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tv   Review 2018  BBC News  December 26, 2018 8:30pm-9:00pm GMT

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hello this is bbc news with ben brown. the headlines. president trump makes an unannounced trip to us troops in iraq — just days after his defence secretary resigned over american strategy in the region. japan confirms it will restart commercial whale hunting injuly — defying an international ban. despite queues for the boxing day sales — the number of people visiting the high street today falls for the third year in a row. president putin witnesses the final test of a hyper—sonic missile which he says can penetrate any missile defence system. sister wendy beckett — the nun who became famous around the world as an art historian and broadcaster has died at the age of 88. those are our headlines. now on bbc news — it's time to take a front row seat as mark kermode gives his view on the big releases of the year — in review 2018: the year in film.
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hello and welcome to this review of the year in film. i'm mark kermode. we are here at the cinema museum in south london and, over the next 30 minutes, i'll be looking back at some of the best movies released in uk cinemas in 2018, from the blockbusters to the hidden gems. as always, the year kicked off with awards season, with top oscar prizes spread a wide range of titles. frances mcdormand won best actress for three billboards outside ebbing missouri. gary oldman earned a belated best actor oscar for playing winston churchill in darkest hour. and the best film and best director gongs went to guillermo del toro‘s magical fantasy, the shape of water, one of my favourite films of the last ten years. contenders for the forthcoming 91st
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academy awards are shaping up to be equally wide—ranging. the front—runner in the best picture race is a star is born, the fourth incarnation of this timeless screen story in which leading man bradley cooper makes his directorial feature debut. in the best actress category, lady gaga is also highly tipped, while the year's enduring earworm, shallow, looks like a dead cert for the best original song nomination. # i'm off the deep end, watch as i dive in.
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# i'll never meet the ground. but there are plenty of other movies which could derail a star is born's winning streak. he's been working for a black man. you and the deep south. there's going to be problems. green book doesn't open in the uk until february 2019, but peter farrelly‘s ‘60s set drama about african american pianist don shirley and his italian—american driver bodyguard tony vallelonga, aka tony lee, has awards—friendly fare written all over it. french connection director william friedkin has already named it the most moving film of the year, and personally i wouldn't go that far, but i did enjoy the film, which features great performances from viggo mortensen and mahershala ali, the latter of whom won a supporting actor oscar for the 2017 best picture winner moonlight. so if i'm not black enough and i'm not white enough, then tell me what am i!
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other front runners that won't here until next year include include big short director adam mckay's vice, in which christian bale stars as dick cheney, and if beale street could talk, the latest from moonlight director barryjenkins. also in the mix is alfonso cuaron's roma, an extraordinary black and white drama inspired by memories of the director's own childhood, and set in the titular neighbourhood of mexico city in the early 70s. the fact that roma is currently being touted as a best picture contender — it topped sight and sound's poll of best film of 2018 — is significant, because as it's backed by netflix it would become the focus of some cineaste scented ire. back in april, netflix pulled roma
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from the cannes festival after they imposed a competition ban on films which didn't have a proper theatrical release, and it went on to win the golden lion at venice after cannes missed out. other high—profile netflix—backed films from 2018 include the coen brothers portmanteau the ballad of buster scruggs and paul greengrass's harrowing docudrama 22 july, about the neo—nazi killings which shook norway in 2011. despite limited theatrical screenings, these films were part of a growing group of movies, which this year also included andy serkis's mowgli, alex garland's annihilation and duncanjones's mute whose primary audiences are watching at home, which raises the question — are they still movies? some see this as a battle between cinema and television, with netflix stealing away films from theatres and fans losing out in the process, but like it or not this
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is the future, a future in which screens big and small will have to learn to live together, and it's up to the audience whether they want to watch a movie at home or in the cinema. watch this space. elsewhere at cannes, the palme d'or went to japanese film—maker hirokazu koreeda for his new film shoplifters, which opened here in november, while spike lee's attention—grabbing black klansman took the grand prix. there's never been a black cop in this city. we think you might be the man to open things up around here. hello? this is ron stallworth calling. who am i speaking with? this is david duke. grand wizard of the ku klux klan. that david duke? last time i checked. what can i do for you? based on ron stallworth‘s autobiographical book, black klansman is a stranger
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than fiction tale starring john david washington as the african—american detective who infiltrates the ku klux klan with the help of hisjewish colleague, played by adam driver. i think it's lee's best work since his oscar—nominated 1997 documentary four little girls, combining the stylistic slickness of 25th hour and the controversial potential of bamboozled. it was produced by the team behind get out and, like that film, it slips seamlessly from borderline absurdist humour to all too real horror. black klansman opened in the uk in august, six months after marvel‘s black panther helped change the whitewashed face of the modern superhero blockbuster. directed and co—written by ryan coogler, who made fruitvale station and creed, black panther was one of the best looking and most entertaining comics based movies in years. marvel scored another blockbuster hit this year
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with avengers: infinity war, the first instalment in an intergalactic mash—up that brought together characters from across the marvel cinematic universe. the film ended on a downbeat cliffhanger, which left fans wondering about the fate of their favourite superheroes. you'll have to wait until spring 2019 for the release of avengers: endgame to discover what becomes of the brokenhearted. black panther and avengers: infinity war both became record—breaking money spinners, finding favour with audiences and critics alike. other tent pole releases of 2018 included jurassic world: fallen kingdom, which took over $1.3 billion worldwide, despite downbeat reviews, which called it the weakest instalment in the already rather uneven series. a similar criticalfate awaited fantastic beasts: crimes of grindelwald, the second in the ongoing harry potter prequel franchise. despite being written by novelist turned screenwriterjk rowling herself, the film suffered
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from a superfluity of confusing plot exposition, which many critics, myself included, found rather less than magical. there were less than stellar reviews, too, for solo, deadpool 2 and antman and the wasp, all of which nevertheless turned a healthy profit, proving once again that critics really don't influence box office. despite endless whingeing from hollywood producers about how damaging bad reviews can be, the figures prove otherwise. which way? turn left! go, go! what are you waiting for? i'm jumping out of a window! sorry. good luck! personally, one of my favourite blockbusters of 2018 was mission impossible: fallout, the sixth instalment in the tv series spinoff in which tom cruise famously broke his ankle in pursuit of our entertainment, and what top—notch entertainment it was. directed by chris mcquarrie, fallout is a real edge of your seat treat,
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boasting superbly choreographed action set pieces that leave you breathless. mission impossible: fallout also looked spectacular, thanks in no small part to mcouarrie's use of 35mm, a format which continues to be a film—maker's favourite, despite claims that it would die out in the digital age. for first man, the story of the 1969 moon landing, damien chazelle and cinematographer linus sandgren used a variety of film formats as they followed ryan gosling's neil armstrong from earthbound grief to extra terrestrial resolution. sandgren shot the up close and personal home scenes on hand—held 16mm, then shifted to 35mm for the industrial nasa sequences, before moving to the stark imax clarity of 65 mill for the expensive silence of the moon scapes. self—appointed space force cheerleader donald trump
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refused to watch first man, on the grounds that it didn't feature a rousing flag planting scene, something he called a terrible thing. away from the blockbuster market, it's the smaller, more offbeat releases that made 2018 so interesting. my own favourite films released in the uk this year included jeune femme, the debut feature from leonor serraille, who won ballon d'or at cannes back in 2017. laetitia dosch dazzles in this superbly sympathetic and slightly comedic portrait of a young woman on the verge, pinballing around paris in search of an identity. writer—director serraille describes the film as a tale of metamorphosis
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from a girl into a woman, from object to that of a subject. i just thought it was a terrific movie. let me give you a tip. you want to make some money here? use your white voice. my white voice? i'm talking about will smith white, like this young fellow. hey, mr kramer. this is super real of you. there were rave reviews, too, for sorry to bother you, the low—budget debut feature from musician turned film—maker boots riley, which became a classic sundance assisted indie hit. la keith stanfield stars as the telesales operative who finds himself having to sell modern slavery, with results that range from the comedic to the horrific. music: rock around the clock. i also loved cold war,
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pawel pawlikowski's award—winning black and white feature, inspired by and dedicated to his parents. a love story about a star—crossed couple falling together and apart through the iron curtain of post—war europe, cold war takes us from poland to the streets of east berlin, to paris and yugoslavia over 15 turbulent years. the result is a swooning, searing, polish—british—french co—production that unexpectedly put me in mind of casablanca or la la land, as reimagined. a reminder of the fundamental things that apply as time goes by. there was a musical slant too to two of the year's strangest releases. indeed, 2018 may well be remembered as the year that
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dancing became deadly. in gaspar noe's climax, a dance troupe descend into drug—addled delirium, leading to a highly choreographed orgy of destruction that at times resembles the notorious scenes from ken russell's infamous 70s masterpiece the devils. climax is purportedly based on a true story, although its trancelike stew of contorting, crumbling witness hooks like it was torn straight from noe's twisted imagination. significantly, provocative posters for the film played up the director's controversial credentials, screaming, you despised i stand alone, you hated irreversible, you loathed into the void, you cursed love. now try climax. accompanied by an image of the film—maker raising a glass with a demonic grin. for all its insane excesses, i really liked climax. i was less keen on suspiria, luca guadagnino's remake
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of dario argento's classic 70s shocker about an american dancer who comes to a european academy, where she uncovers witchy secrets. while argento's dreamy fantasia possessed an abstract, timeless quality, this version fixates on the specifics of the 1977 berlin setting. at two and a half hours, a whole hour longer than the argento original, this tests its audience's patience, although you can't fault the dance sequences, which are dazzlingly demonic. indeed, 2018 proved another good year for horror in general, with fans and critics fawning over hereditary, although personally i preferred a quiet place, not least because i witnessed a rowdy movie theatre falling into dead silence as emily blunt went head—to—head with alien invaders. michael myers is a human being who killed his sister when he was six years old, then he came after you. we just want to know why.
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we want a glimpse inside his mind. michael myers murdered five people. and he's a human being we need to understand. they are transferring him. tomorrow, 7:00. he'll be locked away until the end of his days. that's the idea. in october, a new incarnation of halloween brought the long—standing fright franchise right up to date, with jamie lee curtis reprising the role of laurie, halloween 2018 garnered the biggest ever opening weekend figure for a horror film with a female lead, and the biggest ever debut for any film with a female lead over 55. curtis, who also acted as executive producer, described the new halloween as a tale of female empowerment for the #metoo age, chiming with the time in which women are trying to take back the narrative in their own life from men who have abused them. michael's here. get downstairs. go, baby, go! although change is slow, it does seem that the film industry
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is at least starting to become less of a boy's own club. many of the best films released here in 2018 were directed by women, such as lynne ramsey's brilliant anti—thriller you were never really here, which opened in the uk in march. they said you were brutal. ican be. other personal favourites included gholam, the haunting debut from mitra tabrizian set in london's iranian community during the arab spring of 2011. shahab hosseini is terrific as the nocturnal minicab driver who has no desire to re—enter the battles of the past, but the plight of a trinidadian woman whose neighbourhood is being terrorised by young white thugs spurs him to unexpected action, rekindling a lost spark. if there are women present, cover yourselves now!
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irish director nora toomey and screenwriter anita doran also scored a hit with the breadwinner, a brilliant animated adaptation of deborah ellis's much loved novel. a tale of youthful fortitude in taliban—era afghanistan, the breadwinner has something of the defiant feminist spirit of the french iranian gem persepolis. an international co—production from the studio behind song of the song of the sea, the breadwinner was my favourite animation of the year. you good then? you got everything under control, right? baby burbles. what the...? cookie, want a cookie? cha—cha want a cookie? cookie? oh, my god! in terms of box office, the year's runaway animated success
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turned out to be the incredibles 2, a rip—roaring romp with added attack, but beneath the eye—catching retro designs and the slapstick adventure, the incredibles 2 also took timely swipes at gender and equality, family stress and the modern triumph of salesmanship over substance, very much a movie for our times. chief? time to go hunting. meanwhile, early man took viewers back to prehistoric times and the birth of the beautiful game. released in the run—up to the world cup, this stop motion gem was described as dodgeball meets gladiator by nick park, here taking his first solo director credit on a full—length feature. since the early days of wallace and gromit, park has become something of a national treasure, a multiple oscar winner who's been courted by hollywood studios but who retained a quintessentially british sense of humour. you stay. i don't want to attract attention. in captivity, i go insane.
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other home—grown successes this year included beast, a dark mix of fairy tale and psycho chiller set onjersey. rising starsjessie buckley and johnny flynn provided visible spark that fires the story, a game of psychological cat and mouse in which desire and danger, innocence and guilt are intriguingly intertwined. how can you ask me that? it's a very impressive feature debut from writer—director michael pearce, a name to watch in future. i also loved lek and the dogs, the latest feature from that magnificent british maverick andrew kotting. inspired by hattie naylor‘s play, it draws on the true life story of a young boy who lived rough on the streets of moscow, where he was befriended by a pack of feral dogs. while you may well have struggled to find a cinema
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showing lek and the dogs, you can hardly avoid mamma mia: here we go again. back in 2008, phyllida lloyd's original mamma mia became a home—grown hit, famously outperforming titanic at the uk box office. there is a sly dig at titanic in parker's prequel—sequel hybrid, which proved every bit as head spinningly delightful as its ramshackle predecessor. williejones plays the young donna, graduating from oxford before heading off on an endless holiday wherein she'll try on a pair dungarees and a trio of handsome suitors. meanwhile, in the present, sophie is striving to fulfil her mother's vision and yes, she had a dream, with renovated hotel belladonna, while wrestling with the prospect of history repeating itself on this idyllic island. how could you resist? i mentioned earlier that critics don't affect box office, something that was proven at the beginning of the year when the huthackman musical
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the greatest showman became a huge popular hit despite some savagely stinking notices from know—nothing reviewers, like me. # we will rock you... and it was proven again towards the end of the year, as bohemian rhapsody drew raspberries from critics while earning rapturous responses from audiences. love it or loathe it, personally i loved it, there was no debating the brilliance of rami malek‘s central performance, which brought freddie mercury to the screen with uncanny accuracy. # thunderbolts... do it again. one more. how many more galileos do you want? roger, there's only room in this band for one hysterical queen. my own personal favourite film of the year was not a box office smash and if you missed it on its theatrical run, i'd urge you to seek out on dvd. it's called leave no trace, and it's directed by deborah granwick, who made winters bone. the tale of a father and daughter living off grid in the promise
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of the pacific northwest, this pitch perfect drama is as understated as it is overwhelming. dad! dad. on the documentary front, i was overwhelmed by they shall not grow old, in which peterjackson used cutting edge technology to breathe new life into 100—year—old footage from world war i. it's a powerful and humanist work, bringing us closer to those who fought in the great war in this, the armistice centenary year. looking forward to 2019, january kicks off with the uk release of the favourite, the oscar—tipped latest from yorgos lanthimos, which has already picked up a bunch of golden globe nominations, including best actress for olivia colman and supporting actress nods for emma and rachel weisz.
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let's shoot something. i'll leave you with a spoonful of something from a movie currently playing in uk cinemas, mary poppins returns. have a practically perfect christmas and a very happy new year. where did you get that kite? i found it in the park. she kept it from blowing away. mary poppins! close your mouth, please, michael, we are still not a codfish. jane baggs, still rather inclined to giggle, i see. good heavens! it really is you! you seem hardly to have aged at all. really! how incredibly rude. one never discusses a woman's age, michael. i thought i'd taught you better. i'm sorry, i don't... you came back! i thought we'd never see you again. it's wonderful to see you.
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yes, it is, isn't it? good evening. it may not have been a white christmas but it wasn't always a particularly bright christmas either. many of us have had large amounts of clouds to contend with. this is how it looked earlier on. this is how it looked earlier on. this boxing day. from a weather watcher in derbyshire. for the next few days more of the same on the way. mostly drive but often quite cloudy. high pressure is still with us, sitting down to the south. frontal system steps across the far north, the british isles a little bit of patchy rain. generally a waste of south—westerly flow there across the country. that continues to bring mild conditions. generally rather cloudy conditions through the night. some mist and merck and hill fog and drizzle. southern england in the south of wales, the sky clears a
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little bit through the night. this will turn it a bit chilly, towns and cities maybe three or 4 degrees. in the countryside there could be a touch of frost. also something a little clearer building across the northeast of scotland. in these areas northeast scotland or south of england and south wales are likely to see some sunshine during tomorrow although for the seven areas it could be some dense fog patches is to start off. those were generally large areas of cloud. that ground—breaking ability during the day, perhaps for northeast england for example, some sunny quinces here. those temperatures around where they have been, 9—12d. on thursday night it will be that mixture of low cloud, mist and a little bit of drizzle. some fog patches developing. a similar story for many on friday. but a weak front works his way across scotland, a bit of patchy rain at times. as that clears away these guys should clear a little bit. we will see some sunshine for northern ireland and mother england. further south more cloud, generally high, highs of the ninth — 11 degrees. pressure a
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familiarfriend by ninth — 11 degrees. pressure a familiar friend by now. ninth — 11 degrees. pressure a familiarfriend by now. still sitting in place down here to the south. however this frontal system approaching northern parts of the uk could bring some slightly heavier rain. the potential for could bring some slightly heavier rain. the potentialfor a fairly could bring some slightly heavier rain. the potential for a fairly wet today across scotland on saturday. some of that rain into northern ireland and perhaps northern england, a bit of insurgency about that. the further south you look generally cloudy, generally dry and it will be milder on saturday. maybe 12 degrees. for the last two days of 2018 we stick with the same thing, a lot of dry weather and a lot of cloud, some spells of sunshine and generally it will be mild. this is bbc world news today. i'm ben bland. our top stories: president trump makes a surprise christmas visit to us troops in iraq — his first trip to a conflict zone nearly two years into his presidency. japan confirms it will resume commercial whale hunting next year, in defiance at a global ban, and they'll leave the organisation
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that aims to protect whales. president putin says russia is ready to deploy a new hypersonic nuclear missile which he claims can penetrate existing defence systems. and the tv star and art critic sister wendy beckett dies aged 88. the roman catholic nun rose to internationalfame in the ‘90s after presenting art shows on the bbc.
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