Great Britain

The Prom is the perfect antidote to the blues we’re all enduring at the moment


(12) 131 mins

WHAT we all need right now is some feel-good fun – covered from head-to-toe in a serious amount of glitter.

The Prom is the perfect antidote to the blues we’re all enduring at the moment. Like a shot of vitamin D, this all-singing, all-dancing, all-star cast movie will bring sunshine to your soul.

Meryl Streep and James Corden play Dee Dee Allen and Barry Glickman, two fading Broadway stars. Their new disastrous show has received shocking reviews and is cancelled on its opening night. They need something to save their ailing careers, fast.

While drinking with chorus-line trooper Angie (Nicole Kidman) and actor-turned-barman Trent (Andrew Rannells), they come up with a plan to turn things around and get some much-needed good publicity: publically helping a cause that’s creating a stir on Twitter.

Trending online is the story of gay teenager Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman) in small-town Indiana who is banned from attending her prom by the head of the PTA (Kerry Washington) because she wants to go with her girlfriend.

So disgruntled are the school’s parents that they shut the whole bash down completely, meaning all the pupils are furious with Emma.

Our camp and hilariously self-obsessed foursome shimmy to the hick town and enter a school meeting, declaring: “We are the liberals from Broadway!”

They then set about saving the prom — and changing the small minds of some of the town’s people. They do this with plenty of hilarious songs, dance sequences and a lot of sparkle.

Through doing this, the narcissistic luvvies discover plenty about themselves and find that, in helping others, they also help themselves.

Unbelievably, The Prom is based on the true story of a teenager in Mississippi in 2010. Initially, it was turned into a musical on Broadway and is now in the hands of Eat, Pray, Love director Ryan Murphy. And he deserves a standing ovation for this gem. While often corny, The Prom is relentlessly stylish with every scene sparkling and shimmering off the screen.

Although the subject of gay teens coming out is a delicate one, The Prom never feels too preachy or aggressively woke. And has some excellent one-liners that will have older audiences smirking, while the younger ones enjoy the tunes.

This fiercely fun film will leave you wanting an encore.



(PG) 90mins

LET’S face it, there is no better adaptation of Charles Dickens’ famous story than The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Many have tried to reach the heady heights of that joyful moment when Sir Michael Caine flings open his windows and shouts: “You boy, what day is this?” at a cute rabbit puppet. And many have failed.

And, sadly, this one is among them.

On paper, the cast sounds like a winter wonderland of A-listers: Carey Mulligan, Andy Serkis, Simon Russell Beale, Martin Freeman and Daniel Kaluuya.

But then you realise it’s VOICED by them.

And their voices are the strangely disengaged sounds that read the dialogue while you watch unknown actors mime and dance.

The bizarre format simply doesn’t work – having Bob Cratchit spinning around on a dusty-looking stage with CGI snow and the booming voice of Simon Russell Beale makes you feel anything but Christmassy. While there is clearly a clever idea somewhere in this film – and it’s a passion project for directors Jacqui and David Morris – the dance sequences simply aren’t slick enough, while the voiceovers make it clunky and disjointed.




(12A) 131mins

IF you think Citizen Kane is the greatest film of all time, you may well think Mank is a close second. And even if you don’t, you’ll probably still enjoy it a lot.

This labour of love, from Gone Girl director David Fincher, was written by his screenwriter dad Jack before his death in 2003.

The story is of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman), who is referred to as Mank. He is an often drunk genius who is laid up in bed after a car accident and has to dictate Citizen Kane to his secretary (Lily Collins) under the order of Orson Welles (Tom Burke).

During the opening credits it appears to be a love letter to 1930s Hollywood. But it quickly becomes a striking reality of the messy – and often ugly – film industry and highlights problems that are still around today. The filmmaking is beautiful, with a frequently frantic dialogue. It travels back and forth over Mank’s career and the events that created Kane.

All of this is shot in black and white and full to the brim with some superb performances from a hugely British cast, including Charles Dance and Tuppence Middleton.

Oldman is the standout gem in this pretty magical movie that will stand the test of time.


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