The Casual Vacancy
After selling 450 million copies of her Harry Potter books around the world, JK Rowling has now published her first novel for the adult market. Julie Myerson found The Casual Vacancy a really good read and very moving, well observed and very convincing. For Paul Morley this tale of social division and local government, set in the apparently idyllic, fictional West Country village of Pagford was "a very serious, 70s lefty sort of book". He thought Rowling was "unbelievably good at describing things". Natalie Haynes felt the last 200 pages were good but that the first 300 were in need of an edit. She had been put off by the publicity campaign which preceded publication but thought it did at least mean that everyone knew that the book contained swearing, sex and drugs!The Casual Vacancy
On The Road
The new film version of Jack Kerouac's On the Road is directed by Walter Salles and stars Sam Riley, Garett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst and Mad Men’s Elizabeth Moss. Natalie's always been irritated by the book so was "kind of dreading it but kind of liked it". She thought the two male leads were particularly good. It was more problematic for Paul: too slavish to the text, too decorative, like a commercial for the idea of being a teenager. To be faithful to the book, he said, you can't be faithful to the text. Julie agreed, pointing out that it suffers from the fact that there's no drama. Ironically, for a book called On the Road, there's no journey.On The Road
The Turner Prize 2012
The panel assessed the four artists short-listed for this year's Turner Prize. Natalie couldn't shake the belief that Paul Noble's drawings of the fictional cityscape of Nobson Newtown were a spoof by the makers of Viz Comic. Julie found them empty and lifeless. Paul thought All Divided Selves, Luke Fowler's film about the psychiatrist RD Laing, was tremendous and showed how a great mind should be explored in film. Julie agreed that it was a moving exploration of human fragility and vulnerability but, given its 90 minute running time, would have preferred to have seen it in a cinema.Turner Prize 2012
Natalie found it impossible not to like Spartacus Chetwynd's performance art work as she's so happy and sincere but it prompted Paul to make a quick exit from the gallery. For
Julie, Elizabeth Price's film The Woolworth's Choir of 1979 was "one of the most original, startling, eerie, strange, upsetting, beautiful and elating things" she'd ever seen. Natalie thought it beautiful and harrowing. In a rare moment of unanimity, Elizabeth Price was the favourite of all three panellists.
The Turner Prize is awarded on 3 December and the exhibition runs at Tate Britain until 6 January.
Arena: The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour Revisited
A new Arena documentary prefaced a screening of The Beatles' 1967 psychedelic road movie Magical Mystery Tour. For Paul, the film jammed together English variety and European avant-garde and with hindsight looked like a distorted autobiography of four boys from Liverpool who had, by then, earned creative freedom. Julie found the documentary rather thin, though thought it shed an interesting light on the film which felt "padded and pretty dreadful" except when The Beatles were playing. Inveterate Beatles-hater Natalie could find nothing good to say about it and thought even the set pieces were lamentable. She was unpersuaded by Paul's assertion that everything she loved in popular culture would not have happened had the Beatles not opened the door. Image: copyright Apple Films Ltd.Arena
James Bond at 50
50 years after the release of the first Bond film, Dr No, we considered the theme tune to the forthcoming film Skyfall, sung by Adele. Paul would have preferred to hear Morrissey or Susan Boyle on the soundtrack and still ranked Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger as his top Bond tune. Adele did at least pass Natalie's test for any aspiring Bond theme singer: could she sing Goldfinger karaoke at her aunt's wedding? Apparently she could.
Image: CUBBY BROCCOLI, SEAN CONNERY, IAN FLEMING and HARRY SALTZMAN study a map of Jamaica. © 1962 Danjaq, LLC & United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved
Featuring catchy joyful classics such as Relax (Take It Easy) and Grace Kelly, Mika’s debut album, Life in Cartoon Motion, sold over 5 million copies and earned him a Brit Award and a Grammy nomination. His second album sold yet more millions, and now his new album, The Origin of Love, which is released on Monday, promises more perfectly-pitched pop. Tonight Mika performs a track from the album live in The Review Show studio.Mika
- Kirsty Wark
- Natalie Haynes
- Paul Morley
- Julie Myerson
- Executive Producer
- Tanya Hudson