Kelly MacDonald and Ewan Bremner pose in the winners' room at the 70th EE British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London, United Kingdom - Sunday 12th February 2017
It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral through a series of adventures that left their friendship in tatters. And now the entire cast is back, as are director Danny Boyle, writer John Hodge and novelist Irvine Welsh. Since the characters have aged into middle-aged men now, the film has a very different kind of energy to it, mixing the visceral imagery with a knowing sense of nostalgia. And once again, it has a lot to say about the state of the world.
It's been two decades since Renton (Ewan McGregor) betrayed his mates. He's living in Amsterdam when a health scare forces him to think about heading back to Scotland to face the music. Spud (Ewen Bremner) hasn't held a grudge for one very good reason, but he's still a junkie and has been alienated from his wife (Shirley Henderson) and son. Simon (Jonny Lee Miller), aka Sick Boy, is furious but soon gets over it as he realises that maybe Renton can help him and his hooker cohort Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova) finally open a brothel. On the other hand, the hotheaded Begbie (Robert Carlyle) won't be quite so forgiving. He has just escaped from prison, and his first thought is how to get even with Renton.
Hodge's script digs into the idea that these men have seen their hopes and dreams fade away, even though there's still a glimmer of desire left. And Boyle directs the film with the same spark of energy, spiralling through colourful cutaways, hilarious sight gags, wacky antics and pulsing music. It's an intriguingly grown-up variation on the first movie, and it still engulfs the audience with its sights, sounds and emotions. These are men who believe that their wasted youth has led them into an equally wasted adulthood. And there isn't much time left to make something of themselves.
Continue reading: T2 Trainspotting Review
Set 20 years after the original movie, we see our favourite once drug-addled Scotsman reunited. After Renton pledged to make his life better and stop taking heroin, he ran off with the takings of the groups drug-deal and had not been seen by any of the group since. Troublemaker Begbie is still on the wrong side of the law and finds his temper taking control and constantly getting him into trouble, once he's released from jail, causing mayhem comes as standard for the moustachioed brute.
Spud has changed the least but he's still the most genuine member of the group. Sickboy finds himself running a pub a failing pub which he tries to modernise. In a bid to make money, Sickboy finds himself becoming entwined with various shady characters looking to make money by legal and illegal means.
While most of the group have found themselves cutting their intake of heroin, that doesn't mean that they're on the straight and narrow. Each one is still battling various demons from their past and make a living example of the old adage 'old habits die hard'.
Continue: T2 Trainspotting Trailer
After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel gets an all-new movie version. Shot in beautiful northern English settings with a lively cast, there's plenty of potential for it to become a classic in its own right. But screenwriter Andrea Gibb has tinkered with the plot, adding in a spy thriller plotline. And director Philippa Lowthorpe fails to muster up the suspense needed to make that work.
It's set in the summer of 1935, as Mrs Walker (Kelly Macdonald) takes her five adventurous children on holiday to the Lake District while her husband is working at sea. Staying with friends (Harry Enfield and Jessica Hynes), the four older children (teens Dane Hughes and Orla Hill and pre-teens Teddie-Rose Malleson-Allen and Bobby McCulloch) borrow the sailboat Swallow and head off to make camp on an island in the lake. There they imagine a series of high adventures involving two local girls (Hannah Jayne Thorp and Seren Hawkes), who are playing as pirates in their boat Amazon. They imagine the girls' uncle (Rafe Spall) as the villainous Captain Flint, unaware that he's actually a double agent being chased by a pair of truly villainous Russian spies (Andrew Scott and Dan Skinner).
As the film goes along, this espionage subplot takes over, which might not have been a bad thing if the writer and director had been able to generate some proper thrills. But while these scenes are nicely played by the cast, the action beats have absolutely no tension to them. They feel only partially shot and then frantically edited together, leaving key moments muddled. The more experienced actors manage to inject plenty of humour, emotion and edginess to their scenes (Spall and Scott are particularly good, as always), but the children seem to have been given very little direction, never quite nailing their characters. Although youngsters Malleson-Allen and McCulloch manage to engage the audience with their cute, plucky personalities.
Continue reading: Swallows And Amazons Review
The 'Boardwalk Empire' actress will take a lead role in Ricky Gervais' satirical comedy for the ever-expanding streaming service.
More details have emerged about Ricky Gervais' forthcoming Netflix project Special Correspondents, with the news that Kelly MacDonald, best known as the character Margaret in HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire', will be taking a lead role in the satirical comedy, TheWrap has heard.
Kelly Macdonald will star with Eric Bana in Special Correspondents
The film, which is written and directed by Gervais, will star Eric Bana as Frank, an arrogant New York radio journalist whose decadent lifestyle hasn't exactly complemented his career. With his job on the line, he goes to the extreme lengths of fabricating front-line war reports from the comfort of his own Manhattan home.
Watch the short but sweet teaser below
HBO have given us a first peek at Boardwalk Empire’s fifth and final season, which is set to air this September. A menacing sense of violence tingles through the 38-second trailer as Nucky, Chalky, Al Capone, Luciano, George Mueller all play a central role.
And if the stakes could get any higher following season 4’s finale, then the great depression certainly goes a long way towards raising them. Michael K. Williams has already confirmed that HBO’s period gangster drama will take place 7 years after season 4’s ending. Watch the teaser here.
Tolstoy's iconic novel may have been filmed several times, but you've never seen a version like this. Clever writer Tom Stoppard and visually whizzy director Joe Wright combine talents with this ambitious film, which sets all of the action in a theatre that expands and shifts into a variety of settings.
Yes, it's rather strange, but it's also drop-dead gorgeous.
Knightley reteams with Pride & Prejudice and Atonement director Wright to deliver another solid performance as Anna, an aristocrat in 1870s St Petersburg who is married to the achingly nice establishment gent Alexei (Law) but falls under the spell of the bland but sexy young heartbreaker Vronsky (Taylor-Johnson). And when she gets pregnant, she has to make a very difficult decision. The central theme is that these people are characters in a play dictated to them by their restrictive Russian society, so they have little choice but head toward tragedy.
Fortunately, there's a parallel plot about a wealthy farmer (Gleeson) who rejects so-called civilised society to stay in touch with the earth. He pursues the smart, young Kitty (Vikander), also entranced with Vronsky but beginning to become disgusted with so-called civilised culture. The film includes a rather huge number of characters, including Anna's womanising brother (Macfadyen) and his longsuffering wife (a particularly excellent Macdonald). And Wright and Stoppard effortlessly let everyone swirl around each other in a huge pool of emotion.
Although this pool often feels frozen over, as the feelings are pretty icy. So it's good to have open-hearted performances by Macdonald and Gleeson to hold our interest. Knightley is excellent, although we never understand why Anna does anything she does (which is the whole point). But perhaps the most impressive thing about this film is its astoundingly beautiful design: the sets, costumes, photography and music are sumptuous and lush, never fussy but always adding to the intensity of each scene. Look for it to deservedly hoover up Oscar nominations across the board.
In the 10th century highlands, Princess Merida (voiced by Macdonald) is annoyed that her only fate seems to be to choose a suitor from three eligible losers.
She'd much rather be out having epic adventures and making her own history. Her mother, Queen Elinor (Thompson), struggles to keep Merida in line, to say nothing of her rambunctious husband, King Fergus (Connolly), and three tearaway young sons. When Merida's frustration boils over, she consults a witch (Walters) about a spell that will sort her mother out. Of course, what happens isn't what she had in mind.
Continue reading: Brave Review
Anna Karenina is the young wife of senior statesman Alexei Karenin. Theirs was more of a marriage of convenience rather than love and soon Anna's eyes begin to wander elsewhere as her desire for romance becomes ever more intense. She meets Count Vronsky, a handsome cavalry officer with whom she enters into a passionate adulterous affair. When people find out about their involvement, Anna's honour is crushed in the eyes of the Russian noble men and women and she is forced to make a choice; to leave her loveless marriage and family and lose all honour and dignity, or end her affair with her possessive lover and be potentially forgiven.
Continue: Anna Karenina Trailer
Princess Merida is the daughter of the warrior, King Fergus and his wife, Queen Elinor. She is also the eldest of four; she has three younger brothers, Hamish; Hubert and Harris, who are a set of triplets. Being part of the royal family means she has to sit and watch a Scottish tradition: the first born son showcasing his archery.
Continue: Brave Trailer
Dave (Jones) is a detective looking into the violent murder of a prostitute when movie star Elrod (Sarsgaard), filming nearby in a swamp, stumbles across the decades-old skeleton of a chained-up black man. In Dave's mind, the murders are linked, and as he questions a local mobster (Goodman), a partying investor (Beatty) and the film's director (Sayles), both cases get increasingly haunting. Dave also imagines that he sees a Confederate general (Helm) roaming the bayou around his house. And within this swirling mist, things start to make sense.
Continue reading: In The Electric Mist Review
It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...
Set 20 years after the original movie, we see our favourite once drug-addled Scotsman reunited....
After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...
The first book in Arthur Ransome's much loved book series has been turned into a...
Tolstoy's iconic novel may have been filmed several times, but you've never seen a version...
Pixar continues pushing boundaries with this lavishly animated Scottish adventure, which centres on an involving...
Anna Karenina is the young wife of senior statesman Alexei Karenin. Theirs was more of...
Princess Merida is the daughter of the warrior, King Fergus and his wife, Queen Elinor....
The eight-part saga comes to a close with an action-packed finale that neatly ties up...
Harry Potter and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, continue their search for Voldemort's...
Moody and thoughtful, this quiet character study is extremely beautiful to look at and features...