Tuesday 26 September 2017

Critics' verdict on Fifty Shades

The hotly-anticipated Fifty Shades Of Grey film has split opinion among critics, with comments ranging from "naff" to "classy".

Most newspapers carried a review of the big-screen adaptation of EL James' erotic romance novel after its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival ahead of its debut in the UK tonight.

Most scathing was Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian, who gave it one star, describing the film as "the most tasteful and softcore depiction of sadomasochism in cinema history" and branding the performances of stars Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele as "strictly daytime soap".

But Tim Robey, in the Telegraph, was more positive, awarding it four stars.

"So how has it all worked out? Almost shockingly well, considering. It proves that age-old saw that great books rarely make great films, whereas barely literate junk can turn into something ripe and even electric on screen," he said.

"The lead performances and sleek style choices sell it irresistibly to the target audience, but the film has the confidence to end bruisingly unresolved, with the structural equivalent of a slap in the face."

The Daily Star's Nadine Linge also gave it four stars but warned that with only three sex scenes "viewers might feel short-changed".

"Definitely a film for women. It might be released in time for Valentine's Day but leave the men at home. Go see it for a giggle and a swoon with the girls," she wrote.

David Edwards in the Daily Mirror opted to give it three stars, saying: "It may not be the raciest film ever made but it's a classy and titillating adult drama, more steamy than scandalising."

"Like porn for people who shop at Marks and Spencer," he added.

The pleasant reading for director Sam Taylor-Johnson ends there though as reviewers in the Daily Mail, Independent, Times and Sun each gave it the equivalent of two out of five stars.

Jan Moir in the Mail decided it was a "spanking great bore", while Kaleem Aftab in the Independent attacked the "clumsy stereotyping" and "plotting that would have seemed light in a teen romance".

The Sun's Emma Brankin also picked out the lack of sex scenes, saying "we only get a measly 11 minutes of sex" and saying the film "takes itself way too seriously".

And Kate Muir, in the Times, said while the actors "make a decent stab at their somewhat thinly written characters" the adaptation "starts out hilarious, becomes ludicrous and is finally dubious".

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