Movie Diary 4/8/2020

Sorry We Missed You (Ken Loach, 2019). The travails of a struggling modern family in Newcastle. It’s maybe very familiar material for Loach, but boosted by his (and screenwriter Paul Lavery’s) customary eye for telling detail, and the strength of a mostly inexperienced cast. (full review 4/10)

The Queen of Spades (Thorold Dickinson, 1949). A peculiar, very literary, yet decoratively stylish tale – based on a Pushkin story – with a vaguely Ophulsian feel. (If you’ve ever felt vaguely Ophulsian, go for it.) Anton Walbrook is in fine form as an Army officer whose obsession with gambling leads him to an old lady (Edith Evans) who may have made a bargain with the devil in exchange for the secret of winning at cards. Fine effects along the way, and supernatural undertones skillfully sounded. The interesting Yvonne Mitchell co-stars.

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