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Leonard Nimoy's other achievement: Three Men and a Baby

27 February 2015 10:32 AM, PST

He may have been famous for Spock, but Nimoy was also an adept filmmaker – and this 1980s classic shows Hollywood trying to get to grips with feminism

Leonard Nimoy: one of the best Simpsons cameos ever

To a Star Trek fan like me, Leonard Nimoy meant everything

Leonard Nimoy obituary

Leonard Nimoy, actor who played Mr Spock on Star Trek, dies aged 83

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- Hadley Freeman

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The Lady in the Van trailer: Maggie Smith plays the woman who lived in Alan Bennett's front yard - video

27 February 2015 7:55 AM, PST

Based on the play by Alan Bennett, The Lady in the Van tells the story of Miss Shepherd, an elderly woman who lived in a van on the playwright's property. Directed by Nicholas Hytner, The Lady in the Van tells the story of Bennett's friendship with Miss Shepherd as she continued to live in his front yard for the next 15 years. The film is released in the UK on 13 November Continue reading »

- Guardian Staff

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Blade Runner 2: 10 things to hope for

27 February 2015 7:21 AM, PST

The sequel to the sci-fi masterpiece has Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott on board as producer, so what magic might we look forward to?

It’s official: Blade Runner 2 is on, and the boys are back together again. Original director Ridley Scott is producing, Harrison Ford is back as detective Deckard, and the screenplay is co-written by the original’s Hampton Fancher, based on an idea by him and Scott. Prisoners/Enemy director Denis Villeneuve is due to direct it next summer, and Ford says the script is “the best thing he’s ever read”. Is it too good to be true? Here’s our wishlist.

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- Alex Godfrey

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Catch Me Daddy - video review

27 February 2015 6:18 AM, PST

In this excerpt from the Guardian Film Show Henry Barnes, Peter Bradshaw and Andrew Pulver review director

Daniel Wolfe's thriller about a young Pakistani woman being chased by her father after running off with her boyfriend. The film, which stars Sameena Jabeen Ahmed, sees a family feud play out across the stark and beautiful Yorkshire moors. Catch Me Daddy is in UK cinemas now Continue reading »

- Henry Barnes, Peter Bradshaw, Andrew Pulver, Tom Silverstone, Mona Mahmood and Andrea Salvatici

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It Follows - video review

27 February 2015 6:11 AM, PST

In this excerpt from the Guardian Film Show Henry Barnes, Peter Bradshaw and Andrew Pulver review It Follows, in which a deadly curse is transmitted through sex. David Robert Mitchell's film stars Maika Monroe as the latest teen forced to choose between running from the horror or passing it on. It Follows is in UK cinemas now Continue reading »

- Henry Barnes, Peter Bradshaw, Andrew Pulver, Tom Silverstone, Mona Mahmood and Andrea Salvatici

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The Guardian Film Show: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Catch Me Daddy and It Follows - video reviews

27 February 2015 6:00 AM, PST

Peter Bradshaw and Andrew Pulver join Henry Barnes for our round-up of the week's cinema releases. Coming up on this week's show ... a pack of randy retirees head back to India to visit The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; a family feud plays out across the Yorkshire moors in Brit thriller Catch Me Daddy; and horror is sexually transmitted in the terrifying It Follows. Plus, interviews with Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel stars Dev Patel and Bill Nighy Continue reading »

- Henry Barnes, Peter Bradshaw, Andrew Pulver, Tom Silverstone, Mona Mahmood and Andrea Salvatici

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Catch Me Daddy: Robbie Ryan on capturing Yorkshire's beauty and brutality

27 February 2015 5:00 AM, PST

One of the finest cinematographers working in British film talks to us about his latest project, a gripping, gruelling Yorkshire-Asian noir

When you look at the crew of a film shoot, which one would you like to be?” asks Robbie Ryan. “I tell you cinematographer. As Orson Welles said: ‘You get in late and you get out early.’ You don’t do the prep and you don’t do any of the post. You just do the shoot, and that’s a buzz that is really addictive.”

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- Tom Horan

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Birdman got it wrong: serious actors love playing superheroes

27 February 2015 4:55 AM, PST

The torment of Michael Keaton’s washed-up thesp grossly exaggerates the gap between arthouse movies and Hollywood’s fantasy blockbusters

I blame Alec Guinness. The late Englishman is famously reputed to have labelled 1977’s Star Wars, which brought him elevated fame, fortune and an Oscar nomination, as “fairytale nonsense”. And so, right at the very beginning of Hollywood’s blockbuster era, the message to awards season voters was clear: the new wave of fantasy action epics were to be regarded as inferior, especially so as even those who starred in them thought they weren’t much cop.

The key character in Birdman, Riggan Thomson, might be seen as a latter day Guinness (though surely the Englishman never suffered so greatly). Former Batman Michael Keaton plays a washed-up former A-lister fighting against almost constant psychological torment, desperate to prove himself as a “real” actor because his best-known role is that of the titular man-sized avian crime-fighter. »

- Ben Child

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The Boy Next Door review – abundantly silly erotic thriller with Jennifer Lopez

26 February 2015 3:00 PM, PST

Like a daytime TV movie but a bit glossier and a bit ruder, this erotic thriller throwback is deeply ludicrous – but may certainly be enjoyed on that basis

The success of Fifty Shades may mean we’re in for a spate of 90s-throwback erotic thrillers, this time flogging female desire. Few will be as abundantly silly as this one, in which Jennifer Lopez’s married schoolmarm learns that the gym bunny she’s strayed with is a possessive homewrecker who knows how to cut brake cables – so, you know, ladies: beware. It’s one of those innately conservative Channel 5 matinee movies with glossier production and more shots of its leading man’s sixpack, but the inevitable sass-along screenings will be a scream, and it may be your first and last opportunity to see J-Lo parsing the Iliad.

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- Mike McCahill

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Hinterland review – wispy but affecting drama about young adulthood

26 February 2015 2:45 PM, PST

Harry Macqueen wrote, directed and stars in this tender but insubstantial drama about two childhood friends holidaying together

Director-writer-actor Harry Macqueen’s first feature is so wispy and slight that it would only take a strong sneeze to blow it away, but its tender sensitivity is delicate and affecting enough to make one want to cup hands to protect it. Harvey (Macqueen himself), an aspiring novelist in his 20s, picks up Lola, an old friend from his childhood, for a weekend break in Cornwall at a house where they spent many family holidays as kids. Although their relationship is platonic, it’s clear there are strong feelings under the surface, expressed largely through longing looks and barely spoken hints. But the will-they-or-won’t-they suspense is less the point than the film’s interesting attempt to evoke the indecision and anxiety of young adulthood, especially for a cash-strapped generation. Campbell’s »

- Leslie Felperin

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The Tales of Hoffmann review – Powell and Pressburger’s other magic ballet film

26 February 2015 2:30 PM, PST

Perhaps even more hallucinatory than The Red Shoes, Powell and Pressburger’s tale of a poet regaling a tavern with tales of his impossible loves is a thing of pure, dreamlike strangeness

“Made in England” is how Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger finally stamped their unworldly, otherworldly Tales of Hoffmann from 1951, an adaptation of the Jacques Offenbach opera, which is now on rerelease. It actually negated English and British cinema’s reputation for stolid realism. This is a hothouse flower of pure orchidaceous strangeness, enclosed in the studio’s artificial universe, fusing cinema, opera and ballet. It is sensual, macabre, dreamlike and enigmatic: like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In his autobiography, Powell recalls talking to a United Artists executive after the New York premiere, who said to him, wonderingly: “Micky, I wish it were possible to make films like that … ” A revealing choice of words. It was as if »

- Peter Bradshaw

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A Dark Reflection review – clunky drama hoping to expose an air travel scandal

26 February 2015 2:15 PM, PST

Former BA pilot Tristan Loraine’s pet project is an agonisingly wooden drama that aims to lift the lid on what he claims is a very real health scandal – but this is just not the way to raise the issue

Here is an oddity. It’s effectively an amateur feature film produced to professional standards – more or less – and directed by a former BA airline pilot called Tristan Loraine. He retired on medical grounds in 2006, then retrained at the National Film and Television School, and is on a mission to campaign against the “aerotoxins” he says are poisoning cabin crew and passengers on all commercial flights, as unfiltered toxic fumes are recirculated into the aircraft. With help from industry colleagues and supported by Express newspapers, Loraine raised the production funds. The drama itself – about an investigative journalist working on this issue – is woodenly acted, clunkily written and agonisingly directed. It »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Focus – fantastically boring caper with Will Smith on insufferably smug form

26 February 2015 2:00 PM, PST

There is no trace of the old Will Smith charm in this glossily mediocre con caper that is almost entirely free of anything or anyone to care about

What on earth happened to Will Smith? He could until recently trade on a certain amount of charm: I have a soft spot for his sentimental drama The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) and he did a good job in the almost impossible role of Muhammad Ali for Michael Mann in 2001. But Smith is just insufferable in this fantastically boring caper about high-class con-trick artists: supercilious and smug, gliding through a glossily mediocre film on cruise control. It is written and directed by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (who made Crazy, Stupid, Love and I Love You Phillip Morris), but without the flair or fun of those pictures. Smith is super-cool con artist Nicky, and Margot Robbie is Jess, the hot would-be grifter that »

- Peter Bradshaw

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White God review – surreal dog-uprising thriller with bite

26 February 2015 1:45 PM, PST

A psychotic outbreak affects all the dogs in Budapest in Kornél Mundruczó’s energetic and imaginative film

Kornél Mundruczó’s work has in the past been self-conscious, opaque and implausible. Well, implausibility is probably still an issue with his new film, but there has been a great leap forward in energy, flair and imagination. It’s a more arresting and entertaining movie than I ever expected from this director: a captivatingly bizarre quasi-horror thriller drama about a mass canine uprising in Budapest that could have been crafted by Hitchcock or James Herbert. Lili is an unhappy little girl who has to go and live with her disagreeable dad when her parents split up. He hates her beloved labrador cross, Hagen, and chucks him out on the street. The animal is found and trained up as a fighting dog – a perversion of his gentle nature that eerily coincides with a general »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Catch Me Daddy review – big scenes and bold ideas in honour-killing drama

26 February 2015 1:30 PM, PST

This flawed but ambitious film about a British Pakistani family who hire a posse of thugs to hunt down their errant daughter is a tough look at contemporary gender politics

Daniel Wolfe’s debut movie arrives in the UK after its premiere at Cannes last year: a tough drama about contemporary Britain’s tribal and gender politics. This is ambitious work from a promising talent. There are big scenes, bold ideas and great images – created with Robbie Ryan’s tremendous cinematography. It is based on the murderous phenomenon of “honour killing” in British Pakistani communities. When Laila (Sameena Jabeen Ahmed) runs away to be with her white boyfriend, Aaron (Conor McCarron), her family hires a posse of tough guys to get her back, a little like John Ford’s The Searchers.

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- Peter Bradshaw

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The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel review – daft but good-natured sequel

26 February 2015 12:59 PM, PST

It’s sentimental, silly and stereotypical, but this later-life comedy sequel grows on you, and the thespian firepower of Smith, Imrie, Nighy, Dench – and now Gere – is redoubtable

Considering the quality of most sequels, it was bold, or rash, to put the words “second best” in the title. But though still treacly, still exasperatingly sentimental and stereotypical, this follow-up to the first Exotic Marigold Hotel turns out to be rather better. By bringing back the story of Brit retirees at a chaotic Indian hotel, director John Madden and his writer, Ol Parker, have given it the air of an unassuming BBC1 sitcom that grows on you. It’s a daft, good-natured Arcadian comedy of late-life yearnings with the same formidable cast, plus some newcomers. Maggie Smith’s cockney accent is still unconvincing, but there’s no doubt that her screen presence and sheer thespian firepower lend heft to this film, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Is Catch Me Daddy's street-casting an antidote to Britain's toff-actor problem?

26 February 2015 10:18 AM, PST

The stars of a gritty drama about a girl on the run from her father were spotted on the street. It’s a trail blazed by directors from Ken Loach to Shane Meadows, and has brought some of our most searing performances to the screen

Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar last week was the icing on the cake for what’s been a good spell for British acting. There was also recognition for the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Felicity Jones, Keira Knightley and Rosamund Pike at this year’s Oscars, and British actors have been routinely nabbing iconic American roles such as Martin Luther King (David Oyelowo), Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and even Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis). Not to mention Spider-Man, Superman and the last Batman.

But it’s a certain kind of British actor who has been celebrated of late, as evidenced by Vanity Fair’s recent Hollywood issue, which »

- Steve Rose

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It Follows review – sexual dread fuels a modern horror classic

26 February 2015 7:32 AM, PST

David Robert Mitchell’s tale of a fatal curse that can only be transmitted to an unwitting lover taps into primal anxieties so effectively you can’t help but be traumatised

A friend confessed to me recently that this was the only film to have given him, in adult life, a proper wake-up-sweating nightmare. I don’t think I have ever had a nightmare quite as scary as this film – a modern classic of fear to be compared to something by a young Carpenter or De Palma.

It Follows is from the American director David Robert Mitchell, whose 2010 debut movie, The Myth of the American Sleepover, was a gentle, unthreatening drama about teens and platonic crushes. That was Dr Jekyll to the snarling Mr Hyde of this new one. It genuinely is disturbing.

Related: It Follows: ‘Love and sex are ways we can push death away’

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- Peter Bradshaw

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Halle Berry: ‘If an Oscar winner tells you they can pick out hits, they’re lying!’

26 February 2015 6:39 AM, PST

Still the only black woman to have won the best actress Oscar, Berry talks about frankly about the difficulty of finding great characters to play and her feelings about the state of the film industry

Hi Halle. Your film Frankie and Alice, about a woman with a multiple personality disorder, is coming out after having been on the shelf since 2009 (1). Can you even remember making it?

Oh, absolutely. When something is that important to you, and you put your blood, sweat and tears into it, I doubt you’ll ever forget it. My first meeting with Alice (2), the day I got to work with Phylicia Rashad who I just absolutely adored, the day Stellan Skarsgård and I did our first scene together... When people say: ‘there’s no way you’re going to make a little movie about this subject no one cares about’, I think you remember every step of the way. »

- Ben Beaumont-Thomas

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The tyranny of Netflix: you must watch this movie. Now!

26 February 2015 4:19 AM, PST

Thanks to video-on-demand, films never go away any more – so when I tell you to watch a weird Austrian cowboy movie, I expect you do it. This week

Netflix and video-on-demand and Hulu have created immense new pressures on hardcore movie lovers. In the olden days you could tell a friend, “You just have to see House of Games; it’s the best scam movie of the year!” or “I will not stop badgering you until you see Nine Queens! It’s the best South American scam movie of the year!”

And back in the olden days people would reply: “Yeah, sure, I’ll get to it when I get to it.” But then the film would end its theatrical run, so your friends had a legitimate excuse to ignore you. They would assure you that they would get around to seeing that Argentine movie about the bank robber with »

- Joe Queenan

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