DVDs of the week
UNDER THE WIRE (15) ****
Dir: Christopher Martin
With: Paul Conroy, Edith Bouvier Runtime: 95 minutes
WHEN everyone who could manage it was getting out of the Syrian city of Homs, Sunday Times war reporter Marie Colvin and photographer Paul Conroy were heading in. Christopher Martin’s superb documentary shows what happened next in gripping detail, much of it revealed here for the first time. Through interviews with Conroy and others, a picture emerges of the bravery of Syrians suffering under Assad, and the sheer courage of those journalists, Colvin to the fore, who insisted on getting the story out to the world. Unmissable.
GFT until September 10, with Martin and Conroy Q&A tonight
PUZZLE (15) ***
Dir: Marc Turtletaub
With: Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan Runtime: 103 minutes
CHOSEN as the Edinburgh Film Festival’s opening gala and now receiving a well-deserved wider release, Scots star Kelly Macdonald quietly steals the picture from everyone else in this romantic drama about a suburban wife and mother’s mid-life reawakening courtesy of, er, jigsaws. Charming performances from Macdonald and Irrfan Khan as a fellow puzzle enthusiast are compensation enough for the far-fetched story and the two-dimensional nature of the other characters.
man/accountant, more than pull their weight. Ann Dowd, aka Aunt Lydia from The Handmaid’s Tale, takes another supporting part, the librarian, and turns it into something memorable.
The plotters constantly reference movies to get their points across to each other, even giving themselves Reservoir Dogs-style codenames. They could do with reading a few books: the irony of it. In time to come, given what a success Layton makes of his film, one can see other directors doing an “American Animals” with a story. It would be the ultimate compliment to an outstanding picture.
The would-be book thieves try out their disguises. ‘Being old is the closest thing to being invisible,’ reckons one Marie Colvin, armed only with a notebook, at work in Syria