Alicia Vikander - 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Expo Hall - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium, Screen Actors Guild - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 30th January 2016
Alicia Vikander - 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Expo Hall - Press Room at Shrine Auditorium, Screen Actors Guild - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 30th January 2016
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
Restauranteering is not a profession that should be taken lightly. Indeed, it's less of a job and more of a way of life for Adam Jones, who has wanted to become the greatest chef the world has ever seen since as long as he can remember. He was just 16-years-old when he left school to go to Paris and achieve his dream; becoming a Michelin star chef infamous across the Parisian culinary scene. But his rise to success came much too soon, and it wasn't long before his dream began to crumble around him, beaten by a life of drugs, violence, and volatile behaviour. With many of his opponents thinking him dead, he returns to London a new man to reignite his passion, earn a third Michelin star, and open the best restaurant in the world. All he needs is a talented team behind him, who is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Continue: Burnt - Teaser Trailer
Adopting a deliciously groovy vibe, Guy Ritchie turns the iconic 1960s TV spy series into a flashy action-comedy. There's absolutely nothing to this frothy romp, but it's packed with hilarious characters and lively action scenes that continually surprise the audience with inventive twists on the genre. And it just might turn the suave, fast-talking Henry Cavill and the brooding, engaging Armie Hammer into A-list stars in the process.
It opens in 1963 East Berlin, where ex-con CIA operative Napoleon Solo (Cavill) is trying to help sexy mechanic Gaby (Alicia Vikander) escape to the West, chased by his nemesis, KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Hammer). Gaby's father is a nuclear scientist on the verge of selling his secrets to a rogue Italian billionaire couple (Elizabeth Debicki and Luca Calvani) so, even though the Cold War is raging, the CIA and KGB decide to cooperate on the mission. This means that rivals Solo and Illya must work together as they travel to Rome with Gaby, making contact with British agent Waverly (Hugh Grant) and Gaby's creepy uncle (Sylvester Goth). And of course, there are unexpected wrinkles along the way.
As always, Ritchie cleverly subverts each set-piece, letting chase scenes unfold in carefully staged but enjoyably inventive ways, often putting the real action in the background while the characters act as if they're above all this nastiness. As popcorn entertainment, this is first-rate, with a cast that's more than up to the challenge. Cavill is particularly smooth, a Bond-style spy who seems unable to resist seducing every pretty woman he meets. Hammer's role is pricklier, since Illya never quite relaxes, although his petulance makes him just as likeable. Their interplay is snappy and often very funny but, unlike Ritchie's similarly toned Sherlock Holmes movies, this strains to avoid being a bromance. Solo and Illya continue to spy on each other right to the end, maintaining their Cold War distance even as they team up to save the world.
Continue reading: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Review
Elizabeth Debicki and Alicia Vikander are the leading ladies of forthcoming spy comedy 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.', and recently revealed a little more about what the ladies went through will preparing for the movie; including learning to drive and the all important costumes.
Continue reading: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. - Alicia Vikander & Elizabeth Debicki Interview
America and Russia have never seen eye to eye, but they do have some of the best government spies the world has to offer. Now's the time to put their differences aside in a bid to fight the real enemy - crime - as an international organised gang find themselves in possession of an atomic bomb powerful enough to kill billions. Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, American and Russian agents respectively, are thrust together as a team to hunt down the criminals and save the world, returning the destructive weapon to the CIA. However, predictably, it's not the most comfortable of duos, but perhaps these competitive professionals can use their animosity usefully, because they're about to face off against some unlikely and dangerous suspects.
Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin are American and Russian government agents respectively - and an unlikely team given America's long history with the European nation. Unfortunately for them, whether they like each other or not, they have no choice but to band together to save the world from a deadly threat. A criminal organisation with global membership have managed to get their hands on an atom bomb with which they could destroy billions of lives, so they have to investigate to ensure it's returned safely to the American government before anyone can get hurt. Along the way though they meet some unlikely suspects, including femme fatale Victoria Vinciguerra, and team up with another feisty agent named Gaby Teller. They are willing to do anything to succeed in their mission. They have the skills to save the world. They are U.N.C.L.E.
Throughout the early 1960s, the Cold War was in full swing. Two agents, one from Russia and one from America are at each other's throats throughout the conflict. Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) is a CIA agent, known for his suave and womanising nature. Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) is a KGB known for his brutality and deadly efficiency. When a criminal organisation sprouts from former Nazi soldiers, Russia and America temporarily put aside their differences to find a solution to the problem. Unfortunately, getting the two men (who have made a career out of trying to kill one another) to work together, may not be as easy as it seems.
Continue: The Man From U.N.C.L.E - Teaser Trailer