Marriage, Italian style

Vittoria de Sica’s film is wonderfully intense and brilliantly performed by Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren.

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Nicol Williamson is hilarious as Arturo Ui, the gangster who ruthlessly corners the cauliflower market in Chicago as a prelude to dominating the trade throughout America in Bertolt Brecht’s allegorical tale of Hitler’s rise to power.

They Came to Cordura

Gary Cooper plays Major Tom Thorn – ‘a sort of Homer on horseback. Galloping around the country looking for bravery in battles’ – in Robert ‘Alexander the Great’ Rossen’s first-rate Western with a magnificent cast, including Gary Cooper, Rita Hayworth, Richard Conte and Van Heflin.

City Hall

Predictable and self-righteous, but Al Pacino tears it up as flawed New York mayor John Pappas.

A Simple Plan

Good crime drama in the spirit of John Huston, the terrible and ultimately self-destructive lengths people will go to in pursuit of money and what it purports to offer. Bridget Fonda is great as Lady Macbeth.

The Road

Apocalypse Porn. Film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel is relentlessly grim and depressing. In fact, so grim and depressing that it almost parodies itself and becomes funny. To make matters worse, there’s even a heavy dose of sentimentality.