When young Effie Grey (Dakota Fanning) is married to John Ruskin (Greg Wise), a man ten years older than her, she feels no pleasure whatsoever. She is soon whisked away from her native Scotland and follows her husband as he travels to Venice in order to work on his book, 'The Stones of Venice'. People often notice that there is no love between the pair, and they drift apart during their time in Italy, with Effie spending her time walking the streets of Venice and spending more and more time with her husband's protégée John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge). With the two steadily falling in love, the struggle between right and wrong rages within Effie, as she is forced to make the choice between what she is told, and what she wants.
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In 1976 Salford, George and Ella (Puri and Bassett) only have one child left at home, 15-year-old Sajid (Khan). And he's a real handful, feeling even more fiercely English than his older siblings. So George decides to cart him off to the Old Country to gain some respect for his heritage. What George doesn't count on is learning a lesson himself, because once in Pakistan he's confronted with the life he left 30 years earlier, including a wife (Arun) and daughters who have been waiting for him.
Continue reading: West Is West Review
Ayub Khan-Din, Emil Marwa, Linda Bassett and Zita Sattar - Writer: Ayub Khan-Din, Linda Bassett, Zita Sattar Aquib Khan and Emil Marwa and director Andy DeEmmony Manchester, England - Premiere of 'West is West' at the Odeon. Monday 17th January 2011
It's 1976 and with a lot of determination George and Ella Khan have managed to keep their family together. All but one of their seven children have grown up and the youngest, Sajid, is going through somewhat of an identity crisis. Totally unfamiliar with his Pakistani roots and becoming somewhat of a nuisance to his father he decides it's time to take drastic measures and takes his son back to Pakistan to visit some of his family.
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Jill Godmilow's earnest portrait of Gertrude Stein (Linda Bassett) and Alice B. Toklas (Linda Hunt) during their period together at 27 Rue de Fleurus in France is obviously the product of much heartfelt love for the duo. Too bad it's rambling, pedantic, and so overtly misanthropic that one wonders how any viewer could leech out the love within.
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James and Anne's wealth affords them life's finest luxury accoutrements (residences in both London and the country, fancy cars, servants), but restlessness simmers underneath this apparently cheery, perfect veneer, with Anne soon catapulting their domestic bliss into chaos when she begins a torrid affair with William. When a mysterious Range Rover runs down Maggie's husband, Anne and William come under suspicion for the murder from both the police and James, the latter of whom endeavors to protect his wife (and, equally as important, his own reputation as a big-time barrister) by helping to cover up her possible role in the crime. Fellowes wastes little time on mystery, however, as his prime preoccupation is the method by which relationships crumble due to tragedies both big (the hit-and-run death) and, just as vitally, small (James and Anne's lack of warmth, inability to communicate, and joint desire to sweep unhappiness under the Persian rug lest it disrupt their comfortable existence). And with Anne unwilling to cast aside her youngish paramour to return to her husband, the film quickly becomes a case study in people's inability to fully suppress their most urgent desires and discontent.
Continue reading: Separate Lies Review
This sounds like a BBC Kitchen Sink Drama of the week or an early Mike Leigh TV-movie (in Leigh's pre-Naked days), and indeed would end up being just that if it weren't for the fact that East is East is delightfully funny. As the tragedy of a family being torn apart by Muslim upbringing clashing with Christian ideals, East is East journeys further into the realm of absolute absurdity.
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Inspired by a group of middle-aged women in Yorkshire, England, who rocked the boat in their local knitting-and-baking club and made worldwide headlines by posing nude for a charity calendar, "Calendar Girls" is a quaintly cheeky comedy very much in the vein of "The Full Monty."
Blessed with sparkling performances from the fabulous Helen Mirren and Julie Walters ("Billy Elliott") as the feisty ringleaders who are bored with their group making a pittance each year by putting out boring 12-monthers with pictures of churches or flower arrangements, the movie is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser with a harmlessly fun sense of humor. But it's beguiling only throughout the planning and the posing -- and all the public discombobulation and personal-inhibition busting that results. Once the calendar is released, the picture runs out of steam and tries to keep afloat for a long third act by inventing false drama.
The catalyst for the calendar is the desire to buy a comfortable new couch for the waiting room of a hospital where many of the women spent long hours while one of their husbands was dying of cancer. Realizing they couldn't possible raise enough with their usual endeavors, Mirren's character hits upon the novelty notion of posing nude when she see a cheesecake calendar on the wall of a mechanic's garage.
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