Sunday, January 27, 2008


I finally saw Atonement a few days ago and I can't get it out of my head. Everything in the film works brilliantly.

Ms T gets very annoyed by Keira Knightley (or it could be my reaction to Ms Knightley she gets annoyed about) but the fact is she is great in this film, and James McAvoy also deserves the awards he's going to win for his performance.

But the real star is the direction and editing which thrills you; it's a wonderful take on McEwan's book which I was planning to write about here too - then realised the Av Club had already done it, and masterfully into the bargain. Don't read Tasha Robinson's piece till you've seen the film and read the book because it's spoilertastic.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Own Private Oscars

I get fed up with Oscars; partly because they ignore films I've liked and partly because the ceremony is a thesp-fest involving obscenely wealthy celebs all patting each others egos like they've discovered the cure for cancer.

A lot of very good films never get so much as a nomination. Clockwork Orange for example, or It's A Wonderful Life. Some directors are passed over so frequently even the academy itself becomes embarrassed, and the auteur in question then has to be summoned for a 'career' award. The voting process is controlled by the less enlightened type of Americans, and yet it's supposed to in some way represent the best of an entire global artform.

Case rests.

Anyway here are my Hendofilm awards for the best I've seen this year, given that I've spent half of it on nights.

The Winners Are.....

Best film:

Best actor:
Sam Riley for his portrayal of Ian Curtis in the above Best Film.

Best supporting:
Sam Morton for her portrayal of Ian's wife, Deborah.

Best Director:
Joe Wright for Atonement

Best Documentary:
Boys from Baghdad

Special Categories

Best Celia Johnson Impression:
Keira Knightley in Atonement.

The Peter Jackson 'Return of the King' forgetting how to Edit Award:
Coen Brothers for their 'work' in No Country for Old Men

Chariots of Fire Award for pompous British Film:
Elizabeth, christ what a bore that was!

Ian McKellan Award for knackered actor in Indian Summer Career Phase:
Tommy Lee Jones

Philip Seymour Hoffman Being In Everything Award:
Philip Seymour Hoffman! For the eighth successive year!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Damn Fine Blog

Rachel has put me on the track of a fine blog that's recently appeared, written by a bloke who shares my visceral hatred of Jon Gaunt and Ryanair. It's called 'Bete de Jour' and it had me laughing out loud and applauding, and Miss T calling for support from the nurses. Go there, support him with comments, and hopefully he will keep writing.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Like having a Mistress

Supporting another side is a private hell. Guilt and Pleasure, mixed. Today I toddled off to Selhurst Park, so much was I missing footie, the ritual of pint, football, goals (maybe), curry.

I'd been debating it a while, then took the plunge and bought a ticket via the clubs website.

I sat near the goal, and to be frank, it was fun - more fun than the City of Manchester Stadium is, at times, thought not as much fun as Maine Rd was. I was sat right next to the goal at the front and its at ground level you get a real sense of the speed and athleticism of the players - awesome these days, these guys run and run.

And I started to respect the match officials - the game is so fast, no wonder they miss things. I don't envy them for a minute, and by the middle of the second half the Palace fans were really administering stick.

Infact I had a great time; way better than I had expected. I thought the footie was - as my Palace supporter friend predicted - not as tactical as in the Premiership. Yet you couldn't fault the energy and commitment of the players.

Palace have clearly been energised by Neil Warnock. Top scorer Clint Morrison ranged all over the place looking dangerous, and Bristol City basically resorted to playing Showunmi on his own up front - the Palace goalkeeper Speroni was tested but had a great game.

Palace got a lucky goal early on in the first half, but piled on the pressure in the second and were rewarded with a beautiful one headed in - not surprised the BCFC were upset although I didn't see the reported crowd trouble, so it must really have been handbags.

I snapped away with my phone and the results are here.

Footie aside I liked the family atmosphere and I get the impression the club is really going somewhere. I'd tip them for a play off place and yes, I'll be back.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

News at When? Ten again.

I've not had chance to sit down and watch ITN's return, and it could be argued that the best judgements can be made after a week or two has elapsed and the budget for launch exclusives has been spent.

But my former ITN colleague and super-academic Adrian Monck has whipped out his prince-nez, and here is his expert verdict.

..In My Absence.

My friends and I have a long standing joke that news happens when I go on my holidays. This 'curse of hendo' manifests itself in lots of ways, ie when Princess Di met her end Yours Truly was in Nashville, etc etc.

But this joke turned a bit sour this afternoon. I've been away for three days and returned to hear of the stabbing to death of a local shopkeeper, and a major police alert following the discharge of six bullets into the air outside my local convenience store.

Frightening, and very sobering. Ms T heard the shots from the second incident while sat watching the telly.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Falling back in Love with TV

I'd stopped watching television - actual broadcast television - almost altogether by the Summer of last year. I exclude from this statement the television I watch in the course of my duties . And I also exclude the amount of DVDs of TV series I also watch. Actual old fashioned TV was pretty much extinct from the Hendo-Sony.

But then the BBC came up with three things I couldn't take my eyes off.

- Strictly Dancing. Some people say Bruce Forsyth is past it. I'm not one; he presides over this live show, which lasts over an hour, and records another hour the same evening with hardly a slip. He is the presenter's pro. And he is 80!

- Cranford. Ensemble acting from the cream of British female actors. Fabulous fabulous fabulous.

- Sense and Sensibility. Last episode this Sunday; beautifully shot and great performances. Don't miss!

The BBC is back.