Phillip Seymour Hoffman stars in a spy thriller adapted from John Le Carré’s novel. Anton Corbjin directs.
Psychological thriller about an amnesiac woman under threat, starring Nicole Kidman.
Animated tale of an orphan raised by cave-dwelling trash-collectors. Simon Pegg stars.
Deirdre O’Kane stars as Irish humanitarian Christina Noble. Stephen Bradley directs.
Set on the Cote d’Azur, Woody Allen’s rom-com stars Colin Firth and Antonia Clark.
Liam Neeson stars as a private eye embroiled in a drug baron’s affairs. Scott Frank directs.
Denzel Washington stars as a former black ops commando battling Russian criminals.
Biopic of soul superstar James Brown, starring Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis.
David Fincher directs Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in a thriller adapted from Gillian Flynn’s runaway bestseller.
An origins tale of the legend of Dracula. Luke Evans and Dominic Cooper star.
Dystopian sci-fi tale for young adults pitched as this year’s Hunger Games. Dylan O’Brien stars.
Lawyer Robert Downey Jnr defends his alleged killer father — a judge — in court.
A reboot of the ‘90s tale of turtle superheroes starring Megan Fox and Johnny Knoxville.
WWII tale with Brad Pitt as a tank commander heading for Berlin. Shia LeBoeuf co-stars.
Wacky comedy, with TV journalists James Franco and Seth Rogen commissioned by the CIA to assassinate North Korea’s leader.
Matthew McConaughey goes into space to save the human race. Christopher Nolan directs; Jessica Chastain and Ben Affleck co-star.
Tom Hardy stars in a robbery-gone-wrong thriller based on a Dennis Lehane script.
Based-on-a-true-story political thriller starring Jeremy Renner as a CIA-smeared journalist.
A father and son rally to save Christmas when Santa (Jim Broadbent) goes on the run.
Jude Law stars as a submarine captain searching for submerged gold.
Concluding chapter of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. Martin Freeman stars.
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their Dumb and Dumber roles. The Farrelly Brothers direct.
Jamie Foxx and Quevhenzané Wallis star in a remake of the classic children’s musical.
Ridley Scott directs Christian Bale as Moses in a Biblical epic.
Jack O’Connell and Domhnall Gleeson star in a true story of Olympian runner Louis Zamperini. Angelina Jolie directs.
The bubblegum U2 preview fourth album, No Sound Without Silence, with a sellout gig. The record is a familiar mix of the mawkish and the strident: their label is confident it will make the group as popular abroad as at home.
Tall haired 80s rocker goes on the road with a stripped down acoustic tour.
These Swedish sisters sound like a heavenly mix of Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons. New album Stay Gold is dark and sublime.
Boomer bard Taylor created many of the sensitive songwriter cliches that are a feature of rock music to this day.
Protest pop icon and muse to Dylan, as an artist in her own right Baez balances tremendous lyricism and naturalistic grace.
The One Direction of scruffy Brit-rock, Bugg has parlayed his Oasis-do-Dylan songbook into a large and often hysterical teenage fan base — something he by all accounts is rather conflicted about.
Two years ago Alt-J’s PR embarked on a frantic ring around of local music hacks, desperate to find someone to interview the then unknown experimental British group. Twenty months and one Mercury Prize win later, they count down towards their first arena tour.
Apparently, you can’t swing a cat without hitting half a dozen guitar-wielding young men on X Factor this year — testament to superstar strummer Sheeran’s influence on music.
Things aren’t so heady in the Gaga-verse nowadays, with the singer’s ArtPop album failing to halt the decline brought on by her underwhelming second album, Born This Way.
Feeney has honed a meticulously kooky image — though sometimes, you wonder if the zany hats and eye-fluttering stage presence doesn’t overshadow generally solid songs.
Ryan Tedder is perhaps best known as a jobbing songwriter — his biggest hit was Beyoncé’s ‘Halo’. As frontman of OneRepublic he combines stadium rock sweep with a flair for uplifting pop.
Springboarded to the top of the charts with her Rudimental hook-up ‘Waiting All Night’, UK singer Eyre will shortly release her debut solo album — brace for clubby grooves illuminated by her dusky Winehouse-esque croon.
The national sweetheart has done something incredible in making uncompromising rockabilly music mainstream. Though her songs are competently assembled, it’s her feisty presence that is, you suspect, essential to her appeal.
Trailblazers for esoteric Celtic folk,buckle up for an evening of music that explores the gloomy spaces between traditional trad and haunting new age pop.
To those who say TV no longer has influence, we point to Future Island’s career-changing turn on David Letterman’s talk show earlier this year. Featuring wacky dancing, heart-aching melodies and soulful singing, it has transformed the long-toiling Baltimore, Maryland outfit into a taste-maker cause celebre.
With his soulful rasp and razor blade cheekbones, Nutini has emerged as the preeminent he-totty of the era.
Winner of Britain’s Got Talent, ‘pop-opera’ singer Potts has gone on to an exceedingly idiosyncratic career, the ups and downs of which will be chronicled in a forthcoming movie.
The Passage West cabaret chanteuse delves deep into the songbook of Jacques Brel, Kurt Weill, Nick Cave and more for this much-anticipated hometown gig.
Ageless pop princess Kylie received lots of arched eyebrows with her explicit recent video Sexercise, in which she lip synched semi clad through a gymnasium. However, she generally leaves such cheap provocations at the door when on tour.
Slash embarks on his largest ever tour as a stand-alone artist with a set that’s provisioned with Guns ‘n Roses classics. 46. Andrea Bocelli, O2, Dublin, November 14
For admirers of classical music with a popular touch, this is likely one of the performances of the year.
Le Roux’s second album, Trouble In Paradise, endured a difficult gestation that saw singer Ellie Jackson split from creative partner Ben Langmaid. No surprise, then, that there is lots of angst, albeit offset by synth pop.
By all accounts, this will be a straight ahead greatest hits affair, which probably means they’ll dig out My Generation (omitted from the 2013 set).
Had Florence and the Machine become famous by winning X Factor the results would sound a lot like Louisa Rose Allen — aka Foxes. She has a soaring, Florence-sque voice, though her music aims straight for the pop jugular.
Lairy rockers of the first rank, Kasabian follow a headline slot at the UK’s Glastonbury festival, with a tour promoting rollicking new LP 48:13
The Dublin Fashion Festival, in association with Dublin Town, returns for 2014 with ambassador Angela Scanlon. Highlights include the Creative Quarter Fashion Show and Young Designer Fashion Event. www.dff.ie.
Stakes are high at the 2014 Irish Champions Weekend with the hotly-tipped Most Stylish Lady award. The winner will receive a VIP stay for 4 guests at Palmerstown House Estate wiith a 1,000 voucher for Elaine Curtis. Advice — dress to impress. Tickets: 045-441205; www.curragh.ie.
Cork Fashion Week, in association with Mercedes Benz, dons its heels for another season. Don’t miss the CFW Designer of the Year competition at The Imperial Hotel and style events around the city. Tickets: www.tickets.ie; www.corkfashionweek.com.
Swedish highstreet giants H&M team up with New York fashion designer Alexander Wang for their latest collaboration. The diffusion line which boats Wang’s urban uniform signature will cater to women and men across clothing and accessories. Available in 250 stores worldwide and at www.hm.com.
Every day’s a duvet day this season as oversized coats get a catwalk cuddle. Look out for blanket and duster styles in bouclé wools and faux furs.
In a season rich with interesting sporting books, Brian O’Driscoll’s autobiography among them, there is one title that stands above all: The Second Half (Orion, €12.99). It teams up Roddy Doyle with Roy Keane to tell the former Manchester United captain’s story in a blend of “memoir and motivation“, according to the publisher’s blurb. Few could match Doyle’s credentials for the job. Notwithstanding the fact that he’s a Chelsea fan, he writes on football with a genuine feel and a rare knack for coining original turns of phrase.
The publication of the Napoleon the Great (Allen Lane, —€31.99) biography by Andrew Roberts is eagerly awaited. Roberts is an award-winning historian and familiar for presenting history programmes on BBC television. Having visited St Helena and 53 of Napoleon’s 56 battlefields, it will be interesting to read what he makes of the little man with big ambitions.
Colm Tóibín, arguably Ireland’s finest living novelist, returns to small-town Wexford of the 1960s for his seventh novel, Nora Webster (Penguin, €19.99). Its story has strong autobiographical resonances for the titular hero is a young widow, like Tóibín’s mother, struggling to carve a life for herself and her four young children against the backdrop of financial worries and stultifying social mores.
In Medium Sized Town, Fairly Big Story (Gill & MacMillan, €10.99), Ronan Casey has harvested the strangest, cutest stories that make headlines in regional Irish newspapers but “nowhere else”. These twilight world tales include a Corkman’s most treasured possession — a bucket from Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1979; the dogs in Mountmellick who wear nappies; and the Kerry boat builder who travelled 23 minutes back in time.
Eight years after the third instalment of one of American literature’s great series, Frank Bascombe is back in Let Me Be Frank with You (Bloomsbury, €19.99). Richard Ford’s dreamy, feckless Everyman has weathered Hurricane Sandy and is in reflective mood in what promises to be another memorable tour around the head of suburbia’s great chronicler.
The websites of many top end hotels (never mind the proliferation of hotels in the crowded middle market) are difficult to distinguish from one another. The words ‘experience’, ‘exclusive’, ‘authentic’, ‘unique’ and luxury’, and other similar messaging, are failing to capture the loyalty, let alone money of the luxury traveller.
At present, just over 50% of airlines provide mobile check-ins. By early next year, 90% will have a check-in app. The bad news? Boarding, flight transfers, and baggage remain the biggest obstacles to creating a time-efficient self-service check-in.
By 2017, mobile purchases of online bookings are predicted to count for as much as 50%. Indeed, it is not outside the boundaries of probability that airlines’ Twitter feeds become a source for spontaneous bookings, with travellers tweeting a bespoke hashtag to take advantage of special fares.
In China, GDP (gross domestic product) per capita is expected to double in 2015 (from 2010 figures). In India, by the year 2020, it is fore cast there will be more than 50 million outbound travelers.
The Lake District farming village of Cartmel is now one of the precious jewels in the British dining tiara. Why? Blame chef Simon Rogan, who is behind three of the village’s eateries: the Michelin two-starred L’Enclume, Rigan & Company, and The Pig & Whistle. William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter would be proud! And full.
The transformation of this former Swiss Army outpost into one of Switzerland’s freshest ski destinations continues.
Last year, the 104-room ski resort hotel, Chedi Andermatt, opened to huge acclaim, but that was merely the first phase in a growing development of apartments, hotels and a golf course.
Word from the ether has it that there will be direct flights from Ireland to Houston next year, so now might be the most apt time to find out about the fourth most populous city in America. Let it be said: Houston, we do not have a problem.
The country itself is beautiful, but if/when you go please do check out the town of Bled, which is the country’s most famous destination, and which is a mere 35km from Ljubljana International Airport.
What distinguishes Borneo (the third largest island in the world — 743,330 sq km) from its Asian neighbours is its abundance of wildlife, notably the endangered indigenous orang-utan. A perfect island destination in its own right, or as a mind-expanding stopover on the way to Australia or New Zealand.
The trend for online connectivity is become ever more demanding as Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum-class ships (debuting April 2015, in Southampton) host a series of travel industry firsts, including radio-frequency luggage tracking and super-speed broadband.
Did we mention the Bionic Bar with its robot bartenders? Say hello to the future — now.
Mexican food doyenne Diana Henry at Ballymaloe Litfest, Lilly Ramirez-Foran launches Picado, a real Mexican food shop in Dublin, and Europe’s first real corn tortilla manufacturing plant to open in Ireland?
Enda earned Galway’s first Michelin star at Aniar and his new project Loam, is the most eagerly awaited Irish restaurant opening in years, slated for the end of September.
While real street food is sweeping the US and Europe, Ireland’s local authorities are still largely bewildered by the concept of high quality food from a roadside truck — but it’s coming and is already at many farmer’s markets. Checking out Derry’s superb Pyke’n’Pommes, just over the border, would reassure any doubting municipal Thomases.
Korean-American chef Roy Choi aims to use his gourmet food trucks to bring good food and education to those in deprived areas.
Choi’s initiative is part of a global reaction to unsustainable industrial food production in the face of world hunger and poverty. The New York Times conference Food for Tomorrow (Nov 11/12) will be asking pertinent questions, some already raised at this year’s Ballymaloe Litfest, MAD4, in Copenhagen, and, on a smaller scale, Cloughjordan’s 24-hour Food Challenge.
One of the newer kids on the block, Savour nonetheless arrived fully-formed. www.savourkilkenny.com
One of the original Irish food festivals even if the magical mollusk always surrendered top billing to the pint of stout. www.galwayoysterfest.com
Rene Redzepi told the Irish Examiner vegetables were equally, if not more, important than meat in Noma as top chefs worldwide attempt to counter the huge environmental cost of a Western diet. Ireland’s most progressive grower, Ultan Walsh, of Gort na Nain Farm, tips scorzonera as the next ‘chef’s favourite’.
The impending openings of Elbow Lane, a smoke house and micro-brewery, on Oliver Plunkett St from the excellent Market Lane group, and Brendan Cashman’s new bistro restaurant and wine bar, on French Church St, are both excellent fillips to the ongoing campaign to regain Cork’s ‘Food Capital’ crown.
The Irish Slow Food movement may be looking for a second wind but no better place to find it than this celebration of Ireland’s wild, foraged and local produce in Brooklodge Hotel, Co Wicklow. www.wildandslow.com
The nine episodes of season five are set in 1924, with the decline of the aristocracy a central theme. Class lines are blurred as the downstairs crew start to get uppity. Irish widower Tom Branson was the original social climber, and has some big decisions to make this season.
The amazing thing about Charlie Haughey wasn’t that he was corrupt. It was that so many people continued to vote for him and his Fianna Fáil party. This charming crook paradox will be one of the challenges for Aidan Gillen and co to capture.
Steven Soderbergh directs a drama series that debuted on HBO subsidiary Cinemax last month. Set in New York’s Knickerbocker Hospital in 1900, it stars Clive Owen, but Irish viewers will be watching out for an actress named Memphis Eve Sunny Day Hewson, aka daughter of Bono.
There was a real sense of letdown in the first series when Jamie Dornan’s odious serial killer wasn’t caught, but his ongoing murder spree provides the excuse for a second series.
Sure they just won the World Cup. Sure they hammered us 6-1 in 2012. Sure our squad is short a few players.
But none of that will stop Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane trying to convice the boys in green they can get a result in the second of their Euro 2016 qualifiers.
Includes Costa del Crime scenes filmed in Spain. Nidge slipped through the net last time out, but wants to recoup his lost money and build an empire again. His nemesis Moynihan is also under pressure to get an arrest, but at least he’s getting insider help from Siobhan.
The former Cork hurler came out as gay in 2009, a gesture that did so much to help the fight against prejudice in this country. In this one-off special, however, the Cloyne man shows that while Ireland is a vastly improved place for gay people in recent decades, bigotry still emanates from some corners.
As well as Fran in Love/Hate, actor Peter Coonan will be popping up as banker David Drumm in this feature-length take on that fateful night in 2008 when the Irish government agreed to underwrite the entire banking system.
Fears about the proliferation of pornography in the digital age haven’t stopped increasing numbers of men, women and children accessing such material.
The undisputed king of the chatshows returns for another round of celebrity interviews in his Friday night slot on the BBC, followed by the handy repeats on the Irish broadcaster.
Now into an incredible 63rd year, the festival has a typically impressive programme of rarely heard gems (eg Salomé by Oscar Wilde/ Antoine Mariotte) and the European premiere of Kevin Puts’s Silent Night.
Tom Murphy’s new play is a prequel to 1985’s Bailegangaire, and Druid’s cast for the latest exploration of the women’s lives includes the great Marie Mullen as Mommo (she played Mommo’s daughter in the 1985 production).
A festival with the good sense to avoid the summer glut includes a new play by Corcadorca at a metal factory in the Co Cork town, a reading by British poet Roger McGough and piles of other eclectic events.
With 900 venues around the country taking part in this year’s nationwide extravaganza, there really is no excuse to find something of interest. Museums, galleries, cathedrals, studios, observatories, etc, etc.
Twenty-seven productions from home and abroad, with one of the expected highlights being the fourth instalment of ANU Productions’ innovative Monto Cycle.
Rebecca Storm reprises her role as Mrs Johnstone in Willy Russell’s musical tale of twins who are separated at birth and end up at different ends of the social spectrum. Their paths cross again when they fall in love with the same girl.
The Scouse comedian was a regular presence in this country before he achieved his megastar status in the UK. This Irish visit also takes in Limerick’s Lime Tree the previous night and is being used as a preparation for a massive arena tour.
John B. Keane seems to be undergoing a much-deserved revival at the moment, and Munster venues on the Abbey’s tour of Conall Morrison’s adaptation include Siamsa Tire in Tralee, Lime Tree in Limerick and the Everyman in Cork.
The Irish-American comedian is spending another year in China and already has had several homecomings, but these are his first shows in his former hometown.
The Cork-born artist has a reputation for producing work that is beautiful to look at, as well as being challenging, and this exhibition has Cross selecting a retrospective of her pieces from various collections around the country.
– Des O’Driscoll