Mary is a bright and happy little girl who lives with her uncle, Frank; he is her guardian and care giver since the death of her mother. Frank's sister made his promise that he'd always do right by her daughter and give her the most normal life possible - despite her loss.
Frank and Mary have a very close relationship and Frank home tutors the little blonde haired girl but as she gets older and her ability to learn more develops, Frank decides it's time for his niece to enrol at the local junior school. Despite Mary's pleas (and discussion to the point of 'Ad nauseum') to her uncle to let her stay home, Frank knows that she must start adjusting to a more normal way of life.
Howard School is a friendly local elementary and for the first time in her life, Mary is part of a classroom and soon her teacher discovers that Mary is an extremely clever girl - a child genius. The head teacher approaches her uncle Frank and tells him that she could potentially get Mary enrolled at a school for gifted children but thinking about his sisters last wishes, Frank decides she's best where she is.
Continue: Gifted Trailer
This much more light-hearted sequel reinvigorates the franchise after Disney's quirky but murky 2010 reboot of Lewis Carroll's classic, which sent the heroine into Underland (not Wonderland) for a dark adventure that spiralled into a Lord of the Rings-scale battle. Thankfully this time the odyssey remains personal, centred on lively characters rather than overwrought plotting. And Alice's time-travelling quest is both pointed and engaging.
After captaining her late father's ship on a global journey, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to 1875 London to bad news: her mother (Lindsay Duncan) has made decisions that take her future out of her hands. As she struggles to respond, she is summoned back to Underland to help her friend Hatter (Johnny Depp), who is emotionally devastated by the fact that his entire family has been killed. So Alice decides to help by confronting Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) and stealing a device that will allow her to travel back to help the younger Hatter. But she also becomes entangled in the early life of the White and Red Queens (Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway), and the feud that grew between them as young sisters. Meanwhile, Time is terrified that Alice is unravelling the fabric of reality.
The emotional nature of Alice's mission adds a surprising layer of suspense to the entire film, while director James Bobin (The Muppets) adds a breezy comical tone to Tim Burton's stunningly visual designs. Some of the more wacky flourishes don't quite work (such as the "sea of time" imagery or Time's hand-powered vehicle), but the film more than makes up for these with wonderful character details. This lets the actors relax into their roles while cranking up the surreal touches. Wasikowska is great as the plucky heroine fighting for her right to control her own life, a strong point that's made without preaching.
Continue reading: Alice Through The Looking Glass Review
The BIFA 2013 honored some of the best in independent cinema from this past year.
This year’s British Independent Film Awards honored world-renowned Hollywood actors and actresses, as well as small, independent productions and rising stars, from James McAvoy and Julie Walters, to newcomers like The Shell’s Chloe Pirrie.
Lindsay Duncan and James McAvoy won for best actress and actor, respectively.
Some of the winners included Blue Is The Warmest Color (Best International Independent Film), Filth and Le Week-end, but with three awards in total, Sean Ellis’ Metro Manila was by far the most successful. The film won for Best Achievement in Production, Best Director and the top honor of the night, Best British Independent Film.Click here to check out the full review of Metro Manila.
If you're looking for a new favorite autumn movie, this is probably it.
Le week-end is sweet, it’s quirky and it has its token dose of snark – the perfect combination to warm those chilly autumn nights. To top it all off, this Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan starrer is set in Paris, adding another dose of romance to the whole affair. The affair in question is a weekend getaway for an ageing couple, which leads them to reevaluate their relationship and their lives overall.
Can they repair their stagnant marriage in the most romantic city ever?
We’ve seen screen-legends combine to bring us the other side of a ‘coming of age’ story before - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel did it to some degree of success – and now we have Le Week-End, which see Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan’s characters head to the city of love to see if theirs can be reignited.
Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan in le Week-end
The Guardian, on the strength of the film’s Toronto 2013 screening, certainly liked it, giving it four stars. “All three lead characters are brimful of insight, with Broadbent brilliant as a man berated by his wife, scorned by his employers, exploited by his son, and offered scant compensation from anyone,” says their review.
Meg and Nick are a seemingly devoted couple who venture to the romantic city of Paris on their thirtieth wedding anniversary in the hope of rekindling old feelings from their honeymoon. They may claim to love each other, but things are far from perfect in their relationship as their routine lifestyles have caused a dramatic rift between them without them even noticing. Their weekend is tainted by frequent arguments, though always warmed by frequent displays of affection and childish exploits. However, when they bump into old American friend who invites them for dinner at his Parisian apartment, they start to feel depressed that their lives are several shades less colourful than his with his gorgeous pregnant wife, success in the city and an impressive book deal. Will this long-devoted couple find peace within themselves to be content with one another? Or will Paris cause them to finally drift apart?
Continue: Le Week-End Trailer
Curtis has said he may stop making movies, and on the basis of this film you can kind of see why: he's clearly in a rut. While this romance attempts a bit of magical whimsy, it's the same collection of sassy comedy, romantic drama and sudsy sentimentality that characterised Love Actually and Notting Hill. More troubling is how it presents that same almost offensively slanted view of British society.
The magical element is time travel, as young Tim (Gleeson) learns from his father (Nighy) that the men in his family can flit back along their timelines at will, reliving past events and fixing things where needed. Tim decides this will come in handy as he looks for a wife, and indeed he uses his skill to circle round and round charming American Mary (McAdams) until they fall in love. And over the next several years, as he figures out how to make their life together as amazing as possible, he learns that there are some limitations to this gift.
As always, Curtis gives his characters a fantasy level of wealth that doesn't really make sense. We never see Tim travel back to win the lottery, but there's no other explanation for how he and Mary are able to buy a house in a posh Maida Vale street. And these characters also live in an imagined pocket of London that has no diversity at all, as we never see anyone who isn't white and straight. But then, Tim's idyllic childhood on the Cornish coast isn't exactly believable either, complete with a quirky earth-adoring sister (Wilson) and always-confused uncle (Cordery).
Continue reading: About Time Review
Lewis Shaler may have a well-paid job as a doctor and a beautiful young son named Max, but his life is far from perfect. Being a single father in a highly demanding career leaves him with little time to enjoy a personal life, but when he becomes engaged in conversation with a pretty girl named Sarah Barwell on a late London train, he begins to wonder if his life is changing for the better. However, his moment of bliss turns into a horrific nightmare when it becomes clear that the train guard is nowhere to be found and their journey becomes chaotic and dangerous. Their driver is a suicidal psychopath with plans only to make one stop and crash the vehicle, killing all on board.
Continue: Last Passenger Trailer
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