Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist Chet Baker, combining the achingly soulful music with an equally resonant performance from Ethan Hawke. Sometimes, the film's artistic flourishes seem to strain to cover up the usual narrative of a musical artist's life. But Baker's story has a striking emotional layer to it that holds the attention. And by focussing on a pivotal period in his life, Budreau draws out some lovely themes.
It opens in 1966 Los Angeles, where Chet is starring in a movie about his life. One actress, Jane (Carmen Ejogo), is playing all of the women he loved, and of course he's now pursuing her as well. There's also the problem that he's not quite sure if he's still a heroin junkie or if he's just playing himself when he was one. Then he gets in a street fight in which thugs knock out his front teeth, and everyone tells him he will never play his trumpet again. But he tenaciously sets out to regain his embouchure, even as his parole officer (Tony Nappo) refuses to give him a break. He decides to take Jane to visit his parents (Stephen McHattie and Janet-Laine Green) back home in Oklahoma, and rebuild his life from there. Then back in California, he approaches his music producer friend Dick (Callum Keith Rennie) to help him make a comeback.
Hawke brings a terrific earthy charm to the role, conveying Baker's effortless musical gifts as well as his inner steeliness in the face of injury and addiction. The darker sides of Baker's personality simmer in the background, increasing his allure. And Ejogo is terrific opposite him. Jane is a woman who sees everything that Baker is, and she knows that she has limits to what she will let him get away with. It's easy for the audience to root for them to succeed as a couple, even though every other musical biopic has told us that a happy ever after probably isn't on the cards.
Continue reading: Born To Be Blue Review
When Chet Baker first made a real name for himself in the music industry he was labelled as 'The James Dean of Jazz', he was cool and everyone wanted a piece of him. The trumpeter from California soon became the next big sensation and played clubs all around the US. Ten years on, Baker had developed a heroin addiction, had been incarcerated for drug possession in Italy and he was far from the high life he was living years earlier.
When Baker was asked to star in a film about himself, it implanted ideas of a comeback, a new shot at glory, that accompanied by a new romance with his co-star spurted Baker into recording a new album. Whilst battling addiction, we see Baker at one of the most crucial times of his life.
Born To Be Blue is an anti-biography, it's based on the life of Baker but whilst the actual film Baker was making in the 1960's (with producer Dino de Laurentiis) didn't come to light, Robert Budreau's version of events sees Baker's film be made, a decision he made to help show the true 'improvisational nature of jazz'.
When reserved college girl Anastasia Steele meets mysterious businessman Christian Grey for an interview, she ends up feeling rather foolish, fearing that she's messed up the opportunity. Mr. Grey doesn't see it that way however; on the contrary, he develops a strong romantic fixation with her. Anastasia is flattered, but soon realises that this guy isn't the sort to take her to take her out for romantic meals or shower her with gifts. Nonetheless, he is an enigmatic presence in her life that she cannot hope to resist, and she soon finds herself treading deeper and deeper into this man's life. As their relationship progresses, he reveals his unusual sexual desires which involves Anastasia signing a written document in order to give him permission to do whatever he likes with her. Enchanted and seduced by the sense of unknown that lies ahead, she agrees.
Sometimes, a single favour to a friend can end up changing you entirely. When a young literature student, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) attends an interview on behalf of her sick friend, she is totally unaware of the consequences. Steele meets with the illusive, enigmatic and intimidating young billionaire businessman, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), and almost immediately finds herself wildly attracted to him. Grey is insistent on controlling every aspect of his life, business and personal feelings, yet Steele represents a problem for him: he, too, is attracted to her, yet it is because of her free nature. As the couple clash, their futures are thrown into jeopardy with the revelation that neither of their lives will ever be the same again.
Budding journalist and college student Anastasia Steele has never been the adventurous type in any respect, so when she is faced with the prospect of interviewing the handsome and frighteningly mysterious young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she is more than a little nervous. The interview doesn't go quite as well as she'd hoped, but it seems Christian has other interests in her. While he doesn't pander to the usual expectations of romance in a relationship, there's something utterly captivating and addictive about him that Anastasia just can't resist - even when he reveals to her his innermost unusual sexual desires. Thriving on the feeling of being in control, all he wants to do is tie Anastasia up and introduce her to a whole new world of sensual experiences. But is she curious enough to sign away her body to a stranger?
Continue: Fifty Shades Of Grey - Extended Trailer
Anastasia Steele is a shy college student who is forced to interview an enigmatic entrepreneur named Christian Grey. Their first meeting doesn't go as well as planned and subsequently she is shocked when it appears that he has a seemingly romantic interest in her. He's not the sort to go out on drunken nights or make any of the usual romantic gestures, but Anastasia remains captivated by the intense sense of mystery surrounding him. Some of that mystery is unveiled, however, when he reveals his sexual desires to her, but it seems even then his wishes are not of the usual kind. Christian asks Anastasia to sign a document in order for them to be intimate, and that coupled with the rope and tape he recently purchased starts to make her realise just what sort of sensual adventure she's about to experience.
Continue: Fifty Shades Of Grey Trailer
When young college student Anastasia Steele meets a mysterious wealthy businessman named Christian Grey, she had no idea she'd be embarking on the sexual adventure of her lifetime. While he makes it clear that he's not the type for wild nights of drunken laughs or even for a bunch of flowers and chocolates, Ana can't help but feel irresistably intrigued by the beguiling sense of unknown surrounding her new obsession. Soon though, all is revealed when Christian insists she sign a document before they enter into any kind of intimacy, and putting that together with the bunch of rope and masking tape she saw him purchase at the hardware store, she starts to realise that she's about to enter into a relationship that is more out of the ordinary than she could ever have possibly imagined.
Continue: Fifty Shades Of Grey Trailer
As he did in Amelie, French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet tells a simple fable with witty visuals, colourful characters and a warm heart. It's an utterly winning story of tenacity that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt like an outsider in their own family. Which is pretty much everyone. So even if it feels a bit light and goofy, it has a strong emotional kick.
On a sprawling Montana ranch, 10-year-old TS (Kyle Catlett) couldn't be much different from his twin brother Layton (Jakob Davis). While TS questions the laws of nature, Layton is a boyish cowboy like their dad (Callum Keith Rennie). And their teen sister Gracie (Niamh Wilson) and insect-obsessed mother (Helena Bonham Carter) are just as individualistic. So no one notices when TS enters his perpetual-motion machine into a competition and wins a top accolade from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. But the competition official (Judy Davis) hasn't a clue that TS is only 10, or that he has run away from home to hitchhike cross-country to accept his award.
Based on the Reif Larsen novel, the story has a whiff of the fantastical about it, only occasionally reflecting the real dangers the young and prodigious TS would face on his epic journey. But that's not the point: told through TS's limited perspective, this is a story about discovery. TS may think he's capable of anything a grown-up can do, but there are some very hard truths waiting both on the road and back home. And he's also about to learn that there might actually be some benefits to being a little boy.
Continue reading: T.S. Spivet Review
T.S. Spivet is a child prodigy fascinated with the world of cartography and invention and only 10-years-old. He lives in an isolated part of Montana on a ranch with his cowboy-obsessed father and his entomologist mother, as well as his teenage sister Gracie and his twin brother Layton. One day, he receives a telephone call from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. who wish to offer him the prestigious Baird Prize for his latest invention. He wants to accept the award, despite the institute thinking he is an adult scientist, and so he sets out on a journey by himself, intending to catch the next freight train. Meanwhile, however, he is haunted by a dark secret involving Layton, and he must learn to come to terms with past events.
Fifty Shades of Grey, due to be released on Valentine's Day 2015, has released its first promotional image. With almost a year to go until the first instalment of the franchise reaches the cinema, here's a reminder of the characters and the actors who will play them.
E.L. James' bestselling trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey has become a cultural phenomenon since the publication of the first instalment in 2011. The trilogy is being adapted into a series of films which, despite the first tame poster released yesterday by Universal, promise to be as risqué as the books.
E.L. James wrote the Fifty Shades trilogy, the first of which was published in 2011.
Although the trilogy has sold in their millions, for those of you who need a refresher or simply haven't read the books, here's a quick outline of the characters involved and the actors who will play them in the upcoming film.
Continue reading: Who's Who In Fifty Shades Of Grey [Pictures]
Callum Keith Rennie - Callum Keith Rennie and guest Toronto, Canada - The 35th Toronto International Film Festival - 'Trigger' premiere arrival at the TIFF Lightbox on the grand opening day of the new TIFF headquarters in the entertainment district of Toronto. Sunday 12th September 2010
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When young college student Anastasia Steele meets a mysterious wealthy businessman named Christian Grey, she...
As he did in Amelie, French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet tells a simple fable with witty...