Tom Jennings's blog

The Street, series 3, by Jimmy McGovern, BBC 1

The final series of The Street demonstrates the possibilities and limitations of its form – both of which may now disappear from television drama

Frozen River, directed by Courtney Hunt

This heartfelt debut film about dodgy decisions prompted by force of circumstance is several cuts above standard American independent cinema fare

Looking For Eric, directed by Ken Loach

Genre-bending postmodern agitprop, or hamfisted hackneyed magic realism? Tom Jennings reckons responses to Looking For Eric depend on how generous you’re feeling

Speech Therapy, by Speech Debelle (Big Dada Records)

This impressive UK hip-hop album is distinctive in both lyrical and musical humility, but with skills to spare

Wendy and Lucy, directed by Kelly Reichardt

This beautifully judged rites of passage (non-) shaggy dog story combines searing critique with genuine pathos.

State of Play, directed by Kevin Macdonald

State of Play’s pretensions to contemporary relevance break down into a bungled bog-standard retro-romp, finds Tom Jennings

In the Loop, directed by Armando Iannucci

Venturing out of Westminster reveals the limits of The Thick Of It’s satire, concludes Tom Jennings

Endgame, written by Paula Milne, Channel 4

Fact-based South African television drama? Emphatically not, says Tom Jennings

Five Minutes of Heaven, by Guy Hibbert, BBC 2

Tom Jennings is disappointed, but not surprised, at this drama reducing the legacy of the North of Ireland Troubles to personal therapeutics.

The Wire, by David Simon and Ed Burns, BBC 2

Tom Jennings endorses the accolades accorded to ground-breaking American TV drama The Wire – but with reservations.

The Red Riding trilogy, based on novels by David Peace, Channel 4

Tom Jennings detects much of the hellish intensity of David Peace’s ‘Yorkshire noir’ in Red Riding[’s television adaptations, but with its most subversive elements lost

The Dream of Fluxus, by George Macuinas

The Baltic’s recent Fluxus show can’t entirely conceal the radical ambition and potential of avant-garde art, finds Tom Jennings.

Amber Films and UK social-realist cinema

Tom Jennings questions the documentary claims of film fictions of lower-class life.

The Given Day, by Dennis Lehane

Aspiring to reveal the long roots of 20th century America’s fantasies of itself, Lehane’s new book nails some while reproducing others. Boston Mendacity Party.

9 Songs, dir. Michael Winterbottom, 2005. Film review

Review of 9 Songs, the ‘dirtiest film ever shown in Britain’.