“Three and Out,” directed by Jonathan Gershfield

Movie, 2008 British romcom, in which a tube driver contrives to involve himself in a third fatal accident in order to get paid off and out of his job. Not the worst premise and not the absolute worst film in the world, but neither is this a standout, with some fairly flat acting, scripting and a pitch and situations which never quite feel believable, and … Continue reading “Three and Out,” directed by Jonathan Gershfield

“The Wave”, directed by Dennis Gansel

Movie, 2008 A largely powerful, provocative film looking at an experiment in a political science class that mushrooms and takes on a life of its own. While this is a bold idea – particularly as a German film reflecting on dictatorship – and while the film is based, in part, on an experiment which took place in a Californian school, the film loses a little … Continue reading “The Wave”, directed by Dennis Gansel

“The Baader Meinhof Complex”, directed by Uli Edel

Movie, 2008 A good looking, gritty film charting the rise and fall of the Baader Meinhof gang’s main protagonists. The core of the film is engaging, with great detail and performances, though round the edges, there’s a hint of confusion. The film’s focus wavers a little between character studies and interplay, socio-political history and the narrative stretches, particularly when it comes to the rush through … Continue reading “The Baader Meinhof Complex”, directed by Uli Edel

"Olive Kitteridge," by Elizabeth Strout

Novel, 2008 A novel, musing and reporting on a woman’s transition from happy if rather stolid middle age into old age, and how her New England small town community goes with her. The eponymous heroine is the focus if not always at the centre of each narrative, which piece together and look at how her relationships to her family develop and her habits and social … Continue reading "Olive Kitteridge," by Elizabeth Strout

"The Reader", directed by Stephen Daldry

Movie, 2008 Rather fraught, gloomy and affecting film, humanising an SS concentration camp guard and telling of her downfall through the eyes of a lover she briefly takes after the war. While there’s not much in the way of subtlety or surprise here, an atmosphere of decay and the struggle to rebuild is beautifully evoked through settings and acting. Ultimately, this is a tough film … Continue reading "The Reader", directed by Stephen Daldry