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
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
Emily Blunt will star as everyone’s favourite Nanny in the sequel.
Production has commenced on the highly anticipated Mary Poppins Returns and Walt Disney Studios have finally revealed some exciting plot details.
Filming is currently underway at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England and the musical is scheduled for release on December 25, 2018.
Emily Blunt stars in Mary Poppins Returns
Continue reading: Here's What We Know So Far About 'Mary Poppins Returns'
Aaron Sorkin's political drama prepares to sign off for good.
The Newsroom will come to an end after the finale of the upcoming third season, which is set to air this autumn, according to HBO, via Digital Spy. The network confirmed that the political drama would return for a third and final outing after actor Jeff Daniels first tweeted the news back in September.
Jeff Daniels Won An Emmy For His 'Newsroom' Anchor.
HBO president Michael Lombardo said in a statement: "The Newsroom is classic Aaron Sorkin - smart, riveting and thought-provoking," adding "I'm sure this farewell season will be one to remember," he added. Production for the third season is apparently underway and is expected to premiere this coming autumn.
There was a huge diversity of movie stars arriving at the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton including 'Nashville' star Connie Britton, 'Homeland' star with her husband Hugh Dancy and 'Parks and Recreation' actress Amy Poehler.
Based on the Brian Selznick novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Scorsese's first family movie combines a young boy's adventure with a cinematic history lesson. It's a celebration of wide-eyed wonder that's a joy to watch, although the title isn't the only thing that's dumbed-down.
In early 1930s Paris, the orphaned Hugo (Butterfield) lives in Montparnasse station, where he scurries through forgotten passageways maintaining the clocks. He learned this skill from his late father (Law), but an automaton they were fixing is his only reminder of his happier childhood. Dodging the tenacious station inspector (Baron Cohen), Hugo worms his way into the life of grouchy shopkeeper Georges (Kingsley), and has a series of adventures with his goddaughter Isabelle (Moretz). When they learn that Georges is forgotten pioneer filmmaker Georges Melies, they decide to help bring him back to life.
Scorsese tells this story with bravura moviemaking trickery, from whooshing tracking shots to wonderfully inventive uses of 3D. He also peppers the screen with witty references to film history from Modern Times to Vertigo, clips from early cinema and flashbacks to the Lumiere brothers' exhibition and Melies' busy studio. Meanwhile, the main plot unfolds with a warmly inviting glow, sharply telling details and a colourful cast of memorable side characters.
Intriguingly, everyone is a bit opaque; like the automaton, the gears turn but we never really understand them.
Butterfield's Hugo may be consumed by an inner yearning, but he's always on guard, providing a watchful pair of eyes through which we see the drama, romance and slapstick of the station. And it's in these details that Scorsese and his cast draw us in. Standouts are Baron Cohen, who adds layers of comedy and pathos to every scene, and McCrory (as Mrs Melies), with her barely suppressed enthusiasm. As usual, Kingsley never lets his guard down: he invests this broken man with a bit too much dignity.
As the film progresses, the passion for the movies is infectious. Scorsese's gorgeous visual approach and writer Logan's controlled cleverness never overwhelm the human story. And even if Melies' life and Paris' geography are adjusted for no real reason, the film's warm drama and delightful imagery really get under the skin, making us fall in love with the movies all over again.
In 1954 Boston, Ted (DiCaprio) is a US Marshal heading with his new partner Chuck (Ruffalo) to the Shutter Island hospital for the criminally insane. A patient (Mortimer) has mysteriously disappeared, and the head doctor (Kingsley) is acting suspicious. So is everyone else for that matter. As Ted delves deeper into the mystery, which hints at a big conspiracy, he struggles with the implications these events have for his own life, including the death of his wife (Williams) and his experiences liberating Dachau at the end of the war.
Continue reading: Shutter Island Review
What if you really had the chance to change all of that? What if you could talk to yourself when you were only eight years old and explain how to take a stand for yourself, give the younger you understanding of why dad is so angry at the world, and give yourself hope for retaining individuality in a sea of conformity. In the new Disney film The Kid Russ Duritz gets that once in a lifetime chance.
Continue reading: The Kid (2000) Review
For a long time I've had a theory that the musical genre couldn't survive the cynicism of modern audiences except as a ironic in-joke, like the "South Park" movie or as a post-modern homage, like Woody Allen's "Everyone Says I Love You."
I couldn't have been more wrong -- and leave it to Kenneth Branagh, a writer-director-actor who has made his name revitalizing old (old, old!) school entertainment -- to prove it by bringing back the kind of weightless musical delight that carried Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to stardom.
For his new adaptation of Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost," Branagh has re-imagined the buoyant romantic comedy as a classy, corny, 1930s movie musical, complete with uplifting dance numbers and a catalog of favorite big band ditties sung with great enthusiasm (if not great skill) by a quality cast of cheerful actors clearly having the time of their lives.
Continue reading: Love's Labour's Lost Review
Disney sure lays it on thick in "The Kid," a feel-good family flick starring Bruce Willis as a snide, fundamentally unhappy L.A. "image consultant" who meets himself as an 8-year-old boy and learns to embrace his inner child.
The incidental music sounds like the soundtrack from "E.T." crossed with a "Teletubbies" song. Willis -- more determined than ever to avoid being pigeon-holed -- spends a good third of the movie looking wistful or misty. The Kid himself (roly-poly, and yes, adorable newcomer Spencer Breslin) isn't a terribly good actor, but boy has he mastered the art of the wide-eyed double-take. It's enough to send a cynical, grown-up movie critic into sugar shock.
But while I have no trouble pointing out everywhere this rather slight movies is flawed -- and its flaws are significant -- I can also admit when I've had a good time at the movies. And "The Kid" made me smile like, well, a kid.
Continue reading: The Kid Review
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