It's rare for an American remake to be scruffier than the original, but this film is an intriguingly messier take on the super-slick, hugely engaging 2009 Oscar winner from Argentina. Filmmaker Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) has stripped down the tone and revamped the plot considerably, replacing the original film's big emotional surges with grittier intrigue and subtle intelligence.
The story begins as New York security expert Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) returns to Los Angeles, picking up the trail of an unsolved murder he worked on 13 years earlier when he was an FBI agent. His former colleague Jess (Julia Roberts) is still in the FBI, while Claire (Nicole Kidman) is now the city's district attorney. Together, they secretly begin looking into the case again, tracking the suspect (Joe Cole) through the city and dodging interference from fellow agent Reg (Michael Kelly). But the investigation doesn't go as planned, jeopardising all of them in their current jobs. And Ray is having trouble sorting out his relational history with both Jess and Claire.
These three fine actors cleverly play with the delicate tensions both between them and in the larger picture. At the centre, Ejiofor is gripping as a man of conscience who is tenaciously hoping for justice in a seriously murky situation. Kidman adds a slightly cheeky tone as a woman who has achieved professional success but never forgets the dodgy choices she has made. And Roberts gets the showier role, losing all of her Hollywood glamour as the tomboyish Jess, a woman with layer after layer of emotional turmoil. The chemistry between them is fascinating, even if the filmmaking approach feels dry and aloof. But there's so much going on in both the story and characters that it's impossible to look away. Nothing that happens is quite what it seems to be, and the big ideas linger in the background, leaving plenty for us to chew on.
Continue reading: Secret In Their Eyes Review
Maisie Williams has described the first time she filmed a sex scene as “awkward”.
Maisie Williams has filmed her first ever sex scene. The 18-year-old actress is best known for playing Arya Stark in Game of Thrones. Whilst Game of Thrones features some pretty explicit scenes, Williams’ character has yet to appear in one. However, in her soon-to-be-released film, The Falling, her character is embroiled in a steamy sex scene but, according to Williams, it wasn’t at all erotic to shoot.
Maisie Williams at Glamour's Women of the Year Awards in London, June 2015.
Continue reading: Maisie Williams’ First Sex Scene Was “Extremely Awkward”
Jones, Hurst, Mitchell and Engel are deep sea divers on an assignment to service an oil pipe in the depths of the Indian Ocean. It's a dangerous task anyway, being 650 feet under and full of compressed air - unable to make any quick escape without risk of death. However, when they are stranded following a severe storm back above the surface, they begin to realise that they might have to with no way of knowing if help is on its way; after all, their boat up top has come crashing to the ocean floor. It's a dilemma that becomes all the more difficult to solve when the group start to suffer from the strains of being underwater for so long; rupturing lungs, decompression sickness and hypothermia are all upon them with the crushing weight of the abyss.
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Ray is a dedicated FBI investigator with a crush on his District Attorney supervisor Claire and a close friendship with his partner Jess. However, all those whimsical circumstances are thrown out of the window when a corpse is discovered in a dumpster in LA. Ray discovers that it's the mutilated body of Jess' teenage daughter, and the devastated pair set out on a vengeful mission to find the perpetrator. Unfortunately, the suspect they pick up - of whose guilt they are convinced - they are forced to let go when no solid evidence is found. Thirteen years later, Ray returns with a new lead, having spent every evening since searching through the US prison system for their murderer. But this time, they're thinking of bringing him down their own way.
Continue: Secret In Their Eyes Trailer
While cinematic blockbusters tickle the eyes, this film dazzles the soul. This is a remarkably evocative drama that gets deep under the skin, challenging us to see ourselves in a rather outrageous situation that shifts from quietly disturbing drama to unsettling freakiness. It's strikingly written, directed and performed to get into our heads and stay there like few movies do.
The story is set in 1969 in a girls' school located in the lush English countryside, where 16-year-old Lydia (Maisie Williams) and her best pal Abbie (newcomer Florence Pugh) are members of the Alternative School Orchestra. They're also inseparable, carving their undying love into a tree trunk. But once Lydia has sex with a boy, their relationship begins to shift. And when Abbie faints in class, it seems to become contagious. Suddenly girls are collapsing all around the school, much to the consternation of the headmistress (Monica Dolan) and her stern deputy (Greta Scacchi). As the hysteria spreads, Lydia gets increasingly confused by the occult beliefs of her older brother (Joe Cole) and the agoraphobic behaviour of their mother (Maxine Peake). But what she really misses is her childhood connection with Abbie.
Writer-director Carol Morley (Dreams of a Life) lets this play out like a deranged fairy tale in which Lydia's voyage to self-discovery is both wondrous and terrible at the same time. In its vivid exploration of feminine adolescence, the film echoes such classics as Picnic at Hanging Rock or Heavenly Creatures, by way of David Lynch and Nicolas Roeg (whose son Luc is one of the producers here). And the bold, knowing themes are echoed in gorgeously artful cinematography by the great Agnes Godard plus a stunner of a soundtrack by Tracey Thorn. Amid this sumptuous atmosphere, Morley weaves an enigmatic story packed with mystery, revelations and yes, burgeoning sexuality. But even more than this, the film taps in to the earth-mother power girls discover as they emerge into womanhood.
Continue reading: The Falling Review
In 1969, an all girls' school in rural Britain come under attack from an unknown epidemic. Strange rashes and frequent fainting begin to affect the young girls, leading to some serious changes having to be made. The young girl seen to be at the centre of the epidemic is Lydia Lamont ('Game of Thrones' star Maisie Williams) and her best friend. When the two vow to never part from one another and carve their initials into a tree in the school, they come under fire for suppose occultist tendencies, forcing Lydia to search out and find the cause of the outbreak herself.
Continue: The Falling Trailer
With a darkly serious theme and a corny rom-com filmmaking approach, this film never quite comes together into something meaningful. The characters are full of possibilities, and the story catches the imagination, but director Pascal Chaumeil (Heartbreaker) never seems sure whether he's making a black comedy or an emotional drama.
It starts on New Year's Eve in London, as disgraced TV host Martin (Pierce Brosnan) decides to jump off a tower block. But he's interrupted by the arrival of the timid Maureen (Toni Collette), who is followed by the fiery Jess (Imogen Poots) and the secretive J.J. (Aaron Paul). Together, these four lost souls make a pact to stay alive for six more weeks until Valentine's Day, the next popular suicide date in the calendar. But their story leaks to the press, capitalising on Martin's notoriety and the fact that Jess is the daughter of a high-profile politician (Sam Neill). So they decide to escape to the sunshine for some peace.
Instead of playing this out as a brittle exploration of identity and societal expectations, the filmmakers opt for a romantic-comedy formula, with a four-way friendship standing in for the usual love story. This makes the film feel like a substandard Richard Curtis movie, constantly drifting into maudlin sentimentality. And director Chaumeil encourages the cast to overplay every scene, which makes it tricky to believe any of the characters.
Continue reading: A Long Way Down Review
Martin Sharp is a disgraced TV presenter whose ambitions and family have been destroyed by his own stupid mistakes. Now feeling deeply lost and humiliated he finds that the only way to proceed is to commit suicide by leaping from the top of a London skyscraper aptly known as Topper's Tower. However, as he prepares to end his life on New Year's Eve, he is interrupted by Maureen, a middle-aged single mother also looking for a way out. Not only that, but the pair are soon joined by angst-ridden teenager Jess who also wants to jump from the roof, and then bemused pizza delivery boy and failed musician JJ after that. The four form a bond and sign a pact that they will not kill themselves before Valentine's Day in a bid to help each other get their lives back on track. When they decide to share their unusual story with the rest of the world, they become media stars and finally start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
'A Long Way Down' is a heartwarming comedy drama based on the bestselling novel by Nick Hornby ('About A Boy', 'High Fidelity'). The screenplay has been adapted by Jack Thorne ('The Fades', 'This Is England') and the movie directed by Pascal Chaumeil ('Heartbreaker', 'Un plan parfait'). 'A Long Way Down' is due for release on March 21st 2014.
Tommy Shelby is the ruthless and dangerous leader of Birmingham's Peaky Blinders gang; a group of criminals known for sewing razorblades into their caps. It's set on the brink of the 1920s following the war, amidst all the problems that post-war life brought - from communist revolutionaries to the start of an ever-growing economic problem. The Shelby family get through the economic crisis their own way; theft, illegal gambling and violence, but just how much is the British government going to put up with? With this kind of lawlessness going on around the streets of Birmingham, the chance of better future for the country looks slim. When Chief Inspector Campbell arrives in the city from Belfast, Tommy begins to wonder if he's finally met his match, though what he's most unprepared for are the dilemmas that the beautiful Grace Burgess will bring.
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Preteen girls will find this soppy romance unbearably romantic, but everyone else will struggle to sit through it. Based on the Jenny Downham novel Before I Die, the movie feels like a British variation on the Nicolas Sparks genre with its seaside locations and teary drama. It looks lovely, but is so emotionally manipulative that older viewers are more likely to roll their eyes than shed a tear.
Dakota Fanning stars as 17-year-old Tessa, known locally as the girl with leukaemia who opted out of treatment. She has a secret bucket list that her parents (Considine and Williams) know nothing about, and her best pal Zoey (Scodelario) is helping her work through, from committing petty crime to trying drugs. But sex is at the forefront of Tessa's mind, especially when she meets the dreamy new boy next door. Adam (Irvine) is a sensitive soul who is dealing with his own grief, so is perfectly suited to help Tessa face her own mortality.
Writer-director Parker shamelessly steers each scene into the desired emotion. Some sequences are cute and silly, while others are melodramatic and tense, but it's all so deliberate that we never have a sense of real life taking place. There isn't a single throwaway moment, which prevents the actors from creating complex characters. Instead, they spend much of the time gazing at each other wistfully. Fanning's iridescent blue eyes are mesmerising, while Irvine's quivering features are strikingly beautiful, but we're left wondering why we should be interested in these mopey teens.
Continue reading: Now Is Good Review
It's rare for an American remake to be scruffier than the original, but this film...
Jones, Hurst, Mitchell and Engel are deep sea divers on an assignment to service an...
Ray is a dedicated FBI investigator with a crush on his District Attorney supervisor Claire...
While cinematic blockbusters tickle the eyes, this film dazzles the soul. This is a remarkably...
In 1969, an all girls' school in rural Britain come under attack from an unknown...
With a darkly serious theme and a corny rom-com filmmaking approach, this film never quite...
Martin Sharp is a disgraced TV presenter whose ambitions and family have been destroyed by...
Tommy Shelby is the ruthless and dangerous leader of Birmingham's Peaky Blinders gang; a group...
Preteen girls will find this soppy romance unbearably romantic, but everyone else will struggle to...
It's clear that director Scalpello and writer Van Carter were trying to do something unusual...