.

Godless (2017): Review

With beautiful cinematography, fine performances and an occasionally impressive script, Godless never quite succeeds at making us take it as seriously as it clearly takes itself.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, Season 2 (review)

Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale reminds me of Briony Tallis’ words at the end of Atonement: “What sense of hope or satisfaction could a reader derive from an ending like that?” It’s the type of question that characterises much of this season, which snatches hope away from the characters in such a jarringly constant,…

‘The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock’ by Imogen Hermes Gowar (review).

In recent years, authors of historical fiction have become more and more innovative, from Suzanna Clark’s re-writing of English history (with magic) in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell to Hilary Mantel’s vision of Tudor England in minimalistic, modern English in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Imogen Hermes Gowar continues this tradition by coaxing us down into…

‘The Weight of Ink’ is not ‘Possession”s Doppelgänger.

Rachel Kadish’s The Weight of Ink, a novel of supreme beauty and intelligence, is accused of subjecting A.S. Byatt’s Possession to carbon copying, 3D printing and creepy stalking in the manner of Frankenstein’s monster. Her Ladyship sips some tea and raises her pinkie to the critics. Warning: Spoilers for The Weight of Ink and Possession….

Sherlock S03E03: His Last Vow

A garbled mess that has no idea where it’s going or why, His Last Vow is the last nail in Sherlock’s coffin; a fall from grace so precipitous and a crying shame so heartrending that the very idea of reviewing it is almost unbearable to me. Her Ladyship has, however, done appalling things for the…