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Weinstein inquiry: police departments likely to join forces, experts say

36 minutes ago

Authorities in New York, London and Los Angeles are pursuing criminal cases against film producer facing a flood of sexual misconduct accusations

Detectives in several cities investigating Harvey Weinstein for sex crimes are likely to be collaborating as they build evidence and assess whether the film producer can be arrested and charged, experts believe.

Investigators in New York, London and Los Angeles have opened criminal cases against Weinstein in the last six weeks, as the disgraced producer faces lawsuits on both sides of the Atlantic following a flood of accusations of sexual misconduct.

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- Joanna Walters in New York

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Luc Besson: acclaimed French director's studio struggles after losses

2 hours ago

EuropaCorp examines its debts and considers sell-off after being hit by disappointing box office for sci-fi spectacular Valerian

The French filmmaker Luc Besson’s production studio has said it is considering “different options” to raise cash and cut costs after sinking to record losses.

The announcement comes after the underwhelming box-office take for Besson’s science-fiction spectacular Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Although the film brought in more than $225m, a poor performance in the Us market left Besson’s EuropaCorp struggling to make up for its $177m it cost to produce – an astronomical sum for a French production.

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- Agence France-Presse

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The Big Heat review – Fritz Lang's 1953 thriller retains its shocking power

18 hours ago

Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin star in drum-tight and violent revenge flick, a classic from Lang’s American period

The big heat – like the big sleep – is a menacing idea, a miasma that swarms over this taut and violent 1953 crime thriller from director Fritz Lang, a classic from his American period. It stars Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame, and this big-screen rerelease is linked to a Grahame retrospective at the BFI Southbank, London. The big heat is, of course, the force of vengeance, the blowtorch flame of justice, coming from heaven and Earth alike. For some of the people here, that big heat is what is going to come after the big sleep.

Ford plays Sgt Dave Bannion, who is investigating the suicide of a cop, who was apparently overwhelmed with shame at having taken bribes from crime nabob Mike Lagana (Alexander Scourby) and having been part of »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Lost in Paris review – Emmanuelle Riva beguiles in this funny little gem

20 hours ago

French screen icon joins writer-directors Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon for one of her final appearances

Here is one of the final screen appearances of Emmanuelle Riva, icon of movies from Michael Haneke’s Amour to Gillo Pontecorvo’s Kapò and Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima Mon Amour, who died in January at the age of 89. It is a delectably gentle, elegant, self-effacing performance. Riva plays a lovably scatty old lady called Marthe in this Tati-esque comedy from French writer-directors Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon. The movie they have jointly devised, and in which they star, is a clever, funny and distinctly unworldly comedy with an insouciant line in visual humour.

Fiona (Fiona Gordon) is a young goof from Canada who comes to Paris to visit her similarly away-with-the-fairies aunt Marthe (Riva). A mishap on the banks of, and then in, the Seine leads to an encounter with a romantic tramp »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Antiporno review – has its porn cake and eats it

22 hours ago

Cult Japanese director Sion Sono has made a shallow, frantic film that sports with sex and repression

Maybe no director is quite as “pro-porno” as the prolific cult Japanese film-maker Sion Sono, but here he is again, with a movie that sports with sex and repression, sensuality and hypocrisy, reality and fantasy, porn and more porn. Sometimes this fiercely cartoony film has satire and surrealism, some ideas about how porn is a theatre of unhappiness or how sex can cauterise painful emotions. But quite a lot of the time it’s a question of having your porn cake and eating it. Kyoko (Ami Tomite) is a beautiful, fashionable young conceptual artist and novelist, evidently living a life of glorious sexual abandon, flouncing naked around her apartment. She humiliates her personal assistant. And then – cut! It’s all just a porny movie she’s in. And she gets humiliated the way »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge review – sex and science in turn-of-the-century Europe

23 hours ago

Soapy biopic of the Nobel prize-winning chemist which focuses more on her spicy personal life than her groundbreaking work

Director Marie Noelle’s biopic about Marie Curie, the Polish-born chemist who was the first woman to win the Nobel prize, is something of a tacky treat. Roughly 35% science talk and 65% soap opera, it has adulterous shenanigans and a strong-willed heroine (Polish actor Karolina Gruszka) defying sexism, xenophobia and antisemitism (even though she isn’t Jewish) to make it in a male profession.

The first part unfolds in a non-toxic soft-focus haze, all sun dapples and smiles, as Marie and her beloved hubby Pierre (Charles Berling) bask in acclaim after their crucial research on radiation is recognised by the Nobel committee.

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- Leslie Felperin

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Nightmare in suburbia: how cinema found the darkness behind the picket fence

23 November 2017 10:00 PM, PST

George Clooney and the Coen brothers’ new movie Suburbicon shows how discrimination is baked into Us city planning. But they are far from the first to see trouble in a genteel neighbourhood

Suburbia was always poisoned. Not much in Us history is as blandly shameful as the National Housing Act of 1934. Designed to insure mortgages and encourage home owning, the heart of the policy was “redlining”: underwriting loans in areas deemed safe financial bets, refusing those that were not. America being America, the real red line was racial. As prim new developments sprawled across the postwar nation, banks and mortgage brokers had official licence to reject black applicants – and anyone looking to buy a house where black people lived. For much of the 20th century, if you needed help to buy an American home, being white was not enough. You had to live among other white people, which meant »

- Danny Leigh

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Daddy's Home 2 review – Mel Gibson puts the freeze on Christmas reboot

23 November 2017 10:00 PM, PST

There’s plenty to like as co-dads Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell spend the holiday with their fathers, but Gibson irradiates the film with his unfunniness

It’s a funny thing – or rather an intensely and overwhelmingly unfunny thing – but this can be a moderately successful film until Mel Gibson shows up and opens his mouth. Or even just smiles. Then he’s a kind of grinning death’s-head of unfunny, toxically irradiating the entire film with poison rays of conceited non-charm. Like the recent and rather better movie A Bad Moms Christmas, this sequel franchises a hit comedy by bringing in the older generation. Brad (Will Ferrell) and Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) are the father and stepfather, who have agreed to be co-dads for their kids. But now their own fathers show up for the Christmas holidays. Naturally, reformed tough guy Dusty has an unreformed alpha dad: Kurt, played by Mel Gibson. »

- Peter Bradshaw

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The Star review – a nativity film to put the kids to sleep

23 November 2017 9:30 AM, PST

This pious digimation of the Christmas story contains nothing to frighten the donkeys with its rote wisecracks and slavish devotion to the Pixar formula

Some films are fated to be no more than the sum of their production companies. This seasonal digimation is almost exactly what you might imagine from a collaboration between Sony’s evangelical offshoot, Affirm Films, and Narnia deliverers Walden Media: it takes an idea with the potential for irreverent fun – retelling the Nativity from the animals’ perspective – then plays everything straighter than the average Sunday-school sermon.

Little donkey Boaz’s quest to escape his yoke and serve some higher purpose meets the religious brief; accompanying him through the usual series of helter-skelter set pieces, the rotely wisecracking Dave the dove swiftly puts paid to hopes of divine inspiration, while kooky sheep Abby hews so close to Ellen DeGeneres’ Dory in personality that you can hear the Pixar lawyers’ phones vibrating. »

- Mike McCahill

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Battle of the Sexes review – Emma Stone aces it in tennis's biggest grudge match

23 November 2017 7:30 AM, PST

Steve Carell is well cast as the ex-champ who tried to prove men’s superiority on court, but Stone calls the shots as women’s No 1 Billie Jean King

This is a seductively enjoyable, smart and well-acted film based on the most deadly serious sporting contest of modern times: the Battle of the Sexes tennis match of 1973 in a packed Houston Astrodome. It stars Emma Stone and Steve Carell, respectively women’s No 1 Billie Jean King and fiftysomething ex-champ and self-proclaimed “male chauvinist pig” Bobby Riggs – fighting to prove that men are better at tennis and better, full stop.

The film crucially faces the same challenge as the participants from real life: the challenge of tone. How unseriously should this match be taken? How strenuously should the attitude of casual jokiness be maintained? No one involved in this encounter could be certain of its outcome; neither side could be sure of avoiding humiliation, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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James Franco: ‘I was certainly taking myself too seriously before. But who doesn’t?’

23 November 2017 5:39 AM, PST

His riotous new film, The Disaster Artist, is one of the best in a fascinating but patchy career. So how did this notorious workaholic with a fear of failure learn to laugh at himself?

James Franco, the stoner’s comedian inside a workaholic arthouse auteur trapped in a Hollywood leading man’s body, is a bewildering enough prospect as an actor, but that’s nothing compared with what he is as an interviewee. As I walk into his hotel room in San Sebastián, Spain, where he is at the film festival showing his latest effort, The Disaster Artist, which he directed and stars in, I wonder which side I’ll get today. (Please, God, not the pretentious-auteur one.) After all, what to expect of a man who, in one year, made eight movies including Eat Pray Love; the pretty good Allen Ginsberg biopic, Howl; the completely meh comedy, Date Night; the endurance movie, »

- Hadley Freeman. Photograph: Michael Buckner/Rex

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Jada Pinkett Smith: ‘Who’s the best at music in my family? Everyone plays in their own sandbox’

23 November 2017 5:06 AM, PST

Fresh from weeing over a crowd of people in Girls Trip, the actor offers her thoughts on the various skill sets of her family

Hi, Jada! Was there a moment of hesitation when you read the Girls Trip script and saw that you had to wee yourself over a crowd of people (1)?

No! People always ask me that. That was actually one of the moments that made me think: “Oh, wow, this is going to be a lot of fun.” It’s completely unexpected and completely outrageous. And, you know, it’s a movie.

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- Stuart Heritage

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Hi-Lo Joe review – chemistry and charisma in tale of two thirtysomethings

23 November 2017 5:00 AM, PST

Joe and Lizzie try to make it work in James Kermack’s debut feature, which is big on angst but shot through with undeniable energy

British writer-director James Kermack’s feature debut goes big on the angst of thirtysomething blokes and their eternal struggles issues with commitment and attaining self-knowledge, but it’s hard to hold a grudge against it given the energy of the direction and the charisma of its toothsome young stars. Matthew Stathers stars as the titular Joe, a professional children’s entertainer and hard-partying showboat who is determined to make it work with the lissom Ellie (Lizzie Philips), an aspiring dancer as quick on the quip as Joe himself. Although Gethin Anthony, Tom Bateman and a few other supports drift in and out of the story, the relationship between the two leads is the object of focus here as they go through the highs and lows of young love. »

- Leslie Felperin

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Why is Oscar-buzzed romance Call Me by Your Name so coy about gay sex?

23 November 2017 4:00 AM, PST

The much-lauded 80s-set drama is a triumph on many levels but its conservative attitude towards showing men having sex remains problematic

There was a time, not all that long ago, when Luca Guadagnino’s new film Call Me By Your Name would have been something of a fringe item. A florid gay love story, set in the rarefied playground of wealthy white academics who use “summer” as a verb, awash in Euro-art flourishes inspired by the likes of Bertolucci and Antonioni, and based on an André Aciman novel treasured chiefly within the Lgbt community, it’s the kind of film towards which enraptured critics usually struggle to steer substantial audiences.

Related: Call Me By Your Name review – gorgeous gay love story seduces and overwhelms

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- Guy Lodge

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#Starvecrow review – first ever selfie movie needs an upgrade

23 November 2017 3:00 AM, PST

Shot mostly on camera phones, this British drama about a group of insufferable twentysomethings has little going for it besides zeitgeist bragging rights

After found footage and phone footage films, here, with the inevitability of a man in belted jeans launching a new iPhone model to a crowd of saucer-eyed disciples, is the first ever selfie movie – a naive and self-indulgent piece with very little going for it other than zeitgeist bragging rights.

Shot mostly on camera phones by the actors, #Starvecrow is a tiny-budget British drama about a group of insufferably privileged twentysomething mates. Ben Willens is Ben, a controlling narcissist who creepily films everything on his phone. When his on-off girlfriend (Ashlie Walker) walks out for good, he steals her friends’ mobiles – giving the film its footage of attention-seeking drunken antics and nastier behaviour never intended for Snapchat. Ben, like one of the lads from Made in Chelsea »

- Cath Clarke

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Is all forgiven? The strange, troubling resurgence of Mel Gibson

23 November 2017 1:51 AM, PST

The actor-director seemed unemployable after a string of antisemitic and racist outbursts. But steady work since and a new comedy vehicle suggest his time in the wilderness is up

The long, complicated saga known as the Never-Ending Rehabilitation of Mel Gibson unspools another chapter. Gibson is playing his most prominent on-screen role, in Daddy’s Home 2, since his obscenity-filled antisemitic meltdown on the shoulder of the Pacific Coast Highway on a hot July night in Malibu more than a decade ago.

Given the serendipity of long-range movie-release schedules, how was Gibson to know that his latest bid for a soft landing back in the box-office charts, and back in the warm bosom of filmgoers worldwide, would take place during a tsunami of revelations of sexual chicanery and all-round vileness among top Hollywood figures and Washington politicians?

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- John Patterson

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Jane review – wondrous footage lights up Goodall's Tarzan dream

23 November 2017 12:00 AM, PST

Jane Goodall’s research into chimp behaviour was a great leap forward in scientific research and this documentary does her work full justice

Here is a portrait of the primatologist as a young woman. Using footage only recently rediscovered in the National Geographic archive, octogenarian Jane Goodall recollects her first field study of chimpanzees in the wild in Tanzania. This was the 1960s, and Goodall was a 26-year-old typist with no academic training. Yet on that trip she made a great leap in scientific research by observing chimps making and using tools. Goodall says that it was her mother who built her self-esteem when she was growing up – encouraging her to see beyond the expectations that a nice, middle-class girl from Bournemouth should get married and start a family. Instead, she dreamed of living with animals in the jungle like Tarzan. There are more than 40 documentaries about Goodall. What makes »

- Cath Clarke

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Suburbicon review – George Clooney spies murder and malice in picket-fence America

22 November 2017 10:00 PM, PST

Matt Damon plays a beleaguered salaryman whose life goes horribly wrong in Clooney’s account of crime and racial prejudice in the postwar Us

For his latest directorial outing, George Clooney has given us a macabre comedy noir: watchable, lively, intricately designed, but with exotic plot contrivances and parallel storylines that don’t fully gel. Clooney and longtime producing partner Grant Heslov have rewritten an unproduced script by the Coen brothers, set in a satirically picture-perfect 1950s American suburb. Like the manicured locations of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet or Todd Haynes’s Far from Heaven, this is a place where ugly realities hunch behind the picket fence and the Colgate smiles: racism, deceit, murder.

There is something surreal about the way these two dramas unfold side-by-side without impinging on each other

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- Peter Bradshaw

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Better Watch Out review – deranged mind games and faultless performances in Christmas horror

22 November 2017 9:00 AM, PST

Three young Australian actors lead the action in Home Alone gone bad-style thriller, with a big and cheeky twist

Better Watch Out is hardly the first scary movie to juxtapose festive season merriment alongside gnarly thrills, involving menacing phone calls, sharp instruments and various applications of duct tape.

Watching it reminded me of the, shall we say, morally dubious 1984 slasher flick Silent Night, Deadly Night – a cinematic experience I was sure I had repressed. A smattering of other films over the years – most of them junk, with titles like Happy Helladays and Slaughter Claus – have put the “yell” in “yuletide”, the “slay” in “sleigh” and the, er, “nnnnoooooo!” in “Noel”.

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- Luke Buckmaster

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Peter O'Toole was not the drunken hell-raiser he made out, says author

22 November 2017 7:45 AM, PST

Actor’s biographer says personal archive reveals a ‘sensitive, organised man’ who was writing two screenplays just before his death in 2013

Peter O’Toole was writing two screenplays just before his death at the age of 81, according to research that also suggests the actor’s hell-raising image was a myth that he cultivated himself.

While working on a book about the actor, the biographer Alexander Larman had a glimpse of screen versions of the Seán O’Casey play Juno and the Paycock, and Chekhov’s work Uncle Vanya. He said O’Toole starred on stage in those plays, which each had characters with some similarities to O’Toole’s personality.

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- Dalya Alberge

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