A daily bulletin of news & opinion

22 May 2015

FILM: Carol

“Todd Haynes makes unhappiness beautiful and both those actors – Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara – are just impeccably excellent in these roles”

Tim Robey, film critic for ‘The Telegraph’

In a Cannes Film Festival special on The Monocle Arts Review this week, Tim Robey expressed his delight for American director Todd Haynes’s new adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt. The story tells the tale of two women, played by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, who flirt with controversy by becoming romantically involved in 1950s New York. It’s a strikingly mature and subtle approach of a timely topic and the exquisite attention to historic detail means the sets and wardrobe are worth the ticket price alone.

THEATRE: Death of a Salesman, London

“This is, I think, a career-defining performance”

Matt Wolf, theatre critic of ‘The International New York Times’

London’s Noël Coward Theatre is hosting director Gregory Doran’s new adaptation of revered US playwright Arthur Miller’s classic production Death of a Salesman. The story of salesman Willy Loman, whose existential crisis partly fuels the implosion of family life in middle America is handled ably by lead actor Antony Sher in a production that revels in the great drama found in small moments.

MUSIC: The Eurovision Song Contest

“If you sing in your own language, you are highly likely to lose. It’s a shame, but that’s how it works”

Fernando Augusto Pacheco, Monocle’s Eurovision expert

Vienna will be bursting onto TV screens at hastily organised parties this weekend as the Eurovision Song Contest returns to remind us all about what’s so bad it’s good in the international music scene. Serbia and Belgium have been tipped for big things by Monocle’s resident Eurovision expert (see: superfan) Fernando Augusto Pacheco, who will be reporting from the event. But this is Eurovision – expect some surprises.

BOOK: Walking Away by Simon Armitage

“It’s an absolute skill to write such a brilliant travel book as this – on a journey where nothing ever happens”

Mark Mason, writer

Simon Armitage is a British poet, essayist and broadcaster whose prose delivers the dry wit of his home county of Yorkshire through illuminating projects as diverse as the dramatisation of Homer’s Odyssey to recent writing collection Walking Home. In that book, Armitage walked the length of the UK’s Pennine Way – the 256 miles of hills that form the backbone of the nation, while reading poetry in return for places to lay his head. Now he’s back with a second volume, Walking Away, which takes the wandering poet to the rugged southwest coastline of Somerset, north Devon and Cornwall. As you can imagine for a poet, he sticks to the scenic route.


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