An attempt to muscle in on Luc Besson's Taken-style of thriller, this is an odd mix of French setting, American characters and British cast and crew. The inclusion of hugely current issues like immigration, terrorism and capitalistic excess adds the illusion that the movie is actually about something. So while the plot is preposterous, the film has an edgier, more jaggedly comical sensibility that makes it entertaining.
It's set in Paris, where the gifted American pickpocket Michael (Richard Madden) becomes a terrorist suspect when he inadvertently steals a bomb from a the hapless young Zoe (Charlotte Le Bon), roped into planting it by her anti-fascist boyfriend. On Michael's trail is the bullheaded CIA operative Briar (Idris Elba), who has just been transferred to Paris due to his insubordinate attitude. His new boss (Kelly Reilly) is an old friend who vouches for him, then quickly regrets that decision when he goes rogue and teams up with the fugitive Michael to track down the real villain. They're pursued all over the city by local police chief Victor (Jose Garcia) and his fearsome sidekick Rafi (Thierry Godard), oblivious to the fact that the men they're chasing are actually trying to save Paris from something catastrophic.
The plot itself is fairly simple, but the film is assembled in a way that makes everything look far more complicated than it actually is. Action mayhem breaks out at every turn, with impressively full-on stuntwork, crashing chase scenes and lots of shootouts. A fistfight in the back of a careering van is particularly rough and tumble, as it were. And with such villainous baddies, the filmmakers believe they are justified in killing off dozens of faceless henchmen. One dares to show a glimmer of a conscience, but that doesn't save him.
Continue reading: Bastille Day Review
Kelly Reilly - Opening Night After Party for the play Old Times at the American Airlines Theatre - Arrivals at American Airlines Theatre, - New York City, New York, United States - Tuesday 6th October 2015
Eve Best, Clive Owen , Kelly Reilly - 'Old Times' opening night curtain call at the American Airlines Theatre at American Airlines Theatre, - New York City, New York, United States - Wednesday 7th October 2015
Kelly Reilly - Photo Call for the Roundabout Theatre Company production Old Times at the American Airlines Theatre. at American Airlines Theatre, - New York City, New York, United States - Wednesday 26th August 2015
Porn stars have reportedly been cast for scenes in the second season for 'True Detective'.
Porn stars have reportedly been cast for the season finale of True Detective. According to sources, they have been hired for a graphic sex scene which will feature dozens of naked bodies. 24-year-old Amia Miley, a former porn actress from the US, has allegedly been hired along with Peta Jensen, also 24. Ironically, sources suggest they are amongst the few extras that are not completely naked for the scenes. It seems the women were not cast because of their experience in the porn industry but simply as extras.
Colin Farrell filming for True Detective in Los Angeles.
Continue reading: 'True Detective': Porn Stars Reportedly Cast For Season 2 Scenes
New York - the 1950s. A young and aspiring American poet, John Malcolm Brinnin (Elijah Wood), takes it upon himself to wrangle his favourite poet and bring him back for a performance in the United States. The poet in question, is a lyrically powerful, yet over-the-top hell raising Dylan Thomas (Celyn Jones). As Brinnin battles against the powerful and abrasive Thomas, his idolisation for the man falters. That is, until he steadily starts to understand what is truly going on inside the head of the poet. When the two men are finally on the same page, everything begins to become clearer for Brinnin; despite his ordinary world being totally shaken up by this new addition.
Continue: Set Fire To The Stars Trailer
French filmmaker Cedric Klapisch keeps the tone light and the serious themes just under the surface as he revisits the lively characters from The Spanish Apartment (2002) and Russian Dolls (2005). Despite its comical plotting, the film remains grounded in real life, this time in an ethnically blended corner of New York City as the characters turn 40 and face major life changes. It's a relaxed, enjoyable romp that sometimes feels rather silly but continually catches the whiff of an important issue.
Our hero Xavier (Romain Duris) is living in Paris, exhausted by the surprises life won't stop throwing at him. The latest shock comes from his girlfriend Wendy (Kelly Reilly), who announces that she's taking their children (Pablo Mugnier-Jacob and Margaux Mansart) and moving back to Manhattan, where she plans to live with another man. Stunned, and knowing he can write anywhere, Xavier follows her and moves in with his old pal Isabelle (Cecil De France) and her girlfriend Ju (Sandrine Holt) in Brooklyn. Perhaps now Xavier might also be able to be in the life of the child he has helped Isabelle conceive to raise with Ju. So he finds a woman, Nancy (Li Jun Li), who will marry him so he can get an American visa. Then his ex-girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tautou) comes for a visit, sparking old feelings that complicate everything.
Yes, the scene is set for a wild farce of a final act as Martine, the immigration investigators, Isabelle and Ju and a variety of kids all converge on Xavier's new Chinatown flat. This wacky slapstick gets rather grating, since there are so many more interesting places this film could have gone, but it's funny and very nicely played by the cast of shamelessly charming actors. Each portrays a person who is incapable of making the most important decisions in their lives, which gives the film a loose sense of authenticity even if the events feel rather contrived.
Continue reading: Chinese Puzzle Review
Todd Burpo has a fulfilling career as a businessman, fire fighter and pastor in a caring small-town community. He also has a loving family in his wife Sonja and two children Colton and Cassie. Like any idyllic family life though, he has been struck by grief, the most recent being the heartbreaking news that Colton must undergo immediate major surgery after collapsing on the brink of death. Afterwards, Colton reveals to his parents a series of revelations enough to shock the world. He recounts how he saw himself in hospital and describes the separate rooms his parents were waiting in, he reveals how he met his stillborn second sister and also accurately describes the grandfather he never met. Todd is convinced Colton has experienced a slice of the afterlife, but it's not enough to convince the sceptical town who are not ready to accept such a seemingly impossible truth.
Continue: Heaven Is For Real Trailer
Xavier Rousseau is heartbroken when his British wife Wendy leaves him for a man she met in New York and takes their two children with her. Determined to maintain contact with his kids, he flies over to America from France and attempts to become an American citizen in any way he can; from donating his sperm to a lesbian couple to marrying a Chinese woman. He meets Wendy's new boyfriend, who happens to be annoyingly nice and - to Wendy's irritation - highly sympathetic to Xavier's dilemma in moving to a foreign country, and he even has chance to reconnect with an old lover, Martine, who has come to visit him and wants to make a fresh start. As he tries to get his life back on track, things just keep getting harder and harder.
Continue: Chinese Puzzle Trailer
The troubled priest troubled Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson and Kelly Rielly star in 'Calvary'
A good priest in a small town populated by people with dark thoughts, James Lavelle’s life is threatened during a confession. Of course, they’re anonymous things, confessions, and he spends what he believes to be the rest of his living days attempting to narrow down his would-be murderer.
Continue reading: For Brendan Gleeson, His Role In 'Calvary' Was Mental Grind
'Calvary' is one of the finest movies of the year.
John Michael McDonagh's Calvary is an early contender for best independent movie of the year, while Brendan Gleeson's lead performance as a good priest facing a death threat is perhaps unrivalled as the year's finest.
Brendan Gleeson [L] and Kelly Reilly [R] in 'Calvary'
Gleeson's Father James Lavelle is the flip side to Sergeant Gerry Boyle in McDonagh's critically acclaimed The Guard - a good man intent on making the world a better place. However, one day, is life is threatened during confession and the forces of darkness begin to close in around him.
Continue reading: Is Brendan Gleeson's 'Calvary' The Best Movie Of 2014?
After the 2011 black comedy The Guard, Brendan Gleeson reteams with writer-director John Michael McDonagh for a darker comical drama grappling with issues of faith and forgiveness. McDonagh's usual jagged dialogue and snappy characters are on-hand in abundance while the film digs deep through a rather meandering, episodic plot.
In rural Ireland, Father James (Brendan Gleeson) is quietly enduring confessionals when one of his parishioners says he's going to kill him next Sunday. Shaken, James begins to explore his faith and mortality over the coming week. His daughter Fiona (Kelly Reilly) arrives following another suicide attempt, and he consoles a grieving French visitor (Marie-Josee Croze) and visits an imprisoned killer (Domhnall Gleeson). But almost anyone in the village could be the aspiring murderer: the over-emotional butcher (Chris O'Dowd), drug-addict doctor (Aidan Gillen), ladies-man African (Isaach De Bankole), shifty millionaire (Dylan Moran), eccentric fisherman (M. Emmet Walsh).
Intriguingly, it never really matters who issued the threat (James has a pretty good idea), because that's not the point of the film. McDonagh is exploring bigger ideas here, adeptly mixing riotously funny dialogue with startlingly bleak emotions. The film's languid pace nearly lulls us to sleep, then wakes us up with another sparky scene-stealing performance from the gifted cast. Gleeson is wonderfully muted, expressing more with an exhausted sigh than most actors can manage with a Shakespearean monologue. His moments with Reilly crackle with honest emotion, and the deceptively simple scene between father and son actors Brendan and Domhnall is a heart-stopper.
Continue reading: Calvary Review
The critics agree: this dark, Irish comedy hits the mark
Michael McDonagh wrote ‘Calvary’ while filming ‘The Guard’ with Brendan Gleeson towards the end of 2009. Almost five years later, the black Irish comedy is hitting cinemas in the U.K, and ahead of that release, the critics are in a doting mood, to the tune of a 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Gleeson, Reilly and dog in Calvary
Gleeson plays Father James Lavelle, a priest trying to do his best in a world of moral deprivation and cultural bankruptcy. “Continually shocked and saddened by the spiteful and confrontational inhabitants of his small country town,” Lavelle’s life is thrown upside down when a member of that fragmented community threatens his life during a confession.
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