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How ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ made all the right moves

“I am both delighted and dazed by the response,” announced Scott Frank this week, on the news that The Queen’s Gambit had become the most popular scripted limited series in Netflix history. In the four weeks since landing on the streaming service, the drama has been watched by 62m subscribers, ranked at number 1 in… Continue reading How ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ made all the right moves

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Virgin Money: reality cheques

Vaccine breakthroughs mean faster economic recovery and, in turn, better profits for lenders. Shares in Virgin Money, the UK’s biggest small bank, have jumped 40 per cent since. Straight-talking chief executive David Duffy gave investors a dose of reality at results on Wednesday: benefits will take time to materialise and Brexit disruption is looming. A… Continue reading Virgin Money: reality cheques

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How Janet Yellen will deploy her soft power at the Treasury

Just over four years ago, when Janet Yellen was still chair of the US Federal Reserve, she gave an address at the central bank’s Boston arm. Fed chairs normally give only two kinds of conference speeches: brief invocations that say nothing, or carefully timed guidance to financial markets about policy. In Boston, however, Ms Yellen… Continue reading How Janet Yellen will deploy her soft power at the Treasury

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Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula — a sequel driven by a new plot vehicle

A late entry into the 21st-century zombie bull market, 2016’s Train to Busan made an art form of self-containment. A South Korean pulp shocker born of a brilliantly vicious conceit — the undead set loose in the confined space of an express from Seoul — the film did everything it needed to do, then ended.… Continue reading Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula — a sequel driven by a new plot vehicle

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Happiest Season — festive comedy with a supergroup of a cast

Be honest. How pained is your smile at the thought of a cheerfully low-budget American indie comedy as an early Christmas gift? Don’t be hasty. You may want to live with the playfully old-fangled Happiest Season a while before you reach for the receipt. The backdrop is festive, the heroine the lovestruck Abby, played by… Continue reading Happiest Season — festive comedy with a supergroup of a cast

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Audrey — the driven career and sad life of Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn believed her feet were too big. This is just one among many deeply felt hang-ups captured in the sad, enlightening new documentary Audrey. The star, according to her own testimony, would also have liked a smaller nose, to have been a blonde or better yet — this more than anything — a dancer.… Continue reading Audrey — the driven career and sad life of Audrey Hepburn

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Red, White and Blue — John Boyega stars in Steve McQueen’s film about policing and race

Years from now, what images will best conjure 2020? The masks, of course, the stripped-out cities. But also, you suspect, John Boyega. In June, during worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, the presence of the Star Wars actor in London’s Hyde Park — raw and tearful — became a symbol of a tumultuous summer. Now he… Continue reading Red, White and Blue — John Boyega stars in Steve McQueen’s film about policing and race

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Rio Tinto/Oyu Tolgoi: wild child

Every large mining company has a problem child: a tricky project which eats up management’s time. Rio Tinto’s bawling brat is the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine. The difficulties reflect joint ownership with Mongolia, a sparsely populated Asian nation adjusting uneasily to its mineral wealth. Ulaanbaatar, which controls 34 per cent, is demanding an independent review… Continue reading Rio Tinto/Oyu Tolgoi: wild child

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UK to stop using RPI inflation measure in 2030

The UK will stop using the controversial retail prices index inflation measure in 2030, the government has announced, in a move that saves billions for the taxpayer but will cut payouts to some pensioners and bondholders. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday that the index, which overestimates the annual pace of price rises by nearly… Continue reading UK to stop using RPI inflation measure in 2030