When young Effie Grey (Dakota Fanning) is married to John Ruskin (Greg Wise), a man ten years older than her, she feels no pleasure whatsoever. She is soon whisked away from her native Scotland and follows her husband as he travels to Venice in order to work on his book, 'The Stones of Venice'. People often notice that there is no love between the pair, and they drift apart during their time in Italy, with Effie spending her time walking the streets of Venice and spending more and more time with her husband's protégée John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge). With the two steadily falling in love, the struggle between right and wrong rages within Effie, as she is forced to make the choice between what she is told, and what she wants.
Continue: Effie Gray Trailer
An old-school caper comedy, this goofy romp struggles to surmount its badly contrived screenplay. Fortunately writer-director Joel Hopkins also has gorgeous locations and a cast of pros who are unafraid to make complete idiots of themselves. They keep us chuckling even when things turn far too silly.
It starts with a hostile corporate takeover in Britain that costs Richard (Pierce Brosnan) and his ex-wife Kate (Emma Thompson) their income and pensions. Still feuding years after their marriage fell apart, they decide to team up, head to Paris and confront new owner Vincent (Laurent Lafitte) about their predicament, as well as the sudden poverty of all of Richard's employees. But Vincent cruelly dismisses them, noting that he liquidated Richard's company to help pay for his extravagant wedding to trophy wide Manon (Louise Bourgoin), who now sports a $10m diamond. So Richard and Kate impulsively decide to crash the marriage and steal the diamond with some help from their old pals Penelope and Jerry (Celia Imrie and Timothy Spall) and their computer-expert son Matt (Jack Wilkinson) back in Britain.
The idea is so preposterous that we just have to go with it, but Hopkins' script never bothers to fill in the gaping plot holes, merely charging into each corny set-piece with gusto. Thomson gets all the needed information about the wedding by joining in on the hen weekend. Spall has a series of dark-horse skills up his sleeve. Wilkinson seems able to do all manner of technical wizardry except the one thing that forces our four heroes to scuba-dive across the bay and scale a cliff, James Bond-style.
Continue reading: The Love Punch Review
Quvenzhane Wallis stars in the new trailer
The youngest ever Oscar nominee, Quvenzhane Wallis – with a touch of autotune thrown in for good measure - plays the iconic and titular role of Annie in Columbia Pictures’ upcoming modernisation of the classic, 1977 Broadway smash, 1982 film and 1999 TV-movie.
Quvenzhane Wallis plays the plucky orphen, Annie, upon whom the film centres
The new trailer gives us a glimpse Will Stacks’ (Jamie Foxx) and Annie’s relationship as they move from life-saving encounter, to mutually beneficial work buddies to father & daughter dynamic, all told via the medium of cute dogs, hip-hop infused dancing and Harlem.
'The Love Punch' is due out in UK cinemas on 18th April. Starring Emma Thompson, Celia Imrie, Timothy Spall, Pierce Brosnan the film follows two couples as they travel to the French Riviera to reclaim their stolen pension funds.
The Love Punch is due out in UK cinemas next week so what are we in for from Last Chance Harvey writer and director Joel Hopkins?
The Love Punch promises a stellar cast including British acting powerhouses Emma Thompson, Celia Imrie and Timothy Spall, whilst Irish actor Pierce Brosnan completes the comedic foursome. The film follows Thompson and Brosnan, as Kate and Richard, a divorced couple who find they have been conned out of their retirement funds after Richard's company suffers a hostile takeover. Furious at the injustice, they set out on a mission accompanied by friends Imrie and Spall to recover their stolen savings. Their quest leads them to the Côte d'Azur, via Paris, where they embark on a jewellery heist. We see the relationship between Kate and Richard blossom after their years apart and we're definitely in with a few laughs along the way.
Richard and Kate are middle-class and middle-aged parents who have come to the end of their marriage, finding it hardly possible to bear being in the same room together. However, as their daughter Sophie moves to university, they find themselves alone together and their lives are about to change dramatically. Richard has discovered that his investment firm has been the subject of a fraud scheme, stripping him of any assets including his and Kate's retirement fund. They decide to travel to Paris to target the man responsible and on the way discover that he has given his fiancée a diamond necklace worth $10 million. The couple must re-unite once again if they want to get their nest egg back, which they plan on doing by stealing the diamond with their best friends Jerry and Penelope. Meanwhile, it seems the animosity between Richard and Kate is beginning to wane.
Continue: The Love Punch Trailer
A new ad campaign features the actress alongside other inspirational women.
Emma Thompson has been unveiled as one of the leading faces in a new campaign by Marks & Spencer. The actress was selected alongside a host of other accomplished women to front new advertisements for the British retailer, set to launch on the 31st March.
Emma Thompson Features In A New M&S Ad Campaign.
In the latest promo shot from the campaign, the Saving Mr. Banks actress joins pop star Rita Ora, singer and human rights campaigner Annie Lennox, chef, food writer and broadcaster Rachel Khoo, campaigner and life peer Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, supermodel, activist and artist Alek Wek, designer Lulu Kennedy, and structural engineer and advocate for Technical Careers, Roma Agrawal.
What would the Harry Potter films have been like if these other actors had nabbed the roles first?
There’s a generation out there who have been practically weened on Harry Potter. The books and the films have become a religion for devout fans of the series, but would it have been the same if different actors had been cast in the leading roles? You may be surprised to hear that before the perfect cast was set in stone, there were some strange alternate actors vying for the parts!
Ian McKellen turned down the role of Dumbledore
Sir. Ian McKellen was once thought in the running to play Hogwarts’ headmaster, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. He was, in fact, offered the role after original Dumbledore actor, Richard Harris, passed away just after filming the first Harry Potter film. However, Sir. Ian turned down the role, citing the reason that Richard Harris had once publicly declared what a dreadful actor he thought McKellen was! Eventually, Michael Gambon took on the role and the rest is Harry Potter history.
Continue reading: What Would 'Harry Potter' Have Been Like With This Alternative Cast?
The 'Breaking Bad' actor was humble...and musical!
If there was ever any doubt over whether Bryan Cranston was rightfully awarded the Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Drama award at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday, those doubts will have surely been quashed by his amazing, and some might say tuneful, acceptance speech.
A True Dude: Bryan Cranston Was Humbled By His Second Individual SAG Award.
The gleeful actor bounded up on to the stage after his win had been announced and gripping the trophy tightly in his hands, he began to show Breaking Bad fans a side of Heisenberg that that they would have never expected. "IIII won a SAG awaaard," sang Cranston operatically to laughter from the audience.
Continue reading: Bryan Cranston Owns SAG Awards With Singing Acceptance Speech [Video]
'Saving Mr Banks' star Emma Thompson was snapped by paparazzi as she walked the black carpet at the 2014 National Board Of Review Awards Gala in New York.
See below for a full list of nominations
The Bafta nominations didn’t really throw up any surprises, with many of the year’s top actors, directors and films being recognised. The constant metronome of: ‘Gravity,’ ’12 Years a Slave’ and ‘American Hustle’ still chimes away; the Oscar favourites are set to do battle.
Gravity is leading the way with 11 Bafta nominations
So 'Gravity' leads the way with 11 nominations; it’ll go up against '12 Years a Slave' in the Best Film Category as well as 'American Hustle', 'Captain Phillips' and 'Philomena', a film the Alfonso Cuaron space thriller must also beat to win Outstanding British Film gong. 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom', 'Rush', 'Saving Mr. Banks' and 'The Selfish Giant' make up that category.
The legendary composer opens up on what it was like to actually work with Disney and Travers on Mary Poppins
While Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson head up the posters and marketing for Saving Mr. Banks with their turns as Walt Disney and P.L Travers; the roles of Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak as Richard and Robert Sherman – composers during Disney’s pomp – are just as pertinent and significant to the story of Mary Poppins’ journey from page to screen.
Travers herself wasn't a big fan of made up words
The brothers, who are now separating following Robert’s death, were responsible for the most-loved, iconic music in movie history, including ‘Trust in Me’ from ‘The Jungle Book,’ ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ from… you guess it; the theme tune for ‘Winnie The Pooh,’ and ‘Bedknobs & Broomsticks’.
Emma Thompson is already being pegged for an Oscar nod for her relatable and nuanced performance.
John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks is a biographical dramedy, centering on Walt Disney’s life and the creation of Mary Poppins and starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson – in short, it is practically the perfect storm for critical success. Both the story and the performances are praised throughout the internet and critics are already pegging this for an Oscar nod, or several.
Critics are practically in awe of the charming biopic.
A particular favorite is Emma Thompson’s performance as author PL Travers – the original creator of the Mary Poppins character. As Travers, Thompson is sharp, snippy, but still relatable in her passion to protect the essence of Mary Poppins. As The Guardian’s Mark Kermode puts it, Thompson is “sheer perfection in the complex role of "Mrs PL", never allowing the author to descend into crotchety caricature, constantly suggesting a strain of melancholia behind the biting, control-freaky hautiness.”
Frozen, Oldboy and Saving Mr Banks try to lure moviegoers from Catching Fire, while trailers promise brawn in new Hercules and Tarzan films. And Son of God offers biblical drama...
In the wake of last week's Catching Fire fever, new releases this week are a little more low key. Thanksgiving audiences in America will be choosing between Disney's acclaimed new animated film Frozen and Spike Lee's much more adult remake of the 2003 Korean thriller Oldboy.
Meanwhile in the UK moviegoers will get a taste of Thanksgiving in the wacky animated romp Free Birds, plus a chance to savour the awards-buzz on Saving Mr Banks, about Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) trying to coerce PL Travers (Emma Thompson) into signing over the rights to her book Mary Poppins. Read our Saving Mr. Banks review here.
The film has enjoyed a great critical response
When news of Saving Mr. Banks was announced, the words on everybody’s lips were: ‘Tom Hanks is playing Walt Disney. Cool’. But, as details of the film emerged, the characters of P.L Travers emerged as the more interesting angle. And so it has proved now the critics have taken a look.
Emma Thompson as P.L Travers in Saving Mr. Banks
Perhaps it’s because Travers’ story isn’t particularly well known; not everyone was aware of the trouble she faced when Disney weighed in on her book, with a view to turning it into – as it became – one of the biggest films of all time. Either way, Thompson as Travers is the focus as Saving Mr. Banks hurtled towards a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
This true story only barely avoids becoming sloppily sentimental, thanks to a solid cast and a final act that generates honest emotion. Awash with the Disney spirit, the film breaks free of the marketing machine to recount events that are lively and often very funny, but also manage to be sharply moving. It's the kind of crowd-pleaser that deserves to do well both at the box office and in awards ceremonies.
Set in 1961, it's the story of how Walt Disney (Hanks) finally lures PL Travers (Thompson) to Hollywood to woo her into signing over the film rights to Mary Poppins after some 20 years of pestering. She is equally determined to protect her creation, which is very close to her heart. But she agrees to work with the screenwriter (Whitford) and composers (Schwartzman and Novak) as long as she has veto power. Her demands are crazy ("I don't want the colour red anywhere in the movie!"), but everyone tries to win her over. Eventually Walt realises that he needs to find out exactly why Mary Poppins is so important to her. And that the story is more about Mary's affect on the family's father, Mr Banks, than the children.
Indeed, in parallel flashbacks we see Travers' childhood in rural 1906 Australia, where she lives as a young girl (Buckley) with her lively father (Farrell) and shattered mother (Wilson). Her dad's alcoholism is the driving force of these scenes, which feel like a completely separate film intercut with sunny 1960s Hollywood. But they add weight to Thompson's remarkably detailed performance, which is marvellously withering and hilarious, and also subtly emotional. Her interaction with the buoyant Hanks is sharp and jagged, and the film's nicest scenes are between Travers and her driver, sensitively played by Giamatti.
Continue reading: Saving Mr. Banks Review
We think Hanks or Thompson could be in for a actor/supporting actor nod at The Oscars 2014
The long-awaited Walt Disney film, featuring Tom Hanks as the controversial man himself, is getting closer and closer, and we’ve got some stills of Hanks in action as well as his co-stars, Emma Thompson, B.J Novak and Jason Schwartzman.
Tom Hanks as the controversial Walt Disney
Saving Mr. Banks, which is to be showcased at Disney's annual D23 Expo, follows the story of Mary Poppins’ journey from page to screen as Author P.L. Travers travels from London to Hollywood to see her novel change in front of her eyes. She didn’t want Disney to do whey they did with her creation; wasn’t what she had planned.
P.L. Travers was an Australian author who, in the early sixties, went into negotiations with Walt Disney over the rights of her novels surrounding the character Mary Poppins. It was eventually released on the big screen and won five Oscars, though its production was not without its conflicts. Travers' initial aversion to Hollywood didn't help matters, and she was unnerved by the idea that Disney might turn her beloved character into a prancing, dancing, twinkling fairy godmother. However, when Disney began to understand that Mary Poppins' place in the story was less about the children and more about their father - and, in effect, her own father on whom she based him on - the pair began to bond better and Travers was finally willing to unleash her story onto the world.
'Saving Mr. Banks' is the story of how 'Mary Poppins' was put to film in 1964 by Walt Disney, thirty years after P.L. Travers began writing about her. It is about the conflicts between Travers and Disney and Travers own struggles with her personal life when we discover just how true to life the story really was. It has been directed by John Lee Hancock ('Snow White and the Huntsman', 'A Perfect World', 'The Blind Side') and written by Kelly Marcel ('Terra Nova') and Sue Smith ('My Brother Jack', 'Peaches') and it is set to hit UK cinemas on January 17th 2014.
Check out what Tom Hanks looks like as the controversial Walt Disney.
We love the Tom Hanks Walt Disney picture, it’s not quite the transformation we expected – we can still see Hanks in it – but it has certainly whetted the appetite for Saving Mr Banks: the upcoming biographical drama about the production of the popular Walt Disney film Mary Poppins.
Hanks sports a 'tache at a portrait unveiling at Sardi's restaurant
Next to Hanks – who appears to be towing the company line, waving to fans – is a rather disgruntled Emma Thompson, who plays P.L. Travers in the film. Her struggle, which stems from Disney’s desire to adapt her novel, is a central plot point from the film. 'Saving Mr Banks' – also starring Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman and Colin Farrell - is due out on January 17.
Continue reading: Tom Hanks Walt Disney Picture - First Still From 'Saving Mr Banks'
Sandra Bullock is in talks with producers of the upcoming Hollywood remake of ‘Annie,’ according to The Wrap. Rumours of Bullock’s involvement started circulating in March, although it is believed talks have since reopened with Sony and Overbrook Entertainment.
The musical, first shown on Broadway in 1977, was made into a film in 1982. Should the studio’s plans come into fruition, the actress would be playing Miss Hannigan: the abusive overseer of Annie’s orphanage. As such, Bullock will be competing with Carol Burnett’s performance.
This role would mark a change for the actress who has previously appeared as the heroine in the majority of her films including The Blind Side, The Proposal and All About Steve.
Continue reading: Sandra Bullock In Talks For Jay-z And Will Smith’S ‘Annie’
Beautiful Creatures may boast a stellar cast, with the likes of Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons in the midst of its line-up, but that did not save it from a receiving a serious trouncing in the press and a bitterly disappointing opening weekend. The movie, which only managed to dredge up a meagre 44% on the Rotten Tomatoes review site, opened with just $7.5 million in domestic box office sales.
It seems that a smattering of quality cast members simply wasn’t enough to save Beautiful Creatures. Touted as the next Twilight, the overall look of the movie feels cheap in comparison and the story (boy moves to small Southern town, boy meets girl, boy discovers girl’s dark secrets) felt all too familiar and yawnsome. Too amateur-looking to draw in the adult crossover audience that Twilight and The Hunger Games so successfully entrapped and lacking the hype that they benefitted from so greatly, Beautiful Creatures has simply fallen through the cracks and failed to find its niche.
The top earner for the President's Day Weekend sales (and let’s not forget, it was also Valentine’s Day Weekend) was the latest Bruce Willis blockbuster, A Good Day To Die Hard, which somehow rakes in $25 million in its debut weekend, despite having received even worse reviews than Beautiful Creatures and managed only a laughable 16% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Beautiful Creatures reviews are out, and it would appear as though the supernatural drama has divided the critics. Let’s have a look.
The inevitable comparisons to Twilight are ample, and like the vampire franchise, Beautiful Creatures is set for sequel after sequel; something The Telegraph wouldn’t mind. “There's just enough here to make the inevitable sequels a not-entirely-unwelcome prospect,” they write in a review that seems positive and negative at the same time. The Los Angeles Times’ review were delighted with it, saying “The movie is an intriguing, intelligent enigma - three words not typically associated with teen romances.” Similarly, Time Magazine seemed to accept it for what it is: “Beautiful Creatures is good fun and I want to know what happens next for Lena the teenaged witch.”
Continue reading: Beautiful Creatures Reviews – Critical Response Is Mixed
While this package has all of the key marketing elements to reach the Twilight audience, the film itself is rather a lot more fun, made with some wit and intelligence, plus a cast that's happy to chomp on the scenery. Based on a four-novel series, this film actually has more in common with True Blood than Twilight, with its Deep South setting and the clash between religious fundamentalism and supernatural beings.
At the centre is Ethan (Ehrehreich), a 16-year-old who is bristling against the isolation of his small South Carolina town. His recently deceased mother instilled in him a love of books banned by the town's hyper-religious leaders, and the local librarian Amma (Davis) helps keep his interest alive. As a result, he's more open than the other teens when Lena (Englert) arrives at school. But she's shunned because her Uncle Macon (Irons) is the town's pariah, a landowner whom everyone thinks is a devil worshipper. Actually, the whole family are casters, people with special powers that are designated good or evil on their 16th birthday.
The plot stirs up some suspense as Lena's big day of reckoning approaches. She's terrified that she'll go over to the dark side like her man-eating cousin (Rossum) or, worse still, her spectral mother, who does her mischief by inhabiting the body of the town's most pious housewife Mrs Lincoln (Thompson). This of course gives Thompson two insane characters to play at the same time, and she has a ball with it. As does Irons with the shadowy, snaky Macon. And at the centre, Ehrenreich and Englert both show considerable promise, with their strikingly non-Hollywood good looks and a depth of character that makes the film more engaging than we expect.
Continue reading: Beautiful Creatures Review
The latest trailer for fantasy film Beautiful Creatures offers an insight into the narrative's tale of fate and how much of it can be controlled. The story focuses on a young witch - they use the term Caster - called Lena who feels self-conscious at all the attention she receives in the normal world for her magic powers. So what better thing to do than move to a small conservative town in the backwaters of America? They're sure to take to someone so different there. Here she meets someone she falls in love with, of course. And they're also a 'mortal' (one of us, basically) so you can be sure that won't go down too well with her fellow Casters.
Lena Duchannes is a Caster whose family has plenty of dark power between them, but rather than feeling empowered, Lena just wishes she can be mortal so she wouldn't have to hide and people wouldn't talk about her all the time. When she moves to the small and somewhat conservative town of Gatlin, South Carolina, she finds herself an outcast but is soon noticed by her school mate Ethan Wate who is enchanted by her and the excitement her arrival brings to this ordinary, unmoving town. However, their relationship is compromised by the fact that Lena only has a matter of days left before she is subjected to the Claiming; a process that will decide whether she will turn to the Light or the Dark side of magic. While her uncle does everything in her power to make sure she is claimed to the Light, the all-powerful Sarafine is convinced that she will have great magical supremacy which would better be served in the Dark.
'Beautiful Creatures' is the story of just how much love can conquer and, equally, the devastation it brings. It has been adapted to screen by Oscar nominated director and screenwriter Richard LaGravenese ('P.S. I Love You', 'The Mirror Has Two Faces') from the book of the same name by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The fantasy romance will be released in time for Valentine's Day on February 13th 2013.
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Continue: Beautiful Creatures Trailer
In the 10th century highlands, Princess Merida (voiced by Macdonald) is annoyed that her only fate seems to be to choose a suitor from three eligible losers.
She'd much rather be out having epic adventures and making her own history. Her mother, Queen Elinor (Thompson), struggles to keep Merida in line, to say nothing of her rambunctious husband, King Fergus (Connolly), and three tearaway young sons. When Merida's frustration boils over, she consults a witch (Walters) about a spell that will sort her mother out. Of course, what happens isn't what she had in mind.
Continue reading: Brave Review
One day Agent J (Smith) wakes up to find that his partner Agent K (Jones) has been dead for more than 40 years. It turns out that evil alien Boris (Clement) has travelled back to 1969 to stop K from capturing him so he can conquer Earth. So J has little choice but to follow him. First, he must convince new boss O (Thompson) to let him go, and then he has to explain everything to the younger K (Brolin) and work with another alien (Stuhlbarg) who can see multiple futures.
Continue reading: Men In Black 3 Review
Princess Merida is the daughter of the warrior, King Fergus and his wife, Queen Elinor. She is also the eldest of four; she has three younger brothers, Hamish; Hubert and Harris, who are a set of triplets. Being part of the royal family means she has to sit and watch a Scottish tradition: the first born son showcasing his archery.
Continue: Brave Trailer
Agents K and J work for the Men In Black, an organisation specialising in hunting down aliens. Agent J used to be known as James Darrell Edwards III and was recruited by Agent K, after the latter observed the former hunting down an alien in disguise while working for the NYPD.
Continue: Men In Black III Trailer
Harry Potter and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, continue their search for Voldemort's Horcruxes - dark magical objects that help the user gain immortality. Having found and destroyed one Horcrux - a locket belonging to Hogwarts founder Salazar Slytherin - the three friends travel from Ron's older brother Bill Weasley's house by the sea to the wizarding bank, Gringotts and then to Hogwarts to look for the final remaining Horcruxes.
During the Blitz in London, posh children Cyril and Celia (Vlahos and Taylor-Ritson) are sent to stay with their aunt, Mrs Green (Gyllenhaal), on her farm. While she awaits news of her soldier husband, she struggles to manage her three rambunctious kids (Butterfield, Woods and Steer), pay her bills, fend off her financially desperate brother-in-law (Ifans) and keep the dotty local shopkeeper (Smith) from doing something dangerous. The person she needs is clearly Nanny McPhee (Thompson), who arrives with several stern-but-magical tricks up her sleeve.
Continue reading: Nanny McPhee & The Big Bang Review
Date of birth
15th April, 1959
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