WEEK IN REVIEW - Books - Arts and Entertainment - The Independent

WEEK IN REVIEW

THE FILM

Jerry Maguire

OVERVIEW

Cameron Crowe of Singles fame directs a new vehicle for Tom Cruise who plays a sports agent who loses his job and gains a conscience. The film has nabbed Oscar nominations for Cruise and Best Picture and done boffo box-office in the US.

139 mins, Cert 15, Empire Leicester Square and on general release

CRITICAL VIEW

John Lyttle pinpointed the movie's masterstroke to be transforming "a star's tardy market repositioning into a sign of the times: white collar, out of work". "It's the screenplay that stands out ... has both sharpness and bite in its incidentals," praised The Guardian. "Cruise gives a good performance but it hardly warrants an Oscar nomination," sniffed The Times. "A happy-clappy fraud of a film ... Forrest Gump with beauty and brains," sneered the Standard. "Lauded elsewhere as a witty moral fable [it] is, in fact ... deeply reactionary fare," snarled Time Out. "A high-decibel fanfare for the status quo," concluded the FT.

OUR VIEW

Crowe's script and direction gives Cruise the chance to grow up and act.

THE OPERA

Orpheus and Eurydice

OVER VIEW

Lesley Garrett and Michael Chance sing in Martha Clarke's ENO staging of the 1762 version of Gluck's opera complete with happy ending, conducted by Jane Glover and designed by John Conklin in a co-production with the New York State Opera.

At the Coliseum, London WC2 (0171-632 8300) until 19 April.

CRITICAL VIEW

Edward Seckerson eulogised over "its wonderfully subdued colourations ... beautifully mirrored in the ... texture of her staging." Not so Jane Glover's conducting in which "a greyness pervades". "Arty farty," snorted the FT. "Achieves the almost miraculous feat of turning one of the most harrowingly emotional operas into a limp little affair," withered The Guardian. "I quite liked Clarke's attempt to free Gluck from the neo-classical tag: no Ionic pillars or white togas," smiled The Telegraph. "Honest, beautiful simplicity in this big space ... there is nothing monochromatic about Jane Glover's conducting," asserted The Times.

OUR VIEW

A weak ending from all departments spoils an otherwise strong evening.

THE PLAY

Women on the Verge of HRT

OVER VIEW

Marie Jones's part-populist, part-propagandist new play about menopausal women has songs by Neil Martin. The West End opening after its premiere in Northern Ireland in 1995. Jones also stars with Eileen Pollock under Pam Brighton's direction.

At the Vaudeville, London WC2 (0171-836 9987). Booking until 31 May.

CRITICAL VIEW

Paul Taylor found it "an enjoyable but patchy comedy". "Hardly great but it undoubtedly offers honest, professionally outspoken entertainment on a subject which could cause complacent men in the audience a few hot flushes of their own," mused The Telegraph. "Deeply provincial ... merely a soft feelgood core ... Menopausal defiance, when given ballad treatment, turns into marshmallow," frowned the FT. "It's a forceful, pugnacious evening but, at the end, I had the feeling that in telling a West End audience that women over 40 should have a full, rich sex life, it was preaching to the converted," preached The Guardian.

OUR VIEW

The flipside of the Cliff Richard experience. A refreshing change from all the "Boy's Own" new plays.

Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

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While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

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Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

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Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

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Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

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Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

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Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

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Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

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U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

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Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

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Top hat: Pharrell Williams

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Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

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David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

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Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

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Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

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Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

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Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

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To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

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Rachel McAdams is reportedly competing with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss for a major role in True Detective

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Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'

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Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

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Sting and Paul Simon on stage together at Carnegie Hall in New York

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