Tag Archive: julian jarrold


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Dir. Julian Jarrold
(2012, TV-14, 91 minutes)

HBO’s The Girl is a stark contrast to the recent theatrical film Hitchcock. Both are about the legendary director and take place not far apart from each other; Hitchcock, which covered the making of Psycho, could lead almost directly into this film, which is about the projects that immediately followed: The Birds and Marnie. The films are more interesting considered together than they are on their own because of how markedly different they are, showing portraits of one artist as two distinctly different men, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Both portrayals can’t be entirely accurate, though I won’t try to parse biographical truths from dramatic licenses.

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Dir. Julian Jarrold
(2011, Not Rated, 135 min)

What intrigues me about this film as an American viewer is its dramatization of a unique aspect of the British legal system. The title refers to a person enlisted to accompany a child or vulnerable adult during police investigations to ensure his rights during questioning. If no such person is available – such as a parent, guardian, or family member – a civilian volunteer may be recruited for the task. That’s what happened in the case of Fred West, who in 1994 was arrested on suspicion of murder and eventually confessed to nearly a dozen killings dating back to the 1970s. As a precaution, Janet Leach, a student of social work, was brought in to counsel him.

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Dir. Julian Jarrold, James Marsh, and Anand Tucker
(2010, Not Rated, 303 min)
★ ★

The Red Riding trilogy, consisting of three films spanning nine years of institutionalized corruption in Northern England, is like a David Fincher crime saga without the benefit of David Fincher. It’s as grim, chilly, and obsessive as Zodiac, but without the same creative discipline. Stylistically it’s overcooked, and its plot is a convoluted soup of absurd conspiracies and secrets; at one point, there’s a Cosa Nostra-style confab to announce the dastardly building of a shopping mall, and the conspirators raise their glasses for a toast: “To the North, where we do what we want!” In 2007, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg made Hot Fuzz, an inspired parody of police-movie clichés. Red Riding is what they were making fun of.

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