Somebody messed with the wrong mother when they murdered her daughter Angela Hayes (Kathryn Newton). Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) will stop at nothing to make sure that her child's killer is caught and after several months of still no arrests, she decides to take drastic action. She forks out for three enormous billboards to go up in her Missouri town with a message to the highly respected Police Sheriff Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). An embarrassed Willoughby visits her to encourage her to take the billboards down, but she's standing firm and will certainly not be intimidated by police involvement - or, indeed, anyone who dares complain about them. She assaults her dentist with his own drill after discovering that he made a complaint and attacks two local high school kids who try to mock her. Even the local vicar is trying to appeal to her sanity at this point, but when she torches the local police station, it becomes clear that she's quickly becoming way out of control.
An intelligent ode to a time when Hollywood made wildly inventive movies without pressure from focus groups, there's a serious edge to what superficially looks like a madcap comical romp. But this isn't one of Joel and Ethan Coen's nutty comedies. It's a pointed exploration of the collision between art and commerce, assembled as a sprawlingly entertaining ensemble movie packed with lively, often hilarious characters.
It's set over 24 hours at Capitol Pictures in 1951 as studio minder Eddie (Josh Brolin) tries to keep several movies in production despite a series of hitches, while twin gossip columnists (two Tilda Swintons) try to get a scoop. Top movie star Baird (George Clooney) has been kidnapped by communist writers from the set of his Roman epic. Water-ballet diva DeeAnna (Scarlett Johansson) is pregnant and unapologetically unmarried. And rising-star Hobie (Alden Ehrenreich) is struggling to make the transition from Western action hero to chamber room drama, clashing with his demanding new director Laurence (Ralph Fiennes). Meanwhile, song-and-dance man Burt (Channing Tatum) is up to something on the set of his sailor musical. With all of this, Eddie begins to think that maybe he should take the offer of a job outside the film industry.
As the movie darts between these various productions, the Coens gleefully reinvent this series of genres that have essentially died out. Yes, the film is a pointed depiction of how Hollywood used to make a wide array of movies for much broader audiences. Each sequence is written and directed with witty details that perfectly catch the way the chaos of a film set can be transformed into a glamorous motion picture in time for the starry red-carpet premiere. And the entire cast rises to the challenge. Clooney is terrific as the dim-witted star who hasn't a clue what's happening around him. Ehrenreich shows real charm as a smart kid struggling in an insane situation. Brolin holds things together in a surprisingly sympathetic role, while Swinton, Johansson and Fiennes add plenty of spark, and the film is stolen by Frances McDormand as a spiky film editor.
Continue reading: Hail, Caesar! Review
Ever since his wonderful appearance in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, we've been waiting for Ralph Fiennes to take up a similar role that shows a completely different side to the actor, now it looks like the Coen Brothers have given the actor such a role. Laurence Lorenz is an eccentric film director who finds himself caught up in a fiasco when Hollywood superstar Baird Whitlock is kidnapped.
Continue: Hail, Caesar! Trailer
What if the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs missed? Well in Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, the dinosaurs are still roaming the earth and one young Apatosaurus named Arlo is about to head out on his biggest adventure yet.
After loosing his father in a tragic accident, Arlo is left alone and scared. One day he falls into a river and gets knocked out by a rock, finding himself far away from his home. But while trying to make his way back to the Clawed-Tooth Mountains, he befriends a human caveboy that he names Spot.
With Spot by his side, Arlo embarks on a quest that will take him across the land as he finds new friends and faces his fears. Through their ups and downs, together the pair will learn that sometimes the most unlikely companions make the best of friends.
Continue: The Good Dinosaur Trailer
HBO has set a new Emmy best with 126 nominations in total - 24 of them going to flagship show 'Game of Thrones'.
It's that time of year again - the nominations for the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards have been announced, and 'Game of Thrones' has battled its way to the top with a huge haul of 24, including one in the fiercely competitive category of Outstanding Drama Series.
Game On!: Will Peter Dinklage win an Emmy?
The globally popular fantasy series will go up against 'Better Call Saul', 'Downton Abbey', 'Homeland', 'House of Cards', 'Mad Men' and 'Orange is the New Black' for the coveted award. And if doesn't win, well, the show's got 23 other decent chances, including a possible gong for Peter Dinklage - up for Supporting Actor - and either Lena Headey or Emilia Clarke, who are competing against each other in the Supporting Actress arena.
Continue reading: Emmy Nominations: Record Year For HBO, Thanks To 'Game Of Thrones'
Frances McDormand - A variety of stars were photographed in the press room at the 21st Annual SAG Awards which were held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 22nd January 2015
Hydraulic fracturing might not be the most compelling subject for a movie, but it provides a topical backdrop for this engaging drama about ethics. It also lets actor-screenwriter Damon reunite with his Good Will Hunting director Van Sant for another strikingly well-made movie centring around a handful of strong characters. And while we know what the filmmakers feel about this contentious issue, at least the script isn't heavy handed about it.
The story takes place in a rural New England town, where oil company workers Steve and Sue (Damon and McDormand) are trying to secure the leases needed to drill for natural gas. The farmers badly need the cash to keep in business, but a retired science teacher (Holbrook) voices concern about the potential dangers of "fracking". He's joined by environmental activist Dustin (Krasinski) to turn the town against Steve and Sue's multinational corporation. And Dustin even starts to meddle in a budding romance between Steve and local teacher Alice (DeWitt).
The script is cleverly constructed to make us wonder who is telling the full truth. There are obviously risks associated with fracking, but have they been exaggerated by politically motivated campaigns? Damon plays Steve as a straight-arrow, a nice guy who genuinely believes that the process is safe. Meanwhile, Krasinski is a but more slippery as the grassroots voice of caution, and the terrific McDormand gets all the best lines.
Continue reading: Promised Land Review
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Django Unchained are riding high at the top of the US box office charts and as the movie industry lurches slowly into the new year, it’s likely that they’ll remain there. After all, an unsolicited addition to the Texas Chainsaw collection is hardly going to have the pulling power to shift some of the biggest movies of last year off the top of that chart.
That, however, is one of the biggest movies of the week: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. That’s right. An extra dimension has been added to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre story. No, we’re not sure why, either. The phrase “let’s leave well alone, shall we?” springs to mind. The horror genre was just fine and dandy with the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the other Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation and... okay all you need to know is that there are already seven of these movies.. but hey, now we have one in 3D, so that, presumably, you can fear not only for the safety of the characters onscreen, but also for the integrity of your own eyeballs, as chainsaw after chainsaw comes flying out of the screen and straight towards your face.
In a classic game of paper, scissors, stone, it becomes quickly apparent that ‘chainsaw’ beats ‘wooden door’ as good old Leatherface wreaks havoc with his favourite power tool once more. Unsurprisingly, it has been met with a tired response, with one reviewer on Rotten Tomatoes describing the film as a “giant turd of a movie.” So, probably not bound for big bucks box office success, then. Bound to divide audiences this one. Divide them between ‘Don’t really like it’ and ‘Really don’t like it,’ that is.
Matt Damon gets political in his new movie Promised Land, which tackles the issue of ‘fracking,’ the process of hydraulic fractured drilling, which has been at the root of great political debate in the US for some time. Its effects on drinking water and the debate surrounding energy use is a controversial one and has been gaining notoriety. The arrival of Promised Land will inevitably bring that debate to the awareness of even more American citizens.
In an interview with Reuters, though Damon was not prepared to weigh in on either side of the environmental debate. "The point is that the movie should start a conversation. It's certainly not a pro-fracking movie, but we didn't want to tell people what to think.” Damon also said that whilst the issue of fracking was at the centre of the story. “It wasn't that we said we wanted to make a movie about 'fracking' as much as we wanted to make a movie about American identity, about real people. We wanted to make a movie about the country today, where we came from, where we are and where we are headed.”
Continue reading: Is Promised Land Political? Matt Damon Won't Weigh In On Fracking Debate
Steve Butler is a successful businessman as part of a natural gas company who wishes to close down failing farming communities in order to obtain resources. He and his business partner Sue Thomason go to visit a particular town that is suffering a lot in the economic crisis in the hope that it will be easy to get drilling rights for the farmers' land in order to gain important resources through hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as 'fracking'. Things do seem easy at first, with his proposition providing some hope of economic relief for many members of the community, however he is soon challenged when a highly regarded teacher from the school and a determined grassroots campaigner object to the proposal and go about trying to get the rest of the town to vote against it.
'Promised Land' is a particularly appropriate film for the current economic climate and raises important issues that are of real concern to many. It has been directed by Gus Van Sant ('Good Will Hunting', 'Milk', 'Paris, je t'aime'), written by the movie's stars John Krasinski and Oscar winner Matt Damon (writer of 'Good Will Hunting') and based on a story by Dave Eggers ('Away We Go', 'Where the Wild Things Are') and is set to hit screens in the UK next year on April 19th 2013.
Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Continue: Promised Land Trailer
Instead of developing the characters or situations for comedy gold, the filmmakers instead just crank up the chaos. So while some scenes are both funny and visually impressive, this second sequel is simply too inane to make us hope there will be a part 4. Very young kids may be distracted by the hectic pacing and hyperactive characters, but everyone else will quickly be bored by the nonstop mayhem, simply because there's nothing interesting going on.
Anxious lion Alex (Stiller), chatty zebra Marty (Rock), nerdy giraffe Melman (Schwimmer) and silly hippo Gloria (Smith) are living a Lion King-style existence in Africa, although their only hope for escape has just flown away. Namely, the brainy penguins and their monkey assistants. So our heroes follow them to Monaco, where they all end up on the run from the notorious animal control agent Dubois (McDormand). They run straight into a failing circus, which they set out to bring back to its glory days so they can catch the eye of an American promoter and go home to New York. To do this means working with the current circus acts: sultry cheetah Gia (Chastain), dorky sea lion Stefano (Short) and tetchy tiger Vitaly (Cranston).
The circus premise lets the filmmakers have a lot of visual fun with the characters, most notably in a riotously colourful Cirque du Soleil-on-acid performance in London. But the plot makes no sense at all (if they can get to Monaco, surely they could get to New York, right?), and there are so many new characters that the central quartet feels almost sidelined. Especially since they've also wedged in an under-developed romance for the lemur king (Baron Cohen). Yes, it's all over the place, and being busy is not the same thing as being clever or funny.
Continue reading: Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Review
Cheyenne is a soft-spoken, retired rockstar still wearing make-up and hairspray whilst living in Dublin and has been estranged from his Jewish father for 30 years. When he discovers that his father is dying in New York, he is determined to set out to put things right with him, but his journey is delayed by Cheyenne's aversion to flying; when he finally makes his way over, he is too late to see his father alive for the final time. He learns that his father was a victim of persecution in Auschwitz during the Holocaust of World War II and that he was once made to suffer public humiliation by the Nazi officer Aloise Muller. In a last bid to make peace with his father, Cheyenne sets out to kill Muller (who is currently hiding out in the States) whilst meeting several people along the way, including members of Muller's family. When he is finally led to Muller, he finds himself confronted with a difficult decision as he listens to his story and, eventually, he manages to mark out a new chapter in his retired life.
Continue: This Must Be The Place Trailer
Scout leader Ward (Norton) sends out a search party when preteen scout Sam (Gilman) runs away from the camp. He can't get far on this New England island, and it turns out that he has run off with Suzy (Hayward) daughter of a local couple (Murray and McDormand). As Sam and Suzy's naive love blossoms in the wilderness, local police Captain Sharp (Willis) takes over the search and calls in Social Services (Swinton). But these kids are more tenacious than anyone expects.
Continue reading: Moonrise Kingdom Review
Cheyenne (Penn) is a former goth-rocker living in Dublin with his sparky firefighter wife Jane (McDormand). He's trying to hook his young friend Mary (Hewson) up with a shy waiter (Keeley), and he spends hours sitting with Mary's mother (Fouere) waiting for her missing son to come home. When his father falls ill, Cheyenne travels to New York for the funeral and then takes on his father's quest to find the Nazi who terrorised him at Auschwitz. This involves a cross-country road trip, during which Cheyenne comes to peace with himself without even realising it.
Continue reading: This Must Be The Place Review
After escaping to Africa from Madagascar, Alex the lion; Gloria the hippo; Melman the giraffe and Marty the zebra decide it's time to head back to New York once and for all. Unfortunately, they have to rely on the penguins - Skipper; Kowalski; Rico and Private - and the two chimpanzees, Mason and Phil and their combined mechanical knowledge, to get them back home. Nothing can go wrong this time, though, can it?
In 1960's New England, Sam and Suzy meet after the former sneaks backstage before a show, which features the latter. The pair fall in love and, from then on, communicate by writing letters. The pair makes a pact to run away together. Sam will escape from his summer camp and Suzy will climb out of her bedroom window.
Continue: Moonrise Kingdom Trailer
With his usual disregard for story logic, Bay plunges us into another deafening metal-against-metal smackdown. Fortunately, this film is a lot more entertaining than Part 2, because it has a more linear plot. And it looks absolutely amazing.
With everything back to normal, Sam (LaBeouf) needs a job to impress his impossibly hot new girlfriend Carly (Huntington-Whiteley). Then strange things start happening around him. Again. And soon he realises that the Decepticons are back to wage war against the Autobot-human alliance. But he has to convince an arrogant government official (McDormand) to let him get involved with his old team (Duhamel, Gibson, Turturro and their Autobot buddies). All of this has something to do with a secret weapon that crashed onto the dark side of the moon in 1961, sparking the space race.
McDormand is easily the best thing about this film, even if her character has a dramatic personality shift halfway through the film. Malkovich is also terrific (as Sam's offbeat new boss), and Dempsey has his moments as well (as Carly's boss and cause of Sam's inferiority complex). Fortunately, the narrative is straightforward enough to give all of the actors the chance to make their mark, distinguishing themselves above the chaos.
Sadly, the same can't be said about the battling robots. While the first-rate animation has a staggering attention to detail, the deafening battles are still impossible to follow. They amount to an eye-catching display of whizzy effects as clanking robots bash each other senseless and destroy everything around them (Chicago gets the full destructive force for a change). Although at least they fit vaguely into the plot this time.
Meanwhile, lapses in even the most twisted logic are plentiful, including the fact that Sam seems to have metallic Transformer bones to resist injury as he's flung into walls and dropped from high places (not to mention Carly's magical white suit and heels). In other words, it's deeply preposterous and almost painfully boyish, but it's nowhere near as muddled as the last chapter. And besides keeping our eyes entertained, there are some great moments throughout the mayhem.
Tate Donovan and Frances McDormand - Renee Elise Goldsberry, Tate Donovan, Frances McDormand, Becky Ann Baker and Patrick Carroll New York City, USA - on the opening night of the Broadway production of 'Good People' at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - Curtain Call. Thursday 3rd March 2011
When man first landed on the moon over 40 years ago, their journey was well documented and broadcast on the TV around the world, what we weren't to know was the details of a secret mission the astronauts carried out on the 'dark side of the moon'. What they discovered was beyond their belief, evidence that we're not alone in the universe.
Continue: Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon Trailer
City by the Sea is inspired by the true events surrounding the life of New York City Homicide Detective Vincent LaMarca. A veteran of the police force, LaMarca (Robert De Niro) returns to the boardwalks of Long Beach, Long Island (a.k.a. City by the Sea), where he grew up, to investigate a homicide that his son Joey (James Franco) is under suspicion of committing. Vincent and Joey have been estranged since Vincent divorced his wife (Patti LuPone) 14 years ago. As a result, Joey has fallen into the pitfalls of drugs and vagrancy. When a drug deal goes bad, and Joey kills the dealer in the ensuing struggle, he becomes the target of many overzealous police officers who want to charge him with the crime. Joey is also the target for another drug dealer (William Forsythe) who wants the drug money he thinks Joey stole.
Continue reading: City By The Seatest Review
Morgan Freeman, Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher - Morgan Freeman, Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher Sunday 27th April 2008 Opening Night of The Country Girl-After Party held at Tavern On the Green.
Director, Joel Coen, his wife and Frances McDormand - Director, Joel Coen and his wife, Frances McDormand Washington DC, USA - on the set of "Burn After Reading" near the Department of the Interior and Constitution Hall Saturday 27th October 2007
While blessed with entertaining performances and uncommon earnestness (for a Hollywood movie) about the tribulations of middle-aged romance, there's something a little too artificial about "Something's Gotta Give."
Taking place largely in a Hamptons beach house (that is quite obviously a soundstage) where a divorcee playwright (Diane Keaton) has been duped into acting as nurse to an aging playboy (Jack Nicholson) after he's had a heart attack while fooling around with her flighty daughter (Amanda Peet), the film's snappy sense of humor is all too often undercut by affected romantic chemistry and by the overuse of facile cinematic conventions, like musical montages of characters laughing, talking and drinking wine while the camera circles them in the candlelight.
As written and directed by Nancy Meyers ("What Women Want," "The Parent Trap" remake), the unlikely love story that forms between Nicholson (who prefers "the complete, uncomplicated satisfaction of the younger woman") and Keaton (who has been adjusting to independence and getting over old-fashioned notions of spinsterhood) is a source of sophisticated laughs -- with the occasional low-brow guffaw thrown in for good measure (say, Nicholson's posterior peeking out of a hospital gown).
Continue reading: Something's Gotta Give Review
Date of birth
23rd June, 1957
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