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The Aids Memorial

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Par Wendy Ide - 4 mn

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From top: ‘scope and savagery’ in Mike Leigh’s epic Peterloo; Keira Knightley, ‘pitched several octaves higher than usual’ in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms; and Rose Byrne and Chris O’Dowd, ‘persuasive’ in Juliet, Naked.

Peterloo
(154 mins, 12A) Directed by Mike Leigh; starring Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell

There are two key things one takes from Mike Leigh ’s impassioned account of the events leading up to and including the Peterloo massacre in Manchester on 16 August 1819 . First, there’s a chance we may have underestimated Leigh as a director. The scope and savagery of the magnificent final act, as harrowing in its way as the conclusion to Paul Greengrass’s Bloody Sunday , are a world away from the wry intimacy of much of Leigh’s other work. That’s not to denigrate the other films, more to point out that perhaps there are other, bigger stories that he could have been telling. The other takeaway is how depressingly closely the situation of these ordinary working ...