4 items from 2011
There has been no shortage of good stories on the Chatsworth estate. The fictional council house development in Greater Manchester that forms the backdrop to Shameless, one of Britain's longest-running drama series, is packed with dodgy incident. Such as the end of series one when charming Steve, played by James McAvoy, hands Fiona, played by Anne-Marie Duff, the keys to her own house – but only after blowing it up.
Or the sombre scenes in the second series when Steve has to slip off to Amsterdam to avoid the law. Or perhaps the moment in the third series when lovable layabout Frank, played by David Threlfall, and Veronica, played by Maxine Peake, dig up a stash of fake gold. Oh, and a dead body. »
- Vanessa Thorpe
Part Marty, part Annie Hall, this low-budget movie about a sad, 25-year-old, Yorkshire singleton (Gerard Kearns) dumped in Kentish Town, north London, on the eve of his wedding is almost calculatedly ingenuous and not without its truthful moments.
It reminded me of Graham Fellows's 1978 novelty song celebrating self-pity, "Jilted John". Quite a pleasant memory.
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- Philip French
Black Swan (15)
Another tale of driven professionalism to go with Aronofsky's The Wrestler, but this goes further and gets away with more, whipping a tale of theatrical ambition into a delirious, hallucinogenic melodrama. Portman is superb as the brittle ballerina facing up to her nightmares when she lands her dream role, and between the punishing routines, her monstrous mother (Barbara Hershey) and the fever of performance, we're swept away.
Mullan turns his memories of 1970s Glasgow into a muscular yet compassionate youth drama. McCarron is outstanding as a bright boy whose promise is warped by brutal conditions in and out of school.
Morning Glory (12A)
McAdams delights and Ford grouches in a breakfast TV comedy that is »
- The guide
Xan BrooksJason SolomonsJason Phipps »
- Xan Brooks, Jason Solomons, Jason Phipps
4 items from 2011
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