Episode 20

Image for Episode 20Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Episode 20 of 28

Duration: 30 minutes

Writer Nick Hornby joins Jonathan to discuss his script for An Education, a new British film predicted to be a contender for major awards.

Plus a location report from Michael Caine's upcoming urban drama, Harry Brown, and reviews of new releases including the thriller Dead Man Running and the animated feature, 9.



    There's next to nothing that's surprising about 'Dead Man Running', but equally very little that's disappointing.

    Straight out of the 'Does what it says on the tin' school of film-making, this is solid British gangster movie fare. If anything it just feels a little tired and familiar, an impression which even the frequent references to the current economic climate can't do very much to remove.

    Equally, it's not a film for connoisseurs of screen acting, but Danny Dyer and Tamer Hassan make a perfectly appealing pair of guns on the run, playing characters who I imagine aren't exactly a stretch for them. Likewise, Curtis 'Fiddy Cent' Jackson is working well within his compass as the 'Mr Big' who's the calm at the centre of this underworld storm - though it would have been an asset to the film if he'd been given more screen time.

    'Dead Man Running' is no masterpiece then, but by no means the weakest entry in the ranks of modern British gangster movies. And I suspect
    that if you look at the cast and storyline of the film and think that you might enjoy it, there's every chance that you will.



    '9' is a film which carries with it a certain level of expectation. The subject matter, and the involvement of distinctive talents such as Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov suggest that this should be a genuinely ambitious piece of animation.

    That's absolutely the case - but for all its attempts to provide Something different and thought-provoking among the modern deluge of animated features, '9' doesn't really deliver.

    The key shortcoming is that the film feels relentless - in its rhythm, its tone, and above all in its visual palette, as some relief from the greyness of the post-apocalyptic world would have been rather welcome.

    As the maestro Hayao Miyazaki has shown with work such as 'Nausicaa', it is possible for animated films to deal with serious themes while retaining a degree of playfulness and appealing to a mass public.

    Possible, but not easy. '9' is a bold effort to pull off that trick, but ends up falling between two stools, lacking in the humour or warmth which might appeal to adolescents, and in the weight which might make an impression on an older audience.


Jonathan Ross
Howard Brenner
Tom Webber


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.