Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS - A Man Less Ordinary

Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS - A Man Less Ordinary

Article excerpt

The joy - and danger - of these extended conversations with film-makers is that they will skew your critical faculties. So it is with Amy Raphael's book Danny Boyle (Faber, £14.99). Until sifting through its pages, my opinion of the director's work was, like many film fans, given to snobbishness:

that he squandered the ferocious promise of Shallow Grave (1994) and Trainspotting (1996), sinking to such insipid depths as A Life Less Ordinary (1997) and The Beach (2000), before - even worse - winning Oscars galore for the mawkish Slumdog Millionaire (2008). Now I take a kinder view.

The man that emerges from this book is by turns candid, self-deprecating and generous.

Boyle switches disarmingly from discussing his family ('When I was growing up, I hated my dad, as one does; my son Gabriel, who is 20, is going through exactly the same thing with me now') to genuflecting before other film directors ('The shadow the Coen Brothers cast is colossal'). …

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