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Film: Liberal Arts

Radnor is Jesse, an academic and bookworm struggling with how his life has turned out as a college admissions clerk. Asked by his favourite professor to return to the grounds of his educational enlightenment for the teacher’s retirement,

Jesse finds himself smitten with Elizabeth Olsen’s 19-year-old student Zibby, who reinvigorates his lust for life and opens up a few home truths for him, too.

An acting-your-age rather than coming-of-age tale, it offers insights into the anxieties of the teen finding themselves in the world, the 35-year-old wondering where his youth, and all its promise, has gone, and the retirement-facing academic (Richard Jenkins), who’s worried he may have become institutionalised and won’t have a place in the world outside of academia. 

Starring: Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins | 12A | 97mins

 

Film: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Emma Watson continues life after Hogwarts with this US-set high school drama, about three kids struggling with life, love and below-average grades.

It’s not a massive move away from Hermione, although set in a very different school, but with roles in Seth Rogen’s upcoming apocalypse comedy and Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, she’ll be past these characters soon.

 On general release Oct 5

Film: Taken 2

Liam Neeson is back as the world’s most intimidating father, a one-man CIA-trained army who you definitely do not want to cross.

Sadly, yet another group of kidnap-happy foreigners learn this the hard way and end up feeling the wrath of Ireland’s famous son.

Seriously, this is a man who punched a wolf – in another movie, admittedly – but still, don’t mess with him!

 On general release from October 4

Comedy: Tony Law: Maximum Nonsense

This Canadian surrealist brings his Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated show to London for a brief, whatever-you-do-don’t-miss-it run.

Oddball, obtuse, deliriously unconventional, yet accessible and, most importantly, very funny, Law’s take on stand-up and what it can and should be is truly unique. Don’t miss out here.

Soho Theatre
21 Dean Street, W1D 3NE.
Oct 4-6. £12.50
Tube | Oxford Circus 
sohotheatre.com

 

Theatre: Hedda Gabler

Faced with a future of relentless tedium in a joyless marriage, Hedda’s (Sheridan Smith) destructive instincts resurface – initially in spiteful insults and then something far more tragic in this darkly humorous 19th-century domestic drama.

Legally Blonde star Smith is on impressive form. 

Old Vic
The Cut, SE1 8NB. Until Nov 10. £11+
Tube | Waterloo 
oldvictheatre.com

Theatre: Three Sisters

Aussie Benedict Andrews’ unorthodox adaptation of Chekhov’s 1901 classic – about three sisters longing for a return to their beloved Moscow – is moving, different (this production boasts a remote controlled helicopter and the symbolic dismantling of a set that takes over a whole scene), but engrossing.

Young Vic
66 The Cut, SE1 8LZ.
Until Nov 3. £10+
Tube | Waterloo 
youngvic.org

 

Exhibition: Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair

The world’s most famous blonde – sorry Madge and Gaga – is the focus of this photography exhibition that pulls together portraits of Norma Jeane by British photographers.

As well as images of Monroe from 1947 to 1962, there are also rare film stills and magazine covers from her time as the biggest star the world had seen.

National Portrait Gallery
St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE.
Until Mar 24. Free 
Station | Charing Cross 
npg.org.uk

 

Photos: Johan Persson


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London scene: Your guide to new release films, theatre, comedy and exhibitions in the city this week
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