Newsnight Review: Friday, 6 February, 2009
Here's Kirsty with details of what will be happening tonight in Newsnight Review:
I'll be joined by my guests Marina Hyde, Richard Coles and Ann Leslie and we'll explore the curious life of Benjamin Button, as told in David Fincher's Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Its technical wizardry (which defeated several other big name directors) puts Brad Pitt's head on various bodies so that we can see him live his life backwards in the company of Daisy (played by Cate Blanchett) who is living hers the right way round. The screenplay by Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) was embroidered from a slight fantasy tale by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and is a peculiar love-story-meets-Boys -Own-Adventure. And it's won 13 Oscar nominations.
If Spring Awakening sounds like the title of a joyous frolick, it is anything but. It's a Tony Award winning Broadway musical based on a dark story of sexual repression, rape, abuse and suicide, and it started out as a play by the German playwright Frank Wedekind. Such was the explicit nature of the material and its portrayal of sexually ravenous teenagers it was banned instantly in Britain and Germany when it was published in 1891. Now an indie-rock musical, the director Michael Mayer has brought the US production to London, but has cast British actors.
Lily Allen's second album It's not Me, It's You is full of pop songs about drugs, failed lovers, older men, and ... George Bush, in her trademark mockney, chatty voice. It sounds like the soundtrack to her life at the moment, or at least the life we know through her command of MySpace and her frequent appearances in the tabloids. It has some great tunes, and funny lyrics - she's a bit like a young (rich) Squeeze.
Meryl Streep is on a roll, with the frothy The Devil Wears Prada, the apparently irresistable Mamma Mia, and now an Oscar nomination for her part as Sister Aloysius in Doubt, directed by John Patrick Shanley from his screenplay of his 2004 Pulizter Prize winning stage play. Set in the 1960s in The Bronx, the formidable and forbidding nun is in charge of a church school, but is discomfitted when a charismatic priest arrives, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. She hears the suspicions of a young nun that the priest is engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a young boy and sets out to destroy him. Is she right, or wrong? I'll be talking to Meryl Streep (watch a special extended version here) and we'll be talking about the question of Doubt...
Do join us at 11pm.