Brian Cox's Russia

Hopscotch is excited to announce our new 2 part documentary Brian Cox's Russia! Catch it on BBC2 Scotland Tuesday 18th and 25th April. 

Directed by Stephen Bennett 

Marking a hundred years since the Russian revolution, Hollywood actor Brian Cox travels to Russia to discover stories of Scots who made this vast country their own. 

Brian first spent time in Russia during the communist era. Brian taught theatre students at Moscow Arts Theatre for a scheme called Raising the Curtain. His time there gave Brian a life long passion for the country and now he travels back to meet the students and see the dramatic changes. 

Brian revisits the turbulent times of Russian history including the 1917 revolution, the Stalinist purges and the siege of Leningrad which created surprising bonds between our two countries. 

The series also covers three hundred years of shared history between Russia and Scotland, from the mercenary who helped shape Peter the Great's army, to the Scottish industrialist who introduced football to St Petersburg. It also celebrates the poetry of Lermontov and his 'Yearning' for the Scottish Highlands as well as the Russian passion for Robert Burns. 

Watch the trailer here

Caregiver-takes-on-crotchety-old-ailing-knight is a movie formula which works

REVIEW: Had this been an original plot, this heartening British-Hungarian comedy-drama might have been worth an illustrious five stars, yes, almost up there in The Revenant stratosphere.

For devotees of Cinema Gold who can cope with clever, hilarious dialogue and old folksy foibles, it is a must-see.

The Carer bears much resemblance to the magnifique French film, The Intouchables, from 2011. In both, a new caregiver is taken on to tend to a crotchety, irascible old guy and his personal functions.

In The Carer, a once-great stage actor Sir Michael (played by Scottish actor Brian Cox) is not always wheelchair bound, but he is suffering from Parkinson's disease, is foul-mouthed and none of the caregivers have lasted the distance.

Enter Hungarian Dorottya (newcomer Coco Konig), as his latest carer, a young girl from Budapest with acting ambitions who must somehow quell the outbursts and incontinence of the cranky old knight.

The film was directed by Hungarian Janos Edelenyi who was himself a refugee when his country was behind the Iron Curtain. Konig obviously got into England before Brexit.

Many critics have given Cox's acting all the credit for the excellence of the film, but for me Konig with her endearing continental accent deserves equal credit. She must cleverly fend off rages and volleys of eff bombs from Sir Michael in the rooms of his English estate.

It is all about crossing the generations and helping that for both is their love of Shakespeare.

Drama takes over from the funny stuff when Sir Michael's control-freak of a daughter (Emilia Fox) and his former lover-cum-housekeeper, Milly (Anna Chancellor) poke their British noses in.

There was room for even more drama in the closing scenes, but we got the message. The Carer and its script are of such quality a second viewing would be just as rib-tickling.

 - Stuff