Actress Emilia Fox outside ITV Studios - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 24th November 2016
Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life to the full regardless of your age. As a colourful national treasure of an actor (think Richard Burton crossed with Ian McKellan), Cox storms through this film with personality and energy. And in his interaction with his costars, the filmmakers make some important points with offhanded charm.
Cox plays Sir Michael Gifford, a Shakespearean icon forced into retirement by Parkinson's. Living on his isolated country estate, he clashes continually with his daughter Sophia (Emilia Fox) and his assistant Milly (Anna Chancellor) about how he should live, dismissing a series of carers they have hired for him. Then the Hungarian Dorottya (Coco Konig) arrives, cracking through his bluster with her sharp intelligence, blunt compassion and her own experience performing Shakespeare's plays back home. She also conspires with him to attend a critics' ceremony at which he's being given a life achievement award. Sophia thinks he's not up to attending, so Dorottya turns to Milly and Michael's trusty driver Joseph (Karl Johnson) for help.
The simplicity of the plot helps the film avoid the usual pitfalls of these kinds of movies. There aren't any villains here (Sophia is just unusually concerned), and there's no romantic nonsense between Michael and Dorottya. The central message isn't revolutionary (people who are old or infirm shouldn't be hidden from society), and the plot never goes anywhere unexpected. But in the characters, the film finds a powerful resonance. It's funny, smart and utterly charming. And the cast deliver beautifully off-handed performances. Newcomer Konig nicely underplays Dorottya, which makes her strikingly likeable, especially as her own subplot about applying to acting school gurgles quietly in the background. Chancellor and Fox find intriguing textures in their roles, which are more complex than expected.
Continue reading: The Carer Review
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas) continues to explore experimental styles of cinema (see Timecode or Hotel) with this playful in-joke about the act of artistic creation. It's an ambitious idea that never quite overcomes the indulgent approach, but the gimmicky touches and mysterious noir vibe hold our interest even if the characters are never very clearly developed.
At the centre is screenwriter Martin (Koch), who lectures at a London film school as his long-awaited new script is finally going into production. His daughter Sarah (Night) has landed a lead role in the film, and Martin celebrates this with her at her 25th birthday. He also becomes fascinated by her friend Angelique (Verbeek), who turns up dead in a canal the next morning, leaving him as the prime suspect. A police inspector (Cranham) is especially suspicious since Martin's wife (Fox in flashback) went missing 15 years ago. Then Angelique's twin Therese (also Verbeek) turns up to twist things further.
Figgis continually throws us out of the story by referring to the film within the film. For example, characters are continually picking up movie scripts that describe them picking up movie scripts. And Figgis further tweaks us with on-screen captions, split-screen angles and movie-set camera gags, plus of course the fact that a central character is an identical twin. But because of all of this self-referential trickery, we can never engage with the story or characters at all.
Continue reading: Suspension Of Disbelief Review
Stylish and moody, this twisty dramatic thriller gets under our skin with its mysterious tone and darkly insinuating performances. But the script is badly underwritten, never quite connecting the dots between what happens on screen. Several of the events are frankly unbelievable, which is made more frustrating by characters who continually do things that don't make logical sense. So we end up struggling to see the point of it all.
Everything happens in the wake of a massive explosion at a holiday house in the south of France. Micky (Middleton) wakes up with amnesia, having had her face rebuilt by surgeons. But her childhood best pal Domenica (Roach in flashbacks) died in the fire, leaving a huge hole in her life. Her guardian (Kerry Fox) tries to help her return to her daily routine, but she's obsessed with piecing together the nagging puzzle about what happened. And she doesn't really want to be the person she apparently was before the accident. Her old boyfriend Jake (Bernard) is some help, but the more she learns about her former life, the more she wonders who she really is.
The insinuation from the very start is that Micky and Do may have swapped identities in the accident, which seems rather ridiculous since they aren't the same height. Reconstructive surgery can't overcome that, and their different coloured hair would become obvious pretty quickly. So every time writer-director Softley tries to drop a hint or throw us off the trail, we feel like we're being had. At least he maintains a terrific sense of film noir creepiness, with lush visuals and scenes that draw us in to make us wonder what will happen next. And there is the tantalising possibility that the swap is psychological.
Continue reading: Trap For Cinderella Review
Michael Palin's return to dramatic television represents a considerable coup for the BBC.
Michael Palin will make his first television acting appearance in over two decades when he lines up alongside Ben Chaplin, Emilia Fox and Steve Oram in BBC Two's World War 1 drama The Wiper Times. The drama is based on the true story of a satirical newspaper produced by soldiers in the trenches.
Michael Palin Will Make His First Dramatic Television Role For 22 Years
The project appears in good hands, with Private Eye editor and Have I Got News For You captain Ian Hislop teaming up with his My Dad's The Prime Minister writing partner Nick Newman on the script. Clearly, Palin is the real coup here and it represents the Monty Python star's first television role since Alan Bleasdale's GBH in 1991, in which he played a school headmaster intimidated by a newly-elected city council leader, played by Robert Lindsay.
Emilia Fox - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013 - VIP and press preview day - London, United Kingdom - Monday 20th May 2013
Emilia Fox London, United Kingdom Celebrities at the ITV studios Thursday 10th January 2013
A mopey tone and hole-ridden plot make this romantic drama rather difficult to sit through. Even though the premise has hints of Charlie Kaufman cleverness, nothing is developed properly, and none of the characters ever come to life.
Mia (Whittaker) is jolted out of her quiet life by the suicide of an old woman in her building. After talking to maintenance man Max (Warner), she starts to suspect that the woman was her in the future. What follows is a trip into her past, as she visits herself 10, 20 and 30 years earlier, encountering the love of her life, Ludwig (Scott), a womanising, drug-addicted jazz musician. Can she convince her younger self (Whittaker again, and Barnes at age 10) to avoid him? And what's his connection with her parents (Fox and Slinger)?
The script throws us into time-travel from the start, before establishing characters or relationships, so we never engage with anything. Ludwig is a slimy loser in each period, so why Mia fell for him is a mystery; his charming-musician days were before she was born. And even though these people have been in each others' lives for decades, there's no sense of continuity. As we visit the time periods in reverse order, everyone's always meeting for the first time, which makes no sense.
Whittaker invests Mia with some emotional resonance, even if the screenwriters contrive for her her to miss painfully obvious clues about each coming twist.
Meanwhile, Scott is an ugly mess until we glimpse his swaggering younger self, at which point we finally see him sing (nicely) and play the trumpet (unconvincingly). Warner becomes a kind of mad-haired timekeeper with a magical lift that's perplexingly right where it always needs to be. The rest of the cast members are also only allowed to deploy one characteristic each.
This isn't much more than a soapy melodrama. As things get messier, and Mia must travel further into the past to fix it, there are some laughable anachronisms, head-shaking incongruities and silly plot points (look, a gun!).
And worst of all, it's completely po-faced, without a moment of real-life wit.
So it plays out like a lifeless, inept version of It's a Wonderful Life.
Mia is walking along the street one day, when she notices shredded photos fluttering to the ground. As she's examining one of them, she hears a loud thud behind her. Turning, she sees the body of an old woman, who has clearly thrown herself from the nearby building - the very building that Mia lives in.
Continue: A Thousand Kisses Deep Trailer
The story introduces us to Thomas Cross (Furlong), who is obsessed with Internet webcams (so 1999!). One night, he witnesses his favorite gal Cathy as she is murdered while she's preparing dinner in her apartment. Yipes! The dinner preparation isn't so exciting (though Thomas is enthralled by it), but that murder certainly wakes him up. Too bad he doesn't really know where she lives, just her web URL, which the cops don't really grab on to.
Continue reading: Three Blind Mice Review
Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas) continues to explore experimental styles of cinema (see...
Stylish and moody, this twisty dramatic thriller gets under our skin with its mysterious tone...
A mopey tone and hole-ridden plot make this romantic drama rather difficult to sit through....
Mia is walking along the street one day, when she notices shredded photos fluttering to...