Paweł Pawlikowski - Hollywood's biggest stars were snapped on the red carpet as they arrived for the 87th Annual Oscars awards ceremony which was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 22nd February 2015
One of the finest biopics in recent memory, this drama manages to present someone as iconic as Martin Luther King Jr. as a normal man anyone can aspire to emulate. Anchored by an internalised performance from David Oyelowo, the film is skilfully directed by Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere) with a sharp attention to subtle details. And the script by newcomer Paul Webb draws the characters with such complexity that the film has provoked controversy from people who like their heroes untextured.
The film enters Martin's story as he is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside his activist wife Coretta (Carmen Ejogo) in October 1964, just over a year after his soaring "I have a dream" speech. And a few months later, he's called to Selma, Alabama, to help blacks who are being denied the right to vote by racially motivated voter registration laws. Martin meets with President Lyndon Johnson (Tom Wilkinson), who has more pressing things on his political agenda, then heads to Selma to lead a march on the state capitol in Montgomery. But the peaceful protest is met with nightmarish violence, ordered by Governor George Wallace (Tim Roth). So as the protesters regroup and plan a second march, Martin heads back to Washington to challenge Johnson to set some new priorities.
Cleverly, the script just covers a few months, punctuated with a series of King's most rousing speeches. Since none of this is presented for its big inspirational value, it has a much stronger kick than we expect. The film's punchiest scenes are almost silent, as King struggles to knot his tie before an appearance or fails to find the words to confess his infidelities to his wife. Oyelowo is so transparent in the role that King emerges as an everyday man with a gift for oratory in the right place at the right time. But it's his steely desire to do the right thing that makes him inspirational. And how he reacts when he discovers the human cost of his actions.
Continue reading: Selma Review
The Bafta nominations have been revealed, leading to some shock by what has been missed out from the ceremony.
Friday morning's British Academy Film Awards nominations show the predicted BAFTA love for home-grown movies like 'The Imitation Game' and 'The Theory of Everything', but were even more notable for who was missing from the shortlists.
Timothy Spall - snubbed by the academy?
The most obvious snub was for Mike Leigh's acclaimed biographical drama 'Mr Turner', for which Timothy Spall won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. But the film only has a handful of technical nods (for cinematography, production design, costumes and make-up/hair), with nothing for Spall or Leigh, and most surprisingly no British Film nomination.
Continue reading: Bafta 2015 Nominations Reveal Secrets Of Awards Season
The New York premiere of 'Selma' was held at the Ziegfeld Theatre on 14th December 2014. The red carpet arrivals saw a host of actors and actresses posing for pictures, including English actress/actors spouses Jessica and David Oyelowo. British singer and actress Carmen Ejogo was also in attendance.
“What happens when a man stands up and says ‘enough is enough’?” So goes the question raised by Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) when President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) declines to help him in battling the race-related violence in Alabama. In retaliation, King organises a peaceful protest; he has African Americans march into Selma, Alabama, in an attempt to gain rights to vote. What follows, is a truly horrifying attack from the police on the peaceful protest which was televised and seen by millions, forcing the President’s hand, as he is forced to watch innocent people suffer.
Continue: Selma Trailer
After last year's break-out hit thriller, writer-director James DeMonaco is back with the flip-side of the story, which jettisons the irony and and thematic subtlety in favour of in-your-face brutality. This time the account of a night of lawful violence is told from the opposite perspective, poor people who are targeted by sadistic rich people who are trying to cleanse their souls with a bit of grisly murder.
It's set one year later, in 2023 Los Angeles as the annual 12-hour Purge is about to begin. The idea is to cleanse society of its violent urges, but this has turned into an all-out war between heavily armed militias hired by the wealthy to capture poor people for their own homicidal entertainment. As an underground activist (Michael K. Williams) calls for a grassroots uprising, the waitress Eva (Carmen Ejogo) is just trying to get through the night alive with her teen daughter Cali (Zoe Soul). When they're attacked, an unnamed stranger (Frank Grillo) comes to their rescue, and they're soon joined by a couple (Zach Gilford and Keile Sanchez) whose car picked the wrong time and place to break down. Together, these five attempt to escape pursuit by two vicious gangs: lowlife mercenaries looking for fresh blood to sell to wealthy clients and a high-tech army bent on all-out massacre.
It's deeply contrived that these two gangs are deliberately, tenaciously and seemingly supernaturally pursuing these five people, but DeMonaco never flinches, so the audience just has to go with it. Much of the movie consists of massive nighttime street battles, but there are some more deranged interludes that hold the attention much better. At one point, they take refuge in the downtown home of one of Eva's colleagues (Justina Machado), a drunken party that is clearly spiralling out of control even before they arrived. A little later, they are dragged right into a variation on The Hunger Games. And while four of our heroes are running for their lives, Grillo's character has something more violent in mind: he's seeking revenge against the drunk driver who killed his son.
Continue reading: The Purge: Anarchy Review
Following the disastrous events in 2013's 'The Purge' which saw a home security salesman murdered in his so-called fortress of a family home, that time of year has come round again and, for another couple, things are going to get even grislier. The pair are cutting it fine as they drive home in the evening ahead of the 12 hour annual Purge, a period in which all crimes become legal (including theft, rape and murder) and emergency services are momentarily stopped. They are confident they can get home in time to lock themselves away once again. until their car unexpectedly breaks down. The sirens blare signalling the beginning of the Purge and the couple find themselves running for lives as some masked Purgers on motorcycles chase them down. Across the rest of the city, total anarchy ensues as the country gets caught up in a patriotic, bloodthirsty fever.
'The Purge: Anarchy' is the grim sequel to 2013 horror 'The Purge' which sees the return of director and screenwriter James DeMonaco ('Little New York'). It's a dystopian thriller about the lengths governments may go to solve national issues (such as population control) and it is set to be released this summer on June 20th 2014.
We’re entering something of a pre-Christmas lull in the land of the blockbuster movie but there is still plenty of activity in the land of cinema this weekend… and not all of it is paranormal.
The film that everyone is talking about this week is The Sessions. The movie – starring Helen Hunt, John Hawkes and William H Macy - debuted at the Sundance Festival earlier this year and wowed the critics with its “profoundly sex-positive” story. The Sessions tells the tale of a man, paralysed by polio, who seeks the help of a priest and eventually a sex therapist, to help him lose his virginity. The performances are touching, the script (based on the writings of California-based journalist Mark O’Brien) is tender and funny. If critical opinion is anything to go by, The Sessions should be heading towards the top of the box office chart.
An energetic cast and some terrific music make up for the rather hackneyed plot of this Dreamgirls-style drama. Remade from a 1976 film, the story is that familiar trajectory of musicians who achieve fame only to fall into a string of ugly problems. It's just about watchable, but what makes it notable is that it features Whitney Houston in her last film role.
It's set in 1968 Detroit, where Sister (Ejogo) is determined to become a star. Her singer-songwriter sister Sparkle (Sparks) is the one with real talent, but she's happy to stay in the background with their other sister Dee (Sumpter). As Sister and Her Sisters, they are managed by Stix (Luke), a fast-talking charmer who falls for Sparkle. But the girls' intensely religious mother (Houston) is under no illusions: she has been there, done that and continually warns her daughters that they shouldn't go the same way she did. But of course, they have to live their messy lives themselves.
Since it's such a familiar story, the film has a cheesy, soapy feel to it, playing on the sisters' rebellion against their religious upbringing. Of course, danger is represented in the men they fall for. While good-girl Sparkle tries to keep Stix at arms' length for awhile at least, Sister must choose between two men: the poor but nice Levi (Hardwick) and the flashy but drug-addled Satin (Epps). Since we know that she will choose the wrong guy, we know it's not going to be a happy journey for her. But this trawl through the dark side gives Ejogo a chance to steal the film with a much more emotionally charged performance.
Continue reading: Sparkle Review
Alex Cross is a homicide detective in Washington DC who comes across a series of gruesome and elaborate murders on duty. The victims look as if they've been tortured to death with a reasonable amount of skill, as if the perpetrator was an expert in inflicting pain. Cross deduces that their suspect is ex-military going by his techniques and it doesn't take long before he and the murderer, Michael 'The Butcher' Sullivan make contact. It is clear that Sullivan is deranged, believing that inflicting pain is his calling in life. In spite of any mental incapacities, however, Cross loses all sense of his own morality and indeed sanity when Sullivan targets and murders his beautiful wife on their anniversary and he sets out to track down this killer once and for all, though things do not appear as easy as he might've thought.
'Alex Cross' is the crime thriller adapted from the popular American novelist James Patterson's twelfth book on the character, 'Cross'. The movie's screenplay has been written by Marc Moss, who also wrote the previous Alex Cross-based movie 'Along Came a Spider', alongside Kerry Williamson in her writing debut. With a director like Rob Cohen ('The Fast and the Furious', 'xXx'), expect high-energy action and thrilling danger from this exciting upcoming flick set ton hit UK cinemas on November 30th 2012.
Starring: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Jean Reno, Giancarlo Esposito, Rachel Nichols, Edward Burns, John C. McGinley, Yara Shahidi, Chad Lindberg, Cicely Tyson, Carmen Ejogo, Stephanie Jacobsen and Ingo Rademacher