Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with present-day resonance as it explores a relationship that sparks intense social and political fallout. And it's made properly engaging with central roles beautifully played by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike. So it's a shame that the screenplay is so simplistic, failing to generate any momentum in the story with its awkward structure and paper-thin side characters.
It opens in 1947, as Seretse Khama (Oyelowo) has spent 20 years of his life studying in London and is ready to return to Bechuanaland (now Botswana) to take his rightful place as king. But he has fallen in love with white, working-class Englishwoman Ruth (Pike), and they decide to return to Africa together. This causes a crisis for Seretse's uncle Tshkedi (Vusi Kunene), who has been ruling the country while Seretse was away. And there's even more fierce resistance from the British colonial officials (including Jack Davenport and Tom Felton), who refuse to allow the couple to live together in Bechuanaland because a mixed-race marriage undermines the UK's acceptance of South Africa's policy of Apartheid. So they exile Seretse from the country and manipulate the situation to Britain's political benefit. But Ruth stays and fights on.
The film chronicles this astonishing battle with a fascinating attention to detail, although screenwriter Guy Hibbert struggles to avoid repetition as the events shift between Africa and London, leaving main characters off the screen for what turns out to be years at a time. Meanwhile, the British are portrayed as moustache-twirling villains who lie and conspire to undermine the government of Bechuanaland. A bit more complexity might have made the situation compelling on-screen.
Continue reading: A United Kingdom Review
She stars in new black comedy 'Burn Burn Burn'
After six hit seasons, Downton Abbey came to an end a year ago in Britain, and two of its cast members have films in cinemas this week, with more coming soon. Laura Carmichael, who played Lady Edith, stars in the comedy-drama road movie Burn Burn Burn, and next month has a key role in A United Kingdom opposite David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike.
Laura Carmichael at the premiere of A United Kingdom
'Burn Burn Burn' follows the lives of two women, Seph and Alex, who set out on a road trip after the tragic death of their friend Dan to scatter his ashes and give him a proper send off. Meanwhile, 'A United Kingdom' is a biographical drama about Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana and his controversial marriage to a white women in the 1940s.
Continue reading: Life After Downton Abbey For Laura Carmichael
An unusually intelligent black comedy, this British independent film takes the audience on a road trip that's packed with surprises. Darkly hilarious and deeply moving, the film somehow manages to avoid both cheap jokes and cloying sentimentality to tell a story that's genuinely entertaining and resonant. And as it travels the length and breadth of Great Britain, the film makes terrific use of its eclectic cast.
Grieving over the death of their close friend Dan (Jack Farthing), best pals Seph and Alex (Downton Abbey's Laura Carmichael and War & Peace's Chloe Pirrie) are shocked to get a video message from him instructing them to take an epic drive to scatter his ashes across the country. Seph is looking for a reason to get away from her cloying boyfriend (Joe Dempsie) and annoying boss (Sally Phillips), and Alex is reeling after catching her girlfriend (Eleanor Matsuura) with another woman. So they hit the road, heading first to Glastonbury, then to Cardiff, York and finally to Ben Lomond in Scotland. Along the way, Dan's videos guide them as they have a variety of small adventures.
Writer Charlie Covell and director Chanya Button are cleverly exploring the idea that we all need to confront the secrets we are keeping from each other. Dan never told anyone he was dying of cancer, so he's challenging Seph and Alex to open up in ways he never could, understanding that the truth brings catharsis. Carmichael and Pirrie make a terrific team in this sense, united by years of friendship but divided by their unspoken issues. The actresses bring a striking individuality to these roles that makes the characters both infuriating and loveable. And the key points in their journey are fiendishly clever. For example, Alex makes her big confession while actually hanging on a cross, standing in for an actor playing Jesus.
Continue reading: Burn Burn Burn Review
Once upon a time, a handsome, intelligent man fell in love with an equally clever and intelligent woman, the couple married and lived happily ever after. Ruth Williams and Seretse Khama met in Britain in 1947, he was a young man training to be a barrister and she was a clerk working for Lloyds of London.
The pair immediately felt an affinity for one another and courted for a year before Seretse and Ruth married. As well as being an interracial couple, Seretse has a lot more to his past than Ruth ever knew. Seretse is a prince of Bechuanaland and lives a hugely important life in a county that feels a whole world away from the comparatively cosmopolitan London.
Though Ruth and Seretse married - much against the advice of all their peers - apartheid in South Africa, the people of Bechuanaland and the British government all played a part in keeping Sertse from his birth right and went to extreme lengths to have the couple extradited from the country.
Continue: A United Kingdom Trailer
Fans are joining #TeamEdith, after the Crawley sister was once again done out of her happy ending.
Yes there’s still a Christmas special to come, but after six series on ITV, ‘Downton Abbey’ ended its run last night, with a surprise wedding and a suicide attempt. But while Lady Mary Crawley got what she wanted (as usual), her younger sister Edith was denied her own happy ending, leaving some viewers furious.
After six seasons ‘Downton Abbey’ has ended on ITV.
During the episode unlucky in love Edith had her chances of happiness stolen, when sister Mary ruined her relationship by revealing details of her secret love child to fiancé the Marquess of Hexham, Bertie Pelham. But while Edith faced a lifetime of loneliness, all was okay for Mary, as she wed Henry Talbot.
'Marcella' will be the first English language original written by Swedish auteur Hans Rosenfeldt.
Anna Friel and Laura Carmichael have been revealed as the two stars of a new ITV crime drama, entitled ‘Marcella’, the first English language original series to be written by acclaimed Swedish screenwriter Hans Rosenfeldt.
The eight-part noir thriller will begin shooting in and around London later this month, and is due to hit screens at an undisclosed date in 2016. The female stars will be joined by a supporting cast that includes former soap actors Ian Puleston-Davies (‘Coronation Street’) and Ray Panthaki (‘EastEnders’), plus ‘Fortitude’s Nicholas Pinnock.
Anna Friel will play the lead in 'Marcella', an ITV original crime drama
Continue reading: Anna Friel And Laura Carmichael To Star In ITV Crime Drama 'Marcella'
Emma Bovary is a young Christian woman from Normandy, France with proper values, whose marriage to the town's doctor she hopes will bring money, high status and unending excitement compared to her miserly life on her father's farm. A handsome and intelligent fellow, it seems Emma couldn't wish for a better husband, though as time progresses his frequent coldness towards her and lack of ambition starts to weigh heavy on her heart. On one of her rare social occasions, she and Charles attend a dinner party hosted by Monsieur Homais, and it's there she meets a handsome young man named Leon Dupuis. Dupuis presents gifts and the romantic exhilaration she so craves, but she is trapped by the conventions of respectable marriage. Meanwhile, her taste for the finer things in life have thrust her into huge debt and now she has serious worries about her future.
Continue: Madame Bovary Trailer
Rebel Wilson posed alongside Crystal the Monkey on the red carpet at the New York premiere of 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb'. Crystal, who plays Dexter in the movie, appeared to have a rather firm grip on Wilson's perfectly preened hair, though no damaged was caused when the pair parted ways.
Director Sir Peter Hall has apologised to Downton Abbey actress Laura Carmichael after he fell asleep during a West End performance of Uncle Vanya before mumbling during the play's final scene. Reports over the weekend suggested Sir Peter had been "heckling" Carmichael during her West End debut, though the legendary theatre director says he was merely disorientated after falling asleep. Is that worse? That might be worse.
Nevertheless, the whole thing is pretty comical and Hall said he had "enjoyed the evening, and the performance," though added, "Being rather aged I dropped off for a moment and on being woken by my wife I was briefly disorientated," reports BBC News. Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith Crawley in Downton Abbey, was making her appearance in London's West End in a new version of Chekhov's classic play at the Vaudeville Theatre. A report by The Telegraph over the weekend suggested Sir Peter had heckled, "It doesn't work and you don't work. It is not good enough. I could be at home watching television," which is a fairly specific accusation, though reportedly not true.
Others had enjoyed the performance, with The Guardian's Michael Billington giving it three stars and describing the play as "solidly capable rather than genuinely inspiring."
In the 1970's, former spy George Smiley (who is in forced retirement), is called in to investigate the news that there is a Soviet mole of high-ranking within 'the Circus' - the in-house name for MI6 - who has been there for years making him one of George's former colleagues. George manages to narrow his search down to four men, all colleagues of his. His rivalries and friendships with each of the suspects will make it difficult for George to locate the mole who is eroding at the centre of the British government.
Continue: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Trailer
Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...
An unusually intelligent black comedy, this British independent film takes the audience on a road...
Once upon a time, a handsome, intelligent man fell in love with an equally clever...
Emma Bovary is a young Christian woman from Normandy, France with proper values, whose marriage...