Festival review

With its intoxicating mixture of optimism, hedonism and ego, there's a great film to be made about the Edinburgh Festival. Alas, Festival isn't it. The sure touch writer/director Annie Griffin showed in C4's The Book Group quite deserts her in a slipshod and surprisingly inauthentic portrait of the world's biggest arts event.

Shot entirely in the Scottish capital, Griffin's ensemble comedy-drama captures much of the hoopla and excitement that surrounds this annual shindig. But while Stephen Mangan's Coogan-esque comic hilariously sketches the arrogance and naked ambition of many of its participants, other narrative strands feel peripheral and ill-thought-out.

Some characters are little more than stereotypes, while scenes involving paedophile priests and fisting homosexuals are offputtingly at odds with the light-hearted atmosphere. Still, any movie that calls Eddie Izzard a "trendy London pothead" can't be all bad.


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