Philip is a typical young English gent, except that he has a deepening desire for revenge burning in his heart. He believes that his strangely dark cousin Rachel Ashley has killed his guardian Ambrose for his money, only it's Philip that receives the inheritance in the end, not Rachel. When she arrives in England, Philip accepts her warily into his home, but despite all evidence against her, he can't help himself falling for her beauty and her grace. She's clearly an intelligent and deceptive woman, and everyone else can see that she is only charming Philip to achieve her own selfish ends. But it really doesn't matter how much he is warned about her by those closest to him - particularly Louise Kendall - he's only falling deeper under her spell.
Continue: My Cousin Rachel - Trailer & Featurette
With its rousing, old-fashioned tone, this fact-based epic is properly thrilling and inspirational, a tale of heroism that almost seems too good to be true. But it's the astonishing story of a real sea rescue carried out by ordinary men who rose to the challenge. It's also expertly directed by Craig Gillespie (Million Dollar Arm) to bring out subtle character detail amid the exhilarating action.
The events took place in a sleepy Massachusetts fishing town in the dead of winter 1952, where Bernie (Chris Pine) is an earnest Coast Guard sailor who has just agreed to marry his strong-willed sweetheart Miriam (Holliday Grainger). Then one night a fierce storm breaks an oil tanker in half just off the coast, and Bernie is sent by his aloof commander Daniel (Eric Bana) to lead a rescue mission. He takes his colleague Richard (Ben Foster) and two young crewmen (Kyle Gallner and John Magaro) with him, heading into the dangerous sea swells. Meanwhile on the tanker's still-floating stern section, engineer Ray (Casey Affleck) becomes the leader of a cantankerous 32-man crew, steering the wreckage toward the relative safety of a shoal. And in these conditions, the odds are in nobody's favour.
Unusually, despite pitch-black conditions with driving rain and swelling seas, the on-screen action is crisp and clear. Gillespie uses vivid effects and clever camerawork to keep the audience right in the thick of things, conveying a vivid sense of scale while detailing the connections between each string of events. And because we understand what's happening and who these people are, the set-pieces are literally breathtaking. This is partially due to the fact that these are normal people who are very easy to identify with, from Pine's inarticulate but tenacious sailor to Affleck's reluctant natural leader. Intriguingly, Grainger's Miriam is the film's feistiest character, a woman who simply can't sit still and wait for news.
Continue reading: The Finest Hours Review
Emile Hirsch stars alongside Holliday Grainger in this three network TV event.
The weekend saw an exclusive launch event for the new and innovative A&E television drama, Bonnie & Clyde. The two-part, four hour movie event - not quite a miniseries - stars Emile Hirsch ('Into The Wild') and newcomer Holliday Grainger as the titular bandits who earned notoriety during the Great Depression in the USA.
'Bonnie & Clyde' Is First Three-Network Premiere.
At a glance, the drama looks achingly stylish as the pair show that not only do they know how to rob a bank, but understand the importance of dressing well. Though history remembers the couple through a glamorised Hollywood lens, the pair were dangerous criminals who murdered and stole during one of the toughest eras of American history.
Continue reading: Emile Hirsch A&E Drama 'Bonnie & Clyde' Premieres In Style [Pictures]
Even though Charles Dickens' oft-told story is livened up with a terrific cast and sharp script, it's difficult to see anything terribly new about this BBC-produced version. Especially since it comes less than a year after their previous lavish TV production. But there are plenty of elements in this film that make it worth seeing, as the soap-style plot twists and turns through comedy and romance to its action-thriller climax.
After growing up as an orphan with his blacksmith uncle (Flemyng) and high-strung aunt (Hawkins), Pip (Irvine) is given the chance to live as a London gentleman. He's sure that his anonymous benefactor is the barmy Miss Havisham (Bonham Carter), a broken-hearted hermit he worked for as a child. And since he's still in love with her adopted daughter Estella (Grainger), he decides to use his new position in society to court her. But things don't quite go as expected, and his life takes a surprising turn when scary prison escapee Magwitch (Fiennes) latches onto Pip and begins revealing some surprising connections between all of these people.
This faithful retelling of Dickens' novel is packed with coincidences and revelations, as well as the kind of gleefully thorny rivalries that would be expected on Dallas or Downton Abbey. Overloaded with blackly comical intrigue, it's a compulsively enjoyable film that entertains us on a variety of levels as the story develops. Although director Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) never tries anything too flashy. Which means that despite the high quality, the film is straightforward and perhaps unnecessary.
Continue reading: Great Expectations Review
Pip is a young orphan who has a chance meeting with a frightening stranger while visiting the graves of his parents; a meeting which was to be the catalyst a series of events that would shape his future. Not long after this experience, an unhinged, jilted spinster called Miss Havisham asks Uncle Pumblechook (the uncle of Pip's brother-in-law with whom he lives) to find a young boy to provide company for her adopted daughter Estella. When Pip is chosen, he becomes a regular visitor of Miss Havisham who manipulates him into falling for the pretty but cold-hearted Estella as he grows older. When he becomes a blacksmith's apprentice at his brother-in-law's shop, he is approached by a lawyer who informs him that he has been left a large sum of money by a mysterious benefactor and must journey to London to become a gentleman. Little does he know of the surprises that lay in store for him as he discovers that he has so many secrets to uncover.
This seminal coming-of-age story serves as one of the most influential pieces of English literature in history. Originally written by one of the greatest novelists of the 19th century Charles Dickens, 'Great Expectations' has been adapted to screen by director Mike Newell ('Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire', 'Four Weddings and a Funeral') and screenwriter David Nicholls ('One Day', 'Starter for 10'). It is due to hit UK cinemas from November 30th 2012.
Director: Mike Newell
Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Holliday Grainger, Robbie Coltrane, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, Ewen Bremner, David Walliams, Jessie Cave, Ralph Ineson, Tamzin Outhwaite & Olly Alexander. .
Continue: Great Expectations Trailer
Tolstoy's iconic novel may have been filmed several times, but you've never seen a version like this. Clever writer Tom Stoppard and visually whizzy director Joe Wright combine talents with this ambitious film, which sets all of the action in a theatre that expands and shifts into a variety of settings.
Yes, it's rather strange, but it's also drop-dead gorgeous.
Knightley reteams with Pride & Prejudice and Atonement director Wright to deliver another solid performance as Anna, an aristocrat in 1870s St Petersburg who is married to the achingly nice establishment gent Alexei (Law) but falls under the spell of the bland but sexy young heartbreaker Vronsky (Taylor-Johnson). And when she gets pregnant, she has to make a very difficult decision. The central theme is that these people are characters in a play dictated to them by their restrictive Russian society, so they have little choice but head toward tragedy.
Fortunately, there's a parallel plot about a wealthy farmer (Gleeson) who rejects so-called civilised society to stay in touch with the earth. He pursues the smart, young Kitty (Vikander), also entranced with Vronsky but beginning to become disgusted with so-called civilised culture. The film includes a rather huge number of characters, including Anna's womanising brother (Macfadyen) and his longsuffering wife (a particularly excellent Macdonald). And Wright and Stoppard effortlessly let everyone swirl around each other in a huge pool of emotion.
Although this pool often feels frozen over, as the feelings are pretty icy. So it's good to have open-hearted performances by Macdonald and Gleeson to hold our interest. Knightley is excellent, although we never understand why Anna does anything she does (which is the whole point). But perhaps the most impressive thing about this film is its astoundingly beautiful design: the sets, costumes, photography and music are sumptuous and lush, never fussy but always adding to the intensity of each scene. Look for it to deservedly hoover up Oscar nominations across the board.
Anna Karenina is the young wife of senior statesman Alexei Karenin. Theirs was more of a marriage of convenience rather than love and soon Anna's eyes begin to wander elsewhere as her desire for romance becomes ever more intense. She meets Count Vronsky, a handsome cavalry officer with whom she enters into a passionate adulterous affair. When people find out about their involvement, Anna's honour is crushed in the eyes of the Russian noble men and women and she is forced to make a choice; to leave her loveless marriage and family and lose all honour and dignity, or end her affair with her possessive lover and be potentially forgiven.
Continue: Anna Karenina Trailer
In 1890 Paris, penniless charmer Georges (Pattinson) has a chance encounter with former comrade Charles (Glenister), who offers him a job as a journalist.
Unable to string a sentence together, Charles' wife Madeleine (Thurman) offers to help, but refuses his relentless flirting. Instead he starts a torrid affair with married family friend Clotilde (Ricci). But a taste of the high life goes to his head, and when Charles dies, he makes a move for Madeleine. Or maybe he can get more out of Virginie (Scott Thomas), wife of the newspaper boss (Meaney).
Continue reading: Bel Ami Review
Georges Duroy is a French non-commissioned officer (NCO) who has just spent three months serving in Algeria, in North Africa. He arrives back in Paris and begins working as a clerk for the next six months, soon becoming penniless. One night, Georges goes to a pub after work and runs into former comrade, Charles Forestier, who is now working as a journalist. After catching up, Forestier offers Georges a job at the publication where he works, which he accepts.
Continue: Bel Ami Trailer
After being orphaned as a child, Jane (Clarkson) is sent by her selfish aunt (Hawkins) to a grisly boarding school where she's falsely scorned as a liar.
When she leaves at age 18 (now Wasikowska), she works as a governess for the ward (Moore) of the mercurial Rochester (Fassbender), finding friendship with the housekeeper (Dench) and, surprisingly, romance with Rochester. Alas, this doesn't go well, and when she flees she finds solace with rural parson Rivers (Bell) and his sisters (Grainger and Merchant). Surely she deserves some good news.
Continue reading: Jane Eyre Review
Director Cary Fukunaga adapts Charlotte Bronte's classic novel Jane Eyre. The plot stays true to the book and shows Jane at different stages of her life. It tries to show the darker and more gothic undertones that Bronte would've been surrounded by whilst she was writing the novel.
Continue: Jane Eyre Trailer
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