Jeremy Northam

Jeremy Northam

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Glorious 39 Review


Excellent
Telling a story from a rarely examined period of British history, this pre-war drama is a bundle of suspense, mystery and personal emotion that's beautifully filmed and sharply played by a first-rate cast.

Anne (Garai) is the adopted eldest daughter of powerful politician Alexander Keyes (Nighy) and his wife (Agutter), who went on to have two of their own children (Redmayne and Temple). It's the glorious summer of 1939, when Britain felt like it had averted conflict with Hitler, so when Anne stumbles on hints of a government conspiracy, she turns to a fellow actor (Bonneville) and her boyfriend (Cox) for help. But the mystery only deepens, compounded by a sinister Home Office official (Northam) and the distracting presence of her Aunt Elizabeth (Christie).

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Creation Trailer


Watch the trailer for Creation

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Creation Review


Excellent
In tackling the story of what's been called "the biggest single idea in the history of thought", the filmmakers offer a fresh angle on a controversial topic. And it's an imaginative, human approach that brings it vividly to life.

In the mid-1800s, Charles Darwin (Bettany) faces a huge crisis: struggling after the death of 10-year-old daughter Annie (West), he's at odds with his wife Emma (Connelly) and his own Christian beliefs due to the results of his study of variations in species over time. Paralysed by what this will do to his marriage and his faith, he locks his research into a box. But swirling memories of Annie, encouragement from his friends (Cumberbatch and Jones), physical illness and marital strain force him to confront something he can no longer deny.

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The Los Angeles Premiere of 'Blood River' held at The Egyptian Theater - Arrivals

Jeremy Northam and Egyptian Theater Tuesday 24th March 2009 The Los Angeles Premiere of 'Blood River' held at The Egyptian Theater - Arrivals Hollywood, California

Jeremy Northam and Egyptian Theater
Jeremy Northam and Egyptian Theater
Jeremy Northam and Egyptian Theater

'Blood River' Premiere - After Party held at the Pig 'N Whistle

Jeremy Northam and Ioan Gruffudd - Jeremy Northam, Ioan Gruffudd Hollywood, California - 'Blood River' Premiere - After Party held at the Pig 'N Whistle Tuesday 24th March 2009

Jeremy Northam and Ioan Gruffudd

The Invasion Review


Grim
Many will look at Oliver Hirschbiegel's The Invasion, the fourth film treatment of the '50s novel The Body Snatchers, with an eye towards what came from the director of Downfall and what was added later by a series of studio-mandated reshoots, supervised by the Wachowski Brothers and their V for Vendetta surrogate James McTeague. They'll have to look hard, and then hopefully write detailed analyses on the internet. If McTeague and the Wachowskis ran major interference for the studio, they did so with mafia-level efficiency and brutality; hardly a trace of European art-movie evidence remains.

The finished product doesn't even particularly resemble V for Vendetta, which at least gave plenty of screen time over to stylish allegory; frankly, I'm not sure if there was much left to ruin here. McTeague and company may have called a redo on over half the film, as some reports claim, but that figure doesn't match with my own informal statistical data: well over 80 percent of The Invasion is pure (if slick) boilerplate. If Hirschbiegel was up to something smart or thought-provoking, Warner Brothers should have a whole other movie on its cutting-room floor.

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Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story Review


Good
At one point during Michael Winterbottom's shambolically hilarious Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, a film about trying to film the legendarily unfilmmable 18th century novel, Steve Coogan says to a reporter that the wonderful thing about Laurence Sterne's book (which he obviously hasn't read) is how ahead of its time it was, that it was "a postmodern novel... before there was a modernism... to be post of." It's a throwaway line in some respects, but it's an excellent example of the layered absurdist humor that abounds within its wonderfully loose format. This is a film about ego, the fatal inability of people to plan their lives, and the delirious chaos of the creative process. It's also about what utter jerks movie stars can be, God bless 'em.

Sterne's novel is a big old mess and has never been quite accepted in the literary canon. Published in nine installments over a decade, it's a subplot-mad, diversion-crazed bildungsroman where the narrator - Shandy - can't even get past describing his own birth by the end of the book, due to his tendency to go off on tangents. Along the way it packs in satires of contemporary intellectuals like Pope and Locke and plays with the novelistic form, including even having one page printed entirely black to represent sorrow at a character's death. They try that in the film, but then realize it's not quite so interesting for audience.

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The Golden Bowl Review


Weak
James Ivory and Ismail Merchant had one hell of a mess on their hands in getting The Golden Bowl to theaters. In the end, they ended up buying back the rights from the studio, which wanted additional edits. Those edits might not have been such a bad idea, as the film, based on a Henry James novel, is considerably dull, despite its brisk pace and cast of dozens, all parlor-room types (and Merchant-Ivory alumni like James Fox and Nick Nolte) who speak in a hifalutin meter when they aren't busy boinking one another in a series of adulteries. And yet it's still boring. The Golden Bowl has some inviting characters (much like the similarly droll House of Mirth, but at least it had Gillian Anderson), but this story is just too slow, too predictable (oh, he married a girl for money but is in love with her friend... what a surprise), and too long to be of much interest to anyone but the costume-drama obsessed.

Happy, Texas Review


OK
Since few people saw Drop Dead Gorgeous, Happy, Texas will likely not be remembered as the second beauty pageant comedy of 1999.

The lighthearted story of two convicted felons who break out of jail and find themselves impersonating a pair of gay pageant producers in the sleepy town of Happy, Texas, this film has a lot riding on what amounts to a one-joke concept.

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Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story Review


Good
At one point during Michael Winterbottom's shambolically hilarious Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, a film about trying to film the legendarily unfilmmable 18th century novel, Steve Coogan says to a reporter that the wonderful thing about Laurence Sterne's book (which he obviously hasn't read) is how ahead of its time it was, that it was "a postmodern novel... before there was a modernism... to be post of." It's a throwaway line in some respects, but it's an excellent example of the layered absurdist humor that abounds within its wonderfully loose format. This is a film about ego, the fatal inability of people to plan their lives, and the delirious chaos of the creative process. It's also about what utter jerks movie stars can be, God bless 'em.

Sterne's novel is a big old mess and has never been quite accepted in the literary canon. Published in nine installments over a decade, it's a subplot-mad, diversion-crazed bildungsroman where the narrator - Shandy - can't even get past describing his own birth by the end of the book, due to his tendency to go off on tangents. Along the way it packs in satires of contemporary intellectuals like Pope and Locke and plays with the novelistic form, including even having one page printed entirely black to represent sorrow at a character's death. They try that in the film, but then realize it's not quite so interesting for audience.

Continue reading: Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story Review

An Ideal Husband Review


Weak
Get ready from Romance... British style.

The Victorians were well known for keeping a stiff upper lip about everything, and their romance was absolutely no exception. Their entire world was constructed around subtlety, and, in tune with that, the one word that can be used to describe An Ideal Husband is subtle.

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Gloria (1999) Review


Unbearable
A shocking must-avoid. Sharon Stone at her worst (and that's bad!). An awful, ill-conceived idea, remade from an equally bad 1980 John Cassavetes film by the same name. None of these phrases quite gets across the horror that is Gloria, a film that has to resort to Sharon Stone's cleavage to move copies of the video (see the box cover if you don't believe me). Sadly, said cleavage is -- by far -- the best part of this film, a pedestrian remake of a Cassavetes movie regarding a brazen, New Yoikah ex-con (Stone "If yah evah luvved me...") and her charge, a little boy on the run from the mob. Yech.

The Singing Detective Review


Weak
"I'm a prisoner inside my own skin." So says Dan Dark (Robert Downey Jr), hack novelist and lifelong sufferer of psoriatic arthropathy, a horrific disease that has left him with barely functioning limbs and an appalling welter of blisters and rashes over every inch of his body. Dark spews rage at everyone who comes near him, from his fed-up wife (Robin Wright Penn) to the gaggle of aloof doctors who occasionally drop by to put him on a different drug.

To get away from the misery of his day-to-day existence, Dark retreats into a 1950s film noir fantasy world straight from one of his books, where he's a handsome band singer who moonlights as a gumshoe. In the fantasy, he gets tangled up in a plot revolving around a dead blonde dame, the sinister Mark Binney (Jeremy Northam) who hires Dark to investigate her murder, and a couple of palookas in sharp suits (Adrien Brody and Jon Polito) who keep trying to bump Dark off. Unfortunately, the fantasy starts getting mixed up into Dark's real life - Chandler-esque gangsters showing up at his bedside, and hospital staff bursting into renditions of doo-wop hits that Dark's alter ego would have sung in an L.A. nightclub - and he has trouble keeping them separate.

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The Winslow Boy Review


Extraordinary
David Mamet scores again, and in the unlikeliest of films.

I've known and respected Mamet's directorial work since the gritty House of Games (1987) and have remained a fan through last year's The Spanish Prisoner. Without fail, Mamet works on gritty, hard-edged con-artistry-related flicks like these. So it's with no small amount of skepticism that I greeted the G-rated Winslow Boy.

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Jeremy Northam

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