REVIEW: A plot with all the life squeezed out of it
Anyway, this at least explains why he was working for MI5, who had sprung him from jail and then blackmailed him to "sow the seeds of confusion at union meetings", presumably by raising irrelevant points of order. The MI5 man, not to be left out of this orgy of revelation, snatches a hurried kiss as he's given the brush-off. Over in California, Prunella Scales is doing much the same with Diamond, the out-of-condition Gladiator who has been helping to deprogramme her daughter.
There is some sound timber here, or at least sound potential, and Jodhi May's performance as the troubled daughter survives best, probably because the plot gives her a plausible reason for looking stunned by what's going on around her, a mercy not extended to the other actors. The scene in which she is forced to order her own breakfast in a diner, for example, was revelatory in exactly the right sort of way, eloquent about her complete dependency but devoid of the preposterous rhetoric that afflicted somany other scenes - "What's good?" she asks helplessly, staring at the menu - and the line carried its ambiguity without effort. The mother's story, too, could have been intriguing, a conventional woman discovering the desire to escape just as she manages to recapture her daughter. Unfortunately, the strangler fig won.
The depiction of character in Cutting Edge's documentary (C4) about three weddings was far more subtle. For example, when someone says: "I've bought a new morning coat for the wedding... the old one was getting a bit worn", a whole way of life is economically conveyed. And how much more do you need to know about Rob, an Ayckbournish businessman, than the priceless explanation of why he had opted for a pay-bar at the reception: "There's nothing worse than trying to make a profit out of your friends, but then again, what we don't want to do is let people abuse our hospitality." I didn't think I was going to enjoy this at all, the matter seemed so predictable and overworked, but I ended up wanting to go on honeymoon with the three couples. Lucy Sandys-Winch had a sharp eye for the wry contrasts of class and taste and a soft spot for the poorest pair, but she managed to avoid sneering at any of them.
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
- 5 Kenya bus attack: Al-Shabaab militants kill 28 non-Muslims who failed to recite Koran
Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Beyoncé '7/11' music video: Star bounces on bed in low-fi homage to viral video
Angelina Jolie confirms retirement from acting: 'I've never been comfortable on-screen'
Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track