The Oscar winning actress opens her latest theatrical production on Broadway.
Dame Helen Mirren returns as Queen Elizabeth II as she brings her hit West End political play 'The Audience' over the pond to Broadway; and, without exaggeration, once again proves to be the most convincing queen ever seen on either stage or screen.
Helen Mirren at 'The Audience' opening after party (Credit: Jemal Countess at Getty Images Entertainment)
Helen Mirren has that kind of noble demeanour that commands respect on entering a room, never mind a stage or film set. So it's no wonder that she was selected to reprise her role as the current Queen of England in speculative political theatre drama 'The Audience' - a show which explores the monarchs varying relationships with different Prime Ministers, including the only female PM Margaret Thatcher, Harold Wilson, Winston Churchill and current PM David Cameron.
Once again, director Clint Eastwood lurks in the background, springing a stunningly atmospheric thriller on audiences when they least expect it. Honestly, for an 84-year-old Eastwood is an astoundingly nimble filmmaker, able to take an audience right into a tense situation while never cheating with flashy movie trickery. This film grabs us without mercy, pulling us into a morally complex situation that gets our head spinning.
It's the true story of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the Navy Seal sniper credited with the most official kills after serving four tours of duty in Iraq. Based on his memoir, the film traces him from his religious upbringing, during which he's taught about guns and encroaching evil from an early age. So after the 9/11 attacks, he enlists in the Navy. His sharp-shooting skills are quickly apparent. And as he prepares for his first assignment abroad, he romances local girl Taya (Sienna Miller), a feisty woman who knows what she's getting into. Chris, on the other hand, is instantly thrown into a quandary when his first targets as a sniper are a woman and child who seem to be carrying a bomb. Over the next few years, his marriage to Taya and his moral centre are tested by his military service. And when an Iraqi sniper challenges him, he takes it personally.
Jason Hall's script sticks close to Chris' perspective, which is intensified by Eastwood's coolly efficient direction and Cooper's beefy performance. By putting the audience so tightly within Chris' point of view, we are unable to escape the psychological impact of his experiences, even if real warfare is no doubt much more horrific even than what's depicted here. Cleverly, the film never asks us to judge Chris, merely to see how battle changes him. And Cooper is terrific at finding tiny details that reveal both Chris' altered state and the core stability that never leaves him.
Continue reading: American Sniper Review
Kristin Scott Thomas, one of the world's finest actresses, will play The Queen in London's West End.
Kristin Scott Thomas has been confirmed to play The Queen in a revival of Peter Morgan's classic stage play The Audience. The Oscar-nominated actress, 54 - one of the world's finest - will play the monarch at London's Apollo Theatre next year.
Kristin Scott Thomas will play 'The Queen' in London's West End
It's an all-star collaboration, with Stephen Daldry - the man behind Billy Elliot the Musical, The Hours, The Reader and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - directing the new production. Tickets will go on sale today priced from a very reasonable £22.50, with the play due to begin production on April 21, 2015.
Continue reading: Kristin Scott Thomas To Play The Queen In Revival Of 'The Audience'
Exhilarating racing action punctuates this true story, which sharply traces the rivalry between two Formula One champs. It's superbly well-shot and edited, with engaging performances from the entire cast. And with only one moment of calculated sentimentality, it's director Ron Howard's most honest movie in years.
The story begins in the early 1970s, when two rising-star F1 drivers clash over their very different styles. Britain's James Hunt (Hemsworth) is a swaggering womaniser, revelling in the rock-star lifestyle. By contrast, Austria's Niki Lauda (Bruhl) is a fiercely detailed technician who loves pushing barriers. They clearly see things they like in each other, so their different approaches on the track develop into a competitive relationship that spurs them to the front of the pack. Over the years, both meet their wives (Wilde and Lara, respectively) and move from team to team as they rise to the top of their sport. And their rivalry comes to a head at the 1976 German Grand Prix when world champion Lauda is involved in a horrific, fiery accident.
Morgan's script is essentially two biopics cleverly woven together to let us see the push and pull between these two iconic figures. Unexpectedly, Bruhl's Lauda emerges as the stronger character, with his grounded approach and sardonic wit allowing Bruhl to play effectively with submerged emotions. By contrast, Hemsworth's Hunt is little more than a gifted good-time boy who isn't worried about his lack of substance. It's a likeable, loose performance (we barely notice the wobbly British accent). Opposite them Lara and Wilde provide solid, subtle support, as do the fine actors who fill out the pit crews.
Continue reading: Rush Review
Ron Howard's latest assault on the mainstream movie world is a biography of James Hunt and Niki Lauda.
Chris Hemsworth As James Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda in Rush
Following the relatively disappointing 'The Dilemma', Oscar wining director Ron Howard is back with his latest movie 'Rush', an biographical flick about the rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauder during the 1976 motor racing season. Set against the backdrop of the 'golden age' of the sport, the story certainly lends itself well to the big screen, with the handsome English playboy Hunt attempting to outdo his methodical, driven opponent Lauda. Off course, there's focus on the driver's personal lives though ultimately Howard's latest movie explores how far each sportsman will push to be hailed world champion in a sport where one mistake could be fatal.
The movie boasts a pretty slick looking cast, with Hollywood favourites Chris Hemsworth (Hunt) and Olivia Wilde (Suzy Miller) in the forefront and the brilliant Daniel Bruhl playing Lauda. The movie was shot on location in the UK, Germany and Austria with some scenes filmed at the former World War II airfield of Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire. Kent racing track Brands Hatch also features, as does Nurburgring in Germany. Howard described the period as a "fascinating, sexy, dangerous time," telling Colldier.com, ".it's based on a true story and it's centered around the 1976 Formula One race season. It operates on so many different levels that I really need to use the medium, in pre-production, production and post-production, to try to immerse the audiences in that world, "adding, "So, while Peter Morgan has written the script, and it's emotional, funny and character-driven, first and foremost, I think that the sense of the time, the place, the world, the speed and the danger of it."
In Vienna, British businessman Michael (Law) has arranged to meet Slovakian prostitute Blanka (Siposova) on her first night on the job. But the situation shifts, and Michael ends up thinking about his wife (Weisz) in London.
Meanwhile, she's having a fling with a Brazilian (Cazarre) whose girlfriend (Flor) is fed up with his infidelity. On her flight home, she meets a troubled British man (Hopkins) and a recovering sex-offender (Foster). Meanwhile, an Algerian dentist (Debbouze) in Paris is in love with his Russian employee (Drukarova), whose husband (Vdovichenkov) works for a hotheaded gangster (Ivanir).
Continue reading: 360 Review
George (Damon) has a gift: he can see into the afterlife and help people communicate with their lost loved ones. But he feels it's more like a curse.
Meanwhile in Paris, star journalist Marie (De France) has just recovered from a near-death experience. Instead of working on her planned biography of Mitterand, she instead starts investigating why accounts of after-death experiences are so shunned. And in London, pre-teen Marcus is looking for ways to communicate with recently deceased twin (they're played by Frankie and George McLaren).
Continue reading: Hereafter Review
The Deal is a prequel to The Queen only in the sense that it involves historical details that occurred before those in The Queen. It also involves the same writer, director, and star Michael Sheen, who also plays Tony Blair in this film. The movie involves succession to the position of British Prime Minister in the late 1990s, which found young guns Tony Blair and Gordon Brown both riding high in the liberal Labour Party, rapidly becoming the most popular party in the country and one which delivered a crushing defeat to the Conservative Party in the 1997 elections.
Continue reading: The Deal (2003) Review
It begins with the landslide election of Prime Minister Tony Blair (a shockingly good Michael Sheen) and moves to the car accident that led to Di's death. Frears then meditates on the decisions and the struggle between modernism and tradition that Queen Elizabeth (Helen Mirren) and her family must consider in the wake of not just a familial, but worldwide, day of mourning. For those who don't remember, after the death, there was major pressure for the family to mourn in public, to show their grief and prove that even though Di wasn't part of the family anymore, they were still in a state of solemnity.
Continue reading: The Queen Review
Once again, director Clint Eastwood lurks in the background, springing a stunningly atmospheric thriller on...
Exhilarating racing action punctuates this true story, which sharply traces the rivalry between two Formula...
Loosely based on Arthur Schnitzler's play La Ronde, this beautifully assembled film is easy to...
Eastwood's skilfully unrushed direction merges with Morgan's astute, thoughtful screenplay to create a thoroughly unusual...