Susannah Straughan

Blogger, editor and movie fan

United Kingdom

I worked in book production and magazine sub-editing for nearly 25 years, before going freelance in 2009. I've been blogging at WordPress since 2010, and I have written about cinema, TV and sport for The Guardian, Radio Times, Huffington Post (UK), Blogcritics and specialist film sites. I'm available for blogging, copy-editing and proofreading work.


The Guardian

The Guardian
Clip joint: the pencil

2B or not 2B? 1564 saw the baptism of William Shakespeare and the invention of the pencil. With 70 or so Hamlets listed on IMDb, the Bard's popularity among film-makers shows no sign of abating. But how can the humble writing instrument compete with the rise of the smartphone or our love affair with LCD?

The Guardian
Clip joint: the boardroom

You're fired! There's nothing like a bracing encounter with Suralan and his fickle finger to remind us that boardroom action is a cross between theatre and gladiatorial combat. You don't even need "a head for business and a bod for sin" to appreciate the cinematic potential of the top table, a space that reeks of artificial leather, stale smoke and too much aftershave. Just a hint of financial impropriety, an uninvited guest or a simmering family feud can turn an executive suite into a...
We shouldn't have to work for free

As Mark Lawson muses on how the wealthy might survive in this age of "conspicuous non-consumption", I think the answer may be to work for nothing. What better way to show that you're really minted than to waive a salary altogether and be an unpaid intern?

The Huffington Post UK

Radio Times

Radio Times
Synecdoche, New York review

Writer Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation., Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) makes an ambitious directorial debut with this high-concept comedy drama.

Radio Times
The Burning Plain review

Writer Guillermo Arriaga (21 Grams, Babel) makes an impressive directorial debut with this brooding drama about the corrosive effects of guilt.

Radio Times
Vicky Cristina Barcelona review

After the ill-conceived Cassandra's Dream, Woody Allen rediscovers his sense of humour with this warm, witty and surprisingly sexy comedy.

Radio Times
The Putin System review

This fascinating documentary from director Jean-Michel Carré examines Vladimir Putin's rise from obscure KGB officer to the office of Russian President in March 2000.

Radio Times
Savage Grace review

This belated second feature from Swoon director Tom Kalin is another lurid true story of the rich and deeply dysfunctional.

Radio Times
Brick Lane review

Sarah Gavron's accomplished feature debut does justice to the spirit of Monica Ali's expansive novel while restricting the on-screen action to a period of a few months in 2001.

Sound on Sight

Sound on Sight
The Monk review

Dominik Moll’s The Monk is so redolent with Gothic gloom, overweening piety and suppressed lust that it’s almost in danger of self-combusting.

Sound on Sight
Hunky Dory review

If Marc Evans’ Hunky Dory is anything to go by, the long hot summer of 1976 was a lot more exciting in South Wales than in North London.

Sound on Sight
We Have a Pope review

We Have a Pope gets off to a colourful start, with the masses in Saint Peter’s Square feasting their eyes on a sea of red capes, white lace and ecclesiastical bling.

Sound on Sight

In Spartacus, Crassus and Antoninus coyly discuss sexual preferences in terms of snails and oysters.

Sound on Sight
Americano review

As a first-time director, the last thing you want to be is forgettable. One way to avoid that is to emulate Orson Welles by taking on the additional roles of writer and star.

Sound on Sight
Secret Cinema: The Battle of Algiers Event

Do you ever feel that the big-screen experience these days is lacking a little je ne sais quoi? I don’t just mean the extortionate ticket prices, uncomfortable seats and annoying neighbours gawping at their iPhones. Going to the movies just isn’t much of an event any more, and that is sad. The good news for cinephiles with an adventurous nature is that Secret Cinema is helping to put the showmanship back into cinema.

Desiccated Housewives

In The Stepford Wives (1975), desperate housewife Joanna Eberhart (Katharine Ross) discovers that there is a fate worse than being married to boring lawyer Walter (Peter Masterson) — a man with all the sexual magnetism of a rotting corpse. The climax of the film sees the doe-eyed Joanna finally uncover the dastardly scheme to replace the town's flesh and blood women with compliant robots. Just to complete her humiliation, it turns out that the doppelgänger, Joanna Mk II, has been designed...

Notreallyworking's Blog

notreallyworking's blog
The Artist

Very few films have the wit, flair and sheer audacity to leave you smiling hours after the final credits. The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius’ dazzling black and white homage to 1920s Hollywood delivers all of that — then slays you with an achingly romantic storyline that belongs to another cinematic era. Oh, and did I mention that there’s barely a word of audible dialogue here?