While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an unauthorised biopic about his early years. Which means that it doesn't include a single word or note of Morrissey's music. But while it may not tell us much about the British pop icon, the film is still a very well-made exploration of a young artist trying to discover his voice. The actors are excellent, as is the re-creation of Manchester from the mid-1970s to the early 80s.
It opens in 1976, as Steve Morrissey (Jack Lowden) is struggling against boredom to hold down a job. The thought of living the same dull life as everyone else terrifies him, and he rebels against the pressure from his patient mother (Simone Kirby) and sarcastic sister (Vivienne Bell). Instead, he hangs out with his lively artist friend Linder (Jessica Brown Findlay), going to various concerts and galleries while jotting lyrics in his notebook. Eventually he forms a band with guitarist Billy (Adam Lawrence), but Billy is quickly snapped up by a much bigger group. So Steve goes out looking for another boring job. And it takes awhile for him to meet Johnny Marr (Laurie Kynaston), with whom he will eventually form The Smiths.
There may be a rather obvious hole in this film where Morrissey's music should be, but there's plenty to enjoy along the way. Steve only sings once in the film (a New York Dolls cover), but Lowden plays him with a sparky sense of humour and a wry, somewhat mopey attitude that's surprisingly endearing. Lowden also plays the various relationships beautifully, creating terrific chemistry with Findlay, who lights up the screen with her sparky charisma. Kirby has some strong scenes of her own, as does Peter McDonald as Steve's largely absent father.
Continue reading: England Is Mine Review
It's 1977 and a young Mancunian man named Steven Patrick Morrissey (Jack Lowden) is on the look-out for the perfect musicians to begin his own band; a band that will set itself apart from the popular culture. With his contempt for the local music scene as it was and his reputation for arrogance, he was never particularly popular despite his intelligence. When he meets a young artist named Linder Sterling (Jessica Brown Findlay), she tells him how it is and urges him to be more open-minded in the invention of his new musical vehicle so that he may reach stardom. But he's apprehensive.
While he hates his tax office job, he still doesn't know what kind of a legacy he wants to leave. But then he meets Billy Duffy (Adam Lawrence), with whom he has a lot in common and ultimately leads him to 14-year-old Johnny Marr (Laurie Kynaston) who would become his guitarist and co-songwriter in the formation of indie rock band The Smiths.
'England Is Mine' is a forthcoming account of Morrissey's youth and the beginnings of his musical career. It explores that famously divisive personality of his - his strong opinions on his working class life, his disdain for popular music and his fiery political standpoints - in technicolour, with the help of Jack Lowden who is the star of 'Tommy's Honour', 'A United Kingdom' and the yet to be released World War II epic 'Dunkirk'.
Continue: England Is Mine Trailer
The British actress opened up about the disorder she's been battling since she was a teenager.
Former ‘Downton Abbey’ star Jessica Brown Findlay has revealed that she’s battled an eating disorder for nearly half her life, in a discussion about body image.
The 27 year old actress played Lady Sybil Crawley in the ITV period drama for three seasons between 2010 and 2012, the role that brought her to stardom, before quitting to pursue a wider career in film, television and the stage.
She is currently starring as Ophelia alongside Andrew Scott in a production of ‘Hamlet’, a piece of work that “explores a lot about mental health”, as she told the Telegraph in a new interview.
Continue reading: Jessica Brown Findlay Opens Up About Eating Disorder
Netflix is rumoured to be producing a new series of ‘Black Mirror’.
Netflix is rumoured to have obtained the rights of Black Mirror, the dystopian drama television series created by writer Charlie Brooker. Negotiations have been ongoing since May but a deal is thought to have been reached between Netflix, Brooker and his production company, House of Tomorrow. Netflix are reportedly working on producing a number of new episodes with Brooker already writing the scripts.
Charlie Brooker with his wife Konnie Huq at the TV Bafta Awards in London, May 2015.
Continue reading: New Series Of ‘Black Mirror’ Heading To Netflix?
Igor Strausman is the less thought about assistant of the insane but brilliant Victor Frankenstein. He's as genius as the passionate medical student he aids in experiments, but more rational when it comes to ethics. He does, however, share Frankenstein's obsession with eternal life and becomes equally as excited when they manage to bring a dead animal back to life. This in itself marks a unique scientific advancement, but Frankenstein's morbid curiosity fails to stop there. He wants to be able to create human life, but doing this involves sourcing body parts from mortuaries - and any other place they can find. Igor's timid nature, though deeply involved passion for the project, keeps him from doing his best to dissuade Frankenstein from completing their 'monster', until it's too late. Now they have a rogue beast on their hands, not to mention the police who are out for blood.
Continue: Victor Frankenstein 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
The Riot Club is an elite group of ten Oxford University students; the very best who are almost definitely going to go on to have successful futures. It's hundreds of years old and is notorious for their ritual drunken debauchery, lawlessness and often violent behaviour during their exclusive dinner parties each term. Their current president persuades a pub landlord and his daughter to let the club hire out the venue for the night, as long as he keeps things under control. However, it soon becomes clear that none of these young men are up for a quiet night when one of them hires a prostitute to 'entertain' them. She manages to make a quick escape when she realises what she's let herself in for though, and most of the club decide to take their frustrations out on the landlord and his daughter. Tragically, things get out of hand when one of the men seriously injures the landlord, causing the rest of them to panic. But with reputations at stake, who's going to blamed for it?
Continue: The Riot Club Trailer
The fact that this magical romance has been retitled A New York Winter's Tale in the UK tells you what the filmmakers think of the audience: we can't be trusted to get anything on our own. Writer-director Akiva Goldsman lays everything on so thickly that there's nothing left for us to discover here. And he botches the tone by constantly shifting between whimsical fantasy and brutal violence. Sure, the manipulative filmmaking does create some emotional moments, but inadvertent giggles are more likely.
It's mainly set in 1916, where young orphan Peter (Farrell) is running from his relentlessly nasty former boss Pearly (Crowe), a gangster angry that Peter isn't as vicious as he is. Then Peter finds a mystical white horse that miraculously rescues him and leads him to the dying socialite Beverly (Brown Findlay). As they fall deeply in love, Peter believes he can create a miracle to save Beverly from the end stages of consumption. And Pearly is determined to stop him. But nearly a century later, Peter is still wandering around Manhattan in a daze, trying to figure out who he is and why he's still there. He gets assistance from a journalist (Connelly), who helps him make sense of his true destiny.
Yes, this is essentially a modern-day fairy tale packed with supernatural touches. But Goldsman never quite figures out what the centre of the story is, losing the strands of both the epic romance and the intensely violent vengeance thriller. Meanwhile, he condescends to the audience at every turn, deploying overwrought camera whooshing, frilly costumes, dense sets and swirly effects while a violin-intensive musical score tells us whether each a scene should be wondrous or scary. At the centre of this, Farrell somehow manages to hold his character together engagingly, even convincing us that Peter is around 25 years old (Farrell's actually 38).
Continue reading: Winter's Tale Review
'Winter's Tale' has failed to impress critics who have marked the film as overly sentimental, confusing and lacking in convincing characters. The grand romantic gestures the film centres around have entirely failed to woo critics even over the Valentine's Day weekend.
Winter's Tale, also known as A New York Winter's Tale, has failed to warm the hearts of critics following its Valentine's Day release.
Colin Farrell stars in Winter's Tale as Peter Lake.
The film has a stellar cast including: Colin Farrell (Phone Booth); Russell Crowe (Les Misérables); Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey); Jennifer Connelly (Beautiful Mind); Will Smith (Men in Black); and a large host of other famous names.
Continue reading: 'Winter's Tale' Receives Icy Critical Reception
Farrell plays a burglar in this extraordinary fantasy tale.
Winter's Tale is certainly not a movie that claims to be based on a true story but it certainly does profess to be a tale of true love. With a stellar cast, the marvels of New York City, a love story for all ages and a sprinkling of magic, the stage is set for this new Akiva Goldsman movie to be one of next year's cinematic highlights.
'Winter's Tale': This Romantic Fantasy Tale Will Be Released Just After Valentines Day 2014.
Colin Farrell plays Peter Lake, a burglar who lives and robs in early 20th century New York City. He is wanted by his former gangster boss, Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), to repay a debt. Peter breaks into a mansion one day only to find a beautiful girl sat at her piano who is strangely not startled by his arrival.
Date of birth
14th September, 1989
While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...
It's 1977 and a young Mancunian man named Steven Patrick Morrissey (Jack Lowden) is on...
Igor Strausman is the less thought about assistant of the insane but brilliant Victor Frankenstein....
Solid acting and adept filmmaking help make up for the fact that this film asks...
The Riot Club is an elite group of ten Oxford University students; the very best...
The fact that this magical romance has been retitled A New York Winter's Tale in...
Peter Lake is a wanted burglar in a desperate struggle to escape an old gangster...