‘The Homesman’, a ‘homely’ woman and why I was bored with it all

Picture the scene: I invite round some friends, we order a nice take- away and watch a movie. Expectations run high as we choose the 2014 film 'The Homesman', starring and directed by Tommy Lee Jones, and also starring Hilary Swank and Meryl Streep. There's a good cast, a promising film, and critics are calling it the best …

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Snow Cake – Alan Rickman’s best film?

As the plaudits and praise rightly pile up about the late and impressive actor, Alan Rickman, people will ponder his best films. Of course, the blockbusting and memorable films such as 'Die Hard', 'Harry Potter', 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' and 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' will be high on most people's ratings. But I have seen …

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Iain Banks, Petina Gappah, Saul Bellow and me: a writing lesson

Most writers read a lot. I remember one of my brilliant tutors on my Master's course telling me I have an 'ear' for writing and I replied that I read all the time. She suggested the two weren't always connected, but I believe that good writers inspire good writers. To that end, I have just finished …

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