Billy Crudup, Miguel Sapochnik and Michael Fassbender at the 69th Annual Director Guild Awards held at the Beverly Hilton - Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 4th February 2017
Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history, this film centres on just a few days in her life to offer some telling insights not only into the woman in question but also the culture of celebrity and the nature of political legacies. Yes, it's a complex, provocative film, artfully directed by Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain (Neruda) and anchored by a riveting performance from Natalie Portman.
The story is set in the aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, as Jackie (Portman) retreats to her seaside home in Massachusetts to make plans for her future. She is visited by a journalist (Billy Crudup), who asks her about her experience in the days after her husband (Caspar Phillipson) was shot while sitting next to her in the back of a car. During these days, she has been faced with some big questions. Who is she arranging the funeral for? Herself? Her children? The American public? The future generations who will remember her husband? The only people she can confide in are her brother-in-law Bobby (Peter Sarsgaard), her assistant Nancy (Greta Gerwig) and a straight-talking priest (John Hurt). Her husband may have been a relentless philanderer, but Jackie is consumed by grief and unsure where her life will go now.
Continue reading: Jackie Review
Billy Crudup seen at the New York Stage and Film Winter Gala, this year the gala honoured Annette Bening and David Rockwell. Held at The Plaza Hotel, New York, United States - Sunday 4th December 2016
Jacqueline Bouvier was always a highly independent woman, even when she was a debutant; she made a lasting impression on most who she met. Jackie always aspired to be a journalist and in 1947 she was offered a prestigious junior editor position at Vogue magazine, though she decided not to take the position in the end. Having travelled to various countries and lived in Paris for a short time, Jackie was an incredibly worldly lady and it's not so much of a surprise that she caught the attention of many men.
John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline met through social groups and they were both attracted to one another for many reasons and had similar life experiences. John was a rising star of politics and after his election to the Senate, he proposed to his love. Her answer didn't come as quickly as Kennedy might've hoped as she was assigned by the Washington Times-Herald to cover the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in the UK; ever the professional Jackie completed her assignment before taking Kennedy up on his offer. In 1953 the couple were married at one of the social events of the century. Though Kennedy was dedicated to his work, the deep love between the two was evident to all and Jackie was a constant support for her husband who eventually became president in November 1960.
Jackie's style, elegance and grace made her a much loved First Lady but more than that, she was dedicated to President Kennedy's vision and shared his burden.
Continue: Jackie Trailer
Based on real events, this sharply well-made film shifts from a rather light-hearted comedy into a horrific thriller. And it feels unnervingly natural as it does so. Where this goes is a bit relentless in its exploration of the darkest aspects of human capabilities, but it's also bracingly truthful. At the same time, it shows the enduring value of an experiment that seemed to go perilously wrong.
In Northern California in 1971, a group of 24 university students respond to a newspaper advert asking for participants in a psychological experiment. On the toss of a coin, organiser Dr Zimbardo (Billy Crudup) divides the young men into guards and inmates, and places them in a makeshift prison where they can be observed. And things start to turn nasty very quickly, as guard Christopher (Michael Angarano) targets snarky prisoner 8612 (Ezra Miller) for extra punishment. The guards also turn on the especially vulnerable 819 (Tye Sheridan). And when the inmates revolt, Zimbardo allows the guards to carry on with their increasingly harsh discipline. But Zimbardo's girlfriend Christina (Olivia Thirlby), herself a psychologist, worries that the situation has gone too far.
It's intriguing, and perhaps obvious, that it had to be a woman who saw through a scenario that had become little more than an out-of-control expression of masculinity. Even more telling, Zimbardo and his team became part of the experiment themselves, as they allowed and were fascinated by the abuse heaped on the prisoners by play-acting guards who let the power go to their heads. Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez (C.O.G.) shoots this in an unusually stripped-down style that gives the film a documentary tone. This low key approach means that the pacing sometimes feels draggy, as the intensely internalised suspense cycles around and around again. But what this is revealing about human behaviour is invaluable, and seriously terrifying.
Continue reading: The Stanford Prison Experiment Review
It's 1971 and University professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo wants to try a new social and psychological experiment. The idea was to take 18 young, well-adjusted males and put half in the role of a prison guard and half in the role of a prison inmate. It quickly became apparent that the guards would dominate this situation and take their new job roles to the extreme.
Though all the volunteers know they're being watch by Zimbardo and his colleagues, this didn't seem to make much difference to how the guards react. Not willing to put up with the actions of the guards, soon the submissive prisoners decide to rebel and take matters into their own hands. As the volunteers fall deeper into their new lives, Zimbardo becomes fascinated by the results and how quickly the situation escalates. When rules start to get broken, when should enough be enough?
The Stanford Prison Experiment is a psychological thriller based on true events. The results of Zimbardo's test were published in a book named The Lucifer Effect.
The Stanford Prison Experiment was directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez and stars a number of young actors including Michael Angarano, Moises Arias & Ezra Miller.
Michael Rezendes is a dedicted reporter for the Boston Globe and part of their Spotlight Team; an investigative division focused on justice and whistle-blowing. When accusations of child sex abuse by members of the Catholic Church arise, he leads the team into their latest case, determined to uncover the truth about a morally questionable priest and his scandalous activities across six different parishes over the course of several decades. It is alleged that the church knew what was going on, but chose not to act and hold their reputation above the welfare of their children. Not only that, but past statements from attorneys don't appear to add up and a delicate battle ensues with the government and police all getting involved as the Boston Globe take on the church. There's a large team at the newspaper working on bringing this case into the open once and for all, and they refuse to let these atrocities be swept under the rug another time.
Continue: Spotlight Trailer
While the story centres on twisted moral dilemmas, this 1970s-set thriller takes such a hesitant, internalised approach that if never lets viewers under the characters' skin. As a result, there's virtually no spark of real life here, despite the presence of several fine actors and a twisty plot that focusses on how decisions affect relationships. It's an oddly muted approach to events that really should have a much stronger emotional jolt.
It's 1974 Brooklyn, where Chris (Clive Owen) has just been released after 10 years in prison. His police detective brother Frank (Billy Crudup) offers help with finding a place to stay, getting a job and escaping his former life of crime, but the options are limited. While trying to reconnect with his junkie-prostitute ex Monica (Marion Cotillard), Chris also begins dating the younger Natalie (Mila Kunis). And he finds himself drifting back into his old gangster role. This causes a conflict of interest for Frank in his work as a cop, especially since he's further compromised by having an affair with Vanessa (Zoe Saldana), whose boyfriend (Matthias Schoenaerts) he's just put in jail.
Filmmaker Guillaume Canet is remaking the 2008 French thriller Rivals (in which he played the Frank character), and he recreates the period beautifully, shooting the film in a grainy 1970s style that emphasises character over action. So it's odd that the characters feel so thinly written, with most of the ambiguity drained from each moral issue they face. Much of this is because everyone is pushing their emotions away and internalising their thought processes so no one else can see them. But this leaves the audience out in the cold. And as a result, everything feels obvious and inevitable, which makes it impossible to get involved as events escalate. It's as if these people are tragic losers, so no amount of sympathy will save them.
Continue reading: Blood Ties Review
Frank is a remarkable cop with a lot to look forward to in his life, but as happy as he is, he still has major worries for the people around him. His brother Chris has just been released from prison after a gang-related murder several years ago. Frank wants to make sure Chris stays on the straight and narrow as he rebuilds his shattered life, and offers him shelter, a job and an opportunity to restore his relationships with his former wife Monica and his children. However, Chris also finds himself reconnecting with some old 'friends' and it soon becomes clear that he has no intention of living straight. All Frank wants is a happy and secure family, but if he keeps trying to save his wayward brother's back from the law, he could find himself facing an uncertain future in the force.
'Blood Ties' is the Hollywood re-make of Jacques Maillot's 2008 French film 'Les liens du sang' which is also adapted from the novel by Bruno and Michel Papet. It has been directed by Guillaume Canet ('Little White Lies', 'Tell No One', 'Whatever You Say') and co-written by James Gray ('Two Lovers', 'We Own the Night', 'The Yards') and is due to appear in theatres on March 21st 2014.
Stiller stars as Evan, an overachiever who can't bring himself to tell his loving wife (DeWitt) that he's sterile. When there's a murder in the super-store he manages, he forms a neighbourhood watch group with three losers: Bob (Vaughn) is struggling to cope with his teen daughter, Franklin (Hill) has an unhealthy obsession with guns, and Jemarcus (Ayoade) is a goofy sex addict.
All three would rather drink beer and play stupid games than keep their community safe. But then they discover that the killer was actually an alien who is leading an invasion of Earth.
Continue reading: The Watch Review
The Watch are Costco manager Evan, father of a teenage daughter Bob, police reject Franklin and Jamarcus who seeks the love of a beautiful woman. Evan formed the Watch after his wife Abby forced him to move to the suburbs of Glenview, Ohio in an attempt to escape the mundaneness of his daily family life. The others, with same mindset, soon followed despite the persistent mockery from local kids and police officers that came along with it. Once they obtain their team jackets that truly scream don't-mess-with-us with their tiger/ wings/ fire emblems 'All on the same logo!', they are ready to sniff out the covert aliens of the town. What they weren't betting on was actually finding anything so when their vehicle collides with something in the road, coming across a splatter of your average mysterious green slime came as a bit of a surprise. They discover a mystifying ball of some sort that they eventually recognise as a deadly weapon after obliterating a cow with a beam of energy. The Watch realise that they must be the ones to defend their planet from this extra-terrestrial threat.
Continue: The Watch Trailer
Date of birth
8th July, 1968
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