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Murder On The Orient Express Trailer


It's the 1930s and a group of strangers from different walks of life board a crowded luxury train called the Orient Express in Istanbul, preparing for a long overnight journey to their destination. Among them is the world famous detective Hercule Poirot who certainly isn't expecting to be working in such circumstances, but when a passenger named Edward Ratchett is found havng been brutally murdered in his sleep on the second night, it's up to him to gather all available evidence and wheedle out all of the suspects. So who are they? He soon deduces that the potential killer could be one of eleven including Professor Gerhard Hardman, Edward Masterman the Butler, Count Andrenyi, Hector MacQueen the Assistant, Mary Debenham the Governess, Pilar Estravados the Missionary, Mrs. Hubbard the Widow, Marquez the Salesman, Hildegarde Schmidt the Maid, Doctor Arbuthnot or Princess Dragomiroff. 

Continue: Murder On The Orient Express Trailer

The Ten Most Anticipated Films Of 2017


Star Wars Daisy Ridley Tom Hardy Christopher Nolan Emma Watson Gal Gadot Dwayne Johnson Steve Carell Scarlett Johansson Vin Diesel Judi Dench Andy Serkis

As always, there are far too many sequels, spin-offs, remakes and reboots clogging the cinemas, but hopefully they'll be better than 2016's lacklustre batch. (Release dates are subject to change.)

Rey tracks down Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode VIII

Star Wars: Episode Viii - Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill continue the saga (Dec). More sci-fi sequels worth waiting for: the gang reteams for more space antics in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (May), Michael Fassbender returns for Alien: Covenant (May), and Harrison Ford is back for Blade Runner 2049 (Oct).

Continue reading: The Ten Most Anticipated Films Of 2017

Daisy Ridley And Judi Dench To Join Johnny Depp On Board 'Murder On The Orient Express'


Johnny Depp Kenneth Branagh Daisy Ridley Judi Dench Michelle Pfeiffer

The ensemble cast of Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express is shaping up to be pretty special.

Branagh, who will direct and star in the adaptation, is to be joined by Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench and Michelle Pfeiffer for the classic Agatha Christie murder mystery.

Johnny DeppJohnny Depp is among the A-list cast for Murder on the Orient Express

Continue reading: Daisy Ridley And Judi Dench To Join Johnny Depp On Board 'Murder On The Orient Express'

Judi Dench Reveals She Got Her First Tattoo For Her 81st Birthday


Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench that she recently got her first ever tattoo, which she was given for her 81st birthday by her daughter Finty last year.

After a great deal of consideration, the Oscar winning screen and TV icon revealed that she got the words ‘Carpe Diem’ inked on the inside of her right wrist.

In a new interview with The Mirror Online, Dench explained the meaning behind the Latin phrase: “That’s my motto: ‘Seize the day’. Finty gave it to me for my 81st birthday – she’s wonderful with surprises. Mind you the company of ‘A Winter’s Tale’, which I was doing at the time, used to say that it said fish of the day.”

Continue reading: Judi Dench Reveals She Got Her First Tattoo For Her 81st Birthday

Judi Dench And Lin-Manuel Miranda Win Laurence Olivier Awards


Laurence Olivier Judi Dench Lin-Manuel Miranda

The West End revival of Gypsy Rose Lee musical 'Gypsy' was the big winner at the 2016 Laurence Olivier Awards at the weekend with Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'In The Heights' and Judi Dench in 'The Winter's Tale' also being stand-out winners of the night.

Judi DenchJudi Dench wins Best Supporting Actress for 'The Winter's Tale'

'Gypsy', which was played at the Savoy Theatre, landed Best Musical Revival, while Imelda Staunton ('Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix') won Best Actress in a Musical and Lara Pulver was named Best Supporting Actress. The show was also the recipient of the White Light Award for Best Lighting Design. 'Kinky Boots' also took home its share of accolades in the form of MasterCard Best New Musical, Best Costume Design, and Best Actor in a Musical going to Matt Henry.

Continue reading: Judi Dench And Lin-Manuel Miranda Win Laurence Olivier Awards

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children Trailer


Jake has always been an ordinary boy but when he finds himself on a small island, things begin to happen that few people would be able to explain. His new friend, a beautiful young girl named Emma seems to be able to perform miraculous occurrences start to happen. 

Things become a little clearer - yet utterly more baffling - when he's taken to meet Miss Peregrine at her exceptional orphanage for children. As Jacob is quick to learn, each of Miss Peregrine's kids has a special ability, something unique to them. Emma can control oxygen and must wear hefty boots to keep her feet firmly attached to the ground, whilst Bronwyn is a little girl with incredible physical strength. 

Miss Peregrine is the protector of the children and acts as their matriarch. To keep them safe she's formulated a way of manipulating time to keep the kids away from dangerous monsters who hunt them down - however, as the dark forces become stronger the Children are placed in more and more danger - unbeknownst to Jacob, perhaps he holds the key to keeping his new friends safe. 

A Week In Movies: Berlin Wraps Up, Dames Judi And Maggie Hit The Red Carpet, Julia Roberts Films In L.A. And There Are New Trailers For Age Of Adaline, Big Game And Crimson Peak


Cate Blanchett Helena Bonham Carter Tom Courtenay Judi Dench Maggie Smith Adam Scott Julia Roberts Chiwetel Ejiofor

Cinderella

The Berlin Film Festival wrapped up last weekend after the premiere for Disney's new live-action version of Cinderella, and stars Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Lily James and Richard Madden, plus director Kenneth Branagh were all on hand for the event.

Photos - 65th Berlin International Film Festival - 'Cinderella' - Premiere

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Berlin Wraps Up, Dames Judi And Maggie Hit The Red Carpet, Julia Roberts Films In L.A. And There Are New Trailers For Age Of Adaline, Big Game And Crimson Peak

Judi Dench and David Mills - Olivier Awards 2014 held at the Royal Opera House - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Saturday 13th April 2013

Judi Dench and David Mills
Judi Dench and David Mills
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench

Forget Who Will Win, Who SHOULD Win At The Oscars?


Leonardo Dicaprio Cate Blanchett Judi Dench

On March 2nd 2014, the 86th Annual Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. As we all well know, for the few months leading up to the Oscars, the awards ceremony is practically all that anybody can talk about...‘Oscar buzz this' and ‘Award nominated that’ are phrases that are worked into practically every article or discussion regarding actors and movies. However, the big question at this point isn’t ‘Who will win?’ it’s ‘Who should win?’, and that’s a question for us film buffs, and not the critics to decide!

leo dicaprio oscars Is this the year that Leonardo Dicaprio will finally win his first Oscar?

When it comes to Best Picture the competition is of a seriously high calibre this year. American Hustle was immensely popular with film-goers, while Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave about slavery in the States may be considered difficult to watch but it does look set for a double win after claiming Best Film at the BAFTAs. Will Martin Scorsese’s much celebrated The Wolf of Wall Street even get a look in with such a high quality of competition? Other movies nominated include Captain PhillipsDallas Buyers Club, Her, Philomena and Nebraska.

Continue reading: Forget Who Will Win, Who SHOULD Win At The Oscars?

Dame Judi Dench - EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 (BAFTA) - Afterparty - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 16th February 2014

Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench - EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) held at the Royal Opera House - Arrivals. - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 16th February 2014

Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench

Gary Oldman Would Be A Real Coup For Star Wars: Episode VII


Gary Oldman Star Wars Jj Abrams Judi Dench

Is Gary Oldman about to add to his ridiculously impressive list of franchises by appearing in Star Wars: Episode VII? That’s what the rumors are suggesting, and Oldman did little to quell them when he confirmed a phone call took place.

Star Wars logoWhen are we going to have an Episode VII logo to play with?

"They've called," said Oldman in an interview with Sky Movies. "You know, I'm more cynical about it now. I'll believe it when I'm on the plane home. The deal isn't done, but yeah, they've inquired. I mean Planet Of The Apes, Harry Potter, Batman, and Star Wars… bloody hell!"

Continue reading: Gary Oldman Would Be A Real Coup For Star Wars: Episode VII

POLL: Are You Happy With The Star Wars Casting Rumors? Zac Efron?


Zac Efron Jj Abrams Michael Fassbender Benedict Cumberbatch Aaron Paul Judi Dench Jesse Plemons Carrie Fisher Harrison Ford Star Wars Disney

With the sheer size of the Star Wars franchise, Episode VII was always going to be a big deal. J.J Abrams took on a daunting task when he agreed to helm the reboot following Disney’s acquisition of LucasFilms, but have the casting rumors got you excited?

Zac EfronZac Efron is the latest name attached to the Star Wars franchise

The latest of those rumours concerns a certain former Disney employee, who has attempted to shake off his teen heartthrob reputation by doing, actually, very little at all. He stoked the fire when he confirmed a meeting with Disney and J.J took place.

Continue reading: POLL: Are You Happy With The Star Wars Casting Rumors? Zac Efron?

A Week In Movies: Stiller And Williams Film In Rainy London, While Trailers Debut For Brosnan, Owen, Rio And Maleficent


Ben Stiller Robin Williams Judi Dench Pierce Brosnan Clive Owen Billy Crudup Karen Gillan Lana Del Rey Angelina Jolie

filming scenes for Night at the Museum 3

In the lull between big awards shows, media attention turns to Super Bowl halftime performances and adverts, while award-nominated actors and filmmakers travel around the world to squeeze in their next projects before Bafta and Oscar nights. Judi Dench is in India filming The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 with the reunited cast from the original. Chiewtel Ejiofor is in New Zealand filming something top-secret. Cate Blanchett is taking a well-deserved holiday. Meanwhile, Ben Stiller and Robin Williams have been snapped on the streets of rain-swept London filming scenes for Night at the Museum 3. We braved the British weather to snap the filming in action.

We got our first glimpse of the comedy-drama A Long Way Down this week, with a new trailer that plays up the film's black humour and warm emotion. Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots play four people who meet as they're planning to end it all by leaping from a London skyscraper. In the media circus that follows, they make a pact to live for at least one more month. It looks funny and rather sweet, with the terrific cast on great form. It's out in March. Watch 'A Long Way Down' Trailer here.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Stiller And Williams Film In Rainy London, While Trailers Debut For Brosnan, Owen, Rio And Maleficent

Tonight In Cinemas: Oldboy, Philomena, Frozen, Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Pick A Winner?


Jennifer Lawrence Steve Coogan Judi Dench Josh Brolin

Thanksgiving weekend represents a real mix of genres should you venture out to the pictures. From animated Disney musical action in Frozen, to hyper-violent revenge seeking in Oldboy, there’s truly something for everyone. But what are you going to pick? Well we can start by ruling something out: Oldboy.

Josh Brolin and Samuel L. Jackson in OldboyJosh Brolin and Samuel L. Jackson in Oldboy

Spike Lee seems to have missed a trick with this remake of the South Korean cult classic, which sees a man trapped for several years without explanation, only for his revenge trip to be colored by further torment. Josh Brolin stars, alongside Samuel L. Jackson, but despite an admittedly impressive cast, the film falls short on many levels.

Continue reading: Tonight In Cinemas: Oldboy, Philomena, Frozen, Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Pick A Winner?

Will 'Philomena' Translate To U.S Market With Its Thanksgiving Release?


Steve Coogan Judi Dench

Philomena enjoyed a brilliant critical response in the UK, with special mentions for actors Steve Coogan and Judi Dench for the way they handled the emotive subject matter with grace, dignity and a level of humility, injecting a sensitive level of lightheartedness. But, with the film’s U.S release two days ago, how will it translate to an American audience?

PhilomenaPhilomena is out for the Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S

The story, based on real life events, surrounds a journalist’s quest to unite a mother with her lost son. Dench plays Philomena, who fell pregnant at a young age, out of wedlock. The nuns in her Irish-catholic looked upon her situation with disdain, putting her son up for adoption in America.

Continue reading: Will 'Philomena' Translate To U.S Market With Its Thanksgiving Release?

The Sisters Are Nun Too Happy With Judi Dench, Steve Coogan And 'Philomena'


Judi Dench

The story of Philomena doesn’t exactly paint nuns in the best light, which isn’t to say the story isn’t valid or true. But it’s difficult to escape the fact that nuns don’t exactly come off as the good guys. And The Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary aren’t particularly happy.

PhilomenaThe heartwarming story didn't warm the hearts of the nuns

Philomena Lee (Dame Judi Dench), an Irish woman whose son was forcibly put up for adoption, is joined by journalist and former PR & Media spin doctor Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) as they try and track down her lost child.

Continue reading: The Sisters Are Nun Too Happy With Judi Dench, Steve Coogan And 'Philomena'

BAFTA Bound, But Could 'Philomena' Feature At The Oscars?


Steve Coogan Stephen Frears Judi Dench

Don't laugh. We're serious. Stephen Frears' new movie Philomena, based on the investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, could well figure in the behemoth that is the American movie awards season following stunning reviews in its homeland this week.

Watch the Philomena trailer:

It stars Oscar-winner Judi Dench as the title character, a mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock, something her Irish-Catholiccommunity didn't take kindly to. The child was given away for adoption to the United States and Philomena was forced to sign a doctrine promising she would not look for him. Years later, she meets Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a BBC reporter with whom she decides to set off on a journey to find her long-lost son.

Continue reading: BAFTA Bound, But Could 'Philomena' Feature At The Oscars?

Critics Agree, 'Philomena' Is A "Serious" Comedy That Needs To Be Seen


Judi Dench Steve Coogan Stephen Frears

Philomena stars Judi Dench as Philomena Lee in the movie adaptation of Martin Sixsmith's 2009 novel The Lost Children of Philomena Lee. Co-starring Steve Coogan as Sixsmith, the film is an emotionally moving and shocking true story that follows Sixsmith's journey to help find Philomena's lost children. Handled masterfully by The Queen director Stephen Frears, the film has been universally praised for its sensitive tone and lighthearted comic relief, with the performances from the two stars also being singled out for wide praise.

Philomena
Dench and Coogan give an acting masterclass in Philomena

Having just been sacked from his job as a government spin doctor, Sixsmith is sent by his editor to do a "human interest story," an idea he at first resents, until he comes across the elderly Philomena Lee. We and Sixsmith soon discover that Lee was sent to a Catholic home for unmarried mothers in the 1950's, where she gave birth to her son, who she was forced to give up for adoption by the zealous nuns running the home.

Continue reading: Critics Agree, 'Philomena' Is A "Serious" Comedy That Needs To Be Seen

A Week In Movies: Stars Come Out In London, We Get A Glimpse Of The New Jack Ryan, And Keanu Brings Us A Japanese Fantasy


Kate Winslet Josh Brolin Judi Dench Steve Coogan Joseph Gordon-Levitt Julia Louis-Dreyfus Chris Pine Shia LaBeouf Keanu Reeves George Clooney

A very pregnant Kate Winslet joined Josh Brolin on the red carpet to present Labor Day

The stars continue to be out in London in the second week of the 57th London Film Festival. Judi Dench and Steve Coogan were on-hand with their new film Philomena, Joseph Gordon-Levitt got the crowd screaming outside the cinema before the screening of his writing-directing debut Don John, and. Click here for Philomena trailer and pics, or here for pics and the trailer for Don Jon and you can browse through our photo gallery of this week's Labor Day premiere in London.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus was also at the festival with filmmaker Nicole Holofcener for the UK premiere of their intelligent, offbeat romantic-comedy Enough Said, which features one of the final performances from the late James Gandolfini. It opens in British cinemas this weekend. You can read our Enough Said review here.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Stars Come Out In London, We Get A Glimpse Of The New Jack Ryan, And Keanu Brings Us A Japanese Fantasy

Steve Coogan Gets Plenty Of 'Ahas!' At Philomena's BFI Screening


Steve Coogan Judi Dench

Perhaps it’s testament to the timeless power of Steve Coogan’s character, Alan Partridge, that people can’t stop quoting his most famous catchphrase, but last night, when the actor was on the red carpet for his latest movie Philomena, the ‘Ahas!’ just kept coming.

Watch Dench and Coogan in the trailer for Philomena

Continue reading: Steve Coogan Gets Plenty Of 'Ahas!' At Philomena's BFI Screening

Dame Judi Dench and Philomena Lee - BFI London Film Festival: 'Philomena' film premiere held at the Odeon Leicester Square - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 16th October 2013

Dame Judi Dench and Philomena Lee
Steve Coogan and Dame Judi Dench
Steve Coogan and Dame Judi Dench
Steve Coogan and Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench and Philomena Lee
Steve Coogan and Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench - BFI London Film Festival: 'Philomena' photocall held at Claridges - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 16th October 2013

Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench
Jeff Pope, Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan
Dame Judi Dench
Jeff Pope, Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan
Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

A Week In Movies: Festival Films Create Oscar Buzz For Meryl, Judi, Kate And An Emaciated Matthew Mcconaughey


Judi Dench Jason Reitman Meryl Streep Julia Roberts Tilda Swinton Tom Hiddleston Matthew Mcconaughey

As the Venice Film Festival wrapped up last weekend with its surprising award winners, led by the Roman ring-road documentary Sacro GRA, the Toronto Film Festival got underway in Canada. Both festivals are launching pads for movies seeking awards momentum, so the stars were all out promoting themselves on the red carpets.

Philomena Poster

One of the big attention-grabbers out of Venice was Philomena, the true story of a woman's search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption. The film won two top awards at Venice, and Judi Dench has leapt to the top of the list of Oscar hopefuls with her sensitive, emotionally raw performance. The film opens in November in the UK and in January in America. Watch the trailer for Philomena.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Festival Films Create Oscar Buzz For Meryl, Judi, Kate And An Emaciated Matthew Mcconaughey

London Film Festival Line-Up Revealed: Are There Any Movies Without Tom Hanks In?


Tom Hanks Judi Dench Steve Coogan Steve McQueen Michael Fassbender Brad Pitt Scarlett Johansson Sandra Bullock Benedict Cumberbatch George Clooney

From the 9th October, London will play host to its annual film festival; an event increasingly becoming recognised alongside the likes of Venice, Cannes and Toronto for launching an impressive array of films as the best in world cinema head to Leicester Square to showcase the best filmmaking on the planet.

Tom Hanks Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks Plays Captain Phillips Whose Ship Is Hijacked By Pirates.

Actor Tom Hanks will certainly hold a strong presence at the event, which will run from 9-20th October, with his two films providing the opening and closing movie of the whole festival. Captain Phillips will be the film to kick off the fortnight's celebration of cinema, having also opened the New York Film Festival.

Continue reading: London Film Festival Line-Up Revealed: Are There Any Movies Without Tom Hanks In?

The Dramatic Side Of Steve Coogan In 'Philomena'


Steve Coogan Judi Dench Sophie Kennedy Clark Stephen Frears

Steve Coogan is known for his seminal character: Alan Partridge. He even mocked the disparity of popularity between his work with a live show entitled ‘Steve Coogan Live - As Alan Partridge And Other Less Successful Characters.'

Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Dame Judy Dench and Stephen FrearsSteve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Dame Judy Dench and Stephen Frears at the Venice Film Festival

With such a well-known character, indeed, Partridge is one of the U.K’s most popular comedy creations; it’s difficult to break free of the comedy mould. Especially when you’ve just been all over the big screen in a comedy feature. But Coogan was striving for something more than making people laugh.

Continue reading: The Dramatic Side Of Steve Coogan In 'Philomena'

'Philomena': Steve Coogan & Judi Dench Star In Heart-Warming Drama [Trailer]


Steve Coogan Judi Dench

The trailer has been released for Philomena, a heart-warming drama with a moving story. Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge) and Dame Judi Dench (Skyfall) will star as the main characters who become unlikely friends in their quest for the truth.

Philomena
Judi Dench & Steve Coogan In Philomena.

The narrative follows journalist Martin Sixsmith (Coogan); a once political journalist who begins to follow a new line of 'human-interest' enquiry when a stranger who knew he was a reporter approached him and mentioned that she had a friend with a secret family mystery that needed solving. He was led to Philomena Lee (Dench) who had a secret she'd kept tightly locked away for 50 years: she had a son who she'd never told anyone about.

Continue reading: 'Philomena': Steve Coogan & Judi Dench Star In Heart-Warming Drama [Trailer]

Dame Judi Dench - Dame Judi Dench seen leaving the Noel Coward Theatre after performing in the show 'Peter and Alice' - London, United Kingdom - Friday 24th May 2013

Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench

Judi Dench - Judi Dench leaving Noel Coward theatre - London, United Kingdom - Monday 20th May 2013

Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Judi Dench

Impressive Performances From Skyfall Co-Stars Judi Dench And Ben Whishaw In Peter And Alice


Judi Dench Ben Whishaw

John Logan’s new 90 minute play Peter & Alice, directed by Michael Grandage features stellar performances from Dame Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw, who were last seen on screen together in the latest James Bond movie Skyfall. A rather different proposition than the action packed spy movie, Peter & Alice tells the tale of the real life people who inspired the characters of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and JM Barrie’s Peter Pan. The two people met, in real life in a bookshop in 1932, though much of the play’s narrative is imagined.

Dench is praised by The Guardian, for her “ability to combine ecstasy and melancholy, witnessed in abundance here” and her “features flicker between delight and regret at the thought of opportunities missed.” Similiarly, Whishaw is received a positive response from the paper’s reviewer, who rearks that his performance is “equally memorable,” adding “There is a haggard intensity about his straggle-bearded features that tell you, from the first second when you see him uneasily prowling the London bookshop, that he is a man marked for tragedy.” The Telegraph reviews reveals that both Whishaw and Dench “give beautiful, heart-catching performances in this haunting play that sounds profound notes of loss and grief.

It’s not all good news for Whishaw though, who is described by the Daily Mail as being “so irredeemably wet he could do with sponging.” 

Continue reading: Impressive Performances From Skyfall Co-Stars Judi Dench And Ben Whishaw In Peter And Alice

Daniel Day-Lewis Is British BAFTAs Hope, But It's Ben Affleck's Year


BAFTA Ben Affleck Daniel Day Lewis Judi Dench

Most of the British talent on show at the BAFTAs on Sunday will have to sit firmly in their seats and watch one American in particular pick up a slew of awards in London. Daniel Day-Lewis will take the award for Best Actor for his sterling performance in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, though Ben Affleck will be the name on everyone's lips following the ceremony at the Royal Opera House, Convent Garden.

Argo - a drama directed by and starring Affleck - is likely to take Best Picture at the British ceremony, with the 40-year-old the big favourite to win for his directorial work too. The movie, about the rescue of American hostages from Iran in 1979, has beaten Lincoln to just about every award in America, establishing itself as the massive favourite to win Best Picture at the Oscars on February 24, 2013. Argo has seven BAFTA nominations in total and although Lincoln, Les Miserables, Life of Pi and Zero Dark Thirty also contest the major prizes, it's likely to be Affleck's tense drama that comes up trumps. 

British star Daniel Day-Lewis was hailed as "the world's greatest actor," by Time magazine last year and is the safe bet to add to his trophy cabinet on Sunday. Should he scoop the same prize at the Academy Awards, it would be his third Oscar for Best Actor, an unprecedented feat in the world of Hollywood. There could be wins for the Oscar-snubbed James Bond movie Skyfall, nominated in eight categories including Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), and Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem), though the bookmakers predict the film will miss out on the Outstanding British Film prize to Les Miserables, starring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe. 

Continue reading: Daniel Day-Lewis Is British BAFTAs Hope, But It's Ben Affleck's Year

BAFTA 2013: Judi Dench Recognised At Last, Skyfall Looms Large In Nominations


Judi Dench Sam Mendes Javier Bardem Daniel Day Lewis

Judi Dench has finally found BAFTA recognition for her role as M in the James Bond movies. This year, the latest Bond movie, directed by British director Sam Mendes has received no fewer than eight nominations, in a year when at last, the 50 year old Bond franchise looks as though it could be in the running for an Oscar.

Dench’s appearance in Skyfall marked the last time that the veteran actress would play the role of M in the James Bond movies and finally, she has been recognised by the BAFTAs for her contribution to the world famous franchise, with a Best Supporting Actress nomination. Skyfall has also received nods for Outstanding British Film, Cinematography, Best Supporting Actor (for Javier Bardem), Editing Original Music, Production Design and Sound. No nod for Daniel Craig, though, the star of the movie.

Amanda Berry, chief executive of BAFTA, said “The public have really taken the film to their hearts, they went to see it in their droves internationally," the Telegraph reports. “Javier Bardem was the most amazing baddie so it's great to see him nominated too… Judi Dench was first nominated in 1966 as outstanding newcomer. She's never been nominated as M before, and it felt like her role was bigger this time. It was also her last performance. I just think it was a terrific film, really well made, with an outstanding cast.” Skyfall was just pipped to the post in terms of the number of nominations it received, by the movie Lincoln, starring Daniel Day Lewis.

Dame Judi Dench and London Evening Standard Theatre Awards Sunday 25th November 2012 London Evening Standard Theatre Awards held at The Savoy

Dame Judi Dench and London Evening Standard Theatre Awards

Daniel Craig's Skyfall To Sweep US Box Office: But Should Javier Bardem Have Been 007?


Javier Bardem Daniel Craig Sam Mendes Ralph Fiennes Judi Dench Steven Spielberg

Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes bring their James Bond leviathan Skyfall to U.S. shores this weekend, with box-office analytics predicting a huge opening that should far exceed the debut $67.5 million taken by Quantum of Solace in November 2008.

Skyfall is buoyed by massive showings overseas, superb reviews, an Oscars buzz and, of course, the partnership of Craig and Mendes. Sony has given a conservative estimate of $67 million (perhaps considering the effects of Hurricane Sandy), though Skyfall is likely to fly past that figure. The critically acclaimed movie opens in IMAX at 12.01am tonight (November 8, 2012), and everywhere else at 12.01am on Friday. Though few can deny Daniel Craig his position amongst Bond's finest actors, it all could have been very different, as Javier Bardem explained in a recent interview with Cinema Blend. The actor - who himself gives a gripping performance as villain Raoul Silva in Skyfall - revealed that he was offered the opportunity to play Bond earlier in his career. "Years ago, I was. I don't remember what movie it was for. But yeah, it just was not that time. I didn't feel that it was the time for me to do something like that. And also, I was doing something else, so I passed," he said. It's likely that Bardem was offered the role shortly before Pierce Brosnan was cast for Goldeneye in the early 1990s. The Spanish star has since gone on to win an Oscar (No Country for Old Men) and insists, "I have passed on many things that I could easily regret, but I don't regret any of them, because that also gives room for something else to come that I'm proud of."

Though Skyfall, also featuring Ralph Fiennes and Judi Dench, is likely to storm the box-office this weekend, it does face some notable competition. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln opens on a limited release in 11 cities (expanding Nov 16), while 18th Century historical drama A Royal Affair also gets a limited release.

Continue reading: Daniel Craig's Skyfall To Sweep US Box Office: But Should Javier Bardem Have Been 007?

Skyfall Breaks Box Office Record, But Is It Set For Oscars Snub?


Sam Mendes Daniel Craig Judi Dench Javier Bardem Steven Spielberg

Skyfall, the new movie in the James Bond franchise, has enjoyed the highest grossing weekend of any film in the series. Thousands of fans queued in cinemas across the length and breadth of the country to see Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench and Javier Bardem star in Sam Mendes' highly rated action romp.

The film, which for a short time held a perfect 100% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregating website, pulled in £20.1 million at the UK box office, which is also the biggest opening of the year. The total also represents the second largest gross ever for an opening weekend, after last year's final instalment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Skyfall topped the charts in 24 overseas markets though is yet to open at the hugely lucrative U.S. box office, where it his eagerly anticipated. Attention is already turning to the next movie - set to be based on a two-part original story by John Logan - though first there's the small matter of awards season. Mendes' film is tipped by many industry insiders for an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, though the bookmakers remain certain it will not challenge for the major honors come February. In fact, Irish bookmaker Paddy Paddy doesn't even include Skyfall in its first twenty movies challenging for the prize of Best Picture. It has Steven Spielberg's Lincoln at 4/1 favourite with the indie-drama Silver Linings Playbook at 9/2. Comic book caper The Avengers is available at 50/1, though there's no sign of Bond.

It may well be the quick thinking punters who placed money on Skyfall weeks ago that have the last laugh. Stranger things have happened at the Oscars, and Sam Mendes is a hugely respected directed among the Academy. Should 007 pick up a nomination on January 10, 2013, just don't say we didn't warn you.

Continue reading: Skyfall Breaks Box Office Record, But Is It Set For Oscars Snub?

A Week In Movies Feat: Skyfall, Jack Reacher, Django Unchained, Iron Man 3 And Much More!


The entire cast of the 23rd James Bond movie Skyfall hit the red carpet this week in London for the film's royal world premiere. Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and Javier Bardem were on hand, plus Prince Charles and Camilla and a random collection of celebrities from Rachel Weisz and Naomi Campbell to Bear Grylls and Emeli Sande. The film opens in the UK this weekend and on November 9th in the US.

The next big action blockbuster will be Jack Reacher, starring Tom Cruise as a womanising rogue spy on the trail of a sniper. A new extended trailer gives us a better idea of the plot, as well as glimpses of costars including Rosamund Pike, Werner Herzog, David Oyelowo and Robert Duvall. It opens in December.

Django Unchained Trailer

Continue reading: A Week In Movies Feat: Skyfall, Jack Reacher, Django Unchained, Iron Man 3 And Much More!

Dame Judi Dench Tuesday 23rd October 2012 James Bond Skyfall World Premiere held at the Royal Albert Hall- Arrivals

Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench and Royal Albert Hall
Dame Judi Dench and Royal Albert Hall
Dame Judi Dench and Royal Albert Hall
Dame Judi Dench and Royal Albert Hall
Dame Judi Dench and Royal Albert Hall

Can Skyfall Be The Bond To Win That Elusive Oscar?


Daniel Craig Sam Mendes Judi Dench Javier Bardem

James Bond can save the world and get the girl; he's proved that over 50 films, but he's only managed 7 nominations and won two academy awards in all that time. 

Can Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes buck the trend of supposed genre snobbery from the Oscars voters? Well, hiring a cast of seasoned winners won't hurt their chances. Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney with 2 Oscars and 16 nominations between them will undoubtedly boost the franchise's chances of permeating the Bond-hoax when it comes to winning at the Academy Awards. Daniel Radcliff has previously bemoaned the apparent snobbery surrounding franchises, as his Harry Potter films failed to win big on the biggest film night of the year, according to the Independent. We have a sneaking suspicion that it wasn't quite snobbery, but the fact that the Harry Potter films weren't that good, and as for his performance as the young wizard? Well this is a family site. Bond's new dark persona, and the fact that first time Bond director Mendes has three nomination under his belt means the Oscar buzz is probably justified this time.

The stars will be descending upon London's Leicester Square as the 23rd Bond film premieres tonight. Stay close to Contact Music for any news. We could have gone if we wanted to, but it's more fun telling you about it. 

Continue reading: Can Skyfall Be The Bond To Win That Elusive Oscar?

Wayne Bond: Rooney Stars As 007 In Ridiculous Alternate Skyfall Trailer


Wayne Rooney Daniel Craig Steven Gerrard Judi Dench

Remember yesterday when we brought you news of Steven Gerrard's possible casting in a new James Bond movie? Well, it looks as though Wayne Rooney is also joining the race to replace Daniel Craig, ahead of tonight's Skyfall premiere in London (October 23, 2012).

A new alternate trailer for Skyfall - commissioned by the Huffington Post - has emerged online, featuring the Manchester United star as Bond himself. In the ridiculously poorly-produced clip, Rooney infiltrates a hair transplant laboratory in an attempt to bring down the villains. After Judi Dench's M demands to know where the hell he has been, Rooney replies, "Spain, Brazil... erm, Italy." His team-mates Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra also pop up, displaying slightly better acting skills than Wayne himself, though the whole thing is disastrous. Funny, almost, but disastrous. At the end, the England star is heard to say, "They say he is a legend," before a title reads, "Wayne Rooney is Awful," in the recognisable 'Skyfall' typeface.

The video comes just 24 hours after current Bond Daniel Craig tipped his favourite footballer as a possible replacement once he hangs up his tuxedo. Speaking to the official Liverpool FC website, the actor mused, "Who would I rather be, captain of Liverpool or Bond? Well I don't think I could keep up any more so Bond will do but Steven Gerrard would make a good Bond. He is a good leader so you know what, seriously, who knows?"

Continue reading: Wayne Bond: Rooney Stars As 007 In Ridiculous Alternate Skyfall Trailer

100% Rating: Is Skyfall The Best Bond Movie Ever?


Sam Mendes Daniel Craig Helen McCrory Ralph Fiennes Javier Bardem Judi Dench Neal Purvis Robert Wade John Logan

Sam Mendes must be feeling pretty smug right now. The director of Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie, has scored an impeccable 100% on the Rotten Tomatoes reviews site.

This will make excellent Monday morning news for Mendes, as well as the movie’s stars. The cast list includes Daniel Craig, of course, who plays the lead role, as well as Helen McCrory, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem and Dame Judi Dench.

Skyfall has received a resounding round of applause from critics across the board; even the most cynical of movie reviewers seems to have struggled to find any cracks in this latest offering from the Bond franchise. Writing for the Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy wrote that Skyfall “Feels more seriously connected to real-world concerns than any previous entry, despite the usual outlandish action scenes, glittering settings and larger-than-life characters,” making the movie a credit both to its scriptwriters Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan. Equally, Variety’s Peter Debruge remarked that Skyfall puts the “’intelligence’ in MI6. Skyfall reps a smart, savvy and incredibly satisfying addition to the 007 oeuvre.”

Continue reading: 100% Rating: Is Skyfall The Best Bond Movie Ever?

Ben Whishaw: Slicker Version Of Q, Or Just Nerdier?


Ben Whishaw Daniel Craig Javier Bardem Ralph Fiennes Judi Dench

Ben Whishaw isn't exactly a household name yet, though you may recognise him from films such as Perfume: Story of a Murderer, or BBC dramas The Hour and Criminal Justice, but he soon will be in his new role as Q in the new Bond movie 'Skyfall' with Daniel Craig.

2012 is the 50th anniversary of the iconic British movie franchise and as such excitement for the new film is higher than ever. Adele's theme for Skyfall (of the same name) was released last week and the coming fortnight will no doubt prove to heighten the energy surrounding the film.

Whishaw, speaking to ShortList, spoke about his version of Q and said: "I deliberately didn't [study the actors]...What I did do was watch all the early [Bond films] that Q isn't in. It felt like a chance for a fresh start so I didn't want to be bogged down in [previous Q performances]... He's slicker this time. He's still an eccentric, jovial English chap but, because of the genius he has, there's a lethal, powerful side to him. Although he does make a mistake I can't tell you about."

Continue reading: Ben Whishaw: Slicker Version Of Q, Or Just Nerdier?

Dame Judi Dench Tuesday 18th September 2012 Press Launch for 'What You Will' at the Apollo Theatre

Dame Judi Dench

Judi Dench - Dame Judy Dench Saturday 24th March 2012 watches her horse run at Winter Derby Day at Lingfield Park Racecourse

Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Judi Dench

Judi Dench and BAFTA - Dame Judy Dench Sunday 12th February 2012 Orange British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) afterparty held at The Grosvenor House Hotel - Outside Arrivals

Judi Dench and Bafta
Judi Dench and Bafta
Judi Dench and Bafta
Judi Dench and Bafta
Judi Dench and Bafta

Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, John Madden, Judi Dench, Penelope Wilton and Tom Wilkinson - Celia Imrie, Tom Wilkinson, Diana Hardcastle, Bill Nighy, Dame Judi Dench, Penelope Wilton, and John Madden Tuesday 7th February 2012 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' world premiere held at the Curzon Mayfair - Arrivals

Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, John Madden, Judi Dench, Penelope Wilton and Tom Wilkinson
Celia Imrie
Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, John Madden, Judi Dench, Penelope Wilton and Tom Wilkinson
Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, John Madden, Judi Dench, Penelope Wilton and Tom Wilkinson
Celia Imrie
Celia Imrie

Judi Dench - Dame Judi Dench and Guest Newbury, England - Hennessy Gold Cup, held at Newbury Racecourse Saturday 26th November 2011

Judi Dench and Somerset House - Dame Judi Dench and guests London, England - Skate at Somerset House VIP launch - arrivals. Monday 21st November 2011

Judi Dench and Somerset House
Judi Dench and Somerset House

Judi Dench and Daniel Craig - Dame Judi Dench and Daniel Craig London, England - 'Skyfall', the 23rd James Bond movie, photocall held at Massimo's Restaurant. Thursday 3rd November 2011

Judi Dench and Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig and Judi Dench
Daniel Craig and Judi Dench
Javier Bardem, Barbara Broccoli, Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris and Sam Mendes
Javier Bardem, Barbara Broccoli, Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris and Sam Mendes
Judi Dench and Daniel Craig

Judi Dench - Dame Judi Dench London, England - 'Skyfall', the 23rd James Bond movie, photocall held at Massimo's Restaurant. Thursday 3rd November 2011

Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Judi Dench

J. Edgar Trailer


Anna Marie Hoover, like any mother, knew that her young son, John Edgar, would grow up to accomplish great things. But she did not expect that he would grow up to become the FBI's first director.

Continue: J. Edgar Trailer

Lisa Maxwell, Angela Griffin, Denise Van Outen, Douglas Booth, Elizabeth McGovern, Ellie Goulding, Frank Skinner, Harry Hill, Jennifer Saunders, Judi Dench, Louie Spence, Mick Hucknall, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Harman, Nigel Lindsay, Ronnie Wood, Rupert Penry-Jones, Sarah Harding, Sarah Parish and Stephen Graham Tuesday 14th June 2011 Shrek The Musical - press night held at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane - arrivals. London, England

Lisa Maxwell, Angela Griffin, Denise Van Outen, Douglas Booth, Elizabeth Mcgovern, Ellie Goulding, Frank Skinner, Harry Hill, Jennifer Saunders, Judi Dench, Louie Spence, Mick Hucknall, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Harman, Nigel Lindsay, Ronnie Wood, Rupert Penry-jones, Sarah Harding, Sarah Parish and Stephen Graham
Lisa Maxwell

Judi Dench and Pam Hogg - Dame Judi Dench, London, England - Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2011 - VIP private view held at the Royal Academy Of Arts - Outside Arrivals. Thursday 2nd June 2011

Judi Dench and Pam Hogg
Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Judi Dench and Pam Hogg

Judi Dench Thursday 2nd June 2011 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2011 - VIP private view held at the Royal Academy Of Arts - Arrivals London, England

Judi Dench

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review


Very Good
Captain Jack Sparrow is back for another high seas romp and, despite the long running time, this is more freewheeling comedy than action adventure. And while it's hilarious fun, it's also so meandering that it's a bit dull.

In London, Jack (Depp) is brought before George II (Griffiths) so he can help the Brits beat the Spanish to the Fountain of Youth. But after an elaborate escape, Jack ends up in the crew of the ship captained by the evil Blackbeard (McShane) and his daughter Angelica (Cruz), with whom Jack has a past. So now Blackbeard, the Spanish and the British, led by Jack's old nemesis/pal Barbossa (Rush), are racing to the Caribbean to find the secret of immortality. And their first task is to capture a mermaid.

Continue reading: Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Trailer


The trailer for the fourth instalment from The Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise has arrived! Captain Jack Sparrow once again takes to the high seas in an adventure that's sure to be immensely entertaining. When a beautiful yet deadly woman from Jack's past appears once again, he's unsure of her intentions but once she forces him to join her on the ruthless Blackbeard's ship called Queen Anne's Revenge asking to find the infamous fountain of youth, he knows there's sure to be plenty of danger ahead. Not only that but the captain also finds himself in the much colder climates than he's used to when his quest takes him to London.

Continue: Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Trailer

Jane Eyre Trailer


Director Cary Fukunaga adapts Charlotte Bronte's classic novel Jane Eyre. The plot stays true to the book and shows Jane at different stages of her life. It tries to show the darker and more gothic undertones that Bronte would've been surrounded by whilst she was writing the novel.

Continue: Jane Eyre Trailer

Nine Review


Very Good
Based on Federico Fellini's 1963 classic 8 1/2, this musical has a nicely introspective tone as it follows a filmmaker struggling to move forward in his career after a few flops. The music isn't hugely memorable, but the characters are vivid.

Guido Contini (Day-Lewis) is a star director gearing up for his ninth movie.

The press is begging for details, and his producer (Tognazzi) wants to see the script. But with shooting starting in 10 days, Guido has yet to write a word.

Continue reading: Nine Review

Rage Trailer


Watch the trailer for Rage

Continue: Rage Trailer

Tomorrow Never Dies Review


Bad
The arguable nadir of the Bond series, Tomorrow Never Dies finds a weary Brosnan battling, ahem, a Rupert Murdoch-like media mogul who uses mercenaries to start wars just so he can write about them in his newspapers first. Oh, the humanity. While there's a glimmer of sincerity in Tomorrow's notion of current events as media spectacle, the movie gets just about everything dead wrong, from its bad guy (Jonathan Pryce, who I love, is possible the worst villain ever) to its Bond girl (Michelle Yeoh). Even the evil henchman is badly picked: Ricky Jay is a lovable magician, not a hard-nosed killer. Need I mention director Roger Spottiswoode previously helmed Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot! Maybe Bond could have taken her out too.

Continue reading: Tomorrow Never Dies Review

Notes On A Scandal Review


Excellent
If you don't already worship at the Church of Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal may be the film that causes your conversion. Dame Judi tears into the meaty role of secretive spinster teacher Barbara Covett with relish. You won't soon forget the look on her shriveled face as she commits outrageous acts of emotional blackmail.

Narrated by Barbara from her own diary entries, what we have here is a classic case of a very unreliable narrator, but one with a quick wit. As the new term begins at a bustling lower-class middle school, history teacher Barbara, who is utterly burned out and simply going through the motions (she calls education "crowd control"), is beguiled by the new art teacher Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett), a 37-year-old upper-class beauty who really believes in teaching.

Continue reading: Notes On A Scandal Review

Notes On A Scandal Review


Excellent
If you don't already worship at the Church of Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal may be the film that causes your conversion. Dame Judi tears into the meaty role of secretive spinster teacher Barbara Covett with relish. You won't soon forget the look on her shriveled face as she commits outrageous acts of emotional blackmail.

Narrated by Barbara from her own diary entries, what we have here is a classic case of a very unreliable narrator, but one with a quick wit. As the new term begins at a bustling lower-class middle school, history teacher Barbara, who is utterly burned out and simply going through the motions (she calls education "crowd control"), is beguiled by the new art teacher Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett), a 37-year-old upper-class beauty who really believes in teaching.

Continue reading: Notes On A Scandal Review

Casino Royale (2006) Review


Excellent
After four decades, 20 feature films and five actors in the leading role, the James Bond franchise finally gets... an origin story?

You'd think it unnecessary, as 007's trademarks by this point have been burned into our memory. We know the trained assassin's drink of choice, his preferred mode of transportation, and his willingness to invoke the hard-earned license to kill when dangerous situations arise.

Continue reading: Casino Royale (2006) Review

The Chronicles Of Riddick Review


Weak
A befuddled attempt to give Vin Diesel his own franchise series - now that he's ditched giving the XXX thing another whirl - The Chronicles of Riddick stomps onto screens with an attitude that's somehow both obtuse and far too simplistic. This sequel of sorts to writer/director David Twohy's Pitch Black takes one of that film's sole survivors, the titular shaven-headed and silver-eyed criminal (Vin Diesel), and drops him into the middle of a byzantine interstellar conflict that's about as easy to parse out as one of Frank Herbert's Dune novels.

At the start of the film, Riddick is being chased on a remote, frozen planet by some bounty hunters, whom he promptly dispatches and steals their ship to ride back to the planet of Helios Prime, where their employer was from. Once there, he finds out the bounty was put on him by one of Pitch Black's other survivors, Imam (Keith David, resplendent in flowing robes and a sharp goatee). Apparently, Imam and Aereon (Judi Dench), an ambassador from a ghost-like race called the Elementals, think that Riddick, being a member of the Furion race, will be able to help the galaxy fight off an onslaught of planet-destroying religious fanatics called Necromongers. The Necromongers are on a galactic jihad to bring about something called "the Underverse" and will convert or kill anybody in their path. But, before any of this can really be figured out, the Necromongers' gigantic armada crashes down on Helios Prime and things get really complicated. There's about ten minutes' worth of action that takes place later in a prison which, even now, after much contemplation, still makes absolutely no sense.

Continue reading: The Chronicles Of Riddick Review

Casino Royale (2006) Review


Excellent
After four decades, 20 feature films and five actors in the leading role, the James Bond franchise finally gets... an origin story?

You'd think it unnecessary, as 007's trademarks by this point have been burned into our memory. We know the trained assassin's drink of choice, his preferred mode of transportation, and his willingness to invoke the hard-earned license to kill when dangerous situations arise.

Continue reading: Casino Royale (2006) Review

Doogal Review


Bad
I'm a little ashamed to say this, but here goes: I didn't know what Doogal was supposed to be. From the looks of him (see picture, below), I thought he might be some kind of hairy bowel movement. His name is Doogal. His best friend is a snail. It's not unreasonable. It's juvenile, yes, but that's what Hollywood animated fare has become, by and large, so you can hardly blame me.

Turns out Doogal (Daniel Tay) is actually a dog. His best friend is Florence (Kylie Minogue), as well as a cow (Whoopi Goldberg), a train (Chevy Chase), and a flatulent moose (Kevin Smith). Their adventure, and you'll need to hang in there for this, involves magic diamonds that can freeze the sun. There's of course a bad guy with a plan to do just that: He's a kind of alien with a spring for the lower half of his body (voiced by an audibly bored Jon Stewart). Their adventure to stop her takes them across the countryside and, er, into, like, a magic land, or, something, I think.

Continue reading: Doogal Review

Mrs. Henderson Presents Review


Weak
The best reason for making Mrs. Henderson Presents seems to be we haven't had a cheeky film about curious Brits getting naked since, oh, Calendar Girls. Given the lackadaisical construction of this pallid backstage fairy tale it's hard to imagine any other driving force behind its production. Writer Martin Sherman is an old hand at transforming the theatrical into the cinematic, with works such as Bent and Callas Forever under his belt, so it's no surprise he'd be drawn to the interesting (definitely not incredible, but interesting nonetheless) true story of Laura Henderson and the Windmill Theatre.

The film opens on Mrs. Henderson, played by the indomitable Judi Dench as an imperviously imperious lady of vast wealth and even vaster arrogance, dealing with all the troublesome nonsense of burying her husband. Having spent most of her life in India, she seems at odds in prewar London, with the money to do practically whatever she wants but no patience for the typical pastimes of the upper-class widow (needlepoint, charities, and so on). On a lark, she decides to buy the decrepit Windmill Theater and is well into refurbishing it before realizing she doesn't really know what kind of shows she'll put on. That's where Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins) comes in. A crusty old showbiz type with nice suits, big cigars, and even bigger ideas, Van Damm realizes what he's up against when Henderson announces to him, "Of course you're Jewish - look at you!"

Continue reading: Mrs. Henderson Presents Review

Into The Arms Of Strangers Review


OK
Shut your pieholes, all you whiney dot-commers. You lost your job and you think you have it rough? Try being a Jewish kid in Poland on the eve of the Holocaust.

What had the Academy so up in arms they gave this film a Best Documentary Oscar? Well, believe it or not, some 10,000 very such children got the chance of a lifetime: Escape. Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport tells their story, the lucky recipients of a coordinated rescue operation (with the permission of the Third Reich) that removed Jewish and other ethnic children from the ghettos, one boatload at a time.

Continue reading: Into The Arms Of Strangers Review

Home On The Range Review


Very Good
Disney's recent, highly-publicized split with Pixar Animation Studios probably caused stockholders, executives, and outsiders eyeballing the Mouse House to quake in their boots. After all, Walt's prized studio hasn't produced a worthy animated feature-length film in years - progress peaked with 1999's Tarzan and has steadily declined from Atlantis and Lilo & Stitch to last year's bland Brother Bear.

The toppling trend bucks slightly this week with the release of the unexpectedly pleasant Home on the Range, a smart and lively adventure set on the fringes of America's frontier that temporarily places Disney's 2-D animation station back in the saddle.

Continue reading: Home On The Range Review

The Shipping News Review


OK
Kevin Spacey is the Spock of serious actors. He's dependable, methodical, passionless, a huge fan of saying everything by saying nothing at all. He tends to gravitate towards characters hiding some sort of fiery secret pain by denying themselves exterior displays of emotion or excitement. In certain films, this really works, thus earning Spacey a reputation as on of Hollywood's best working actors. In The Shipping News however, it bombs badly.

It's not really Spacey's fault, it's just the script. Spacey is Quoyle, a newly single father, after his slutty whore of a wife (Cate Blanchett) is killed while selling their daughter on the black market to earn spending cash for her latest biker boyfriend. Quoyle spends his time grieving and in denial and soon decides to follow a long lost aunt to the homeland of his family in Newfoundland. There, he stumbles into a job as the shipping news reporter for the local newspaper.

Continue reading: The Shipping News Review

Tea With Mussolini Review


Excellent
When I walked into the theater to see this film, I thought to myself, "Why am I seeing this movie? I have no interest in seeing it and I won't like it." Surly enough during the first ten minutes of the film, my preconceived notion was correct. It was a 'chick flick', case closed. But then the movie turned and started to appeal to me. I was really getting into it, and really absorbing the true story it was unfolding.

Tea with Mussolini focuses on the life of a boy named Luca, who is director Franco Zefferelli's alter ego. In Florence 1935, young Luca's mother is dead, and he is an orphan. Although Lucas wealthy father lives near by, he has no time for children. The father's English secretary Mary Wallace (Joan Plowright) sees the unjust way Luca is being raised in the orphanage. As a result she takes him in. Along with Mary's group of English tea time friends known as The Scorpioni, Luca is taught many things. He learns to appreciate art through the nutty, yet lovable artist Arabella (Dame Judi Dench). He learns of Shakespeare and culture from his guardian Mary, and learns how to behave as a gentleman through the other members of The Scorpioni.

Continue reading: Tea With Mussolini Review

Iris Review


Excellent
In the refined and sobering drama Iris, we witness a loving but unconventional relationship between a strangely elegant couple -- English critic John Bayley and his Alzheimer's-stricken, novelist wife Iris Murdoch. Writer-director Richard Eyre, who wrote the script with Charles Wood based on Bayley's memoirs Iris: A Memoir and Elegy for Iris, delivers an amazingly touching portrait of resilient and everlasting passion between two eccentric creative forces who have contributed to the literary world immensely. Iris is an enchanting and finely-acted personal drama that manages to absorb the pleasures and pain of an undying spirit of togetherness. Expressionistic and resoundingly involving, Eyre's thought-provoking film is perceptively engaging.

Eyre does a terrific job in showing us the deterioration of a brilliant-minded woman in Iris Murdoch. It is always frustrating to witness anybody's decline in health, but it must be particularly awful for a talented author with an impeccable series of written work to her name. The film shows us the two phases of Iris's life -- as a free-spirited young woman in 1950's Oxford, England and as an aged, sickly soul trying to survive her last days in the 1990s while her husband tends to her needs. Titanic heroine Kate Winslet plays the youngish and energetic Iris while Oscar-winning actress Judi Dench portrays her ailing years.

Continue reading: Iris Review

The Chronicles Of Riddick Review


Weak
A befuddled attempt to give Vin Diesel his own franchise series - now that he's ditched giving the XXX thing another whirl - The Chronicles of Riddick stomps onto screens with an attitude that's somehow both obtuse and far too simplistic. This sequel of sorts to writer/director David Twohy's Pitch Black takes one of that film's sole survivors, the titular shaven-headed and silver-eyed criminal (Vin Diesel), and drops him into the middle of a byzantine interstellar conflict that's about as easy to parse out as one of Frank Herbert's Dune novels.

At the start of the film, Riddick is being chased on a remote, frozen planet by some bounty hunters, whom he promptly dispatches and steals their ship to ride back to the planet of Helios Prime, where their employer was from. Once there, he finds out the bounty was put on him by one of Pitch Black's other survivors, Imam (Keith David, resplendent in flowing robes and a sharp goatee). Apparently, Imam and Aereon (Judi Dench), an ambassador from a ghost-like race called the Elementals, think that Riddick, being a member of the Furion race, will be able to help the galaxy fight off an onslaught of planet-destroying religious fanatics called Necromongers. The Necromongers are on a galactic jihad to bring about something called "the Underverse" and will convert or kill anybody in their path. But, before any of this can really be figured out, the Necromongers' gigantic armada crashes down on Helios Prime and things get really complicated. There's about ten minutes' worth of action that takes place later in a prison which, even now, after much contemplation, still makes absolutely no sense.

Continue reading: The Chronicles Of Riddick Review

Mrs. Brown Review


Very Good
Judi Dench earned an Oscar nod for her spot-on portrayal of the troubled Queen Victoria (two years before winning an Oscar for repeat royal performances as Queen Elizabeth in two 1999 films). In the 1860s, Victoria was inconsolable after the death of her beloved husband, so she sends for hubby's favorite horsemaster, Mr. Brown (Connolly). Brown succeeds in bringing her out of her coccoon of misery, but not without drawing the attention of a nosy press and nearly toppling the monarchy in the process. The socio-political side of Mrs. Brown is not so well-realized as the emotional side of the relationship between Brown and Victoria, a gut-wrenching analysis of station and the politics of the heart.

Wetherby Review


Good
Enticing setup: Man finagles his way into a dinner party thrown by strangers; no one knows who he is, but they're too polite to kick him out or even ask about his identity. He spends the night, and promptly shoots himself in the head the next morning in the presence of the hostess.

WTF?

Continue reading: Wetherby Review

Shakespeare In Love Review


Extraordinary
Easily the best comedy of the year - and the best film of the year to star Joseph Fiennes and feature Queen Elizabeth as a major character - Shakespeare in Love gets a hands-down recommendation for all filmgoers.

The clever premise follows one William Shakespeare (Fiennes), stuck with writer's block while trying to pen "Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter" and unable to get his own love life going to boot.

Continue reading: Shakespeare In Love Review

The Importance Of Being Earnest (2002) Review


Excellent
The Importance of Being Earnest is a sharp, humorous look at the duality of romance and the fear of commitment, served up on a delicate and witty plate in this summer season of comic book heroism and galactic space battles.

The story revolves around two dashing English gentlemen in the 1890s - John "Jack" Worthing (Colin Firth) and Algy Moncrieff (Rupert Everett) - and their trials and tribulations in the games of love and marriage under the moniker of Ernest. Jack spends his days watching over his bookish charge Cecily Cardew (Reese Witherspoon) - the granddaughter of his adopted father - at his country estate. When his restless spirit calls for adventure, he travels to London and visits his wayward city brother "Ernest." In London, Jack becomes "Ernest" and partakes in decadence with his affluent but reckless best friend Algy and ends up madly in love with Algy's sophisticated society cousin Gwendolen Fairfax (Frances O'Connor) - who has a strange love for the name of "Ernest."

Continue reading: The Importance Of Being Earnest (2002) Review

The World Is Not Enough Review


Weak
I'll preface this review with the disclaimer that I am indeed aware that James Bond thrillers do not bear any semblance to real-life scenarios. I'll also say that since I was a kid I've been a huge Bond fan.

And I'll also say that The World Is Not Enough is one of the worst Bond films to come along in years.

Continue reading: The World Is Not Enough Review

Ladies In Lavender Review


OK
Hear about a movie starring Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, and it's pretty obvious what you're going to get, and it's not going to be car chases and bank heists. Two of the grandest dames of the screen star in Ladies in Lavender, a scenic, charming, and quaint tale set in the 1930s. It's the kind of movie many English filmmakers specialize in.

Sisters Janet (Smith) and Ursula (Dench) Widdington live a quiet and active life in their spacious seaside house in Cornwall when a young man washes up on shore. The sisters take him in as a boarder and immediately take a liking to Andrea (Daniel Brühl), a Polish violin maestro who can't speak a word of English. The sisters soon grow close to Andrea, with Janet acting like a concerned mother, while the never married Ursula quietly falls in love with the hunky Andrea.

Continue reading: Ladies In Lavender Review

Die Another Day Review


OK
Here we go again.

The James Bond franchise - Hollywood's thinnest excuse to stage elaborate set pieces, photograph scantily-clad women and decimate fleets of sexy cars - returns for its twentieth installment, the fourth with current star Pierce Brosnan.

Continue reading: Die Another Day Review

Chocolat Review


OK
Take Footloose and Like Water for Chocolate, steep the combo in a heaping helping of corn syrup, and you'll come out with the sticky, sickly-sweet romantic cautionary tale Chocolat. The Cider House Rules director Lasse Hallström helms this adaptation of the best-selling novel by Joanne Harris, and delivers yet another pretty package of tempered social messages -- this time preaching about social tolerance instead of abortion.

Set against the idyllic backdrop of a quaint puritanical village in the French countryside, mysterious Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter, dressed in identical Red Riding Hood outfits, literally blow into town "on the North Wind." Within days, the duo brazenly opens a magical chocolaterie across the street -- gasp -- from the church, and on the first week of Lent, no less. Vianne -- who comes off as a 50's-era Erin Brockovich sporting low-cut tops and bright red stilettos -- is turning the townsfolk on to her sweets, which a la Pleasantville miraculously inspire increased sex drives, feminist awakenings, familial reconciliation and even criminal rehabilitation. Soon, the town's prudish mayor launches a campaign to drive the sin-inducing shop out of business.

Continue reading: Chocolat Review

The Chronicles Of Riddick Review


Weak

Writer-director David Twohy creates an uncommonly vivid and comprehensive science-fiction universe in "The Chronicles of Riddick," complete with genuinely otherworldly planets and detailed cultural mythologies. But he spends so much time and energy on such minutiae that the film fails to live up to the promise of it all. His manifold details serve a standard action-star-against-an-army plot with substandard catch-phrase dialogue.

The title character and reluctant hero -- a ruthlessly efficient, prison-buffed mass-murderer with night-vision eyes played by thunder-voiced, chrome-domed Vin Diesel -- was first seen in Twohy's "Pitch Black," a seat-gripping, even more vivid and otherworldly alien-swarm horror flick from 2000 that helped launch the actor's tough-guy career.

Riddick saved a few crash-landed space-transport passengers from being eaten alive by spectacular CGI monsters in that movie, but when "Chronicles" picks up five years later, bounty hunters are still hot on the trail of the coldblooded escapee. The biggest reward isn't being offered for his capture, however. One of the "Pitch Black's" survivors (Keith David) is seeking Riddick's vicious muscle to help save his homeworld from an unstoppable evil.

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The World Is Not Enough Review


Weak

The honeymoon is over for Pierce Brosnan's incarnation of James Bond.

Just as Brosnan has begun to clearly distinguish his own bent on the character -- less loquacious than his predecessors, with an artful but well-bred smirk, quick to resort to lethal measures, yet an acute vulnerability when it comes to his bed mates -- most everything else that made the 1990s 007 renaissance such a smartly balanced mix of classic Bond and modern action has already been turned into a tired, caricature-like shadow of itself in "The World Is Not Enough."

The new, sassy and independent Miss Moneypenny (Samatha Bond) has been relegated back to desk duty and her banter reduced to a routine of spiritless double-entendres. Coming off her "Shakespeare In Love" Oscar win, Judi Dench's delightfully dour M has been laboriously humanized, given a conscience that doesn't suit her.

Continue reading: The World Is Not Enough Review

Chocolat Review


OK

A fanciful fairy tale for grown-ups, "Chocolat" takes place in a sleepy French village, circa 1959, and stars Juliette Binoche as a nomadic confectioner of sublime candy delicacies whose arrival -- just as Lent has begun -- stirs curiosity, gossip and scornful disdain among the locals.

Happy-go-lucky in the face of adversity and apparently a boat-rocker by nature, she sets up shop practically across the street from the church, providing almost cruel temptation to a population observing 40 days of fasting and penitence.

But the influence of the chocolaterie and its proprietor soon extends beyond simple taste bud enticement. Her enchanted chocolates and therapeutic personality have soon rekindled the marriage of a local couple, returned a smile to the face of her cantankerous landlady (Judi Dench), and inspired an abused wife (Lena Olin) to leave her husband (and come work for Binoche). This disruption in the status quo ruffles the feathers of the zealous and austere local nobleman (Alfred Molina), who considers the chocolate shop to be the work of the devil and sets his mind to seeing Binoche run out of town for interrupting the village's static tranquility.

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Die Another Day Review


OK

Until director Lee Tamahori blasts right past a perfectly good ending, only to burn a superfluous 20 minutes on an all-action, all-gimmick epilogue that leaks suspension of disbelief like a sieve, "Die Another Day" is as stimulating and heart-rate-raising as any James Bond thriller.

It has fresh new stunts (Bond goes surfin' surfin' MI6) set to energetic renditions of the Bond theme. It has an exhilarating sword fight (things get out of hand at a fencing club) and an awesome gadget car chase across a vast frozen inlet in Iceland (Bond drives an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish with missiles, pop-up machine guns, ejector seat and invisibility). It has a slithering, credibly psychotic bad guy (Toby Stephens, "Possession") who literally never sleeps, and a henchman (Rick Yune, "The Fast and the Furious") whose face is scarred by diamonds that became embedded in his skin when Bond almost blew him up with a briefcase full of jewels and C-4.

"Die Another Day" also has a modicum of success updating the series' style (slick, kinetic cinematography with swing-perspective camera tricks works well but virtual reality sequences and rock tunes on the soundtrack do not), and it takes risks with 007's invincible image. Bond is captured in the film's requisite action-packed pre-credits sequence and his torture by North Korean interrogators is blended into the sexy title song (a throwaway rave-mix tune from Madonna).

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Iris Review


Very Good

Kate Winslet and Judi Dench give wondrously in-sync performances as the young and the old Iris Murdoch in "Iris," an inspired, invoking and inventive biography of one of Britain's premiere 20th Century authors.

With seemingly little effort, both actresses bear a remarkable resemblance to their character in her various stages of life -- as do the two actors (Hugh Bonneville and Jim Broadbent, respectively) who play Murdoch's fidgety and unstrung but unconditionally devoted husband, John Bayley.

But it's the way they play two ends of the same psyche, and the way director Richard Eyre ties those two ends inexorably together with interwoven parallel narratives, that makes this film transcend the biopic genre.

Continue reading: Iris Review

The Importance Of Being Earnest Review


OK

Film director Oliver Parker is fond of controversial fiddling with established stage classics. In 1995 he reinvented William Shakespeare's "Othello" as a relationship-intensive, semi-erotic psychological thriller. In 1999 he took liberties with Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband," adding scenes and whole subplots with amusing but contentious results.

"The Importance of Being Earnest" is Parker's second stab at going Wilde, and while he once again retains the playwright's savory wit, this time out his plot-tweaking attempts to break out of the drawing room are often distractingly blunt and obvious. Chase scenes, tattooed buttocks and flashbacks of an out-of-wedlock pregnancy -- all new elements dictated by Parker -- are hardly the caliber or the character of any Victorian writer, even one as droll and roguish as Oscar Wilde.

However, a talented cast with keen comic timing helps assuage many of the movie's misfires. Colin Firth ("Bridget Jones's Diary") is nebbish perfection as Jack Worthington, a mannerly turn-of-the-Century country gentleman who invents a wayward brother named Earnest as an excuse for frequent trips to London to sow wild oats. In town he adapts the name Earnest himself and romances the prim but rebellious and beautiful Gwendolen Fairfax (Frances O'Connor), whose stuffy, high society mother (Judi Dench) is resolutely disapproving of all her daughter's suitors.

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The Shipping News Review


OK

"The Shipping News" is the kind of mundanely well-tuned movie designed for the singular purpose of winning undeserved Oscars for its award-avaricious studio, Miramax.

Its director, Lasse Hallstrom, has seen his last two middling Miramax movies ("Chocolat," "The Cider House Rules") nominated for 12 Academy Awards, winning two. Its stars, Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, have eight nominations and three wins between them. The film is adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Academy-nominated screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs ("Chocolat," again).

But for all that talent, this picture makes no kind of resounding impression, except one of overwhelming self-importance.

Continue reading: The Shipping News Review

Tea With Mussolini Review


Good

Franco Zeffirelli has assembled a delightful ensemble of drawing room eccentricsfor "Tea With Mussolini," his semi-autobiographical ode to hischildhood in fascist-era Italy.

The channel for his relatively light story of patriotism,war and personal independence is an orphan named Luca (7-year-old rookieCharlie Lucas), who drifts in and out of the lives of a resolute gaggleof oddball expatriate English women sipping tea in Florence as despotismrises around them.

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Judi Dench

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Judi Dench

Date of birth

9th December, 1934

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Female

Height

1.55


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Judi Dench Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Victoria And Abdul Trailer

Victoria And Abdul Trailer

Queen Victoria was one of the United Kingdom's most loved monarchs. She ruled over her...

Murder On The Orient Express Trailer

Murder On The Orient Express Trailer

It's the 1930s and a group of strangers from different walks of life board a...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children Trailer

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children Trailer

Jake has always been an ordinary boy but when he finds himself on a small...

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie Review

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie Review

A badly under-developed script leaves a fine cast without much to do in this sequel...

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer

Set eight months after the 2012 original film, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sees...

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Philomena Movie Review

Philomena Movie Review

Based on a true story, this warm drama uses sharp humour to keep from tipping...

Philomena Trailer

Philomena Trailer

Judi Dench stars as Philomena Lee in the emotionally moving and shocking true story based...

Run For Your Wife Movie Review

Run For Your Wife Movie Review

British farces work on stage, but usually feel agonisingly stupid on screen. And this is...

Skyfall Movie Review

Skyfall Movie Review

Things get very personal for 007 in this high-quality thriller, which keeps us gripped even...

Skyfall Trailer

Skyfall Trailer

James Bond, the legendary MI6 spy we all know and love, is starting to struggle...

Skyfall Trailer

Skyfall Trailer

James Bond struggles with his career, experiencing lassitude and depression concerning his MI6 role as...

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie Review

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie Review

Colourful and engaging, this lively comedy-drama gives a handful of mature actors terrific roles to...

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