The fact 1963’s Billy Liar is classed as one of British cinemas ‘kitchen sink dramas’ makes it sound as if it’s going to be a dull, slice of ‘it’s grim up north’ verité, but it’s actually far more charming and funny than that. Indeed, while the way it’s shot and its working class roots are rather British New Wave, it as much hints towards the groovy cinema of the late 60s as it fits with the ‘angry young men’ cinema it’s often grouped with. Either way, it’s a great movie that’s been given a remarkably sharp brush-up for its 50th anniversary. [Read more…]
It’s interesting that after a 50-year acting career, Dustin Hoffman would decide that his directorial debut should be about British retirees, but considering the success of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, perhaps he’s onto something. Based on Ronald Harwood’s play, the film is about Cecily (Pauline Collins), Reggie (Tom Courteney) and Wilfred (Billy Connolly), who are in a home for retired opera singers. Every year, on October 10the, there is a concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday and they take part. Jean (Maggie Smith), who used to be married to Reggie, arrives at the home and disrupts their equilibrium. She still acts like a diva, but she refuses to sing. Still, the show must go on… and it does. The film is currently due out in the UK on January 4th, 2013.