'Viceroy's House' follows the life of the last Viceroy of India who was the figurehead of relinquishing British rule on the Indian subcontinent in 1947. Lord Mountbatten and his wife Lady Edwina Mountbatten were charged with overseeing India's newfound independence, wanting the nation to stay united as one. However, India was already divided by religion, with Muslim leader Muhammed Ali Jinnah wishing to establish a separate country in the form of Pakistan. The Partition of India was not a desirable option for the British rule, but as the civil unrest grew amongst the people and people began to divide themselves anyway, it became the only option for minimal damage to all nations.
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'Churchill's Secret' is based on a recent book by Jonathan Smith, concerning the ex-PM's battle to recover from a stroke while still in office in the 1950s.
Sir Michael Gambon will play Winston Churchill in a newly-announced ITV drama about his final years as Prime Minster in the 1950s. He’ll be starring alongside Lindsay Duncan, who portrays Churchill’s long-suffering wife, Clementine.
Entitled ‘Churchill’s Secret’, the two-hour feature-length special will be based on the recently published book by Jonathan Smith, ‘The Churchill Secret: KBO’. It’s to be set during the summer of 1953 when the Prime Minister, during his second term in office, suffered a stroke. His condition was kept a secret from the world.
Sir Michael Gambon will be taking the role of Winston Churchill in a forthcoming ITV drama special
Continue reading: Sir Michael Gambon To Play Winston Churchill In ITV Drama
The 74-year-old actor has been forced end his illustrious stage career because of "frightening" issues with his memory.
Veteran actor Michael Gambon, best known for playing Professor Albus Dumbledore in the remaining six 'Harry Potter' films after the death of actor Richard Harris, has been forced to retire from stage acting due to issues with his memory.
Gambon has retired from stage acting due to memory loss
The 74-year-old actor, who is a three-time Olivier Award winner, first starred onstage in a 1962 production of 'Othello' at Dublin's Gates Theatre and last appeared in 2013's Off-Broadway play 'All That Fall' in New York City. He was eventually knighted for "services to drama" in 1998.
Continue reading: Michael Gambon Retires From Stage Acting Due To Memory Loss
The actor has been forced to retire from the stage, but will continue his film and TV career.
Celebrated British actor Michael Gambon has been forced to retire from the theatre, owing to his ever worsening memory for lines and accepting that he couldn't maintain a stage career while someone prompted him through an earpiece.
Michael Gambon quits theatre
While very well known for his illustrious film career, including a seven year stint as Albus Dumbledore in the 'Harry Potter' movies and further appearances in 'The King's Speech', 'The Omen' re-make, 'Gosford Park' and 'Sleepy Hollow' among many others, Sir Michael Gambon has also had quite an impact in the world of live theatre.
Continue reading: Michael Gambon Bows Out Of Theatre For Good After Memory Struggles
It's difficult not to go into a movie like this with a sense of dread, as the beloved children's book becomes a live-action movie with a digitally animated, eerily realistic-looking bear. Thankfully, the task of filmmaking was given to the inventive Paul King (of Mighty Boosh fame), who made the charmingly surreal 2009 comedy Bunny and the Bull and brings a refreshingly unexpected comical sensibility to liven up this film's family-friendly formula.
It starts in darkest Peru, where a young bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) has been raised by his aunt and uncle (Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon), who learned about London from a British explorer. Now in need of a new home, the youngster heads across the sea and takes the name of Paddington Station when he meets the Brown family: over-cautious dad (Hugh Bonneville), over-curious mum (Sally Hawkins), sulking teen Judy (Madeleine Harris), inventive pre-teen Jonathan (Samuel Joslin) and feisty relative Mrs Bird (Julie Walters). As they help him find the explorer, he has a series of adventures, unaware that the taxidermist Millicent (Nicole Kidman) is on his trail, determined to add him to the species on exhibition at the Natural History Museum.
This Cruella De Vil-style subplot would be seriously annoying if King ever let it take over the movie, but it always remains secondary to Paddington's mayhem-causing behaviour and his bonding with the Browns. It also provides some genuine tension in a climactic action sequence in the museum. But most of the film is dedicated to Paddington's comically ridiculous antics, and Whishaw voices him with just the right mixture of curiosity and hapless mischief to make him irresistible.
Continue reading: Paddington Review
The 73 year-old actor will star in another one of the British author's creations, 'Casual Vacancy,' an adult-themed novel that will be adapted into a BBC miniseries.
Two familiar faces are teaming up once again for a brand new project.
Michael Gambon, who Dumbledore in the 'Harry Potter' film series', has been cast to star in JK Rowling's brand new BBC and HBO miniseries 'Casual Vacancy.'
The 73 year-old actor, who took over the role of the Hogwarts headmaster after the death of Richard Harris in 2004, leads a cast that includes Keeley Hawes, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan, Julia McKenzie and newcomer Abigail Lawrie, Variety reports.
This is just the latest BBC show to be lambasted for poor audio
The BBC received 243 complaints after Quirke’s first episode on 25 May. There wasn’t any inappropriate content; people just couldn’t hear anything, and that’s a story corroborated by screenwriter Andrew Davies who admitted his wife asked: “Do you mind if we have the subtitles on?'"
Quirke - photo credit: BBC.
“I could hear it because I knew what the words were," explained Andrew Davies to The Radio Times. But his wife, Diana, didn't have the same luxury. "She said, 'Do you mind if we have the subtitles on?'”
It was a fitting way to cap off five decades of quality productions.
The National Theatre in London celebrated five decades of quality productions yesterday with the aid of some of the brightest and most experienced stars of UK theatre. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon, Simon Russell Beale and plenty of others gave their best performances to represent the distinguished institution.
Last year, the National celebrated the London Olympics with a fire garden of lit candles.
The guest list was also sufficiently star-studded, with attendees like playwrights Tom Stoppard, Peter Shaffer and David Hare alongside directors Richard Eyre and Peter Hall and actresses Prunella Scales and Juliet Stevenson. The guest of honor was Joan Plowright, the widow of the late first director of the National’s first director and distinguished actor in his own right Lawrence Olivier.
Very little of the criticism levied at Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, Quartet, are serious. Largely because it's not a particularly serious film. The whole thing is lighthearted fun, behaving like a bit of a playground for the above-middle-age cast and director, all of whom who have enjoyed successful careers and don't necessarily need to push themselves in anything dark and mysterious.
Quartet is the story of a quartet of ageing musicians, living in a home together. In their younger days they had performed together, and they would like to again. Starring Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon, Tom Courtenay and Sheridan Smith as support. Reviews have been fairly average so far.
The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw gave it a desultory 2/5 stars saying that it "is stale, lifeless and often weirdly humourless," but praising Sheridan Smith, who he says "actually steals the film, just a little, with a quietly affecting final speech."
For his directing debut, Dustin Hoffman takes no chances, filling the screen with gifted actors who are working from an intelligent script. So even if it's essentially a rather flimsy little drama that never really stretches the talented cast, there's plenty to like along the way. And Hoffman makes sure that we enjoy ourselves, inserting some sparky humour and a bit of romantic comedy to keep us smiling.
It takes place in a stately home for retired British musicians, which is planning its annual fundraising gala. Then iconic soprano Joan (Smith) arrives, and the gala's diva-like director (Gambon) decides to reunite the quartet known for a famed performance of Verdi's Rigoletto. The other three have long been residents: womanising Wilf (Connolly) and ditzy Cissy (Collins) are up for it, but Reggie (Courtenay) has never recovered after his marriage to Jean failed decades ago. Of course, everyone connives to get Jean and Reggie to talk to each other, but getting Jean to come out of retirement to sing again is an even more daunting task.
Aside from the central theme of second chances, there isn't much to this film beyond watching a group of superb veteran actors have a lot of fun on screen together. As the swishy ringleader, Gambon camps it up hilariously, even as everyone else ignores him. Connolly gleefully chomps on Wilf's innuendo-filled dialogue, and Collins radiates warmth. While Sheridan Smith surprises with a strong turn as the doctor in residence. This leaves Smith and Courtenay with the script's only meaty scenes, and they make finding the raw honesty in these wounded people look easy.
Continue reading: Quartet Review
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.
It's gotten to the point where the quality of the films don't really matter: Now I feel like I'm committed to the whole Harry Potter series. I've reviewed the first five now, so by golly, I'm going to stick it out and finish the lot... even though I still can't bring myself to read any of the books. As always, consider yourself warned that I don't know the intricate backstory developed over thousands of pages in J.K. Rowling's writing. And really, I'm happy to keep it that way.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix continues in the tradition of following another year at the Hogwarts School of Wizardry, where Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has faced nothing but grueling struggle after grueling struggle. His most recent year (Goblet of Fire) saw a friend get killed by his nemesis, the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), who's gaining more power every day and giving Harry severe nightmares. With few exceptions, his friends have largely abandoned him, and the new term comes with even more headaches in the form of Dolores Umbridge (the perfect Imelda Staunton), sent from the Ministry of Magic to teach the defense from the dark arts class and eventually taking over the school as an iron-fisted, fun-crushing bureaucrat.
After much pottering about (ha ha!), the film finally finds its groove as Umbridge goes too far, refusing to teach magic in the classroom, instead preferring to rely on theoretical knowledge so the students can pass their year-end standardized tests. With Voldemort approaching (this guy is always just around the corner), Harry becomes more nervous that he will be unable to defend himself, finally recruiting a handful of students to his cause to teach them what he knows about magical combat. Together they prepare for the day when they know they'll have to use those skills. (In case you haven't seen any of the first four movies, rest assured it isn't far off: This end-of-movie showdown between Harry and the forces of evil has almost become a cliché that pans out every single time.)
Continue reading: Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix Review
Make no mistake: Amazing Grace is not a complex movie. The good guys are good and the bad guys aren't so much bad as they are yet to become good. Such a simple and optimistic moral vision may seem antiquated to some, but Amazing Grace doesn't apologize for its old-fashioned piety. As the action starts, Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) undergoes a religious conversion. His long-abandoned childhood faith has once again stirred his heart and moved him to commit to doing whatever he can to improve the world. Already a member of Parliament, he asks several of his friends -- including the clergyman John Newton (Albert Finney), who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace" -- if he should continue his political career or move on to a more spiritual pursuit. At all of his friends' urging, Wilberforce chooses politics and not long after takes an unpopular stand on the issue that will dominate his political career thereafter: the slave trade.
Continue reading: Amazing Grace Review
Daniel Craig is credited as "XXXX" (oh, if only he were the new "XXX"), a "businessman," as he puts it, whose name we never learn. His business just happens to be cocaine. He plays by a strict set of rules - pay connections on time; keep a low profile, etc. And, like every other lowlife with whom we're supposed to sympathize in a gangster film, he's just about to retire. Until his boss, Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) throws him two curveballs that shoot his plans all to hell.
Continue reading: Layer Cake Review
In typical Tim Burton fashion, a fairy tale gets an update (and the film's color gets drained out in the process). The guts of Legend are still there: In 1799, evil headless horseman marauds a tiny village in upstate New York. Ichabod Crane (Depp) is sent to investigate.
Continue reading: Sleepy Hollow Review
Harry Potter is growing up, and so is his movie franchise.Under the tutelage of a new director -- Alfonso Cuarón, known for both children's fare (the 1995 remake of "A Little Princess") and an edgy, insightfully soulful, sex-charged teen road-trip flick ("Y Tu Mama, Tambien") -- the boy wizard has graduated from the world of kiddie movie spectacles with tie-in toys.
"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" is a film in which depth of character, cunning humor and hair-raising chills come shining through the visual blitzkrieg of special effects -- which are also magnificently improved over the series first two installments. Case in point: a half-horse, half-eagle creature called a Hippogriff that gives "Lord of the Rings'" Gollum a run for his money as the most life-like CGI creation in cinema history.
Beyond just its detailed feathers (which fluff when it shakes) or its golden eyes (which bore holes in the screen with obstinate personality), this winged equine's every movement, from its canter to its peck, is a studied yet natural, amazingly fluid amalgam of the two beasts that were combined to create it.
Continue reading: Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban Review
A swashbuckling, bodice-ripping, 18th Century romp with a dance club pulse, "Plunkett and Macleane" is a slick, modern, action-comedy dropped daringly into the ambiance of a costume drama.
Based very, very loosely on the criminal career of two English highwaymen who became notorious hijacking the wealthy in London's Hyde park, the film stars hip, hot, "Trainspotting" alumni Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle as the pair of gentlemen thieves, something akin to Butch and Sundance fused with Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Miller plays James Macleane, a scam artist and aspiring blue blood, determined to buy his way into 1700s high society. He finds his ticket in an unlikely place -- in the company of Will Plunkett, a former apothecary who turned to street-level petty crime after going bankrupt. Their scheme: Put the polish on Macleane and send him into the most posh parties, where he'll scope out who's worth robbing on their way home. The duo then don masks and stage hold-ups, Macleane being so seductively polite to his prey (especially the ladies) that he's dubbed "the Gentleman Highwayman."
Continue reading: Plunkett & MacLeane Review
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