This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy sentimentality, making us a little nervous about where it might go. But director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) holds his nerve, letting the emotions build without ever tipping over into melodrama. What emerges is a striking exploration of the tricky connections between parents and children and the importance of makeshift families. And it's so sharply played that it can't help but move us.
It's set in rural Florida, where the quietly intelligent Frank (Chris Evans) is hiding out from his academically minded mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), trying to give his 6-year-old niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) the free-spirited childhood his late sister wanted for her. Their life includes sassy neighbour Roberta (Octavia Spencer) and a one-eyed cat named Fred. But Mary is a mathematical prodigy, and her teacher Bonnie (Jenny Slate) is worried that the public school can't keep up with her. This alerts Evelyn to Mary's gifts and, after taking no interest before, she sweeps in with a legal challenge to Frank's custody. Like her daughter and granddaughter, Evelyn is also a maths genius, and believes that Mary's abilities need to be exploited in a higher-class educational environment.
While the argument about what's better for this little girl is fairly simple, Tom Flynn's script never lapses into the usual trite courtroom drama. And while there are a lot of formulae scribbled on white boards, the focus is always on the people rather than the numbers. Thankfully, these characters also never turn into heroes or villains; each is just trying to do what they think is best. This means that the actors can invest unusual depth into the roles, adding surprisingly sharp edges while revealing their softer sides as well. Evans has rarely had a chance to flex like this as an actor, and he's terrific, creating some powerful chemistry with the, yes, gifted Grace.
Continue reading: Gifted Review
Alice once again returns to Wonderland and meets a lot of familiar faces. This time her biggest enemy is Time, quite literally. As the Blue Caterpillar reminds her, 'You've been gone too long, Alice there are matters that might benefit from your attention. Friends cannot be neglected.' Instead of falling down a rabbit hole, this time Alice gains entry to wonderland through a large mirror which takes her to a topsy-turvy universe which could only be associated with Wonderland. There appear to be a few differences between the book and the new film; whilst Lewis Carol's original version of the book was based six months after the original tale, the inclusion of Time might mean that Linda Woolverton's version make time travel much quicker in Wonderland. Again, Carol used many chess analogies in the book, at the moment its unknown how much this will play a part in the movie. The majority of the lead cast from Tim Burton's 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland including Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. Alice Through The Looking Glass was directed by James Bobbin who previously worked on the 2011 Muppets film and Muppets Most Wanted.
'Churchill's Secret' is based on a recent book by Jonathan Smith, concerning the ex-PM's battle to recover from a stroke while still in office in the 1950s.
Sir Michael Gambon will play Winston Churchill in a newly-announced ITV drama about his final years as Prime Minster in the 1950s. He’ll be starring alongside Lindsay Duncan, who portrays Churchill’s long-suffering wife, Clementine.
Entitled ‘Churchill’s Secret’, the two-hour feature-length special will be based on the recently published book by Jonathan Smith, ‘The Churchill Secret: KBO’. It’s to be set during the summer of 1953 when the Prime Minister, during his second term in office, suffered a stroke. His condition was kept a secret from the world.
Sir Michael Gambon will be taking the role of Winston Churchill in a forthcoming ITV drama special
Continue reading: Sir Michael Gambon To Play Winston Churchill In ITV Drama
Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu continues to reject traditional narrative structures with this whizzy, ambitious exploration of celebrity, art and commerce. And the clever casting of Michael Keaton adds another layer of meaning to the whole film, which is shot as one long wildly entertaining single take and pointedly subtitled "The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance". Blackly hilarious and darkly emotional, this is an exploration of how show business can push a person to the brink of madness. And maybe knock them over the edge.
Keaton stars as Riggan, once a top movie star known for his three Birdman blockbusters. But he hasn't done anything notable since, and is now trying to reboot his career by directing, adapting and starring in a Broadway play based on a Raymond Chandler story. The problem is that no one will let him escape from the iconic superhero character he's best known for, least of all Birdman himself, who mentally haunts and taunts Riggan at every turn. Meanwhile in the theatre, Riggan locks horns with costar Mike (Edward Nortan), a controlling show-off brought in at the request of lead actress Lesley (Naomi Watts). As opening night approaches, Riggan and his producer-friend Jake (Zach Galifianakis) are also struggling with the demands of high-maintenance costar Laura (Andrea Riseborough), plus distractions from Riggan's daughter-assistant (Emma Stone) and ex-wife (Amy Ryan).
Inarritu and ace cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki tell this story as if it's one continuous snaky shot with the camera following Riggan through the maze-like backstage corridors, into the theatre and out into nearby Times Square streets. The virtuoso filmmaking is simply breathtaking, and it works perfectly because all of the characters are packed with pungent details and fully developed inner lives. The actors find all kinds of quirks that are both hilarious and darkly thoughtful, creating jagged interaction as they cross paths with each other, sparring riotously for attention. Every scene bristles with startling revelations and barbed jabs at the Hollywood system.
Continue reading: Birdman Review
Mia Wasikowska, Ed Speleers and Lindsay Duncan are spotted shooting a scene in London for 'Through the Looking Glass'; the sequel to 2010's 'Alice In Wonderland' which was directed by Tim Burton. Mia and Lindsay are returning stars, though the new movie - scheduled for release in 2016 - is being directed by James Bobin who worked on 'Muppets Most Wanted'.
Scroll for photos from the film set
The on-set photos give a fascinating insight into the sequel to Tim Burton’s 2010 film. Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter are this time joined by Sacha Baron Cohen, in a film that is said to revisit Lewis Carroll’s stories with an “all-new new tale that travels back to Underland —and back in Time.”
Depp stars once again as The Mad Hatter in yet another chance for him to reinvigorate his career, which has plummeted since the critics panned movies like The Tourist, Lone Ranger and Transcendence. However, for Wasikowska, working with Depp was exactly what she thought it would be: like working with a legendary actor
Continue reading: On Set With 'Alice In Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass' [Pictures]
Mia Wasikowska, Lindsay Duncan and Ed Speleers - Mia Wasikowska, Lindsay Duncan and Ed Speleers film scenes for 'Alice in Wonderland:Through the Looking Glass' on location in Gloucester - Gloucester, United Kingdom - Monday 18th August 2014
Like a 20-years-later sequel to Before Midnight, this sharply observant comedy-drama follows a couple through a soul-searching weekend in which they evaluate their relationship with real wit and emotion. And transparent performances make it something to savour, as it offers us a rare grown-up movie about real issues we can identify with.
As the title suggests, the weekend in question takes place in France, and it's a 30th anniversary treat for Nick and Meg (Broadbent and Duncan). They can't really afford a trip to Paris, especially after ditching their dodgy pre-booked hotel in lieu of something far nicer, but they figure out ways to make their time special. Meanwhile, they talk about their years together, and the hopes and regrets that are haunting their thoughts. There are some hard questions to ask about their future, even as they haven't lost that spark of sexuality. Then they run into Nick's old Cambridge pal Morgan (Goldblum), who invites them to a party where they meet academics and artists just like them. Which only makes them think even more.
The key issues for them include Nick's early retirement (for an ill-timed comment to a student) and Meg's desire to change her life completely. As they consider the options, their conversations drive the film forward forcefully, flowing through cycles of flirtation and laughter to bitterness and cruelty. The depth of their love is never in doubt, even as they wonder how secure their relationship actually is. Broadbent and Duncan play these scenes effortlessly, taking our breath away because it's all so honest, often both funny and scary at the same time.
Continue reading: Le Week-end Review
Tim Lake is 21-years-old and not exactly what you call an expert in the art of getting girlfriends. However, all that's about to change when his father lets him in on an incredible secret the day after a shambolic New Year party; all the men in their family can travel back in time and change things that have happened in their lives. Given that he is so clumsy around beautiful women, Tim uses this to his advantage, giving himself a second chance on first impressions. He manages to woo a beautiful girl named Mary with his advances, having honed them to perfection, but little does he realise just how dangerous his actions are. When he accidentally slips up during one time warp incident, he discovers that Mary has never met him before and that several months of romance have completely vanished. He must try and win her back once again, but accept that he cannot avoid the problems life and love inevitably bring - no matter how many times he tries.
Continue: About Time Trailer
The Victorians were well known for keeping a stiff upper lip about everything, and their romance was absolutely no exception. Their entire world was constructed around subtlety, and, in tune with that, the one word that can be used to describe An Ideal Husband is subtle.
Continue reading: An Ideal Husband Review
The latest Jane Austen novel lovingly adapted to film, "Mansfield Park" features a predictably resolute heroine named Fanny Price, a 10-year-old girl from a poor family who is sent to live with wealthy relations at their country estate.
The first thing her aunt says to her is "Let's have a look at you...Well, I'm sure you have other qualities." When her uncle thinks she's out of earshot, he tells his daughters, "she's not your equal," and he insists she live in the servants' wing to prevent her from tempting her male cousins. Nonetheless, young Edmund takes a shine to her and makes her feel at home, which is the beginning of a life-long friendship.
Well, I think we all know where this is going. As witty and wildly engaging as Austen's coy 18th Century romances are, they're nothing if not predictable.
Continue reading: Mansfield Park Review
Listen to Generation Dude's 'Radio Pills'.
Listen to her new song 'I'll See This As A Blessing'.
This article is dedicated to Caroline Flack.
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