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With just days left in 2017, the year has given us an unlikely but awesome couple.
Photographs of actress Laura Dern holding hands and kissing retired NBA star Baron Davis have sent the Twittersphere into a meltdown.
The photographs were taken at Beverly Hills Hotel on December 20 and published a week later by US Weekly, who said the pair were ‘enjoying a lunch date’ together.
After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago, writer-director Rian Johnson had a lot to live up to with Episode VIII. And he delivers more than anyone expected: a lucid, entertaining film that operates on four distinct planes, deepens all of its characters, enriches the mythology and constantly surprises the audience with twists and turns. It's a little overwhelming, a nonstop two and a half hours of action and intensity without any time to catch your breath. But there's also a steady stream of sharp humour to help keep things in perspective.
The story picks up straight away, as the First Order led by Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) presses its advantage to wipe out the rebellion for good. Snoke is playing his apprentice Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) off against General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) for maximum effect as they launch an attack. Rebel General Leia (Carrie Fisher) is trying to protect her scrappy army, with pilot Poe (Oscar Isaac) trying against the odds to find a way to get them to safety. He sends rebel hero Finn (John Boyega) and mechanic Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) on a mission to track down a hacker who can give them a chance against the First Order. Meanwhile, Rey (Daisy Ridley) has tracked down Leia's brother, jaded Jedi master Luke (Mark Hamill), who is trying to teach her hard truths about the Force.
Each of these characters finds a surprising connection to others, derailing plans and sending each person on an unexpected journey. The way Johnson orchestrates all of this is remarkable because it's both coherent and compelling. And the actors beautifully inhabit the characters, offering telling glimpses beneath the surface. Driver has the strongest role, grappling with three other main characters to understand his destiny. It's dark and complex, and unnervingly moving. Ridley and Hamill also have powerfully gripping moments, while Isaac gets to make good on his scallywag promise in the previous film. And in her final role, the late Fisher brings a wonderfully knowing, sassy edge to Leia.
Continue reading: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review
Laura Dern at the 2016 Glamour Women of The Year Awards - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 15th November 2016
This harrowing morality play is timely and riveting, but never remotely subtle. The setting is the mortgage crisis, during which savvy fast-talkers figured out how to make a fortune on the back of other people's tragedy. It's strikingly written and directed by Iranian-American filmmaker Ramin Bahrani with an attention to internalised detail, revealing an aspect of Western culture that's deeply disturbing.
It's 2010, and the economy is in freefall as families and small businesses struggle to survive. When Florida builder Dennis (Andrew Garfield) loses his job, he has no idea how he'll support his mother and son (Laura Dern and Noah Lomax). Unable to pay their inflated mortgage, they're evicted from the family home by ruthless estate agent Rick (Michael Shannon). Then Rick sees something in Dennis that he admires, and hires him to do some building work, eventually taking him under his wing and teaching him how to profit from the record number of repossessions. But this means taking advantage of government grants, banking loopholes and people whose lives have collapsed. And it isn't long before it starts eating away at Dennis.
Garfield gives an open, searching performance as this desperate young father who's grasping at any lifeline he can find for his family. It's a complex, difficult character, mainly because his moral dithering sits in contrast to Shannon's flashier, shark-like Rick, who's often scary in the way he's able to avoid empathising with people in pain. In a much smaller role, Dern is the polar opposite, a warm blast of straight-arrow morality who continually prods her son to do the right thing. Yes, these characters are somewhat constructed as three points in a triangle, but they beautifully highlight the issues involved. And the actors dig deep into the emotional ramifications.
Continue reading: 99 Homes Review
Dennis Nash is a struggling single father whose life is turned upside down when he's evicted from his home by a corrupt real-estate broker named Rick Carver. Facing life on the streets, Dennis is forced to work for Carver in the hope of reclaiming his home, but how will he cope carrying out the same ruthless eviction techniques that were used on him? As Dennis falls deeper into Carver's web, relationships suffer and his situation becomes more dangerous than he could have imagined.
Continue: 99 Homes Trailer
Patricia Arquette won the Best Supporting Actress gong for her role in 'Boyhood'.
Patricia Arquette has won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She starred in Richard Linklater’s epic Boyhood, playing the role of Olivia Evans.
The 46 year old fended off strong competition from Laura Dern (Bobbi Grey in Wild), Keira Knightley (Joan Clarke in The Imitation Game), Emma Stone (Sam Thomson in Birdman) and Meryl Streep (‘The Witch’ in Into The Woods).
2015's Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette (L) with her 'Boyhood' colleagues Ellar Coltrane and Richard Linklater
Continue reading: Patricia Arquette Wins Best Supporting Actress At 2015 Oscars
Reese Witherspoon gives a beautifully stripped-back performance in this epic journey based on the memoir by Cheryl Strayed. The title has a double meaning, as it follows this wild child through the Wild West in a quest to find her centre. This metaphor is as obvious as Cheryl's badly over-loaded backpack, but while the messages are unmistakable the filmmaking and acting are raw and natural. And the settings are spectacular.
After a chaotic patch of wanton living, seen in flashback, Cheryl (Witherspoon) sets off to hike a thousand miles along the Pacific Crest Trail, from Mexico to Canada. She has no idea what she's doing, but bravely goes for it, overcoming feelings of loneliness before getting to know some fellow hikers along the trail as she traverses deserts, mountains and forests amid sunshine, rain and snow. All of this gives her a chance to make sense of a variety of memories involving her mother (Laura Dern), her ex-husband (Thomas Sadoski), her younger brother (Keene McRae) and her best friend (Gaby Hoffmann). And there are plenty of issues that need to be sorted out.
The film is structured in a way that lets us learn about Cheryl's past gradually. Important facts and events are dribbled in throughout the hike, shaping Cheryl's physical odyssey into a journey of self-discovery, which is more than a little gimmicky. Especially when "telling" quotes are printed right across the screen. Thankfully, Nick Hornby's script and Jean-Marc Vallee's direction never moralise about her history of promiscuity and drug abuse. These things are not the problem: they are symptoms of what's wrong with Cheryl. And this gives the film a maturity lacking in most Hollywood-studio films that are happy to find easy explanations and solutions.
Continue reading: Wild Review
'The Imitation Game' and 'The Theory Of Everything' stars among the 26th annual festival's honourees.
The 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards saw accolades going to some very well-deserved movies from the last year - with some even more well-deserved individuals picking them up.
Unsurprisingly, the Ensemble Cast Award went to the actors from 'The Imitation Game'; a movie depicting the era-defining career of codebreaker Alan Turing during World War II and his subsequent arrest for being homosexual. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, with the likes of Allen Leech, Matthew Beard and Alex Lawther - the latter of whom plays Turing's younger self. Directed by the BAFTA nominated Morten Tyldum, the movie has already been nominated for five Golden Globes, and it definitely looks to be in line for an Academy Award.
Continue reading: Biopics Win Big At 2015 Palm Springs Film Festival Awards [Photos]
When young Cheryl Strayed loses her beloved mother, her entire world seems to come crashing down around her. With her family members distancing themselves from each other in their mourning, she feels she has no-one left to turn to and starts taking heroin and indulging in promiscuous behaviour to comfort herself - if only temporarily. As expected, she and her husband soon divorce as her antics do not improve and she decides that she needs to find another outlet for her grief. Despite having had no previous experience, she decides to embark on a solitary journey across the Pacific Crest Trail; a 1,100 mile hike from California to Canada across brutal mountains and savagely dry desert. Has Cheryl made the biggest mistake of her life? Or will she finally be able to find peace with the world?
Continue: Wild Trailer
Based on the beloved novel by John Green, this film is so squarely slanted toward teen girls that it is likely to annoy everyone else. Written and directed in a way that never allows even a hint of ambiguity, each scene and line of dialogue is on-the-nose, pushing the audience to a specific emotional response. This of course leaves everything feeling manipulative and false. Even so, the movie is rescued by another wonderfully layered performance from Shailene Woodley.
She plays the 17-year-old Hazel, who has been dealing with aggressive cancer for three years and has only just been stabilised by a breakthrough treatment. As she still needs to carry oxygen to breathe properly, her parents (Laura Dern and Sam Trammell) are understandably protective, but she's happy to get out on her own whenever possible. Then in a support group she meets 18-year-old cancer survivor Gus (Ansel Elgort), who is immediately smitten with her and flirts so aggressively that she finally agrees to be his friend, but nothing more. As she hangs out with Gus and his pal Isaac (Nat Wolff), another cancer patient, she begins to open up to her innermost dreams. So she goes along with a make-a-wish plan to travel to Amsterdam with Gus and her mother to meet the author (Willem Dafoe) of her favourite novel. And the trip changes her life in several unexpected ways.
Sensitive audience members will be sobbing from the beginning to the end of this film, simply because director Josh Boone tells them to. More cynical viewers will find it impossible to believe anything on-screen. This isn't because the plot is bad (it's actually quite thoughtful and provocative) or the actors get their performances wrong. It's because Boone and the screenwriters can't resist punching every note as loudly as they can. It's been so tidily shaped into a cinematic structure that everything feels fake, which makes it impossible for the actors to create characters who could exist anywhere besides in a movie.
Continue reading: The Fault In Our Stars Review
Hazel Lancaster is a bright 16-year-old girl suffering from terminal cancer who is forced to carry an oxygen and breathing tubes with her wherever she goes. Her mother forces her to attend a nearby cancer support group in a bid to help her come to terms with her illness and make friends who understand her situation. She meets a charming former cancer sufferer and amputee named Gus who is immediately taken by Hazel and the pair become inseparable; he sees past her tragic illness and is the only person who makes her feel as if she has a lifetime ahead of her. However, she soon begins to realise that her feelings for him are becoming stronger and stronger and she attempts to distance herself from him to avoid hurting him in the future. But Gus is determined that he loves her, and will stay by her side until the very end.
Continue: The Fault In Our Stars Trailer
Laura Dern - Laura Dern exits her midtown hotel with her two children Ellery and Jaya Harper - New York City, New York, United States - Friday 5th April 2013
Laura Dern Sunday 14th November 2010 Actress, Laura Dern and her daughter enjoy a family day out in Brentwood Los Angeles, USA
Date of birth
10th February, 1967
Grateful to support @frontlinefoods in sending meals to healthcare heroes at hospitals across 5 cities, all from wo… https://t.co/h5jbsekGs5
A new season of F is for Family arrives June 12! https://t.co/OBHIHmXtBj
Something big happened last night! CA is taking an important step to safeguard the health of communities by protect… https://t.co/uYJ1BPvMjN
May the 4th be with you ♥️ #ViceAdmiralHoldo https://t.co/QTSn3uEWyQ
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One way to spend your time when you miss your FRIENDS I even social-distanced my Legos Love you girls https://t.co/X1dMrg0Yks
Nothing better to entertain than through the extraordinary and expansive mind, vision, and art of David Lynch. Happ… https://t.co/YEi59H4GQS
Join me in donating to #AmericasFoodFund, a new initiative to help fund the coordination, mobilization, distributio… https://t.co/nfcmwlnWRR
I’m supporting the onefairwage Emergency Fund to support tipped restaurant workers, delivery drivers and other gig… https://t.co/vPi4fwLF1c
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So blessed to have friends to distantly walk through this with. And nature! https://t.co/BpdtWEFKu4
We all have the power to change the future. #PomellatoForWomen #Pomellato #InternationalWomensDay https://t.co/IEaqVy7ldn
What a moment going to vote for the first time with your child! We did it! Have you? Let’s vote so we can feel ho… https://t.co/XCiE4PeUzj
I vote. I sure hope you will, too. Link in my bio! https://t.co/L5enK8o9t1
More than 90% of Americans support background checks. It's past time for @senatemajldr to call a vote for this life… https://t.co/NHMaFj9vPi
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