Sunday, 22 March 2015


Not sure you can get much uncooler than The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and a new Mark Knopfler album, but there it is. Two intelligent. enjoyable offerings to set against the harum-scarum of the rugby this weekend.  The first is of course not quite up to its predecessor, but Dev Patel is as irresistible as Richard Gere is to the elderly hotel residents.  There are perhaps too many threads; it seems to me that the important relationship is that between Dev Patel and Maggie Smith.  I'd have happily dropped Gere (not that he was bad, just his story superfluous) for more Smith and Patel.  Funny and touching, and utterly gorgeous to look at.

Mark Knopfler keeps making albums that last.  They are almost as rich lyrically as musically. They are modest, understated, and almost all MK's songs are about the world rather than himself - extremely rare in a form that loves its egos and fan-worship. When was the last time that Beryl Bainbridge and Basil Bunting had songs written for them on a pop album?

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