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Food blogger and columnist Ms Marmite Lover rounds up the best books for cooks this Christmas

Henry Blake’s feature debut about a teenager groomed to sell drugs in a depressed seaside town is unrelentingly bleak but has depth, insight and visual impact

Enchanting re-imagining combines digital effects with dancers performing roles voiced by actors so you see Dickens’ fierce tale of social injustice afresh

Up-and-coming Islington R&B singer releases new single that chimes with the times

Ron Howard’s screen adaptation of J.D. Vance’s potentially interesting memoir about growing up poor, serves up the standard sentimental fare about family

Order seasonal bottles soon before the Christmas rush advises Ham&High wine expert Liz

You will want to avoid strange and controversial bottles but the Ham&High’s wine expert suggests wines from the UK, Italy and Chile can ring the festive bells

Unexpected second record grinds gloomy indie-pop from the bowels of lockdown.

The appeal of Jean-Luc Godard’s once revolutionary film is now painfully nostalgic but the crude and amateurish scenes retain a timeless magic

It’s not quite cinema but McQueen’s evocation of Police harassment and racial injustice in 1960s Notting Hill is compelling

Roy Andersson’s latest is all filler, no killer, but its refined vision is a pure distillation of humanity.

Kerstin takes inspiration from her former upstairs neighbour Medyan and his family’s restaurant in Willesden Green to cook two Syrian specialities

Film review The Human Voice

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Almodovar’s lockdown project is a half hour English language monologue about Tilda Switon’s jilted lover that feels like an exercise in acting for acting’s sake

Follow up to zombie classic Train To Busan is sentimental, with brain dead plotting annoying characters and too much CGI

Film review: Relic (15)

Thursday, October 22, 2020

There’s slow-burn tension and creeping unease in this domestic chiller about three generations of women in a ramshackle house, but is it style over substance?

Film review Shirley (15)

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Elisabeth Moss plays the agoraphobic depressive author of The House On Haunted Hill who develops a twisted relationship with a young couple come to stay

The National frontman’s alchemical swirls of dark lyricism and classic country soul make for an intoxicating debut.

Film review: The Climb

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

This American buddy comedy with European arthouse sensibilities starts at the peak and goes gently downhill but is the start of a promising double act from Covino and Marvin

Behind the scenes portrait of Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson working on his final film is for fans only - even the making of great films is a dull process

Debra Winger and Evan Rachel Wood star as mother and daughter grifters in a heist movie with no heists, random motivations, and familial bonds that don’t ring true

The programme include 59 features by the likes of Riz Ahmed and talks with David Byrne and movies starring Frances McDormand and Kate Winslet

Reality is collapsing and civilisation is ending, yet somehow Bill and Ted’s world still seems more benign than ours in a reboot that is charming but uninventive

Fourth record for US folk duo is imbued with sparkles of jazz, art-pop, soul and the American Songbook

Film review Mulan (12A)

Friday, September 4, 2020

Disney’s live action remake jettisons the songs and humour in favour of a spectacular if message-heavy earnest martial arts film about a girl who dresses as a boy to join the army

Film review La Haine (15)

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Mathieu Kassovitz’s trailblazing movie about racial division and police brutality in the Paris suburbs is a tremendous movie which worryingly hasn’t dated a bit

Postponed from its March opening, this musical version of the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie is the first fully-staged socially-distanced indoor theatre in town

After talking to two north London milkmen, Kerstin is inspired to make a ‘flower of the milk’ gelato and offers recipes for non-dairy oat and soya milk as substitutes

Despite a stellar cast and crew, this heavyweight adaptation of JM Coetzee’s novel is a ponderous allegory that says nothing new about the weakness of empire

Not the Victor Hugo musical but a darkly comic noir about a rural cop’s first day on his new beat patrolling a Parisian slum estate

This bank holiday weekend Frances is cooking flatbreads, aubergine and tomatoes on discs of fried bread and chicken wrapped in pancetta with a bean and corn salad

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