Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored by a terrific performance from Jim Broadbent. With an unusually realistic depiction of London life, this an introspective story about finding closure, and it's nice that the filmmakers avoid ramping up the narrative to push a big emotional climax. Instead, it's in the small moments that the film rings true.
Broadbent plays Tony, a pensioner who runs a small camera shop as a hobby. His primary distraction is his single daughter Susie (Michelle Dockery), who is in the final stages of pregnancy. So Tony and his ex-wife Margaret (Harriet Walter) are providing whatever support they can. Then out of the blue he is notified of an inheritance from someone in his distant past. This sends him down memory lane, as he remembers his life as a university student (then Billy Howle), falling in love with Veronica (Freya Mavor) and feeling crushed when she fell for his best friend Adrian (Joe Alwyn) instead. So Tony tracks down Veronica (now Charlotte Rampling) in the present day to try to sort out their loose ends.
This is a complex story about how tricky it is to make sense of a messy past. The film refuses to simplify things in any way, leaving the audience to see themselves in the characters and situations as it flickers back and forth between the two timelines, dropping hints and details until the final piece falls into the puzzle. And the message is that you can't get closure until you accept even the more difficult elements of your story.
Continue reading: The Sense Of An Ending Review
Tony Webster is a retired man in his sixties whose past comes back to haunt him when he receives a strange letter in the post. It takes him back to his university days when he met the love of his life Veronica Ford. Though they have been estranged since then, she bequeaths him a diary in her will. Their separation was one of bitterness and heartbreak; his best friend Adrian Finn ended up stealing Veronica's heart, and Tony reacted by sending them a very angry letter in response to their partnership. Not long after, Adrian died in mysterious circumstances and with all the horror of those years brought up once again, Tony is forced to confront his guilt and innoncence in the whole saga - as well as other people's suspicions.
Continue: The Sense Of An Ending Trailer
Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on videogames. There may have been some hits (like Tomb Raider or the Resident Evil franchise), but none has ever been critically acclaimed. So perhaps reuniting the cast and director of 2015's Macbeth might finally break the cycle. But while there's plenty of whizzy stuntwork, this film never finds a story or characters to grab hold of the audience.
In present-day Texas, death row prisoner Cal (Michael Fassbender) is executed by lethal injection and wakes up in a gloomy fortress towering over Madrid. He's been saved by shady businessman Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), whose daughter Sofia (Marion Cotillard) is a scientist experimenting with DNA memory. Rikkin needs Cal to travel back into his own history using a mechanical contraption called an Animus to find out where his 15th century ancestor Aguilar (also Fassbender) hid the Apple of Eden, which holds the key to controlling human will. But Cal discovers that he is the last in a long line of Assassins who have sworn to protect the apple from Knights Templar like Rikkin or his imperious supreme leader Ellen (the fabulously gloomy Charlotte Rampling).
The idea is a clever one, and director Justin Kurzel keeps the visuals grounded with action that feels earthy and real rather than digitally manipulated. Indeed, the combination of sleek sci-fi thrills with medieval fantasy horror is very cool. But there's one huge problem with the premise: all of the big fight sequences and eye-catching parkour acrobatics take place in distant history. Cal can experience these things, but he can't actually do anything, so there's no peril involved. Instead, we get endless explanations of the technology and historical inter-connections, which never quite make sense regardless of how much the characters talk about them.
Continue reading: Assassin's Creed Review
Callum Lynch is a criminal facing the death sentence but is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to escape his fate by joining the mysterious Animus Project set up by Abstergo Industries. Abstergo is to its time essentially what the Knights Templar was in the 12th and 13th century, and want to hook Lynch up to an experimental piece of technology that will allow him to experience and explore the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha who lived as an Assassin in 15th century Spain. He's returning to the age of the Spanish Inquisition which means he must absorb the warrior skills of his long-dead relative - but that only means that he's developing the tools to take down the organisation that pose a threat to him in the modern day.
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The actress came under fire after she said ‘sometimes wish I were African-American’ when speaking about Hollywood’s attitude to women.
French actress Julie Delpy has apologised for comments she made regarding diversity in Hollywood during an interview at the Sundance Film Festival. The actress was discussing how hard it still is to be a woman in the industry, when she added ‘sometimes wish I were African-American’, claiming that nothing was worse in Hollywood than being female.
Julie Delpy has apologised for comments she made regarding diversity in Hollywood.
Speaking to The Wrap at the Sundance Festival on Friday Delpy said: “Two years ago, I said something about the Academy being very white male, which is the reality, and I was slashed to pieces by the media. It’s funny — women can’t talk.”
Continue reading: Julie Delpy Apologises For Comments About Diversity In Hollywood
The French actress had been quoted as saying the controversy was ‘racist to white people.’
Charlotte Rampling has attempted to clarify the comments she made earlier this week, when she referred to the Oscars’ boycott as being ‘racist to white people’. The French actress, who is nominated for Best Actress at this year’s awards, was highly criticised online for her remarks, however she feels they were ‘misinterpreted’.
Charlotte Rampling says her Oscars’ comments were ‘misinterpreted.’
In a statement to CBS News' Sunday Morning, Rampling said, “I regret that my comments could have been misinterpreted this week in my interview with Europe 1 Radio. I simply meant to say that in an ideal world every performance will be given equal opportunities for consideration.”
Continue reading: Charlotte Rampling Clarifies Comments On Oscars' Diversity Row
With the announcement of the nominations for the British Academy Film Awards, also known as the Baftas, the awards season enters its more serious phase.
This is the point where the industry weighs in on the conversation that has been limited mainly to critics so far. Unsurprisingly, Carol and The Revenant feature heavily in the BAFTA race. But unlike the awards season to date, genre films like Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian were virtually locked out of the major categories. (The Martian managed nods for actor Matt Damon and director Ridley Scott.)
Also unexpected for Bafta was the absence of local favourites like Tom Hardy, Charlotte Rampling and Carey Mulligan, and not even one craft nomination for Spectre. Bafta voters also failed to nominate two other current favourites: Creed and Joy.
Continue reading: Awards Season Shifts Up A Gear With BAFTA Nominations
Rich Cline picks out his top films of 2015.
There were some nice surprises in cinemas this year, with thoughtful thrillers, quality blockbusters, exhilarating franchise reboots and twists on familiar genres...
10. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
An Iranian vampire movie shot in California, this super-cool black and white comedy-thriller is witty, scary and sexy. It's also so original that it takes the breath away.
9. Inside Out
Pixar triumphs again with this inventive look inside the mind of a young girl struggling with her emotions. It's colourful, hilariously silly and also the kind of movie that can make grown men cry.
Continue reading: Rich Cline's 10 Best Films Of 2015
The hit serial killer drama returned for it's final ever season, with network Showtime making the episode available to all by uploading it to YouTube (US viewers only)
Dexter returned for the last time last night, with the hit Showtime drama returning for it's eighth and final season. Being that it was such a momentous occasion, Showtime made the latest episode of the hit serial killer drama available for all, for free, by uploading the episode to YouTube. You can watch the full episode at the bottom of the page or just read the round-up, which obviously contains spoilers.
Michael C. Hall is back as Dexter
In his return, things seem to be turning out for Dexter at last and dare we say his life in 'normal' in Miami. He is back seeing women, gotten the bowling team back together and Harrison seems to be a natural at soccer as the recreational serial killer has found solace in himself six months on from LaGuerta's death. Dexter is becoming more human and returning to normal life, but as we know things are bound to take a turn for the unexpected and drag Dex back into his old, anti-hero lifestyle.
Instead of going out tonight, and spending money, seeing people you don't actually like talking to, grab a full-fat cheesecake, and settle down in front of Sundance, because tense World War II drama Restless is on, and you don't want to miss it.
In what The LA Times call "a very British Story" The Sundance Channel miniseries tells the tale of a woman who might be in danger because of her secret past as a World War II spy. They, The LA Times go on to call it, "a dimly lighted labyrinth of clipped sentences, meaningful glances and sudden bursts of passion rather than rock 'em, sock 'em car chases and gunplay. The work Eva and her compatriots are doing consists mostly of introducing false intelligence into the foreign press in the hopes of confusing the Germans and, later, persuading the United States to come to the aid of the Allied forces. (So there are no Nikita-like acrobatics, which would have only split Eva's skirt anyway.)
Continue reading: Some Reasons To Watch Restless On Sundance Tonight
In a grand castle located in the beautiful countryside, Justine and Michael have married. They enter their reception to cheers and applause and everyone agrees that Justine has never looked happier or more beautiful. The newlyweds enjoy their new marital status and the company of their guests, which include Justine's sister Claire and her husband, John, who organised and paid for the entire wedding.
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Kathy H is now a grown woman, she spent her childhood at a special year-round mixed boarding school; that is where she met her best friends Ruth and Tommy. As children the small group of friends were inseparable unlike most of the distant and cold kids at Hailsham Boarding school.
Continue: Never Let Me Go Trailer
This is a film that starts off with some agreeable, professional trashiness before settling into routine. This is not to say that the opening, with meek, lonely accountant Jonathan (McGregor) striking up a friendship with the slick Wyatt (Jackman), is entirely smooth going. Almost immediately, the movie suffers from casting the sly, handsome McGregor as a fumbling nebbish. The guy has both acting chops and charisma; naturally, several of his Hollywood roles ask him to trade both for an American accent. Hopefully he meets up with Colin Farrell and James McAvoy to commiserate -- or maybe he swapped stories on-set with Jackman, another good-looking overseas bloke who has alternated terrific performances with bouts of blandness.
Continue reading: Deception (2008) Review
But down at the beach, things are beautiful. The upscale resort at which most of the film takes place is popular with women of a certain age who come alone not just for the weather but for the attention of the local beach boys who wander around, strike up flirtations, and provide sexual favors in exchange for gifts.
Continue reading: Heading South Review
Alain Getty (Laurent Lucas) has a nice job at an engineering firm where he is designing a new kind of webcam that can help in everyday tasks. His wife Benedicte (Charlotte Gainsbourg) hasn't found a job yet and is still unpacking their things when Alain agrees to allow his boss and his wife to come over for a dinner. His boss, Richard (Andre Dussollier), arrives at the house with a jovial aura but his wife (Charlotte Rampling) has the disposition of a scorpion. That night, they find an injured lemming in their sink pipe. Since a lemming tends to only live in Scandinavia, it freaks Alain out big time. Things don't get any better when the boss' wife commits suicide in the Gettys' house, which prompts Benedicte to take a very strange turn in mood.
Continue reading: Lemming Review
Despite the remarkable assemblage of talent, Cacoyannis' Cherry Orchard feels self-aware of adapting a renowned classic from stage to screen. The cinematography is handsome and stately, but more appropriate to the colorful orchards and vast family estate, the 1900 costumes, the theatrical entrances and exits, than to the intimacy of Chekhov's vivid characters. (It almost makes one long for the hand-held documentary treatment of Louis Malle's seminal Vanya on 42nd Street.) The stylistic choices here take a while to get used to, especially during a drawn-out prologue, absent in the original text, as Madame Lyubov and her buoyant teenage daughter Anna (Tushka Bergen) make elaborate preparations to return to their Russian estate after a self-imposed exile. Some may be exhausted by this Masterpiece Theater treatment (lingering over every piece of luggage) before Chekhov's social entanglements kick in -- which happens shortly after the dozen major characters have assembled at their estate.
Continue reading: The Cherry Orchard Review
In addition to the Jaws sequels, Orca stands at the very nadir of these "nature's killers from the sea." In its opening scenes, Orca tries to tell us that Jaws was a wuss: A killer whale smashes into a great white shark, sending him shooting 20 feet into the sky and devouring him in a foaming mess of blood. Ooh, that killer whale's one to be reckoned with, ain't he?
Continue reading: Orca Review
An ostensible Nazi-hunting thriller that's far too impressed with its supposed moral ambiguity, The Statement is about former Vichy militia Pierre Brossard (Michael Caine) who, back in 1944, helped the Nazis round up and execute seven Jews in a small French town. It's based on the true story of Paul Touvier, who ordered such an execution on June 29, 1944 in southwestern France, and was sentenced to life in prison in 1995.
Continue reading: The Statement Review
A textbook example of a pretentious art film, "Signs and Wonders" bursts with superfluous symbolism, overcranked tension, deliberately vague performances and proud-to-be-low-budget stylistic idiosyncrasies. But for all its pretense, it has a lot of the same problems that make for bad mainstream movies.
The biggest of those problems is the use of hackneyed plot devices -- like an eavesdropping character misconstruing part of a conversation -- to drive significant portions of the story.
"Signs" is about Alec, a manic-depressive middle-aged American stock analyst (curiously played by Danish Stellan Skarsgard) who habitually sabotages his marriage. He lives comfortably in Athens, Greece, with Marjorie, his U.S. embassy worker wife (curiously played by English Charlotte Rampling) and two kids. But their marriage has become systematic and he's having an affair with a co-worker named Katherine (Deborah Kara Unger, a bona fide American).
Continue reading: Signs & Wonders Review
Charlotte Rampling puts a dignified face on denial in "Under the Sand," a cinematic meditation on the multitude of emotions that come with the devastating loss of a loved one.
She plays Marie, a 50-something, upper middle-class woman whose comfortable life of familiar rhythms is thrown out of balance when her husband disappears while she's napping at the beach during their regular summer vacation.
Not entirely willing to presume he's drown, and somewhat tormented by the lack of closure, Marie returns to teaching her English Lit class at a Paris university and goes about her life imagining her husband is still alive. At dinner parties she speaks of him as if he stayed at home with a cold that night, which rattles her friends who don't know quite how to respond. When she goes home, she imagines him still there and conjures up daydreams of continued normalcy. When she's making breakfast she pours him coffee. When she's shopping she buys him ties.
Continue reading: Under The Sand Review
Jennifer Lawrence stars in the intense new spy thriller 'Red Sparrow', about a group of...
Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...
Tony Webster is a retired man in his sixties whose past comes back to haunt...
Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...
Callum Lynch is a criminal facing the death sentence but is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity...
Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a...
When a Latin professor, Raimund Gregorius (Jeremy Irons), sees a young Portuguese woman in a...
Max Morden is an art historian who's determined to re-discover his own history following the...
French filmmaker Francois Ozon continues to explore transgressive aspects of sexuality (see In the House)...
Isabelle is striking French 17-year-old girl living a secret life of sexual indulgence as a...
Even though this British mystery-drama is rather too creepy for its own good, it gives...
In a grand castle located in the beautiful countryside, Justine and Michael have married. They...