A sleekly made thriller with a sparky sense of humour, this is also a rare action movie that has something important to say. Centred around the corruption in the political and banking systems, the film is just as enlightening as The Big Short, but it's a lot more fun to watch. And it's directed by Jodie Foster as a sharp media satire that seems to be skimming along the surface but is actually taking no prisoners.
It's set on Wall Street, where TV guru Lee (George Clooney) hosts his financial advice show Money Monster, directed by his long-time friend Patty (Julia Roberts). Then in the middle of a broadcast, Lee is interrupted live on-air by Kyle (Jack O'Connell), who is consumed with anger because Lee's investment suggestion resulted in the loss of his life savings. Kyle's real target is the banking executive Walt (Dominic West), who has blamed the wipe-out of share prices on a computer glitch. But something about that story doesn't hold water. While Kyle threatens Lee live, a media storm develops around them. And Patty digs into the story with the help of hackers in Korea, Iceland and South Africa, feeding information to Lee through his earpiece.
As the situation spirals out of control, Foster maintains a terrific sense of balance between the edgy suspense and the jagged comedy. This works because, even amid the virtual globe-hopping, she keeps the focus tightly on the interaction between Lee, Patty and Kyle. Clooney and Roberts aren't hugely stretched by their roles, but they are able to add likeable moments of subtle revelation and interaction along the way. O'Connell is the heart of the film, with an impassioned performance that's surprisingly moving. And of course it's easy for everyone in the audience to sympathise with Kyle's frustration about a system in which bankers and politicians pocket billions while the average person struggles to keep their head above water.
Continue reading: Money Monster Review
Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal are in talks with producers of the upcoming film 'Nocturnal Animals'. The film, directed by designer Tom Ford, is based on Austin Wright's 1993 novel, 'Tony and Susan'.
Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal are reportedly in talks to star in the upcoming film, Nocturnal Animals. Fashion designer Tom Ford is set to direct the film, his second following 2009's A Single Man. George Clooney and Grant Heslov are also on board to produce, through their Smokehouse Pictures production company.
Amy Adams is reportedly in talks for Nocturnal Animals.
George Clooney - who was recently involved in a dispute with the Daily Mail - is to direct a movie about the phone-hacking scandal.
Oscar-winner George Clooney is ready to put the disappointment of The Monuments Men behind him and dive straight back into directing, helming a film about the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closure of British tabloid News of the World.
George Clooney is to make a movie about the hacking scandal [Getty/Feng Li]
Clooney will adapt Nick Davies' book Hack Attack, which documents the Guardian journalist's six year investigation into Rupert Murdoch's empire.
Continue reading: George Clooney Going After News Corp With Phone Hacking Movie
Lysa Heslov, Grant Heslov and Daughters - Children Mending Hearts 6th annual fundraiser 'Empathy Rocks: A Spring into Summer Bash' - Arrivals - Beverly Hills, California, United States - Sunday 15th June 2014
European cinema is rich pickings for Hollywood directors.
American producers are always looking for material to turn into movies, so it's no surprise that they continually remake European hits. Recent examples include of course David Fincher's 2011 remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (based on the 2009 Swedish film), as well as smaller movies like Prince Avalanche (2011's Icelandic movie Either Way), the Steve Carell comedy Dinner for Schmucks (France's 1998 romp Le Diner de Cons) and the upcoming thriller Brick Mansions (2004's District 13, also from France).
George Clooney Had A Rare Misfire With 'The Monuments Men'
Now producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov have snapped up the rights to the hit Norwegian thriller Pioneer, which has just opened in the UK. A well-known story in Scandinavia, it's based on true events surrounding Norwegian and American divers whose health was damaged after working 400 metres below the ocean surface to lay an oil pipeline 40 years ago. After a long court battle, the European Court of Human Rights last year ruled that the Norwegian government was guilty of not providing adequate warnings about the risk.
Continue reading: George Clooney Turns To 'Pioneer' For Next Potential Oscar Winner
For an amazing true story performed by such a strong A-list cast, this is an oddly uninvolving film. Fragmented and uneven, it shifts from comedy to drama to romance to adventure, never letting us get the feel of any sequence. In other words, the episodic structure would have been much more suitable to a longer-format TV series. Even so, this is a fascinating chapter of history that we haven't heard nearly enough about. And the actors are good enough to keep us entertained.
It takes place as the tide begins to turn during World War II, and art historian Frank (Clooney) recruits a team of experts to protect Europe's most important paintings, sculptures and monuments from both Allied bombing and Nazi plundering. He recruits a handful of Americans (Damon, Murray, Goodman and Balaban) to work with a Brit (Bonneville) and a Frenchman (Dujardin), and as they spread out around the continent, they discover that the real problem is that Hitler is stealing art on a massive scale and hiding it somewhere. Working with a resistance-minded French museum curator (Blanchett), they are able to find where some 5 million stolen pieces are stashed.
The central theme is whether art is worth risking your life to save. And if Clooney and Heslov had allowed this idea to seep through the pores of the script, it might have carried a real wallop. But they announce it over and over again, never giving us a chance to think about it ourselves. Everything about the movie is just as unsubtle, with each sequence played for laughs, thrills, drama or romance, as required. Which means that nothing emerges as organic for these simplistically defined characters, who are a composite of some 350 Monuments Men and Women who did a job no one thought was possible. Even so, it's fun to watch these actors play with the material, stirring in snappy details here and there and of course playing on their strong chemistry.
Continue reading: The Monuments Men Review
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas and Harry Ettlinger - 'The Monuments Men' photocall at the National Portrait Gallery - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 11th February 2014
Tracy Letts adapts his own prize-winning play into a blistering depiction of one of cinema's most dysfunctional families ever. It's still rather theatrical, throwing a mob of top actors into a room for what feels like a fight to the death, but it's so well written and so beautifully observed by the actors that we can't look away. And of course Meryl Streep walks off with the show.
Everything kicks off when Beverly Weston (Shepard) goes missing, leaving his ruthlessly straight-talking, pill-popping wife Violet (Streep) to assemble the family in their rambling Oklahoma home. They have three equally feisty daughters: Barbara (Roberts) is a tightly wound bundle of anger with an estranged husband (McGregor) and surly teen daughter (Breslin) in tow; Karen (Lewis) is a free-spirited floater with yet another random boyfriend (Mulroney); and Ivy (Nicholson) is fed up with being the dutiful daughter who stayed close to home. Also on hand is Violet's sister Mattie Fae (Martindale), whose husband (Cooper) is the family patriarch now that Beverly is gone, which means their son (Cumberbatch) feels even more useless than normal.
What plot there is centres on skeletons rattling out of closets and relationships imploding spectacularly. The film is a series of brutally intense encounters between people who probably still love each other in vaguely undefined ways and express it through bitter bursts of witty cruelty. Streep has the meatiest role as the imperious Violet, who knows a lot more than she's letting on. And her chief rival is Barbara, played with unnerving intensity by Roberts. The only person we even remotely like is Mattie Fae, and the always-superb Martindale finds all kinds of layers in the character.
Continue reading: August: Osage County Review
The awards just keep on coming for Ben Affleck and his CIA drama Argo, as the actor/director/producer/writer and all-round Renaissance man picked up the award for Best Director at the Director's Guild of America Awards last night.
This makes six awards given to Affleck for directing alone, including a Golden Globe, and the DGA one might not even be his last. The latest award also seems to suggest even more strongly that Affleck will pick up the Best Picture Oscar at the end of the month alongside his fellow producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov, but something tells us that after his latest success Affleck might still be ruing his snub from the director category.
During his acceptance speech, Affleck admitted that he may still have some way to go before he can call himself a director, with Argo being only his third film behind the lens (after the critically acclaimed Gone Baby Gone and The Town) he said, "I don't think that this makes me a real director, but I think it means I'm on my way." Backstage he addressed the Oscar snub too, modestly saying, "you're not entitled to anything."
Continue reading: Ben Affleck Scoops Up Yet Another Director Award For Argo At DGAs
Last night's Producers Guild Awards saw the Ben Affleck movie Argo add to it's already impressive haul of accolades over the awards season, and with the Oscars looming, could this be a sign that the film will sweep up at the Academy Awards next month?
Affleck and his co-producer Grant Heslov (George Clooney also produced the film, but was unable to attend the award show) took home the prestigious Darryl F Zanuck Producer of the Year award last night, taking the film's overall awards tally to an impressive 42, with 67 nominations being picked up by the movie overall. Affleck might still be hung up about his own omission from the Oscar nominations, being snubbed for the Best Director accolade, but with this latest win it looks as though he won't be going home empty handed after all, if history teaches us anything.
For the past five consecutive PGAs the winner of the top award on the night has gone on to win the Best Picture prize at the Oscars and although films without a Best Director nomination rarely do well, Argo may prove to be the exception come February 24.
Continue reading: Argo Adds To Prize-Haul With PGA Win: Is Oscar Success Next?
Ben Affleck leaps on to the A-list of directors with this relentlessly entertaining thriller, combining comedy and nerve-jangling suspense to maximum effect. Based on a declassified story that's unbelievable but true, the film is also clear-eyed about politics without ever getting lost in the big issues. Instead, it keeps us engaged through terrific characters who are beautifully played by a lively cast.
As Iran's 1979 revolution boiled over into street protests over America's assistance to the deposed Shah, rioters stormed the US embassy and took 52 Americans hostage. In the chaos, six staffers snuck out the back door and took refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador (Garber). With the Iranians on their trail, the CIA chief (Cranston) decides to try to get them out, and Agent Tony Mendez (Affleck) comes up with a wild idea: he creates a fake sci-fi movie called Argo with the help of a veteran producer (Arkin) and an Oscar-winning make-up artist (Goodman), so the six escapees can pose as a Canadian location-scouting crew and leave the country.
Yes, this plan sounds utterly ridiculous, but the fake Argo is exactly the kind of cheesy Star Wars rip-off everyone was trying to make at the time, so the idea of scouting colourful Iranian locations isn't as far-fetched as it seems. And screenwriter Terrio keeps us laughing as Mendez and his Hollywood cohorts concoct this elaborate scam. These scenes are so good that Arkin and Goodman walk off with the whole movie, giving loose, witty supporting turns that are likely to be remembered in awards season. Affleck gets in on the fun as well, then also effortlessly takes on the more intense action scenes to hold the whole film together.
Continue reading: Argo Review
George Clooney has signed up British actors Daniel Craig and Hugh Bonneville for his new World War 2 movie The Monuments Men. The Bond and Downton Abbey stars will join established Hollywood actors John Goodman, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Oscar winner Jean Dujardin, according to Deadline.
The movie, written by Clooney and Grant Heslov, tells the story of a group of art experts chosen by the US government to retrieve works stolen by the Nazis, before Hitler destroys them. It's based on Robert M Edsel's book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, And The Greatest Treasure Hunt In History. "I'm excited about it," Clooney told industry website TheWrap. "It's a fun movie because it could be big entertainment. It's big budget - you can't do it small - it's landing in Normandy". Hitler's forces swept through the museums and private collections of Europe during World War II, though 'The Monuments Men' were the directors, curators and art historians who risked their lives to retrieve the masterpieces. "I'm not opposed to doing a commercial film, I'm just opposed to doing a commercial film that doesn't feel organic to me," Clooney said of the subject matter, adding, "So if we're going to do a commercial film we thought 'let's do something that seems fun and actually have something to say."
The movie is due to begin production in March 2013, with a release date likely to be set for 2014.
Continue reading: George Clooney Signs Up Daniel Craig For WW2 Flick 'The Monuments Men'
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