Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film, although the last time it was seen on the big screen was in the 1952 movie starring Olivia De Havilland and Richard Burton. So a new film version isn't a terrible idea, bringing some modern sensibilities to the 19th century tale of obsession and intrigue. It's just a shame that this version, while gorgeous to look at, never quite manages to generate the momentum needed to involve the audience.
It's set in the early 1800s, when Philip (Sam Claflin) has inherited a Cornish farm from his cousin, who died in Italy where he lived with his wife Rachel (Rachel Weisz). Philip is nervous about meeting Rachel, but he's instantly smitten with her dark charm. His godfather Kendall (Iain Glen) warns him to be careful, and Kendall's daughter Louise (Holliday Grainger) is even more horrified by this development, because she has always had a crush on Philip. But as Philip becomes increasingly focussed on Rachel, he offers to give her the farm to prove his love. The question of course is whether she is really in love with him.
Continue reading: My Cousin Rachel Review
The actresses were beautiful in black on the red carpet in London.
Rachel Weisz and Holliday Grainger stunned on the red carpet at the London premiere of their new period drama 'My Cousin Rachel' earlier this week. They were joined by the rest of the cast at The Picturehouse Central, as well as filmmaker Roger Michell.
Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin and Holliday Grainger at 'My Cousin Rachel' premiere
Lead actress Rachel Weisz, who plays Rachel Ashley in the Daphne Du Maurier adaptation, looked a picture in a custom black tulle Oscar de la Renta gown with silver vine embellishments at the premiere last night (June 7th 2017), while Holliday Grainger, who plays Louise Kendall, wore a slightly more understated sheer black number.
Philip is a typical young English gent, except that he has a deepening desire for revenge burning in his heart. He believes that his strangely dark cousin Rachel Ashley has killed his guardian Ambrose for his money, only it's Philip that receives the inheritance in the end, not Rachel. When she arrives in England, Philip accepts her warily into his home, but despite all evidence against her, he can't help himself falling for her beauty and her grace. She's clearly an intelligent and deceptive woman, and everyone else can see that she is only charming Philip to achieve her own selfish ends. But it really doesn't matter how much he is warned about her by those closest to him - particularly Louise Kendall - he's only falling deeper under her spell.
Continue: My Cousin Rachel - Trailer & Featurette
It's 1952 and a routine shipment is being undertaken by the crew of an oil tanker travelling along the coast of Cape Cod. However, little did they know of a disastrous oncoming storm that would brutally attack New England like never before. As bad luck would have it, the crew on board the vessel find their tanker suddenly ripped in half by the hurricane and they are forced to await the Coast Guard for rescue unable to move from their sinking boat. 30 men are trapped, not knowing whether anyone was coming to rescue them, not knowing whether or not this was their last night on Earth. After all, it would be a suicide mission for any lifeboat to attempt a rescue in these conditions, but that's exactly what happens. A feat of outstanding bravery for this East Coast Guard.
Continue: The Finest Hours Trailer
The thing that makes this Disney live-action remake so wonderful is the same thing that might put off some audience members: it's a pure fairy tale. This time, the studio has resisted the snarky, post-modern spin that threatened to turn previous live-action remakes (Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent) into pointless Lord of the Rings-style action epics. Instead, this is a genuinely beautiful, surgingly romantic, exquisitely made fantasy.
With only a few minor tweaks, this is the classic story of Ella (Lily James), whose widowed father (Ben Chaplin) marries Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett). She arrives with her two spoiled daughters Drizella and Anastasia (Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger), and when she is also widowed, Ella ends up running the household just to keep things from falling apart. But Lady Tremaine and her daughters taunt her with the nickname "Cinderella" and treat her like a slave, refusing to let her attend the ball thrown by the Crown Prince (Richard Madden). He had met Ella before, and is hoping to see her at the ball, but she only gets a chance to go when her fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) turns up with some magic to make that happen. And after dancing with the Prince all night, her sudden disappearance sends him on a desperate quest involving a single glass slipper.
To spice things up, screenwriter Chris Weitz has included a conspiratorial sideplot in which the increasingly wicked stepmother plots with a royal advisor (Stellan Skarsgard) to thwart the Prince's wishes. But otherwise, the film hews closely to both Charles Perrault's 1697 folktale and Disney's 1950 animated classic. This includes lavish sets and costumes that continually take the breath away, giving the characters the same silhouettes as their cartoon counterparts. And within this extravagant design work, the actors are able to create surprisingly textured characters. James' Ella isn't a simple farm girl in need of a man. Madden's Prince is looking for real love. And Blanchett's riveting Lady Tremaine is eerily sympathetic even in her darkest moments.
Continue reading: Cinderella Review
Lily James and Holliday Grainger - Shots of a host of stars as they arrived and took to the red carpet for the UK Premiere of 'Cinderella' which was held at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom - Thursday 19th March 2015
Cinderella is an uncommonly kind young woman, overcome with the loss of her dear father. Her kindness extends to rescuing a stag from the woods, who's being hunted by the Prince and his men. Her resolute opinions strongly affect the Prince, who's life and sense of self begins to change following their frosty first meeting. But as determined and feisty as she may be, she still finds herself unable to stand up for herself back home, where she is forced into doing the cooking and cleaning by her wicked stepmother Lady Tremaine and her daughters. That is until she is invited to a ball at the Prince's palace. With the help of her mysterious Fairy Godmother, she transforms into a Princess for the day and, lo and behold, the Prince falls heavily in love with her and will do everything he can to find her after she disappears. But, alas, there are others determined to stand in the way of their happiness.
Continue: Cinderella - Extended Trailer
Kenneth Branagh brings 1950 Disney favourite 'Cinderella' to life with live action adaptation.
Finally, Disney has unveiled the first full trailer for Kenneth Branagh's live action rendition of one of the world's most beloved fairytales: Cinderella. And it looks to be one of the most visually stunning fantasy flicks of the coming months.
Lily James stars as the troubled Cinderella
The movie industry has been going crazy with its throwback Grimm adaptations, and it doesn't look like anyone's had enough of it yet. While many movies have opted for the spin-off, original stories - such as 'Sleeping Beauty' adaptation 'Maleficent' and 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves' comeback 'Snow White and the Huntsman', not to mention forthcoming fairytale omnibus 'Into The Woods' - director Kenneth Branagh and screenwriters Aline Brosh McKenna and Chris Weitz have gone for the more traditional approach with 'Cinderella'.
Following her mother's death, Cinderella was faced with a lonely existence while her beloved father took frequent long trips away from home on business. The reality was much, much worse, however, when he remarries the selfish Lady Tremaine who brings with her her two hideous daughters Anastasia and Drizella. She is thus forced to cook and clean tirelessly for her step-family, who ruthlessly take advantage of her chronic generosity and unwavering kindness. Soon, she meets a handsome stranger in the woods while out on an errand, and news of a royal ball quickly reaches the family household. Thrilled at the idea of meeting some new people, Cinderella jumps at the chance to attend, but she is forced back to work by Tremaine and the girls out of sheer spite - and jealousy. The only person who can get Cinderella to the ball on time is her magical Fairy Godmother.
Continue: Cinderella Trailer
Solid acting and adept filmmaking help make up for the fact that this film asks us to spend a couple of hours in the presence of a group of truly despicable characters. They're played by some of the brightest (and most beautiful) rising stars in the movies at the moment, but each one of these young men is vile to the core. So the fact that these are supposed to be Britain's brightest and best hope for the future makes the film pretty terrifying.
It's set at Oxford University, where the elite Riot Club (including Douglas Booth, Sam Reid, Freddie Fox, Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer and Olly Alexander) are on the lookout for wealthy white students to complete their 10-man membership. They find suitable candidates in new arrivals: the sneering Alistair (Sam Claflin) and conflicted Miles (Max Irons), whose one drawback is that he's seeing a common girl (Holliday Grainger). After the rigorous initiation process, Alistair and Miles are welcomed to the hedonistic gang at a lavish dinner in the private room of a country pub. But things turn nasty as they drunkenly hurl abuse at the pub manager (Gordon Brown), his daughter (Jessica Brown Findlay) and a high-class hooker (Natalie Dormer) they hire for the night.
Based on the play Posh by screenwriter Laura Wade, the film is centred around this increasingly chaotic dinner party. Although nothing that happens is particularly surprising, because these young men are such relentlessly bigoted, misogynist snobs that it's impossible to believe they belong anywhere other than prison. They certainly don't deserve their self-appointed status as the top students at Oxford, who are getting debauchery out of their systems before taking the lead in British politics and business. But then, that's precisely Wade's point, and she makes it loudly. Thankfully, director Lone Scherfig balances things by offering glimpses into these young men's dark souls while skilfully capturing the old-world subculture and a strong sense of irony.
Continue reading: The Riot Club Review
Everyone is familiar with the classic fairy tale of Cinderella. Cinderella lives a mundane life doing whatever her evil step-mothers tell her to do, and all she dreams of is going to the ball and one day a fairy Godmother makes this wish come true and she lives happily ever after.
In 2015, Cinderella will have a new reimagining via Disney who have previously made a cartoon film, telling the story. This version is going to be live action and will star Lily James (Downton Abbey, Wrath Of The Titans) as Cinderella, Richard Madden (Game Of Thrones, A promise) as Prince Charming, Cate Blanchett (The Lord Of The Rings franchise, Hanna) as Lady Tremaine and Helena Bonham Carter (Les Misérables, Fight Club) as The Fairy Godmother. Given the war-driven fantasy works some of these actors have been in (namely Blanchett in Lord Of The Rings and Madden in Game Of Thrones), can we expect an element of this in this new Cinderella film? Probably not, but it should still be a fun film at the very least for both children new to the story, and people who'll remember seeing the previous version.
The film is directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh who you may know best for playing Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets, but he has also had great success directing films. A recent example being 2011's Thor.
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