The romantic novel The Light Between Oceans has become a sweeping romantic movie starring real-life couple Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander.
Both Fassbender and Alicia Vikander were drawn to the project for different reasons, and they first met during the rehearsal process. "It was interesting to play a character like Isabel because it's hard to judge her," Vikander says. "As an actor, I felt that this was the most intimidating thing I've ever performed because it's so primal."
For Fassbender, the character just seemed like a perfect fit. "I sort of found the right emotional place," he says. "I felt that it was a really beautiful story. There's not a villain and a good guy, there's just regular people trying to sort of do the best they can in these circumstances. It's a beautiful love story as well."
It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum, and now they're back. The plot feels like it was agreed by a committee, as thin as the non-title of this film. Honestly, this franchise offers endless options for titles, and they just decided not to bother this time. So even though the story has a whisper of soap-opera silliness about it (yet another blurred memory comes to light), the film is relentlessly entertaining, building momentum as it surges from dark drama to intense action.
Since finally figuring out who he is, Jason (Damon) has been earning a living as a bare-knuckle boxer on the Greek-Albania border. Then his former cohort Nicky (Julia Stiles) uncovers a new piece in his life puzzle, which allows the CIA's Director Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) to track them down. As he sends in a ruthless assassin (Vincent Cassel) to get rid of them once and for all, plucky CIA analyst Heather (Alicia Vikander) takes a different approach, determined to bring Jason back into the firm. But he's not coming in without a fight, and as the stakes rise, the chase shifts from Athens to Berlin, London and finally Las Vegas.
As all of this is happening, Dewey is also trying to strong-arm the billionaire founder (Riz Ahmed) of a hot social media platform to allow the CIA to have access to its customers. And he's heading to Vegas as well. This sideplot integrates cleverly with the main narrative, although its message about government overreach is a bit heavy-handed ("Privacy is freedom!"). Still, it adds some kick to the whizzy computer gadgetry that fills this franchise, from tracking devices and tiny earpieces to miraculous hacks.
Continue reading: Jason Bourne Review
The Light Between Oceans comes as a new drama film and sees the themes of love and loss explored throughout its emotional narrative. Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) and Isabel (Alicia Vikander) are a couple who are living off the coast of Australia post World War I and are very much in love. However tragedy strikes when Isabel loses the child that she is carrying, which leads to an emotional torture that leaves them both heart broken. In this mist of sadness, a light of hope comes in the form of a baby girl, who is washed up on their beach in a boat with her dead father. Isabel sees this as a gift from God and pleads to Tom that they should raise her as their own child.
Continue: Light Between Oceans Trailer
'Mad Max: Fury Road' and 'Spectre' were also big winners.
Just when you thought film awards season was over, the 2016 Jameson Empire Awards rolled in last night (March 20th 2016) to heap some much deserved praise on the epic of the year 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'; a film which didn't manage to land an Oscar and wasn't even recognised at the Golden Globes in spite of its enormous appeal.
Daisy Ridley wins for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
The film won Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, beating 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2', 'Jurassic World', 'Mad Max: Fury Road' and 'The Martian'. However, it was beaten to Best Film (presented by Sky Movies) over all by Leonardo DiCaprio's 'The Revenant'. It also lost out on Best Costume Design to 'Mad Max: Fury Road', which was another major winner at the awards show when it also landed Best Soundtrack.
Continue reading: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Steals The Show At 2016 Empire Awards
Alicia Vikander, Brie Larson and Mark Rylance also scooped awards.
It would no doubt have been a total travesty if Leonardo Dicaprio didn't win his long-awaited Academy Award for his role in 'The Revenant', but no doubt his very first Oscars victory is a huge cause for celebration. The movie won a further two accolades, but didn't come close to 'Mad Max: Fury Road''s success of no less than six prizes.
So DiCaprio finally has a Best Actor Academy Award to add to his collection, while 'The Revenant' director Alejandro G. Iñárritu wins for the second year in a row. The movie, which explores the vengeful quest of 19th century explorer Hugh Glass after he was abandoned during a bear attack, also scooped the award for Best Cinematography, but it was beaten to Best Picture by 'Spotlight'; a drama about The Boston Globe's investigation of child abuse in the Catholic church. 'Spotlight' screenwriters Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy also took home Best Original Screenplay, whilst Best Adapted Screenplay went to Charles Randolph and Adam McKay for 'The Big Short'.
Jason Bourne is used to living in the shadows. Since uncovering the wrongdoings of operation Blackbriar and Treadstone, Bourne has been in hiding, to the outside world Jason Bourne does not exist. Once again finding himself having to surface, Jason Bourne is a hunted man.
Memories of his past are slowly returning to Bourne but what as his limited allies are quick to remind him, there's a war going on and what Jason might not remember are the things that might be most important.
Director Tom Hooper deploys the same style he used in The King's Speech for this much darker story about the first man to undergo gender-reassignment surgery. It's an odd mix of rather too-pretty visuals with an edgy series of events that perhaps demands a lot more raw honesty. But the story is fascinating, and the cast is excellent, delivering astute, introspective performances that reveal the much earthier narrative under the lovely surface.
It opens in 1926 Copenhagen, where husband and wife painters Einar and Gerda Wegener (Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander) are hoping to start a family as they develop their careers. One day, Gerda talks Einar into putting on a dress to pose for one of her paintings, and the experience triggers long-suppressed yearnings from his childhood. Gerda and their friend Ulla (Amber Heard) encourage him to attend a party in drag, and Lili Elbe is born, Einar's female alter ego who immediately attracts the attention of a lovelorn man (Ben Whishaw). After they move to Paris, they find another friend in Gerda's agent Hans (Matthias Schoenaerts), who was Einar's childhood pal. But while the French doctors think Einar is simply crazy, Gerda sticks by him as he decides to undergo a radical experimental surgery offered by a doctor (Sebastian Koch) in Germany.
Hooper's usual directorial flourishes include off-centre compositions, painterly sets and emotive close-ups, which bring out the internal struggles of the characters in beautiful ways. But this also has a tendency to simplify a story that is seriously complex. By emphasising the social conflicts and relational melodrama, the entire movie begins to feel rather thin, never quite grappling with the more provocative or disturbing aspects of the issues at hand. There are hints of what might have given the film an edgier kick, such as a moment of Hitchcockian obsession or the shifting of power between the male and female characters.
Continue reading: The Danish Girl Review
Strong characters help hold the attention as this overcooked drama develops, but in the end it feels so concocted that it's difficult to believe. While there's plenty of potential in the premise, the film becomes distracted by irrelevant subplots that try to stir up some tension but never quite manage it. And for a movie about food, the cuisine is simply too abstract to be mouthwatering.
At the centre is Adam (Bradley Cooper), a bad boy chef whose partying ways ended his high-flying career in Paris. After a period of penance in New Orleans, he moves to London to start again, with the goal of finally getting his elusive third Michelin star. Since he has alienated his friends, he turns to Tony (Daniel Bruhl), a guy who always had a soft spot for him and happens to be running a posh restaurant, which Adam quickly takes over. He rustles up some old colleagues (Omar Sy and Riccardo Scamarcio) and hires hot-shot Helene (Sienna Miller) as his sous chef. But his demanding perfectionism is keeping things from running very smoothly.
This set-up is ripe for both black comedy and soul-searching drama, and yet writer Steven Knight throws in irrelevant sideroads including a mandated therapist (the wonderful Emma Thompson), a bitter rival (a jagged Matthew Rhys), a couple of randomly violent loan sharks and a precocious little girl. Even though the actors do what they can to make every scene intriguing, none of these story elements add anything to the overall film. Still, Cooper holds the movie together with sheer charisma, even if his sudden transition from absolute tyrant to cuddly sweetheart isn't terribly convincing. At least he adds some surprising textures to his scenes, and indulges in sparky banter with those around him. And while Miller is solid in her thankless role, even she can't breathe life into such a thinly developed romance.
Continue reading: Burnt Review
The Hollywood Film Awards fire the starting pistol on awards season in the movie industry.
British star Carey Mulligan was among the winners at the 19th annual Hollywood Film Awards for her central role as Maud in the new movie Suffragette, a laundry worker who joins the fight for the right for women to vote.
The 30 year old star, who gave birth to her first child with husband Marcus Mumford just a few months ago, won Best Actress at the 2015 edition of the gongs, which are the first major ceremony in a long run of black-tie events leading up to the Academy Awards on February 28th.
The Hollywood Film Awards winners are announced in advance and are not televised, but prominently features movies not on general release and are a reasonable indicator of what will be on offer during awards season.
Einar Wegener is a Danish artist, apparently happily married to wife of the same occupation Gerda. One day, Gerda persuades her husband to assist her as a female model while she paints, dressing up in a dress and stockings. An unexpected wave of clarity washes over Einar, who readily agrees to continue posing for Gerda. Dubbing the female persona Lili, Gerda takes her out for fun - but when it seems Lili is falling for her childhood friend Hans Axgil, she is heartbroken. She eventually understands that her husband is actually a woman in the wrong body, and stands by her woman as she undertakes groundbreaking gender reassignment surgery; a series of operations that could threaten her very life, let alone her marriage.
Continue: The Danish Girl Trailer
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