Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one of those movies that will be unbearably inspirational and patriotic. But thanks to director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express), this is a gritty, honest drama that never dips into sentimentality. It's also a strikingly involving story about a young man who is forced to confront things about himself far beyond his injuries. And that makes it genuinely inspirational.
The man at the centre is Jeff Bauman (Jake Gylenhaal), a happy-go-lucky lad who is cheering his on-again/off-again girlfriend Erin (Tatiana Maslany) at the marathon's finish line. Jeff loses both legs in the explosion, returning home to live with his boozy mother (Miranda Richardson) as he tries to put his life back together. But he feels uneasy that the entire city is celebrating him as a hero. So while his working-class family enjoys the celebrity, Jeff goes quiet. Erin tries to get him to take a more proactive approach to his physiotherapy and get on with his life, but Jeff instead slips back into his old habit of drinking too much with his buddies (Richard Jane Jr. and Nate Richman). And this leaves him without much desire to work toward a full recovery.
Against expectations, the filmmakers refuse to sensationalise either the bombing or Jeff's injuries, instead taking a matter-of-fact approach that feels edgy and authentic. Gyllenhaal plays Jeff as a likeable slacker who knows he's a loser, so can't cope with his status as a symbol of hope. This gives his internal journey some real resonance, and Gyllenhaal gives Jeff a remarkable intensity that's sympathetic even when he's being a jerk. Maslany is also skilfully understated in her pivotal role, while Richardson is the standout as an uneducated woman who makes some very bad decisions but is fiercely protective of her son.
Continue reading: Stronger Review
There's something about national tragedy that has the ability to unite human beings and incite personal growth within the souls of individuals. The Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 was just one such example, and proof that as a united force we'll never let the terrorists win.
On April 15th 2013, Erin Hurley (played by 'Orphan Black' star Tatiana Maslany) decided to run the marathon to raise money for Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. As usual, her boyfriend Jeff Bauman (Jake Gyllenhaal) was hugely supportive of her decision, but she was left with much doubt that he would show up to the event, cheering her on at the finish line with a huge sign as he had promised. It just wasn't in his nature to be reliable.
In a cruel twist of fate, however, it seems this one time he decided to honour his words was at the moment that two terrorists decided to detonate two homemade bombs in the crowd. The incident killed three people and left hundreds of other people injured. Jeff was one of the unlucky 16 who lost limbs in the blast, and it took him a long time to come to terms with his life now that it had been turned upside down.
Continue: Stronger Trailer
Tatiana Maslany and various other celebrities gathered on Saturday night for Entertainment Weekly's annual Comic Con party held at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, California, United States - Sunday 24th July 2016
This fascinating true story is strong enough to hold up against the formulaic Hollywood treatment, boosted by another riveting performance from Helen Mirren. She adds some badly needed prickly humour to the film, which continually resorts to unsophisticated sentimentality as it traces a remarkable series of real events. And it helps that the story has some intriguing things to say about both art and history.
It opens in 1998 Los Angeles, where Maria Altmann (Mirren) has discovered some documents in her late sister's belongings that refer to a beloved portrait of their Aunt Adele (Antje Traue in flashbacks). The problem is that the painting is Gustav Klimt's Woman in Gold, which is regarded as the "Mona Lisa of Austria" and held in pride of place in the national gallery. Since Austria has begun restoring art stolen from its citizens by the Nazis, Maria hires novice family-friend lawyer Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), who quickly realises the futility of the case. But they travel to Vienna to begin the process, getting some help navigating the system from local journalist Hubertus (Daniel Bruhl). Sure enough, the Austrian government fights Maria at every step of the way.
The compelling argument in this film is that if Austria acknowledges that this national treasure was stolen, it implicates the government and the population in complicity with the Nazis. And that's something no one is willing to do. There's also of course the issue of greed, since Woman in Gold is worth $100 million. But Maria's simple question is why the painting's value or status matter when its true ownership is so clear. Director Simon Curtis and writer Alexi Kaye Campbell wisely dash through the series of hearings, court cases and appeals, while emphasising this undeniable fact of the case. Although this also simplifies most scenes into little more than "Nazis bad, Jews good". While the flashbacks to Maria's past are moving and informative, Randy's sideplots feel irrelevant and undercooked, featuring his pregnant wife (Katie Holmes) and sardonic boss (Charles Dance).
Continue reading: Woman In Gold Review
When the Nazis took over Vienna prior to the Second World War, they stole countless, priceless artefacts. One of these artefacts was the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, and an Austrian Holocaust survivor has the perfect claim to it. Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) hires Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), a lawyer of Austrian decent, to help her become once again acquainted with the famous painting of her aunt. The problem is, that the painting is held in a Vienna art gallery, and the Austrian government are adamant in keeping the national treasure. Altmann, on the other hand, is desperate to get back what is rightfully hers.
Continue: Woman In Gold - Trailer And Clips
Do you hear that? It's the sweet sound of all your favorite shows coming back.
Orphan Black, aka one of the best shows on television at the moment, got renewed for a third season on Wednesday. It’s no surprise, either – the sci-fi series, which sees the excellent Tatiana Maslany play several different clones in each episode, is currently enjoying its biggest surge in popularity since its launch on BBC America.
The renewal means we'll see more of Tatiana Maslany's face next year. A lot more.
It will return for another ten-episode run (why are you so short, BBC shows?) in Spring 2015. So… Clone Club dance party anyone? If you don’t know what that means, you clearly have not seen enough of Orphan Black. Go back and fix that.
Continue reading: Heads Up, Clone Club! "Orphan Black" Renewed For Third Season
There was plenty of drama on the high seas of celebrity this week, but is one 'Game of Thrones' star about to ride the waves?
Critics' Choice Awards: Last night's Critics' Choice Awards saw the year's best and brightest in television honoured for outstanding performances and shows. Dark humoured crime series Fargo and prison drama Orange Is The New Black were the clear frontrunners with three awards each. Matthew Mcconaughey predictably took home the Best Actor honour for creepy crime thriller True Detective whilst Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany repeated her 2013 victory with the corresponding female award. Read our run-down of the highlights here.
Tracy Morgan Improving: Comedian Tracy Morgan's condition in hospital has been upgraded by doctors to "fair" after he was left fighting for his life in the wake of a tragic crash that killed his friend, mentor and fellow comedian Jimmy McNair on June 7. Morgan, McNair, comedian Ardie Fuqua, Morgan's assistant Jeff Millea, and one other were all involved in the early hours crash that involved a Walmart truck and an allegedly sleep-deprived driver. Read the full story and find out why Louis C.K. launched a tirade against gossip site TMZ here.
The award show is something of a test run for the next Emmys.
Female driven drama finally had somewhat of a spotlight of the Critics’ Choice TVAwards, with Orange Is The New Black scoring three whole awards - Best Comedy Series, along with two more awards for Supporting Actress in a Comedy (Kate Mulgrew) and Guest Performer in a Comedy (Uzo Aduba). According to E! News Aduba thanked OITNB showrunner Jenji Kohan "for changing my life."
Uzo Aduba's glamorous ensemble matched her shiny new award.
Meanwhile, in other “actresses winning well-deserved awards” Tatiana Maslany of BBC America’s Orphan Black won for Best Actress in a Drama Series. On Orphan Black, she plays multiple, contrasting roles, centered around the show’s futuristic premise of a woman finding out that her life is the result of a cloning research project. Matthew Mcconaughey won the corresponding award for his work on True Detective.
'Orphan Black' has returned for a second season and has already caused a stir worldwide with many praising the show for the originality of its approach and impressive actors. For those of you who have not seen the first season of the show, here are 5 reasons why you should definitely be catching up!
Orphan Black has returned for its second season, placing Canadian Television firmly on the map and already causing fans to bandy questions and solutions back and forth across the web. Very briefly, Orphan Black follows Sarah Manning, a con artist who witnesses the suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her. She assumes this woman's identity and begins a journey in which she meets a series of clones and begins to discover her origins.
Tatiana Maslany stars in Orphan Black.
So, without giving very much else away, for those who have yet to see it, here are five reasons why you should be watching Orphan Black:
Continue reading: 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching Orphan Black
Goofy recording engineer Leo (Tatum) and adorable artist Paige (McAdams) had a cute romance, quirky wedding and four happy years together before a car crash changed everything. Leo only has minor injuries, but Paige has lost some five years of memories. Crucially, she has no idea who Leo is. And she doesn't remember turning her back on her law course, smirking fiance (Speedman) and wealthy parents (Lange and Neill). They're all she remembers now, so Leo tries to remind her of who she became after she left them behind. If they'll let him.
Continue reading: The Vow Review
Paige and Leo are a happily married couple and have been for five years. One night, they are driving home when Meat Loaf's I Will Do Anything For Love comes on the radio. Leo sings along, to Paige's amusement and as they stop their car to kiss, an oncoming truck crashes into the back of them. The resulting accident puts Paige in a coma for several months and when she wakes up, she can't remember her husband at all.
Continue: The Vow Trailer
Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...
There's something about national tragedy that has the ability to unite human beings and incite...
This fascinating true story is strong enough to hold up against the formulaic Hollywood treatment,...
When the Nazis took over Vienna prior to the Second World War, they stole countless,...
Inspired by a true story, this film is watchable mainly because of the extraordinary events,...