2019 Film Reviews – 11: The Lego Movie 2 [dir. Mike Mitchell; 2019]

No sequel to 2014’s Lego Movie was ever going to match its inventiveness, its irrepressible visuals and its novelty value. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller packed so many details and ideas into the film – from the correctly-placed crack on the astronaut’s helmet to the bold twist towards the end – that trying to match their achievement was bound to be an impossible task. However, … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 11: The Lego Movie 2 [dir. Mike Mitchell; 2019]

Film Review: Hugo [dir. Martin Scorsese; 2011]

It’s helpful to assess Hugo in terms of what it isn’t rather than what it is: it isn’t manic or frenetic; it isn’t desperate to impress with ironic humour; it isn’t patronising to children; it isn’t afraid to keep its plot simple and linear; it isn’t full of 3D clichés. A charming tale of an orphaned boy who tries to understand the world around him … Continue reading Film Review: Hugo [dir. Martin Scorsese; 2011]

Film Review: Oranges And Sunshine [dir. Jim Loach; 2010]

In a nutshell: amazing story; very disappointing execution. Jim Loach’s debut feature recounts the true incidents that led to social worker Margaret Humphreys’ discovery of a shocking, long-running, UK-government scheme of forcibly relocating poor and/or illegitimate children to Australia. Their parents were told that the children had been adopted and were therefore no longer contactable; the children themselves were told that their parents had died. … Continue reading Film Review: Oranges And Sunshine [dir. Jim Loach; 2010]

Film Review: Kick-Ass [dir. Matthew Vaughn; 2010]

Be warned: if you never went through a phase of reading comic books and you have absolutely no time for stories which feature super powers, rubber costumes or secret identities, then Kick-Ass almost certainly won’t win you over. However, those of you who did donate a sizeable proportion of your pocket money to the pension funds of Marvel and DC will probably find a great deal to enjoy in this clever … Continue reading Film Review: Kick-Ass [dir. Matthew Vaughn; 2010]

Busy For Hours

For a place where several hundred severely disabled men, women and children are looked after, the atmosphere in Mumbai’s Asha Daan is surprisingly quiet and relaxed. The nine nuns who run the place clearly wish to avoid ostentation, although they’re effusive when it comes to greetings. “Look around,” they say. “Talk to the people. Ask them how they are.” The Divine L and I have … Continue reading Busy For Hours


I’ve said this before and I have no doubt whatsoever that I will continue to say it again and again: I find writing hard. There are loads of reasons for this, but the one on my mind right now is that I never seem to be able to shake off the feeling that the ideas behind my words are embarrassingly banal. It’s a paralytic state … Continue reading Knit


The other day, ‘Knee-Jerk-Reaction Dariush’ wrote the following… but he thought twice before clicking on ‘Upload’… — Do you think it’s right to take a three year old to a salon for a manicure? ‘Cause if you don’t, you may soon end up in a minority. Apparently several London salons now cater specifically to the under 10s and many more similar venues are going to … Continue reading Apply

Plain Sailing

Another week, another talk. This time it was the turn of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, he of solo, water-based circumnavigation victories. He spent a great deal of the time talking about his frustrations with technology, which made me think how apt the event’s setting was: an old, defiantly dignified theatre – high-ceilinged and awash with smooth curves – rather inelegantly crammed with the accoutrements of modern … Continue reading Plain Sailing