Saturday, January 19, 2008

Recent theatre and cinema

As is often the case with comedies, certain characters, not always the main players, get the most comic lines whilst others have to struggle with every line to get the laughs. In the Oscar Wilde pi├Ęce de moeurs An Ideal Husband, it was Milo Twomey (as Lord Goring) and Ann Furbank (Lady Markby) who had the plum lines and made the most of them. An immensely enjoyable evening in Manchester with the usual Royal Exchange excellence in both cast and direction and a fine start to the New Year’s theatre. Who could not love Wilde's disparaging views on curates, political corruption, the idle rich and society in general? Times have not changed so very much.

In the cinemas meanwhile, there is an abundance of good films at the moment. The Kite Runner is a beautiful film. The Guardian referred to it as such but also felt it was somewhat manipulative. I never felt that to be so. Poignant, tragic, affirming, real. With respect to another film, The Assassination of Jesse James etc etc, the one point that seems to have escaped the critics is that this is clearly a coming of age film for Brad Pitt whose acting is better here than anything else he has done. He exuded menace, doubt, foreboding, duplicity. A fine performance.

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