Film critic, novelist, photographer and style icon. Likes frites, beer and chocolate. Lives in Brussels.

Rogue Trader, review: 'a criminal waste of a brilliant story' — Every week there seems to be at least one new British film to remind us of Franois Truffaut's observation that "There's something about England that's anti-cinematic." Even seemingly foolproof material gets the silk-purse-into-sow's-ear treatment.

The eclectic, unpredictable career of Ralph Fiennes — The poshness of British actors has been much discussed, and they don't come much posher than Ralph Fiennes. Haut-boho background, eighth cousin to the Prince of Wales; RADA-trained, RSC-honed; not pronounced Ralph but "Rayfe". Yet Fiennes's career has been so eclectic and unpredictable that he has somehow managed to sidestep the "posh" tag.

Anne Billson on three-act structure — Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is yet another sad example of a once-punchy title getting saddled with needless punctuation and verbiage. As for the film itself - the first act's a blast, the second is gripping, the third is ... meh, proving it's not just the title that suffers from an anticlimactic tail-off.

Baftas be damned: David Oyelowo is this year's best actor — David Oyelowo starred alongside Keeley Hawes and Matthew Macfadyen in the BBC drama 'Spooks' And yet, apart from a single Golden Globe nomination, nothing. The Screen Actors Guild and the Academy have ignored Oyelowo. He was even overlooked by the Baftas and the London Critics' Circle Awards, which you would have thought might have favoured a familiar British face.

Agora pressed my big phobia button — I love films in which men wear short skirts, hack at each other with swords or say things such as: "Did you know, my dear, that this golden web was spun from the beards of shellfish?" (That's an actual line from The Ten Commandments, by the way.)

My rhyming INTO THE WOODS review

Gwyneth Paltrow: time for the hate to stop? — It's true that her Goop "lifestyle" site is about as joyful a place as Narnia under the White Witch, that declarations such as "I'm just a normal mother with the same struggles as any mother who's trying to do everything at once and trying to be a wife and maintain a relationship" display an astonishing lack of self-awareness, and that her description of the split from her husband as a "conscious uncoupling" sent the internet into paroxysms of snark.

Drumatic: a history of drummers in film — Whiplash is about a jazz drummer who drums till his fingers bleed. His connection to the kit he pounds so obsessively is echoed by his abusive relationship with the conservatory conductor, who yells obscenities in his face like the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket.

The art of film: galleries in the movies — Frederick Wiseman's National Gallery is a fascinating fly-on-the-wall documentary about one of Britain's best known art institutions - its men, its women, its pictures. We listen to guides, eavesdrop on boardroom discussions, consider the ethics of restoration and, best of all, zoom in for privileged close-ups of Holbein's The Ambassadors, or Da Vinci's Virgin of the Rocks, or Vélasquez's Christ in the House of Martha and Mary.

How cats conquered cinema — The Year in Cat got off to a roaring start in 2014 with Inside Llewyn Davis . Ulysses the red tabby (played by three different cats) dominates the first two-thirds of the Coen brothers' portrait of a Greenwich Village folk singer, circa 1961, simply by being there.
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Feb 27, 2015

@Mick196622 Well if it means you occasionally look at some of my Belgium photos, I'm happy. Hardly anyone looks at those.

Feb 27, 2015

@_Lutz @KSturton I love the med pod scene, but it doesn't bear much relation to anything else in the film. It's like a standalone episode.

Feb 27, 2015

@jamescappio Yes, I enjoyed the first few seasons too. I drifted away when they started changing the cast.

Feb 27, 2015

@timhayward yew! please keep those feelings to yourself, Tim.

Feb 27, 2015

Marc Warren again. Gosh, he's intense. Everything he says sounds like double entendre. Better at chin-holding than Travolta that's for sure.

Feb 27, 2015

@neilfinlayson I watched them first time they were broadcast in the UK.

Feb 27, 2015

Not really a fan of Star Trek classic (more of a Next Generation gal myself) but oh dear, I keep getting something in my eye this evening.

Feb 27, 2015

RT @jamesmoran: RIP and LLAP Leonard Nimoy. A massive, bright light just went out. I have no words. No words.

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