Film: The Great Gatsby

One of the great American novels; an all-star cast; a mega studio budget; lavish stylist Baz Luhrmann at the helm – what could go wrong? A misjudged tone and heavy-handedness mostly in this underwhelming extravaganza. 

Originally slated for release last December then postponed for six months (an indication of anxiety or perfectionism, depending on which story you believe), Aussie Luhrmann’s take on F Scott Fitzgerald’s Roaring Twenties-set doomed romance, a tale of ambition, denial and never-to-be-fulfilled dreams, features all the filmmaker’s trademark extravagances. 

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire | 12A | 143mins

Film: The Hangover Part III

The wolf pack are back, for this third and final part in Todd Phillips’s dehydrated, memory-blanking series. Chow (Ken Jeong) is wanted by John Goodman’s crime boss, with Alan (Galifianakis), Stu (Helms) and Phil (Cooper) embroiled in the whole mess.  May just be the most outlandish yet. 

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms | 15 | TBCmins | on general release May 23


Film: The Moth Diaries

Model turned actress Lily Cole (The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus) stars in this boarding school-set vampire thriller. Written and directed by Mary Harron, the mind who brought Bret Easton Ellis’s ‘unfilmable’ American Psycho to the screen and made a star of Christian Bale, should prove an assured hand to make this more biting and bloody and less Twilight.

On general release May 24

Comedy: Stand up for Free Speech Benefit Show

Omid Djalili, Mark Thomas, Isy Suttie (above), Phill Jupitus and Imran Yusuf are the five mega-talented acts lined up for this benefit show supporting underground theatre group Belarus Free Theatre, which promotes artistic freedom against the authoritarian government of the eastern European country. 

Comedy Store 1a Oxendon St,
SW1Y 4EE. May 28. £15 
Tube | Piccadilly Circus


Exhibition: John Riddy – Palermo

The British photographer’s exhibition enters its final days here so you haven’t got long to get down and check out his haunting shots of the Sicilian city of Palermo. Empty streets and the human detritus that litters urban landscapes are the focus here for this sombre yet affecting collection of work. 

Frith Street Gallery W1F 9JJ.
Until June 1. Free  
Tube | Piccadilly Circus

Theatre: Passion Play

Text messages rather than public phone boxes feature in illicit affairs now, but in most respects Peter Nichols’s 1981 destruction of a fulfilling 25-year marriage – here starring a superb Zoe Wanamaker and Owen Teale as the married couple and Annabel Scholey as the vampish young interloper – has barely dated. LK

Duke of York’s Theatre St Martin’s Lane,
WC2N 4BG. Until Aug 3. £15+  
Tube | Charing Cross   


Theatre: Travels With My Aunt

Graham Greene’s 1969 novel – about retired bank manager Henry Pulling, who rediscovers life after the passing of his mother – has three actors playing the lead (Jonathan Hyde, David Bamber, Iain Mitchell) in this comedy as Henry discovers that there is more to life than cultivating dahlias. LK

Menier Chocolate Factory SE1 1RU.
Until June 29. £29+  
Tube | London Bridge   


Photos: Steve Ullathorne; Johan Persson