Hamish Linklater, Jeremy Strong, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, John Magaro, Effie Brown , Finn Wittrock - 88th Annual Academy (Oscars) Awards held at Hollywood & Highland Center - Arrivals at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Oscars - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 28th February 2016
With its rousing, old-fashioned tone, this fact-based epic is properly thrilling and inspirational, a tale of heroism that almost seems too good to be true. But it's the astonishing story of a real sea rescue carried out by ordinary men who rose to the challenge. It's also expertly directed by Craig Gillespie (Million Dollar Arm) to bring out subtle character detail amid the exhilarating action.
The events took place in a sleepy Massachusetts fishing town in the dead of winter 1952, where Bernie (Chris Pine) is an earnest Coast Guard sailor who has just agreed to marry his strong-willed sweetheart Miriam (Holliday Grainger). Then one night a fierce storm breaks an oil tanker in half just off the coast, and Bernie is sent by his aloof commander Daniel (Eric Bana) to lead a rescue mission. He takes his colleague Richard (Ben Foster) and two young crewmen (Kyle Gallner and John Magaro) with him, heading into the dangerous sea swells. Meanwhile on the tanker's still-floating stern section, engineer Ray (Casey Affleck) becomes the leader of a cantankerous 32-man crew, steering the wreckage toward the relative safety of a shoal. And in these conditions, the odds are in nobody's favour.
Unusually, despite pitch-black conditions with driving rain and swelling seas, the on-screen action is crisp and clear. Gillespie uses vivid effects and clever camerawork to keep the audience right in the thick of things, conveying a vivid sense of scale while detailing the connections between each string of events. And because we understand what's happening and who these people are, the set-pieces are literally breathtaking. This is partially due to the fact that these are normal people who are very easy to identify with, from Pine's inarticulate but tenacious sailor to Affleck's reluctant natural leader. Intriguingly, Grainger's Miriam is the film's feistiest character, a woman who simply can't sit still and wait for news.
Continue reading: The Finest Hours Review
Hamish Linklater, Finn Wittrock, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Jeremy Strong , John Magaro - 27th Annual Producers Guild Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Producers Guild Awards - Century City, California, United States - Sunday 24th January 2016
Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using humour to outline the 2008 economic collapse from the inside. With characters who are based on real people, the film shows how economists made a fortune from the financial devastation inflicted on millions of families. And the movie cleverly points out that all of this happened (and people are still getting away with it) because the general public can't be bothered to pay attention.
Things were so booming in the first years of this century that it was easy for the media to divert the attention of Americans away from the dark underbelly of the financial world, creating big scandals out of nothing, spurring rampant buying sprees and making stars of non-entities like the Kardashians. Meanwhile in 2005, investment expert Michael Burry (Christian Bale) noticed that America's mortgage market was turning toxic. So he offered to "short" it, betting against this always-stable market by purchasing credit default swaps. The banks thought they would make a fortune from him, carrying on their dangerous practices. But other experts saw Burry's point, including the nerdy genius Mark Baum (Steve Carell), the shark-like Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) and a pair of newbies (Finn Wittrock and John Magaro) who tip off their reclusive mentor Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt). When the economy imploded, these men became billionaires.
Director-cowriter Adam McKay is better known for silly movies like Anchorman, so he packs this film with raucous cutaways to pop culture references of the period, as well as hilariously absurd explanations of economic issues from, for example, Margot Robbie in a bubble bath or Selena Gomez playing blackjack. This approach actually heightens the horror of what's going on as fraudulent bankers and corrupt government officials conspire to undermine the foundations of the economy. Although the explanations still feel like gibberish to mere mortals, it's at least presented in a way that's entertaining.
Continue reading: The Big Short Review
As in his gorgeous film Far From Heaven and TV series Mildred Pierce, filmmaker Todd Haynes tells a simple story with visual impact and thematic resonance. All three of these projects centre on characters who feel like outsiders in their societies, offering staggeringly complex roles for Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet and now Cate Blanchett. This one is also based on a Patricia Highsmith novel (published originally as The Price of Salt), so it has an added layer of underlying intensity.
The story is set in the run-up to Christmas 1952, as New York department store clerk Therese (Rooney Mara) becomes intrigued by Carol (Blanchett), a glamorous customer who seems unusually attentive. Therese finds a reason to contact her, and the two become friends despite the difference in age and class. Meanwhile, Carol is trying to extricate herself from her marriage to Harge (Kyle Chandler), who is still feeling wounded by Carol's relationship with another woman (Sarah Paulson) and threatens to use her friendship with Therese to deny custody of their young daughter. And Therese also has a nice-guy suitor in Richard (Jake Lacy), who is becoming increasingly suspicious. With all of this pressure on them, Carol and Therese make an impulsive decision to take a road trip together.
The events unfold with delicate precision, as Phyllis Nagy's script smartly allows these woman to circle around each other trying to work out how they feel. There's a gun-in-the-suitcase element that adds a bit of spark, but the real story here plays out between the lines in exquisite performances from Blanchett and Mara, who convey most of their feelings through offhanded glances and subtle gestures. This adds beautifully to the depiction of the period's repressive attitudes without ever being obvious about it, and it also reveals the deep emotions that come with feeling like you don't fit in with what society expects of you.
Continue reading: Carol Review
When Dr. Michael Burry discovered that the housing market in the US relied upon a series of bad loans in 2005, he knew there was profit to be had. He even went as far as moving on from his multi-million dollar Scion Capital LLC hedge fund in a bid to short the market and take advantage of the vulnerable housing deals. But he wasn't the only one with plans to accrue wealth off the back of financial disaster; Steve Eisman was a hedge fund manager who had a lot to say against the greedy banks, as did Cornwall Capital partner Ben Hockett and Deutsche Bank trader Greg Lippmann. These are financial outsiders that are about to show the banks a serious lesson when they use their economic skills to bring them down with a brave move in the credit default swap market.
Continue: The Big Short Trailer
Therese Belivet is just starting out in life, bored by her simple job in a department store and even more so by her relationship with Richard. She dreams of bigger things; a career as a set designer and experiencing true love. Love has never found its way into Therese's life, that is until she meets a privileged and sophisticated older woman named Carol with whom she immediately bonds. While Carol's life is the opposite of Therese's in that she enjoys luxury on an everyday basis, she is equally dismayed by her love life; trapped in a marriage with a man she does not love, so that she may continue seeing her young daughter. As her relationship with Therese deepens, their attraction for each other becomes clear to everyone else, as well as Carol's intriguing friendship with close companion Abby, and she faces losing everything in her quest to discover herself once and for all.
Continue: Carol Trailer
It's 1952 and a routine shipment is being undertaken by the crew of an oil tanker travelling along the coast of Cape Cod. However, little did they know of a disastrous oncoming storm that would brutally attack New England like never before. As bad luck would have it, the crew on board the vessel find their tanker suddenly ripped in half by the hurricane and they are forced to await the Coast Guard for rescue unable to move from their sinking boat. 30 men are trapped, not knowing whether anyone was coming to rescue them, not knowing whether or not this was their last night on Earth. After all, it would be a suicide mission for any lifeboat to attempt a rescue in these conditions, but that's exactly what happens. A feat of outstanding bravery for this East Coast Guard.
Continue: The Finest Hours Trailer
It's 1952 and 20-something Therese Belivet is struggling to contend with her humdrum life working in a New York department store, repulsed by her relationship with a man named Richard and dreaming of a career in set design. Soon she meets a customer named Carol; an older, refined and supremely elegant woman who she immediately forms a connection with. Carol herself is in a marriage that brings her no joy and is hoping desperately for a divorce, but this only seems to threaten her relationship with her daughter, whom she cannot afford to lose. Meanwhile, Therese is struggling to control her feelings for Carol; torn between admiration, deep sexual attraction and jealousy over Carol's history with her best friend Abby. It's a difficult time for both parties as they attempt to find order in their feelings in a decade not altogether supportive of their closeness.
Continue: Carol - Clips
Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) is a rebel. His constant fights and reckless behaviour cause more than enough trouble for his family. They believe he will amount to nothing, despite his incredible ability to never give in - no matter what. When he applies himself to running, he discovers that he is very good at it. More than that; Zamperini is great and competes in the Olympic Games. When World War Two begins, Zamperini enlists in the US Air Force, but is shot down by Japanese planes. Captured and placed in a Prisoner of War camp, Zamperini is forced to apply his will and drive in order to make it through the toughest ordeal of his life.
Continue: Unbroken - Alternative Trailer
Louis Zamperini has learned to fight tooth and nail for what he believes in all through life. It may have caused him one or two problems with the law in his youth, but it taught him that to achieve success, he must fight harder than anyone else. It's with this attitude that he joins his school track team, eventually surpassing the sprinting talents of all the local sportsmen. He lands a place on the US 5000 metres team for the 1936 Berlin Olympics before disaster strikes. It's World War II and America has become involved with the conflict; Louis must put his promising running career on hold in order to joined the US Army Air Force and defend his country. But he is faced with new challenges when he and his comrades find themselves adrift on the Pacific Ocean following a devastating plane crash. Unfortunately for them, waiting on the land ahead at Japanese soldiers who inter him and his peers in a Tokyo prison. What he subsequently displays during his time there is a remarkable show of strength of character, fearlessness and an unwavering courage that would touch millions.
Continue: Unbroken Trailer
Louis Zamperini may have been a wayward child, constantly getting into trouble with the local authorities, but he would soon grow up to be an inspiration to people across the world. At a young age he joined his school's track team and eventually went on to land a place on the US 5000 metres team during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. However, as World War II hit the globe, he put his sporting career on hold to protect his country as a member of the US Army Air Force which subsequently saw him and his comrades captured by the Japanese army as prisoners of war after their plane crashed and they were adrift on the Pacific Ocean for 47 days. Louis' incredible determination and strength of character helped him pull through his ordeals and tell his story to the world and now, at the age of 97, he re-tells it for the big screen.
Continue: Unbroken - Teaser Trailer
With its rousing, old-fashioned tone, this fact-based epic is properly thrilling and inspirational, a tale...
Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...
As in his gorgeous film Far From Heaven and TV series Mildred Pierce, filmmaker Todd...
When Dr. Michael Burry discovered that the housing market in the US relied upon a...
It's 1952 and a routine shipment is being undertaken by the crew of an oil...
It's 1952 and 20-something Therese Belivet is struggling to contend with her humdrum life working...
Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) is a rebel. His constant fights and reckless behaviour cause more...
Louis Zamperini may have been a wayward child, constantly getting into trouble with the local...
Captain Richard Phillips was in command of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama cargo ship on...
Captain Richard Phillips never dreamed that his venture on board the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama...