Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally Potter (Ginger & Rosa) with lacerating irony and such a furious sense of humour that it's impossible to stifle our laughter no matter how we try. Impeccably played by a great cast, it's a lot like watching a play, as it unfolds in real time in a single setting with just seven characters. But Potter's decision to film it in black and white adds a sharp edge of surrealism that makes it also feel like a classic.
It opens as Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) is preparing for a small dinner party to celebrate her appointment as a government minister. With something else on his mind, her husband Bill (Timothy Spall) is completely drunk before the first guest arrives, but Janet doesn't really notice. Her outspoken best friend April (Patricia Clarkson) turns up first with her German philosopher boyfriend Gottfried (Bruno Ganz). Next is feminist professor Martha (Cherry Jones) and her younger girlfriend Jinny (Emily Mortimer), who is pregnant with triplets. And finally it's the banker Tom (Cillian Murphy), hopped up on cocaine with a gun in his pocket. His wife is running late. And over the next hour, everyone lets a few secrets out of the bag.
Continue reading: The Party Review
Lady Sandra Abbott is relieved to finally be planning a well-deserved retirement with her wealthy husband, but when she catches him having an affair with her best friend, she is forced out of her privileged life to a run-down old council estate in central London where her older sister Bif lives. They couldn't be more different a pair; while Sandra is all about status and the finer things in life, Bif is a free spirit who loves to date, dance and generally live life to the fullest no matter how little money she has in the bank. All Sandra wants is to be happy again, and so Bif encourages her to attend a local dance class for older people where she meets friends Charlie, Jackie and Ted. It's then when she realises that there's a lot more to retirement than she initially thought, because she's about to have the most fun she has ever had.
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A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in The Queen or Frost/Nixon. Even though screenwriter Colin Bateman (Murphy's Law) aims more for entertainment value than pointed character drama, the film is solidly gripping, drawing plenty of brittle humour and complex emotion out of the story.
It's set in 2006, as peace talks about Ireland are taking place in St. Andrews. Prime Minister Tony Blair (Toby Stephens) is trying to orchestrate a meeting between mortal enemies Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall) and Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney). But there's a hitch when Ian needs to return to Belfast for his 59th wedding anniversary party. In a surprise move, Martin insists on accompanying Ian, citing protocol as a reason. Seeing his chance, MI5 expert Harry (John Hurt) puts a plan in motion for them to travel to Edinburgh together to catch the flight, planting a cheerful young spy (Freddie Highmore) as their driver. The question is whether he can manipulate their journey and cause them to start talking.
As the ice between these stubborn men begins to thaw, the script contrives to push them together with things like a petrol stop, a flat tyre, an injured deer on the roadside and a time-wasting detour through the woods that's intended to break their silence. The two actors have a great time maintaining their bluster through all of this. Spall gives Paisley an imperious attitude that has cleverly wry undercurrents. His rant at a shop clerk about a declined credit card is delivered with biblical proportions. And Meaney has some heart-stopping moments of his own. Both actors clearly relish the snaky, engaging dialogue as they quietly reveal the real men beneath the tough public personae. By contrast, Highmore seems eerily charisma-free as their driver, but there's more fun to be had from Hurt, Stephens and others as hapless officials watching on hidden cameras.
Continue reading: The Journey (2017) Review
From were-rabbits to sabre-toothed bunny rabbits, Nick Park returns with a Stone Age adventure featuring characters in the world's favourite stop-motion animation style. But sabre-toothed bunnies are not, of course, the only creatures these cave men and women have to worry about; this is a time when prehistoric beasts like dinosaurs and woolly mammoths are roaming everywhere. Soon though, one brave caveman named Dug along with his pet warthog Hognob decides he must bring his rather timid tribe together if he wants to save them from one major nemesis which threatens the peace of their lives for good; the dastardly Bronze Age. But, unexpectedly, that battle soon turns into modern day football.
Continue: Early Man Trailer
Timothy Spall and Patricia Clarkson at the 67th International Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) press conference for 'The Party' held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel - Berlin, Germany - Monday 13th February 2017
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.
A fully-clothed sex scene in the JMW Turner biopic was the most complained-about film in Britain in 2014, according to the BBFC's annual report.
Mr. Turner has been surrounded by some confusing news stories ever since its release (like, why wasn’t it nominated for any of the major prizes at the BAFTAs and Oscars?) but none quite as inexplicable as this one. The British Board of Film Classification named the Mike Leigh-directed biopic as the most complained-about movie of 2014, because of a scene in which lead actor Timothy Spall “vigorously” clenches his buttocks, according to the Guardian.
The BBFC, which awards age certification for movies released in Britain, said that the scene featuring the artist JMW Turner and his housekeeper, played by Marion Bailey, in which Spall’s “clothed buttocks are seen clenching vigorously, before the scene cuts to a close-up of his face and his thrusting head and shoulders”, caused 19 people to complain about its sexual nature in a film deemed to be of 12A suitability.
Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner, bizarrely the most complained-about film in 2014
Continue reading: 'Mr. Turner' Draws More Complaints Than Any Other Movie Of 2014
Josh Gad will join Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Luke Evans in the live-action adaptation of 'Beauty and the Beast'.
Josh Gad has become the latest actor to join the cast of the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. 34-year-old Gad has been cast as Le Fou, the villain Gaston's minion. Gad is best known for voicing Olaf in Disney's Frozen and for his roles in such films as The Internship and Jobs. Emma Watson (Harry Potter) has been cast as Belle, Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) as the Beast and Luke Evans (Dracula Untold) as Gaston. Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks) and Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner) are also rumoured to be in talks with the film's producers.
Josh Gad is set to play Le Fou in the upcoming live-action film of Beauty and the Beast.
Timothy Spall is one of Britain's finest character actors.
British actor Timothy Spall studied painting for two years to prepare for his role as JMW Turner in Mike Leigh's critically acclaimed drama Mr Turner. The movie is steadily gaining Oscars momentum, particularly for Spall, whose grunting performance as the infamous artist is considered one of the finest of the year.
Timothy Spall delivers one of the finest performances of the year in Mr Turner
Spall, probably best known to U.S audiences as Wormtail from the Harry Potter movies, even recreated Turner's famous Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth.
Continue reading: Timothy Spall Studied Painting For 2 Years To Prepare For 'Mr Turner'
Timothy Spall amid Oscar buzz for his leading role as J.M.W. Turner.
Timothy Spall is one of those actors who works regularly and is constantly acclaimed by the critics, but he's never been the leading man type. Much of his acclaim has been for roles in ensemble films ('Secrets & Lies', 'Topsy Turvy', 'All or Nothing') or as part of a larger award-winning cast (winning the SAG best cast award for 'The King's Speech').
Timothy Spall admits he learnt to paint for 'Mr Turner' role
Then his usual collaborator Mike Leigh asked him to play the iconic 19th century painter J.M.W. Turner in the biopic 'Mr. Turner', and Spall went home with the Best Actor award from this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Continue reading: Mr Turner Gives Timothy Spall The Role He Deserves In Artist Biopic
Date of birth
27th February, 1957
Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...
Lady Sandra Abbott is relieved to finally be planning a well-deserved retirement with her wealthy...
A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...
From were-rabbits to sabre-toothed bunny rabbits, Nick Park returns with a Stone Age adventure featuring...
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