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Glasgow Film Festival Review: Lady Macbeth

Romantic unions are a fragile balancing act, easily knocked off course by inequality and control. Director William Oldroyd’s first feature film Lady Macbeth takes an unconventional approach to the period genre and uses it to draw a vision of a desperate reclamation of control in a doomed marriage - or at least, an attempt at one. Florence Pugh (The Falling) is the lead character Katherine, who provides the inspiration for the familiar name in the title. An adaptation of a classic…

Glasgow Film Festival Review: Their Finest

Director Lone Scherfig’s latest film, Their Finest, is beautiful, yet largely conventional period drama. Another book adaptation of the director’s, it mixes humour with an excellent cast to tell a story that’s largely unknown to modern audiences. However a controversial twist doesn’t manage to distract by its one major mistake - portraying a worn cliche to a tired female audience. Their Finest follows a young copywriter, Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton), who by a turn of luck during the Second World…

Review: Love & Friendship

Let's face it, part of the reason we all flock to period drama adaptations of Jane Austen's work is that to a certain extent, we know what to expect. We know it's likely to be beautiful, with rich costumes and sweeping music. It's also likely to be slower paced than regular cinema, taking its time over character developments to advance the plot in small motions. Love & Friendship, last year's adaptation of Austen's early novella Lady Susan, disregards those unspoken…

Review: Taboo – Episode 3

After last week's violent episode of Taboo, where Tom Hardy's James Delaney prowled the streets and unleashed a glimpse of those rumours in one shocking scene, episode 3 came across as somewhat tamer. Yes, we had to look at a wound being stitched up in a high definition zoom, and witnessed a cadaver full of shellfish first hand, but after his stabbing last week, Delaney generally caused trouble in a far less violent way - namely by writing letters and…

Review: Taboo – Episode 1

Whether you're a historical drama fan, a doomed devotee of twisted anti-heroes or just a poor soul lost to the cult of Tom Hardy, Taboo is an exciting new show. With a debut last Saturday night on BBC One, this eight part series is the passion project of its star and a true family affair. The first episode wasn't perfect by any means, but it was a captivating take on a brutal period of our country's history, with a little of the…

Review: To Walk Invisible

The Bronte sisters have gathered a devoted following in the last two centuries, from fans of their remarkable novels to scholars devoted to uncovering the mysteries of their improbably quiet lives. Their works have been adapted for screen numerous times, but dramatic interpretations of the writers themselves are fairly rare. It was therefore a treat when Happy Valley's Sally Wainwright announced that she would be writing and directing a period drama about Bronte family. To Walk Invisible is the result,…

Review: The Witness For The Prosecution

In the days following Christmas, the BBC provided viewers with a second annual Agatha Christie adaptation, titled The Witness For The Prosecution. Continuing on from the high drama of last year's And Then There Were None, this courtroom drama was far more understated but powerfully packed with reflections on love, society and inequality. A two-part drama, The Witness For The Prosecution naturally began with a murder, that of Emily French (Kim Cattrall), an older woman who lives an expensive life. We're presented…

Review: Rillington Place – Episode 3

This week, the three-part series Rillington Place evolved itself from harrowing to completely unnerving with the final episode. As Tim Evans fought for his life in front of a judge, he found his word counted for little in the face of an already biased courtroom. Meanwhile John Christie began to become more reckless than ever, whilst Ethel's dissent against her husband's actions proved to be fatal. Tim Roth was even more creepy and terrifying than ever in a episode that finally…

Review: My Mother and Other Strangers – Episode 5

After a rather tetchy review of episode 4, the fifth and final episode of My Mother and Other Strangers ramped the drama up to 11 and surprised us all. At least, I think it did. It surprised me, but in retrospect it probably shouldn't have. The episode started with Rose feeling neglected, unable to get in contact with Captain Dreyfuss and convinced he must be avoiding her. Michael, on the other hand, is having legal trouble from a dastardly cousin…

Review: Rillington Place – Episode 2

After the first episode of Rillington Place, which looked at a toxic marriage of manipulation and control, episode 2 turned its focus on new lodgers in the house. Shown from the perspective of Tim Evans, as he tries to balance a new wife and child alongside an uncertain income, we still stayed one step away from Tim Roth's John Christie and his horrendous actions remained out of sight. Tim Evans (Nico Mirallegro), when depicted in the drama, is a complex and…