Elizabeth McGovern - An Afternoon with 'Downton Abbey' at the Writers Guild Theater - Arrivals at Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 6th June 2015
The 'House of Cards' star and theatre legend stepped down from his role at one of London's oldest theatres after more than ten years.
Stars from throughout the world of theatre came together to praise Kevin Spacey as he stepped down as artistic director of London’s The Old Vic after more than a decade in the role.
In an event hosted by ‘Downton Abbey’ star Hugh Bonneville, the likes of Elizabeth McGovern, Jeremy Irons and Eddie Izzard paid tribute to Spacey’s contributions to reviving the fortunes of the Old Vic, at which he took the reins in 2003. He now vacates to make way for Matthew Warchus, who is set to unveil his opening season later this week.
Recorded tributes were also included from James Bond director Sam Mendes, Sir Elton John and even former American President Bill Clinton, and there were a handful of musical performances by Sting and Annie Lennox.
This fascinating true story is strong enough to hold up against the formulaic Hollywood treatment, boosted by another riveting performance from Helen Mirren. She adds some badly needed prickly humour to the film, which continually resorts to unsophisticated sentimentality as it traces a remarkable series of real events. And it helps that the story has some intriguing things to say about both art and history.
It opens in 1998 Los Angeles, where Maria Altmann (Mirren) has discovered some documents in her late sister's belongings that refer to a beloved portrait of their Aunt Adele (Antje Traue in flashbacks). The problem is that the painting is Gustav Klimt's Woman in Gold, which is regarded as the "Mona Lisa of Austria" and held in pride of place in the national gallery. Since Austria has begun restoring art stolen from its citizens by the Nazis, Maria hires novice family-friend lawyer Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), who quickly realises the futility of the case. But they travel to Vienna to begin the process, getting some help navigating the system from local journalist Hubertus (Daniel Bruhl). Sure enough, the Austrian government fights Maria at every step of the way.
The compelling argument in this film is that if Austria acknowledges that this national treasure was stolen, it implicates the government and the population in complicity with the Nazis. And that's something no one is willing to do. There's also of course the issue of greed, since Woman in Gold is worth $100 million. But Maria's simple question is why the painting's value or status matter when its true ownership is so clear. Director Simon Curtis and writer Alexi Kaye Campbell wisely dash through the series of hearings, court cases and appeals, while emphasising this undeniable fact of the case. Although this also simplifies most scenes into little more than "Nazis bad, Jews good". While the flashbacks to Maria's past are moving and informative, Randy's sideplots feel irrelevant and undercooked, featuring his pregnant wife (Katie Holmes) and sardonic boss (Charles Dance).
Continue reading: Woman in Gold Review
Helen Mirren's "great ambition" is to star in a 'Fast and Furious' movie.
Helen Mirren is not a woman to turn down difficult roles. She has, after all, played three different Queens of the United Kingdom and, in a voice part, the Queen of Egypt. Yet there is nothing 69-year-old Mirren would like more than to star in a Fast and Furious film and do her own driving stunts.
Helen Mirren would love to be in a Fast and Furious movie.
Downton Abbey will conclude at the end of its sixth season but the Crawley legacy may live on in a movie or spin-off series.
Downton Abbey will conclude after its sixth season, the ITV show's producers have confirmed. Producer Gareth Neame made the announcement during a press conference on Thursday (26th March). "It's a very emotional day for all of the people involved in the show," Neame said at the press conference.
Maggie Smith stars in Downton Abbey.
Expect Downton Abbey season 5 to hit UK screens in mid to late 2014.
Downton Abbey has unsurprisingly been renewed for a fifth series by ITV following its season four finale on Sunday evening (November 10, 2013).
Tom Branson, Played By Allen Leech.
"We promise all the usual highs and lows, romance, drama and comedy" said Gareth Neame, director of Downton Abbey creators Carnival Films in a statement obtained by the Hollywood Reporter. Julian Fellowes will return to write the new series, which ITV are likely to churn out next year.
Continue reading: Downton Abbey Behemoth Trudges On With Fifth Season Confirmation
The casting of the identical twins came with the news that the show's main stars have been given new, million-pound deals to remain on the show
ITV's hit period drama Downton Abbey will return to our screens later this year, and in the meantime we've been given plenty of tidbits about what we can expect from season four, and our latest news story from the set of the show is that we have two new, very young stars joining the cast. Cumbria-born twins Logan and Cole Weston have been picked to share the role of Baby George, the son of Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and her late husband Matthew, who was written out of the show during last years' Christmas finale.
Dockery will have a son to look after on the next season of the show
The twins, who hail from Meathop, near Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, will appear throughout the series as the youngest addition to the series, with filming for the new season coming to an end in the last few weeks. As reported by the BBC, the twins were given the all-star treatment on the set, and were treated with their own trailer and a limitless supply of sweets, milk and attention during the filming for the upcoming season. The twins make up just one of the many new stars due to join up with the Crawley family, including Hollywood star Paul Giamatti, James Fox and Gary Carr, who will star as the first black actor to appear on the show.
Downton Abbey has tied up its major stars as it heads into the fourth season.
Bosses behind the major British period drama Downton Abbey - which has also proved a huge hit stateside - have moved quickly to tie down the show's biggest stars in a bid to avoid another Dan Stevens-esque exit.
According to The Sun, stars including Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern have signed three year deals worth over £1 million each. The move was made to avoid another cast member leaving in the same way that Stevens did last year.
The 30-year-old, who played Matthew Crawley, was the ITV drama's major draw though left abruptly to pursue other interests. The actor is a keen fan of literature and has narrated several audiobooks including The Angel's Game, Wolf Hall and War Horse. In 2012, he was a member of the judging panel for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction and is currently editor-at-large for The Junket, an online quarterly is co-founded.
Continue reading: Downton Abbey Hands Out Golden Deals To Avoid Dan Stevens Style Exits
Paul Giamatti who starred in such films as The Illusionist, Rock of Ages and The Hangover Part II will feature in British drama Downton Abbey. He will play Lady Cora's (Elizabeth McGovern) visiting American brother, Harold.
Paul Giamatti who has starred in such films as Sideways,The Illusionist, Rock of Ages and The Hangover Part II will feature in British drama Downton Abbey. He will play Lady Cora's (Elizabeth McGovern) visiting American brother, Harold.
Last series ended with yet more tragedy with Matthew (Dan Stevens) following in the wake of Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) and 'going to a better place' i.e. the bright light at the end of the acting tunnel: Hollywood! Both died after having a child and both have left distraught spouses. Will Branson and Lady Mary overcome their differences and possibly get together? It's only a possibility but it does seem to be the sort of dog-legged plotline writer Julian Fellowes appreciates.
Pail Giamatti is merely one of many American actors who will take up a part on ITV's hit show. We've already witnessed Shirley Maclaine appear as Cora's mother who according to Carnival Films' managing director Graham Naeme will return this season. This is one of the reasons the cast and crew are so excited about Giamatti's involvement in the drama, according to Naeme "We can't wait to see him work alongside Shirley Maclaine, who are both sure to upset the Grantham's apple cart in this year's Christmas Day episode".
Julian Fellowes wishes to write a prequel on the main characters in his hit ITV1 show ‘Downton Abbey’ after the last series is aired.
The Oscar winning screenwriter, who also wrote the recent ‘Titanic’ mini-series, ‘The Tourist’ and ‘Gosford Park’, wants to recreate the story of when characters Robert and Cora Crawley, the Earl and Countess of Grantham, met and the ‘trouble courtship’ that ensued on to screen. ‘She was in love with him before they married, as we know, and he married her entirely for her money’, Fellowes said at the BAFTA Screenwriters’ Lecture Series. ‘I sort of feel there's something quite nice in there because he's a decent cove, and so he feels rather guilty about this which has affected their marriage beyond that.’
Fellowes was also adamant that the show be aired after ‘Downton Abbey’ had finished. ‘I don't think you can continue a narrative in more than one area at once’, he said. ‘I never really liked those Coronation Street Christmas specials where they all go to Haiti, and you don't have to watch it. Somehow it doesn't feel very organic.’ The show is currently on series three and stars Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith and Michelle Dockery.
Continue reading: Once Upon a Time in America Review