Nigel Andrews

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Full name: Nigel Andrews

Area of interest: Film

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times


Personal website:







Education: Cambridge University

Career: Worked at the British Film Institute as an editor on the Cinema One book series; frequent writer for Sight and Sound and the Monthly Film Bulletin

Current position/role: Film critic

  • also writes/has written for:

Other roles/Main role: Author

Other activities:



Broadcast media:

Video: IMDb





Books & Debate:

Jaws Nigel Andrews.jpg

Latest work:



Financial Times:

Column name:

Remit/Info: Film


Role: Columnist



Personal website:

Website: / Nigel Andrews

Commissioning editor:

Day published: Wednesday and/or Saturday

Regularity: Weekly

Column format:

Average length:

Articles: 2012

Selected articles

Articles: 2011

  • Man in the News: Colin Firth - The actor came close to an Oscar as a A Single Man, but it is his portrayal of George VI that has propelled him to glory - 15th January

Articles: 2009

  • The Oscars as an indicator of global dreams - If last year’s Academy Award winners were dark and dystopic, this year’s Best Picture nominations share a battle-scarred optimism - 22nd February
  • Wackiness that’s serious - It had to happen. Why a Peruvian film about a woman with a potato in her vagina won the Golden Bear award at this year’s Berlin Film Festival - 16th February
  • The relationship between cinema and comics - Graphic novels are now honoured as near-prophetic screeds: they form a pop-hieroglyphic art while occupying a vantage ground between literature and film - 8th February
  • Naomi Wolf’s philippic on Bushism - the author sets out to itemise for her live audience the 10 ways in which she sees America’s “open society” becoming a closed one - 17th January 2009
  • In search of the true spirit of America - Nigel Andrews ponders the spirit of the country as he encounters elk in rural Pennsylvania and US history in the Roosevelt home in upstate New York - 10th January 2009
  • A fairy tale of Mumbai - Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is full of heady inventiveness but its trauma tourism turns a city’s social tragedy into a mere series of lollipop adventures - 7th January 2009
  • ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ producer on adventures in film - FilmFour’s indomitably upbeat Tessa Ross talks to Nigel Andrews about the challenges and future of British movies - 2nd January 2009
  • Sex, texts and redemption - In ‘The Reader’, Kate Winslet brings a wounded particularity to a woman first tending, later bedding, a Berlin schoolboy rescued from the streets - 1st January 2009

Articles: 2008

  • Land of soap and glory - The extravagance in the epic historical blockbuster ‘Australia’ has several stealing charms, but ‘Far North’ fails to recover from no back-story and no human detailing - 17th December 2008
  • Vampire romance that goes for the jugular - Catherine Hardwicke’s ‘Twilight’ – a bloodsucking film with a twist – is powered by a simmering romantic eroticism between the two leads - 17th December 2008
  • ‘Australia’ is a wish-myth for its country - It could not have been more allegorical if it had been scripted by Dante or John Bunyan - 13th December 2008
  • Thrilling assault on summit and senses - North Face is a film of two halves, but a sharp instrument would take care of that - 10th December 2008
  • Cruel truths and wintry wit - ‘The Girl in the Park’ is a mordant, moving film about a mother (Sigourney Weaver) still grieving 16 years after the abduction of her daughter - 3rd December 2008
  • Apocalypses of mind and heart - Jonás Cuarón’s constantly surprising ‘Año Uña’ is the debut of the year, while Angelina Jolie puts in a strong turn in Clint Eastwood’s ‘Changeling’ - 26th November 2008
  • A-Z of movie vanishings - The theme of disappearance produces great films. Even at medium-best, it guarantees chewed nails or quickened hearts. Nigel Andrews offers a list stacked up through the years - 22nd November 2008
  • Impaired vision and blind panic - Against the odds, Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles has somehow turned ‘Blindness’, a masterly horror fable by Portuguese author José Saramago, into rhubarbed melodrama - 20th November 2008
  • Ambiguous onscreen lessons of German history - Showing a zeal for self-examination that was missing for 30 years after the second world war, Germany has recently given us Downfall (last days of Hitler), The Lives of Others (surveillance heyday of the East) and now The Baader Meinhof Complex. Nigel Andrews attends a bold autopsy - 12th November 2008
  • The comedy and the tragedy of history - Oliver Stone’s ‘W’ is his best film since ‘Nixon’ and proof that love-hate portraiture inspires him to higher art than liberal polemicising - 5th November 2008
  • Why political cinema is so successful - Once virulent with indignation or satirical zeal, politically themed movies are now mellowing into evenhandedness, even compassion - 31st October 2008
  • Local history, universal truths - Terence Davies’ latest masterwork, ‘Of Time and the City’, is a portrait of the filmmaker’s Liverpool childhood that grows organically into a social history of Britain - 29th October 2008
  • Films about filmmakers - Memoir-movies define their genre in an age when artists need no longer use stories as fronts for their experiences - 24th October 2008
  • The good, the bad and the others - Memory and remembrance have certainly been ubiquitous motifs at this year’s film festival. Nigel Andrews gives some advice on savouring its riches - 15th October 2008
  • Celluloid sanctuary - By the end of the month every UK cinephile will know that this august body is celebrating its 75th birthday. Born in September 1933, the BFI is still in charge of Britain’s film culture, and this includes holding and maintaining, with help from a recent £25m government grant, the world’s biggest archive of moving imagery - 24th September 2008
  • Gawky charm on and off camera - let us welcome Unrelated and Then She Found Me, two low-budget movies by women about women, each of which zooms in, a little shakily, on a childless thirty-or-forty-something who hears the tick of her biological clock. They are made with a complete lack of glibness, simultaneous with a stammering, defiant honesty - 24th September 2008
  • Arcadian visions - From neo-Grecian robes to ornamental battle dress – dressing up for trips back in time with Eric Rohmer and Wong Kar-Wai - 10th September 2008
  • Toast of the Mostra - Critics at the Venice film festival, recognising a fable about art’s power to enchant, catapult Miyazaki’s ‘Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea’ to the top of the chart - 6th September 2008
  • Movie bliss-out means business - The Venice Film Festival has greater ambitions than merely easing the film junkie’s withdrawal pains after Cannes - 1st September 2008
  • A colourful cure for post-Beijing blues - After the end of the wonder show, Nigel Andrews finds solace with a dose of spectacle from Japan - 27th August 2008
  • A rich slice of nothing much - ‘Somers Town’ is in black and white, with a cast as starless as a cloudy night and not a lot in the way of plot, but it is a British triumph - 20th August 2008
  • Heights and depths - The 50th anniversary of ‘Vertigo’ and a documentary that pays homage to the joy and terror of heights inspire Nigel Andrews to ponder cinema’s most dizzying motif - 15th August 2008
  • Guns, gangs and bloodbaths in the favelas of Rio - The only thing not manic in ‘Elite Squad’ is the deliberation with which the cops stop, regularly, to shoot or torture a captive. The only thing not charged is the criminal himself - 6th August 2008
  • A holy fool atop the Twin Towers - At the moment when wire-walker Philippe Petit ventured out on to the cable strung between the World Trade Center towers, in the year of innocence AD1974, when those tragic twins still stood, I felt the beauty, terror and madness of it all - 30th July 2008
  • Everything is Cinema - Who wants an ‘enfant terrible’ when he grows old? That is the question at the heart of this biography of French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard - 28th July 2008
  • The losing of America - The blast of truth, giddied up with fun and fantasy, has a morbid irresistibility, writes Nigel Andrews. The new Batman epic is about America losing America, and it is the biggest opener in US filmgoing history - 23rd July 2008
  • Apocalypse wow - Hollywood’s holocaustic imaginings make Nigel Andrews wonder: when everything material, sustaining or protective on Earth is gone, is there anything left that adds up to something? - 19th July 2008
  • A tale of droid meets probe - Depleted landfills blow, like Bob Dylan’s answers, in the wind. And little Wall.E, who looks as if he might be the product of a night of passion between ET and R2D2, whirs, bleeps and compacts - 16th July 2008
  • Abba, with elemental force - That Meryl Streep’s showmanship can take control of the entire song-and-dance spectacle of ‘Mamma Mia!’ – even distracting us from director Phyllida Lloyd’s hiccupy alternation of location shots and soundstage ‘exteriors’ – is a little frightening - 9th July 2008
  • A double dose of midsummer madness - Midsummer madness takes many forms. But what could be madder than a film week that twins the gloppy glitz of the newest Narnia epic – all gleaming battles, kindergarten Armageddon and crypto-Christianity – with an independent film as funny, brave, cheap and helplessly pessimistic as A Complete History of My Sexual Failures? - 25th June 2008
  • Colour of love in black and white - In Search of a Midnight Kiss is a Luddite’s delight. While other films stampede towards the high-definition-video future, falling over cliffs in their zeal for that lean, clean gleam, writer-director Alex Holdridge holds to the old standard - 11th June 2008
  • In the frame - Even we who have experienced these techniques for years – in my case 35 – cannot quite get used to them (Golden Palm award) - 23rd May 2008
  • Pessimistic – and loving it - When the opening films of the competition and main sideshow at Cannes are called Blindness and Hunger, are we being told something? - 19th May 2007
  • The robes of justice - Terrible people with terrible secrets. Isn’t that what we want from political thrillers and documentaries? Barbet Schroeder’s Terror’s Advocate and Nicolas Klotz’s The Heartbeat Detector are fact and fiction respectively... - 14th May 2008
  • Behind enemy lines - Do we expect filmmakers to risk their lives for us? Only madmen or idealists will say “yes”. But since one of those categories includes all of us (on our utopian days), and since every work of art must be a little mad to be great, perhaps we do want our movies made by artist-adventurers willing to hazard all - 12th April 2008
  • Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni die on the same day, 30 July 2007 - Borrowing from computer language you could call it a “double forward slash”. Mortality’s hissing blade, in two momentous down-strokes, closed off what had gone before - 12th April 2008
  • Monsters of rock, straight out of the laboratory - For two hours you can almost believe rock and roll is the new rock and roll. Shine a Light, Martin Scorsese’s film of a 2006 Rolling Stones concert in New York City, is a giddy tribute to a band few people now living on planet earth pre-existed - 9th April 2008
  • Imitations of Christ - What is the connection between a bunch of penguins in the Antarctic and a wardrobe leading into a wonderland? Or between a modern-day murder in the Louvre and a 2,000-year-old story of a man crucified for teaching messages of love and forgiveness? - 15th March 2008
  • De Palma brings blood and fire to the multi-media age - When all else scares and disorients in cinema, there is always the authorial voice. Or there was until now - 12th March 2008
  • So maladjusted it’s unbelievable - Twenty years ago no one could even spell it. Today “dysfunctional” defines the dramatis personae and dynamic of almost every American film about families made for less than $100m - 27th February 2008
  • No country for solo Americans - It was an amazing night at the Academy Awards. No single American won any of the top six prizes. The acting Oscars all went to Europeans and a double American – that illustrious divided egg known as the Coen brothers – won Best Picture and Best Direction - 25th February 2008
  • It’s one war after another - Here in the Berlin competition it is a face-off between the two heraldic masks of drama - 15th February 2008
  • Cinema of cruelty - A barber slashes the throats of his customers and tips them into eternity through a trapdoor. A near-robotic assassin, slaying those in his way, vengefully stalks a petty thief across Texas. War-scarred soldiers bring brutality and murder to the home front. Oilfields geyser with blood in a feud-riven, early-20th-century west - 9th February 2008
  • Coen brothers tell it like it is - After prize night at Cannes last year, the jury almost had to shoot its way to the airport. The Coen brothers, or their support gang, wanted blood - 16th January 2008
  • Life v choice in a hostile world - Pro-choice or pro-life? Unlike the abortion debate, good art and good cinema offer both. They create a living reality, then give the viewer the freedom to elect a viewpoint and ponder the wealth of responses - 9th January 2008
  • Decadent visions and swirling smog - It wasn’t a dream, but it felt like one. I was on an unknown yet eerily familiar street in a foreign land. Around me stood an army of motionless human beings, dressed as if for the 1930s, disposed in artfully random positions and casting their shadows as if waiting for Giorgio de Chirico to paint them - 5th January 2008
  • Trapped in rapture - Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution is quietly mesmerising. With its dark, sleek, fugitive grace, it is like watching life reflected in the bodywork of a polished Rolls-Royce - 2nd January 2008

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