A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply well-made film feels somewhat slight, with only a wisp of a plot. But the characters are so vivid that it's thoroughly engaging, and it's written and directed by Stanley Tucci with a terrific attention to detail. So even if the plot itself barely seems to have enough fuel to keep moving, there are constant bits of comedy, drama and emotion to hold the interest.
It's set in 1964 Paris, where journalist James Lord (Armie Hammer) agrees to sit for a portrait with Alberto (Geoffrey Rush), who says it will only take a day or two. But Alberto doesn't work very quickly, painting then repainting while constantly being distracted by his favourite muse, the prostitute Caroline (Clemence Poesy). His wife Annette (Sylvie Testud) barely tolerates this, while his brother Diego (Tony Shalhoub) just shrugs it off as he assists Alberto around the studio. James watches all of this with a smirk, then becomes a little worried as days stretch into weeks and he begins to understand that for Alberto this painting will never be completed. Indeed, he never sees any of his work as ready to show to the world.
Anchored by one of Rush's best performances yet, the film is a wonderful depiction of Giacometti's artistic process, watching him produce his work with only his own inner voice to guide him. Rush plays him as a man who never lets a moment of pleasure pass him by, and everything he does is based on spontaneous impulse. So the people around him need the patience of a saint. The wry Hammer is a terrific foil for the blustering Rush, sitting with a bemused smile watching the chaos unfold around him while wondering how he can extricate himself from this situation without ruffling the artist's feathers.
Continue reading: Final Portrait Review
Lorraine Broughton is an experienced MI6 agent who, in 1989, is assigned on a mission to Berlin during the Cold War, just ahead of the fall of the Berlin Wall. She teams up with station chief David Percival as they attempt to uncover the truth behind the murder of one of their own agents, James Gascoigne; it's a personal mission for Lorraine, who once had quite the romantic connection with the spy. Along the way, she and David discover that they have been infiltrated by more than one double agent. They must use their skills of disguise, combat and driving to find the document that will expose the espionage group that betrayed them, being careful not to put their trust in anyone - no matter how seductive they may be.
Continue: Atomic Blonde Trailer
James Faulkner - A host of stars were snapped as they attended the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) Los Angeles Tea Party which were held at The Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 11th January 2015
Names changed (get this) to protect the guilty, the whole mess breaks out when political revolutionary Michael X (Peter De Jersey) snaps some shots of Princess Margaret getting double teamed by two young men on a secluded island. Michael, in fact a pimp and a gangster, places this get-out-of-jail-free card in a safety deposit box at Lloyd's Bank on Baker Street. Adjoining boxes hold more blackmail bait for a brothel Madame, consisting of pictures of government officials getting their spank on, and a ledger of corrupt cops kept by local hood Vogel (David Suchet).
Continue reading: The Bank Job Review
Last year's kiddie secret-agent comedy "Agent Cody Banks" was a stupid movie that got by on clever charm. It starred Frankie Muniz (from "Malcolm in the Middle") as a junior-high James Bond who had to get over his fear of talking to girls in order to complete his mission and save the world from some contrived evil.
The picture got a enough mileage out of Muniz's amusing believability as a secret agent on training wheels and out of its tongue-in-cheek twists (to keep his parents in the dark, the CIA did his homework and housework while he was on assignment) to balance out a lot of slapdash screenwriting -- so all in all, it squeaked by as good family fun.
But the rushed-into-production sequel "Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London" is twice as stupid and without even an infinitesimal hint of the cleverness that kept the original afloat.
Continue reading: Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Review
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