As in his gorgeous film Far From Heaven and TV series Mildred Pierce, filmmaker Todd Haynes tells a simple story with visual impact and thematic resonance. All three of these projects centre on characters who feel like outsiders in their societies, offering staggeringly complex roles for Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet and now Cate Blanchett. This one is also based on a Patricia Highsmith novel (published originally as The Price of Salt), so it has an added layer of underlying intensity.
The story is set in the run-up to Christmas 1952, as New York department store clerk Therese (Rooney Mara) becomes intrigued by Carol (Blanchett), a glamorous customer who seems unusually attentive. Therese finds a reason to contact her, and the two become friends despite the difference in age and class. Meanwhile, Carol is trying to extricate herself from her marriage to Harge (Kyle Chandler), who is still feeling wounded by Carol's relationship with another woman (Sarah Paulson) and threatens to use her friendship with Therese to deny custody of their young daughter. And Therese also has a nice-guy suitor in Richard (Jake Lacy), who is becoming increasingly suspicious. With all of this pressure on them, Carol and Therese make an impulsive decision to take a road trip together.
The events unfold with delicate precision, as Phyllis Nagy's script smartly allows these woman to circle around each other trying to work out how they feel. There's a gun-in-the-suitcase element that adds a bit of spark, but the real story here plays out between the lines in exquisite performances from Blanchett and Mara, who convey most of their feelings through offhanded glances and subtle gestures. This adds beautifully to the depiction of the period's repressive attitudes without ever being obvious about it, and it also reveals the deep emotions that come with feeling like you don't fit in with what society expects of you.
Continue reading: Carol Review
Therese Belivet is just starting out in life, bored by her simple job in a department store and even more so by her relationship with Richard. She dreams of bigger things; a career as a set designer and experiencing true love. Love has never found its way into Therese's life, that is until she meets a privileged and sophisticated older woman named Carol with whom she immediately bonds. While Carol's life is the opposite of Therese's in that she enjoys luxury on an everyday basis, she is equally dismayed by her love life; trapped in a marriage with a man she does not love, so that she may continue seeing her young daughter. As her relationship with Therese deepens, their attraction for each other becomes clear to everyone else, as well as Carol's intriguing friendship with close companion Abby, and she faces losing everything in her quest to discover herself once and for all.
Continue: Carol Trailer
It's 1952 and 20-something Therese Belivet is struggling to contend with her humdrum life working in a New York department store, repulsed by her relationship with a man named Richard and dreaming of a career in set design. Soon she meets a customer named Carol; an older, refined and supremely elegant woman who she immediately forms a connection with. Carol herself is in a marriage that brings her no joy and is hoping desperately for a divorce, but this only seems to threaten her relationship with her daughter, whom she cannot afford to lose. Meanwhile, Therese is struggling to control her feelings for Carol; torn between admiration, deep sexual attraction and jealousy over Carol's history with her best friend Abby. It's a difficult time for both parties as they attempt to find order in their feelings in a decade not altogether supportive of their closeness.
Continue: Carol - Clips
Kyle Chandler - Shots of a host of stars as they took to the red carpet for the Premiere of the new Netflix original series 'Bloodline' The premiere was held at the SVA Theatre in New York City, New York, United States - Tuesday 3rd March 2015
At age 71, Martin Scorsese proves with this riotous romp that he's one of the most energetic, audacious filmmakers working in America at the moment. And with his long-time 74-year-old editor Thelma Schoonmaker, he has created one of the most entertaining cautionary tales in recent memory. Not only does it highlight an unruly period in banking history, but it has a lot to say about where we are now.
This is the true story of Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), who was 21 when he got his first job on Wall Street in the rough-and-tumble 1980s. Thanks to his illicit deals, he was a multi-millionaire within five years, tutored by a jaded veteran (McConaughey) and assisted by an enthusiastic novice (Hill). Along the way, he also swaps for a much more glamorous wife (Robbie), whose British aunt (Lumley) becomes part of his scam to stash his cash with a shady Swiss banker (Dujardin). But with an FBI agent (Chandler) on his trail, Jordan suspects that the high life can't go on forever.
At just under three hours long, the film sometimes feels like it is wallowing in the excessive sex and drugs along with these Wall Street criminals. But there's a jagged undercurrent to everything: all of this hedonism may look like fun, but someone is paying the price. The film is an often thrilling series of set-pieces that roll out in waves of comedy, tragedy and farce as these people play on the edge of an abyss. And it's great to see scenes play out in real time, with deep conversations, riotous comedy riffs and characters who are full of conflicting layers.
Continue reading: The Wolf Of Wall Street Review
It's a wild ride of drinking, drugs, debauchery and deception when the ambitious Jordan Belfort decides that he wants to be one of the rich kids. Starting out his stockbroker business in a small office with a handful of employees, his aims are simple; target only the richest people in the country. It isn't long before Belfort and his team find themselves with more money than they know what to do with and begin to live their lives manically high off the success. However, Belfort hasn't exactly been making what you'd call an honest living and pretty soon the secrets of his fraudulent profits and money laundering draws attention from the authorities. And not only that, his disregard for others' sufferings means he's got a lot more to lose than his beloved business.
'The Wolf of Wall Street' is a gritty white-collar crime drama based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, a former stockbroker who served 22 months in prison for his fraudulent activity in 1998 and subsequently wrote two memoirs entitled 'The Wolf of Wall Street' and 'Catching the Wolf of Wall Street'. The new movie has been directed by the Oscar winning Martin Scorsese ('Shutter Island', 'Goodfellas', 'The Departed') and written by multi-Primetime Emmy winning writer Terence Winter ('The Sopranos', 'Boardwalk Empire', 'Brooklyn Rules').
Jordan Belfort started out his stockbroker business in a tiny office with a small group of people and had the intention of targeting only the richest people in America as their clientele. With such a small percentage of individuals lined up as hopeful patrons, their dreams of immense fortune and a life of luxury seemed embarrassingly unlikely. However, pretty soon the company starts to ooze more money than they can handle and it's parties, alcohol and women all round. Unfortunately, it soon becomes clear to everyone that what Belfort was doing to earn his fortune is not entirely legal and he risks his freedom and his wealthy lifestyle when the FBI get involved.
'The Wolf of Wall Street' is a white-collar crime drama based on the two memoirs by the real Belfort, who was jailed in 1998 for a string of fraudulent offences including money laundering. The autobiographies have since been translated into 18 different languages and now the Oscar winning Martin Scorsese ('Shutter Island', 'Goodfellas', 'The Departed') directs the screen adaptation which has been written by multi-Primetime Emmy winning writer Terence Winter ('The Sopranos', 'Boardwalk Empire', 'Brooklyn Rules'). The movie is set to be release on January 17th 2014.
Alice and Mark are a married couple who are desperately struggling to come to terms with the catastrophic death of their child. While their friends tiptoe around them trying to offer their own advice and support, the couple find themselves unable to support each other as Mark cannot bear to be around his wife anymore. Meanwhile, Alice ends up at the office of grief counsellor Dr. Goodman who believes that fate has led them together for a reason and convinces her to look at her own life differently. They both go through feelings of devastation, intense rage and ultimately soul-destroying heartbreak that threatens not only the future of their relationship, but also their own lives. Will this once idyllic couple successfully find each other again? And, with that, find the strength to overcome the biggest tragedy of their lives?
Continue: Morning Trailer
Sutter Keely thinks he has the perfect life; he's a high-school student with a car, a job he loves, a gorgeous girlfriend and the ability to make friends wherever he goes. Rather than thinking about his future and what graduation will bring, he's perfectly contented to take each day as it comes. It only becomes a curse when his girlfriend dumps him, but things take a different turn in his life when he wakes up after a particularly alcohol-fuelled night only to find himself in someone else's yard with a concerned looking Aimee Finicky next to him. Aimee's the good girl, who's never had a boyfriend and puts her focus on her future. Sutter finds himself falling in love and coming round to the idea of a quiet life, but thinking about the future has made him wonder if he should factor in Aimee's at all.
Continue: The Spectacular Now Trailer
Jordan Belfort is a successful stockbroker, multi-millionaire and motivational speaker from New York who had enough money to throw anywhere he wanted. He was arrested and jailed in 1998 for a string of fraudulent activities surrounding stock market manipulation including money laundering and mob infiltration. He served 22 months in prison after being given a sentence of 4 years, famously refusing to cooperate during the case which exposed massive corruption on Wall Street. His crime was fuelled by his loved of alcohol, parties, women and, generally, the finer things in life including his luxury yacht which was originally built for Coco Chanel. He wrote two memoirs which were published in around 40 countries and have since been translated into 18 different languages.
Continue: The Wolf Of Wall Street - Teaser Trailer
Could a Friday Night Lights movie be in the works?
Connie Britton says she is a big supporter of a possible Friday Night Lights movie and would "love" to see if happen. Appearing at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, Britton said that although she's currently starring in the ABC drama 'Nashville,' she'd be happy to appear in a movie adaptation of the NBC television series.
"I would love it to happen. I'm a big supporter of it happening. I don't know if we will see it or not," she told E! online when asked about a movie. Friday Night Lights was actually a 2004 movie before the TV series, though the refashioning on the small screen created a legion of diehard fans. It focused on the relationship between Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and his wife Tami (Connie Britton). The show went off the air in 2011, though a devoted fan base had allowed it to live on for three more seasons on DirecTV when it was in danger of cancellation by NBC. "I know it was being written and Peter Berg is really serious about it, so I think if everybody got on board, I don't see why we couldn't have a movie," added Britton.
Back in March, the actress told the Hollywood Reporter, "We keep talking about how we have to wait a certain amount of years and then we can go back to working together again." It's unlikely to make it the big screen anytime soon, with Chandler working on Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street and Showtime pilot 'The Vatican'. Britton is busy with Nashville.
Blistering writing, directing and acting hold us firmly in our seats as this procedural drama snakes its way to a riveting action finale. Although it's sometimes not easy to know whether director Bigelow and writer Boal are celebrating or criticising the way America has conducted itself on the world stage in its war on terrorism. Clearly the characters believe that these dodgy methods are essential tools in their job. But the film cleverly respects and challenges our own views on the issues.
The story begins with the events of 9/11, after which the CIA is determined to track down Osama bin Laden. Spearheading the search is tenacious analyst Maya (Chastain), who works with her colleague Dan (Clarke) to interrogate prisoners and mobilise their team (including Ehle and Perrineau) to action. Their bosses (Chandler and Strong), the CIA director (Gandolfini) and the national security advisor (Dillane) offer support and challenges. And eventually they get approval to illegally send a black-op team into bin Laden's suspected hide-out in Pakistan.
It's astonishing that Boal and Bigelow have managed to tell this true story without taking sides. They have been criticised for possibly using classified details or for depicting torture as an interrogation tool, but the facts can't be denied just because we don't like them. And your attitude going in will probably colour how you feel about the movie: some will find this a story of triumph while others will be troubled by the methods it depicts. Either way, it's impossible to ignore the film's urgency as it pulls us into a fascinating story.
Continue reading: Zero Dark Thirty Review
Following the tragic events of the twin towers bombing on September 11th 2001 in New York City, Islamic extremist group Al Qaeda's leader Osama Bin Laden was the most wanted man in the entire world. He had managed to evade capture and certain execution for nearly ten years when, in the year of the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, he was found by the extraordinary Navy SEAL Team 6 and shot dead at his residence in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2nd. The event, however tarnished with conspiracy theories and speculation, marked a moment in history and was seen as a giant step in the current war on terror.
'Zero Dark Thirty' is the gritty historical drama telling the story of when Bin Laden was successfully captured and assassinated by a remarkable group of CIA operatives whose covert operations and well-kept secrets gave America their biggest victory in many years. With director Kathryn Bigelow ('Point Break', 'Strange Days') and writer Mark Boal ('In the Valley of Elah') who have previously worked alongside one another on the six time Academy Award winning war flick 'The Hurt Locker', it is set to be a seminal movie that may itself become an important part of history. It is set to be released on January 25th 2013.
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Scott Adkins, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Taylor Kinney, James Gandolfini, Mark Duplass, Harold Perrineau, Jennifer Ehle, Kyle Chandler, Frank Grillo, Stephen Dillane & Edgar Ramirez.
Continue: Zero Dark Thirty Trailer
Kathryn Bigelow is no stranger to success. Her 2008 Iraq war movie The Hurt Locker was the recipient of a plethora of awards, including the an enormous six Oscars, and six Baftas, winning Best Picture in both awards. Once again she's bringing American military disputes into the spotlight with Zero Dark Thirty which spans the ten years that it took to find Osama Bin Laden, and the arduous process it took to do so.
It stars Jessica Chastain (The Help), Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) and Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights). Reviews so far have been enormously positive, and have largely compared it to another Middle Eastern combative movie that's also tipped to be a contender in the Oscar race- Ben Affleck's Argo. Although by comparison, most people have said that it's better. Time Magazine even said that it "blows [Argo] out of the water".
Bigelow's The Hurt Locker also got glowing reviews from critics, but was criticised by war veterans who considered it to be unrealistic to the point of absurdity, although acknowledging it to be one of the best films to date to represent the conflict in Iraq. Zero Dark Hour contrasts The Hurt Locker in sheer scale, which spans half the planet. But it's the subject matter itself plus the professionalism and dedication by the film makers which will push this film into the realms of the movie-Gods. With such poignancy in contemporary American history, it's definitely one to receive awards out of respect for the delicate topic, but the quality of the film making will undoubtedly give it a few more. Zero Dark Thirty will be released on December 19th.