Hugo Weaving (born 4.4.1960)
Hugo Weaving is an English-Australian actor, possibly best known for his role as Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy and for playing Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Childhood: Hugo Weaving was born in Ibadan, Nigeria to Anne and Wallace Weaving. His mother is a tour guide and a former teacher and his father is a seismologist. When Hugo was around a year old, the family moved to England, where they lived in Bedford and Brighton. They later relocated to Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, followed by a move to Johannesburg in South Africa.
Whilst he lived in England, Weaving attended Queen Elizabeth's Hospital boarding school. In 1981, whilst in Australia, he graduated from Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art.
Acting Career: Hugo Weaving's first major acting role came in 1984, in the Australian TV series Bodyline, playing the English cricket captain Douglas Jardine. He also appeared in the miniseries The Dirtwater Dynasty in 1988. The following year, he starred opposite Nicole Kidman in Bangkok Hilton.
Hugo Weaving won the Best Actor award at the Australian Film Institute, for his performance in the low-budget film Proof, which also featured Russell Crowe.
Two years later, he also played the role of Sir John in the comedy Reckless Kelly.
The first taste of international success for Hugo Weaving came with Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, in 1994. The global hit comedy also starred Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp.
In 1998, Weaving's performance in The Interview earned him the Best Actor award at the Montreal Film Festival. His professional stature grew further with his role in the 1999 blockbuster film The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Ann Moss. The role was reprised in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
Hugo Weaving then also landed a role in Peter Jackson's big-screen adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Also starring in the films were Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Liv Tyler, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean.
Hugo Weaving then landed the lead in the 2004 film Everything Goes, with Abbie Cornish. The following year, he starred in the independent Australian film, Little Fish, alongside Cate Blanchett. Then, in 2006, Weaving took the title role in V for Vendetta.
When Michael Bay directed the 2007 live-action remake of Transformers, he chose to use Hugo Weaving's voice for the Decepticon leader Megatron, rather than using the original version of the character's voice, created by the actor Frank Welker.
Weaving then went on to star alongside Benicio del Toro in The Wolfman and when filming had finished, he headed home to Australia to take a role in Last Ride, directed by Guillermo del Toro.
In 2010, Hugo Weaving took on another high profile voice role; this time in Legend of the Guardians, a computer-animated fantasy/adventure which also featured the voices of such actors as Anthony LaPaglia, Helen Mirren, Miriam Margoyles and Geoffrey Rush.
Personal Life: At the age of 13, Hugo Weaving was diagnosed with epilepsy.
Weaving is married to Katrina Greenwood and they have two children together, Harry (b. 1989) and Holly (b. 1993).
As the primary ambassador of Australian animal rights charity Voiceless, Hugo Weaving attends events and promotes the charity through interviews.
In 2005, Australian author Tim Winton collected a series of 17 short stories and published them under the title 'The Turning'. The stories revolve around the character Vic Lang (Dougie Baldwin, Richard Roxburgh, Josh McConville, Casey Douglas and Dan Wyllie), with themes involving companionship, sentimentality and drug abuse. The book received multiple awards for the stories, and went on to become a part of the Western Australian English curriculum in schools. In 2013, the book was turned into a movie, nominated for numerous awards at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.
Continue: The Turning Trailer
Life-changing moments feature in each of the nine short films in this Australian anthology, and each is told with remarkable artistry and sensitivity. While the filmmakers use different styles of filmmaking, there's a clever connection between the shorts, as themes of inner longing are made resonant by earthy honesty. So even if each brief segment film feels like just a fragment of an idea, taken together the film is remarkably moving.
It opens and closes with the animated "Ash Wednesday", using the T.S. Elliot poem to explore the idea of communal memory. From here a variety of mini-stories unfurl, often using the same character names even though the films are dramas, comedies or documentaries, and many have no dialogue at all. The lighter clips include "Reunion", in which a couple (Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh) are surprised that spending Christmas with his mum isn't as awful as expected. "Cockleshell" follows a young guy (Toby Wallace) who's obsessed with the girl (Brenna Harding) next door. And both "Big World" and "Boner McPharlin's Moll" take lively kaleidoscopic looks at how reality is often nothing like our idea of how things should be.
Other segments are dark and provocative, including "Aquifer", about a man (Callan Mulvey) who is pushed by a news headline to recall a painful childhood memory. Two young boys (Jakory and Jarli-Russell Blanco) have a creepy adventure while on a beach day out with their dad and uncles in "Sand". The most moving film is "Commission", in which a young man (Josh McConville) drives to the outback to tell his estranged dad (Hugo Weaving) that his mother is dying. The best performance comes from Rose Byrne in the eponymous "The Turning", as a trailer-trash wife and mother whose friendship with a rich woman (Miranda Otto) sparks a religious epiphany. And the most unforgettable short is "Long, Clear View", impressively directed by Mia Wasikowska, which follows a young boy (Matthew Shanley) playing with his dad's rifle.
Continue reading: The Turning Review
A strong undercurrent of Aussie black humour helps make this revolting story just about palatable, although the solid cast struggles to make the idiotic characters very likeable. The film owes a lot to the Coen Brothers' classic Fargo, as a group of people make ridiculous decisions that lead to pain, conflict and death in a situation so complex that no one has a clue what's really going on. There are some very funny moments, but the filmmakers' real goal is to gross the audience out. And that they do.
Based on a true story from 1983 Melbourne, the film centres on Ray (Angus Sampson), a geeky TV repairman who wins the annual prize in his local football club and suddenly finds himself invited to the cool parties with the team captain, his childhood friend Gavin (Leigh Whannell). The club's president Pat (John Noble) wants Gavin to travel to Bangkok to collect a shipment of heroin, and Gavin talks Ray into doing the job, swallowing 20 heroin-filled pods. When Ray panics on reentering Australia, he's picked up by federal agents Croft and Paris (Hugo Weaving and Ewen Leslie) and held for seven days in a hotel room. But Gavin refuses to move his bowel, confounding them. Meanwhile, Pat is on a rampage trying to find his missing drugs and make sure Ray doesn't spill the beans, as it were.
Yes, this is literally an anal-retentive story, told with bone-dry wit by a group of filmmakers that includes actors Sampson and Whannell (who play ghostbusters Tucker and Specs in the Insidious movies). The film moves at a surprisingly slow pace, never building up much energy but keeping everything luridly trashy as these chucklehead characters flail pointlessly against everything that goes against them. Each person thinks they're in control, but no one is. And only the underused women are truly likeable: Georgina Haig as Ray's sassy-savvy public defender and Noni Hazlehurst as his increasingly frazzled mother.
Continue reading: The Mule Review
The Lonely Mountain has been reclaimed from the dragon Smaug. The dwarves of Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) have won; although they soon discover that the price of their victory was steep. Smaug has laid waste to Lake Town, leaving the residents homeless after Thorin promised them riches. The elves of Mirkwood seek the dwarves that escaped their dungeons, while an army of orcs seek to end the line of Durin. And behind the scenes, a dark lord of shadow, long since defeated, is preparing to make a return to Middle Earth - the secret to his power lies in a small, golden ring. A ring that has chosen a new owner; The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman).
'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies' serves as the final chapter in Academy Award winning director Peter Jackson's Middle Earth saga. The film serves as the sixth film by Jackson to be based on the works of writer J. R. R. Tolkien, and the final part of 'The Hobbit' trilogy. When Tolkien released 'The Hobbit' in 1937, it was a single book. Jackson released the final part of his adaptation of 'Lord of the Rings' in 2003, and stated that he would not work on a 'Hobbit' movie. However, he eventually signed on to direct a two part adaptation of 'The Hobbit', which later turned into a trilogy in 2012.
The film is due to be released on 12th December, 2014 in the UK, with a US release date of 17th December.
This tightly wound drama evokes a strikingly inventive sense of the Wild West in the Australian Outback. Since filmmaker Ivan Sen refuses to crank up even a hint of suspense, he cleverly subverts the usual cliches, refusing to indulge in action-movie exaggeration. But this leaves the film feeling very sleepy, depending on audiences to connect with the central character's internal voyage rather than anything that happens on-screen.
The focus is on Jay (Aaron Pederson), a beefy police detective who moves back home to rural Queensland after several years as a cop in the big city. He's a local boy in this dusty Outback town, but now he's also considered an outsider. His first case involves the murder of a young Aboriginal girl who seems to have been part of a drugs and prostitution ring. This sparks an extra level of concern for Jay because his estranged teen daughter knew the victim. And as Jay digs into the case, he begins to understand that there's a dark criminal element woven right into the fabric of the community. It's so endemic that the last policeman who tried to investigate it turned up dead.
This is an exploration of the dark layers of bigotry and evil that worm their way into any group of people, often far beneath the seemingly peaceful surface. Intriguingly, the film isn't actually about the murder; it's about Jay's journey to discover his own personal history, how his past connects with a present he can barely bring himself to imagine. Pederson is a magnetic presence at the centre of the story as a man dealing with rather a lot of abuse while trying to help solve a nasty situation and understand his own place in this world. Around him the supporting cast add colour to each scene, with notable contributions from the superb Hugo Weaving, Aussie veteran Jack Thompson and True Blood's Ryan Kwanten.
Continue reading: Mystery Road Review