The actress previously stated her character would be too old to take part in a big screen version of the period drama.
Dame Maggie Smith has reportedly signed on to take part in the heavily rumoured ‘Downton Abbey’ film. While a movie version of the series has not yet been confirmed, Smith’s fellow cast member Michael Fox has said that the veteran actress will be taking part in a big screen adaptation.
Is ‘Downton Abbey’ the movie, really happening?
Speaking to MailOnline Fox, who played Andy Parker, said that Smith’s involvement was crucial to the film. “She elevates it to something else, because she is such a legend and a national treasure,” he said.
Continue reading: Has Dame Maggie Smith Signed On For A 'Downton Abbey' Film?
Earlier in the evening Kimmel announced the ‘Maggie Smith’ rule, which states you must be present to win.
Dame Maggie Smith won her fourth Emmy award last night and once again the British actress failed to turn up to collect her trophy. It was the ninth time Smith had been nominated for an award at the annual ceremony and she’s never once made an appearance. But this year host Jimmy Kimmel wasn't going to let her get away with it.
Maggie Smith has had nine Emmy nominations and four wins, yet she’s never attended a ceremony
During his opening monologue Kimmel called out the ‘Downton Abbey’ actress for her perceived lack of interest in the Emmy awards. “This year there's a new rule,” he began. “For the first time ever, you must be present to win. If we call your name and you're not here to accept, the Emmy goes to the next name on the list. It's called the Maggie Smith rule.”
Check out their Kiss Cam tribute.
'Downton Abbey' star Maggie Smith became the luckiest woman at the BAFTAS (and possibly in Britain) this weekend when she received a great big Valentine's kiss off none other than Oscar favourite Leonardo Dicaprio, following his Best Leading Actor win for 'The Revenant'.
Maggie Smith is one lucky lady
With the BAFTAs landing on Valentine's Day this year, organisers decided to set up a Kiss Cam to celebrate, like they have at sporting events. And to Maggie's surprise, the camera landed on her and Leo who was seated behind her, prompting him to lean forwards and plant a tender peck on her blushing cheek as host Stephen Fry announced their names. Adorably, the actress promptly appeared to return the kiss.
Continue reading: Leonardo DiCaprio Is Maggie Smith's BAFTA Valentine
There's just too much choice this year.
We don't want to advocate spending Christmas in front of the telly as opposed to catching up with your family, but it'll be hard to resist with the array of entertainment on offer during the holidays. Record everything if you must, but definitely don't miss out.
The Doctor and River Song meet again
What show: 'Doctor Who'
Who stars: Peter Capaldi, Alex Kingston
Which channel: BBC One
What time: 5.15pm Christmas Day
What it's about: All we know so far is that the Doctor is alone now that Clara's dead, though apparently not for long because he's about to bump into his elusive wife River Song, who has a mission of her own she really needs his help with.
Continue reading: From Doctor Who To Downton Abbey: Here's Your UK Christmas TV Schedule
The veteran actress admits that it was a comfortable change from 'Downton Abbey'.
Maggie Smith returns to her stage roots in her new movie The Lady in the Van, reprising the role she played in Alan Bennett's play, based on his real-life experience with Mary Shepherd, a homeless woman who parked her van in his London driveway and stayed for 15 years.
Smith was comfortable in her new role
And Smith is enjoying the chance to sink her teeth into such a juicy role. "After all these years, I am known more for Harry Potter and Downton Abbey than anything I've ever done," she says. "It goes to show that you have to always be prepared for anything."
Continue reading: The Lady In The Van Lets Maggie Smith Revisit An Old Role
Maggie Smith couldn't be more perfect for the title role in this film if it were written for her. But the most astounding thing about this story is that it's true, an event from playwright-screenwriter Alan Bennett's own life. The film cleverly plays with the idea of a writer telling his own story. And it also gives Smith an unforgettable role in a movie that's both entertaining and sharply pointed.
It happened in 1970 Camden, as neighbours worried about a homeless woman parking her van in front of their houses. She turns out to be Mary Shepard (Smith), and resident Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) offers to let her park her van in his driveway for a few months. She stayed there for 15 years, during which Alan refuses to pry into Mary's personal life and she turns a blind eye to the steady flow of young gentleman callers at his door. Even so, over the years Alan learns some details about Mary's past as a musician, ambulance driver and nun, and that she became homeless because she was on the run from the police.
Bennett takes a cheeky approach to the script, writing two versions of himself: one who lives his life and one who writes about it. The interaction between the two is cleverly played by Jennings and directed with offhanded hilarity by Hytner, who shot the movie in the actual street and house where the events took place. Jennings also adds some emotional interest in Alan's relationship with his mother (Gwen Taylor), who ironically has to move into a nursing home. Opposite him, Smith is as magnetic as ever, reeling off each pithy one-liner with impeccable timing. The role may not seem like much of a stretch, but she delivers it with a prickly mix of attitude and humour, plus a strong undercurrent of pathos.
Continue reading: The Lady In The Van Review
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.
Cinderella premieres as 45 Years wins two prizes at Berlin Film Festival, sequels premiere in London and Los Angeles, Julia Roberts cries on-set and trailers arrive for films starring Adam Scott, Samuel L. Jackson and Charlie Hunnam...
The Berlin Film Festival wrapped up last weekend after the premiere for Disney's new live-action version of Cinderella, and stars Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Lily James and Richard Madden, plus director Kenneth Branagh were all on hand for the event.
We're getting ready to head back to 'Downton Abbey' but what does season five have in store?
Everyone’s favourite period drama of manners, ‘Downton Abbey’ is heading back to our screens for a fifth season. If you’re in the UK the wait isn't too long with the season premiere set for this autumn, but things are slightly more frustrating for the drama’s loyal US fanbase who’ll have to wait until January 4th for the new episodes. But it’s not all bad news, this week the cast and executive producer Gareth Neame have given away some exciting new details about the fifth season, which looks to be as drama packed as ever. So to ease your ‘Downton Abbey’ wait, here’s everything we know so far about season five.
Magge Smith is back again as Violet Crawley
1. The Dowager Countess will take center stage
Continue reading: Everything We Know So Far About ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 5
Last night's SAG awards evened out the odds for the upcoming Oscars.
The Screen Actor Guild Awards are one of the biggest industry events during awards season and the one of the early indicators for Oscar trends. So, when Lupita Nyong’o won the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting role (aka Supporting Actress) over Jennifer Lawrence, the world of film took note. Earlier this month, Lawrence beat Nyong’o in the corresponding category at the Golden Globes, but this sets their chances pretty much on par.
The tables turned as Nyong'o beat Lawrence in the Supporting Actress category.
Something else was made clear last night: the main contenders this January are David O’Russel’s American Hustle and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Each film ended the night with one award, but Hustle received the top honor for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Continue reading: Lupita Nyong'o, "American Hustle" Dominate SAG Awards 2014
The period drama is back for a fourth season.
Downton Abbey has finally returned to television for a fourth season meaning Sunday nights are once again sorted for fans of the meaty period drama. The ITV1 show failed to scoop any awards, apart from 'Outstanding Music Composition,' at last night's Emmy Awards but this didn't prevent record viewing ratings - 10.5m viewers - tuning back into the trials, tribulations, romances, deaths and dramas of the fictional estate.
Michelle Dockery Excels In Her Portrayal Of A Widow.
The new season's first episode picks up in 1922, six months after the last left off; Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) is still very much in mourning for her husband, Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) who was killed in a car crash. Britain's post-war boom has receded to government cuts and widespread unemployment. Though the inhabitants of Downton Abbey may be less affected by the harsh reality of the economy compared to the public, the first episode serves to only highlight the class differences between the servants and their masters at the time.
Continue reading: 'Downton Abbey' Consoles Emmy Loss With 10.5m Tune-In To New Series
The Emmy Award nominations were revealed yesterday (Thursday 11th July). Breaking Bad; House of Cards; Modern Family; Game of Thrones and Mad Men all received multiple nominations. Netflix made history by becoming the first internet network to be nominated for a number of awards.
The Primetime Emmy Award nominations were announced yesterday (Thursday 18th July). The nomination ceremony was presented by Kate Mara and Aaron Paul via a live video stream on the Emmy's website.
Kate Mara at the Vanity Fair and Juicy Couture's Celebration of 2013 in L.A.
Netflix has managed to triumph with nominations for their shows: House of Cards; Hemlock Grove and Arrested Development. The company are developing this aspect of their business, which is proving hugely popular and profitable. The future does seem bright for the company which announced it was expanding into its 64th country. It also seems likely their awards over the next few years will increase especially with recent praise of Orange is the New Black.
Continue reading: Primetime Emmy Awards 2013: How Accurate Were Nomination Predictions?
The award-winning actor will appear in the Christmas special of the hit series, following on from the fourth season
Paul Giamatti will become the next American actor to appear in the hugely successful British period drama Downton Abbey, with the American Splendour actor set to appear as a maverick American playboy during the upcoming fourth season of the show.
Giamatti will appear in the Christmas special airing this December, which will follow on directly from the upcoming fourth season of the hit costume drama. He will play Harold, the life-loving brother of Elizabeth McGovern's Cora, and the son of Shirley Maclaine's Martha. MacLaine will also be reprising her role for the Christmas special.
Downton Abbey will be back at the beginning of next year, with a Christmas special also planned.
After the surprise ending of series three, many were left wondering whether or not the hugely successful period drama Downton Abbey would be come back at all, but there's good news to all you Downton fans out there because a fourth series is imminent, and it will be back on PBS on 5 January 2014.
Downton executive producer Rebecca Eaton revealed the good news today in an official statement, revealing the airing date of the new series and adding that it will run for eight weeks. She also added the most of the show's original cast will be back too, including Shirley MacLaine, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt and Brendan Coyle, adding that there will be a number of new actors joining the established cast too.
Hugh Bonneville, Sophie McShera, Phyllis Logan, Julian Fellowes, Lily James and co. of the established Downton order
Continue reading: Downton Abbey Will Return To PBS In January 2014
The updated cast means more drama, more intrigue and, well, more names to remember.
Downton Abbey is going to get a whole lot more complicated and interesting, with the addition of a host of cast members, including Gary Carr. Carr will play the period drama’s first black character, the charismatic jazz singer Jack Ross. The rest of the new cast-members’ names were also an exciting announcement, since the list includes stars like Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Nigel Harman, Joanna David and Dame Harriet Walter, all joining the show for its fourth season.
Carnival Films’ Managing Director, Gareth Neame, said the following about the character of Jack Ross: “We are delighted to introduce another fantastic, dynamic character to Downton Abbey. His addition will bring interesting twists to the drama which we can’t wait for viewers to see in Series Four”.
We’re sure the viewers are excited as well, but we’ll all have to wait a while longer for the series to return with its next eight episodes later this year, as well as the highly anticipated Christmas special, of course. The new cast members will be joining Downton veterans Shirley McLaine Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery and Jim Carter. It’ll probably enhance the show’s dynamic, of course, but we can’t help asking… how are we supposed to memorise every tidbit of intrigue between so many characters?
Double Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman has, at the age of 75, finally switched to directing. While many were surprised it had taken him so long, others were distinctly apprehensive about what Hoffman may offer. As the reviews roll in it appears that Quartet is a light hearted delight and that Hoffman has triumphed.
As well an A-lister as a director, Hoffman brought in some of Britain's best loved actors and actresses. Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Sheridan Smith and Tom Courtenay star in a sweet story set in an home for elderly and retired musicians. When an old star turns up, a group in the home attempt to get her to perform again in their quartet, but with old romances and a worn ego to get in the way, it's a struggle for them to persuade her.
Rolling Stone puts Hoffman's skill down to his long career, saying he "directs with elegance" and describes the movie as "flushed with humor and tenderness." Likewise, USA Today was also impressed by the veteran actor's directorial skill: "Hoffman directs with elegance, allowing the denizens to be dignified, as well as adorable. We get a strong sense of each major character."
Continue reading: Dustin Hoffmans' Directorial Debut, 'Quartet', How Did He Do?
British screen icon Dame Maggie Smith did not attend the Golden Globes in Beverly Hills on Sunday (January 13, 2013) though fended off stiff competition to win Best Supporting Actress in a TV drama. Dame Maggie built on her 2012 Emmy Awards win by taking the prize for her critically acclaimed portrayal of Violet, the Dowager Countless in ITV's much-loved Downton Abbey. She was also nominated for Best Actress in the film category for the well-received Quartet.
Smith did not attend the Emmy Awards last year and is rarely spotted at awards' ceremonies despite her prestigious career. However, she did collect the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Legacy Award from actor Christopher Plummer at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel back in September. At the Globes, Smith lost out to Jennifer Lawrence in the Best Actress (Comedy or Musical) category, though beat the likes of Hayden Panettiere and Sofia Vergara to the Best Supporting Actress gong for Downton Abbey.
It was a rather successful night for British stars, with Damian Lewis taking the Best Actor in a Television Drama award for Homeland. He beat Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, Boardwalk Empire's Steve Buscemi, The Newsroom's Jeff Daniels and Mad Men's Jon Hamm in one of the evening's toughest-to-call categories. "I'd like to dedicate this to my mum, looking down on me bursting with pride telling everyone around her how well her son is doing in acting," Lewis said in his acceptance speech. It was a strong night for Homeland, which took Best Drama Series and saw its lead star Claire Danes win Best Actress.
Continue reading: Enigmatic Maggie Smith Stays Away From The Golden Globes (Still Wins)
Season three of Downton Abbey premieres on PBS this Sunday (January 6, 2013), with the arrival of silver-screen icon Shirley Maclaine. The Oscar and Golden Globe winning actress plays Martha Levinson in the best-loved period drama, and is set to go head-to-head with the stoic Countess of Grantham, played by Maggie Smith.
MacLaine - perhaps best known for The Apartment and Terms of Endearment - explained to the New York Times how she prepared to act alongside Smith. "I thought the best course of action in going toe-to-toe with Maggie would be a sense of American expressive feeling," she explained. In one upcoming scene, MacLaine's character serenades Smith, "I told her I was going to sing it, and first she said to me, [genteel Maggie Smith voice] 'You know, dear, when you do that, I'm going to fall off the chair.' I said, 'OK.' And then she said, 'No, I think not. I think I'll fall asleep.' I said, 'OK, that's good, too.' And then she said, 'No, I think I will cry.' I said, I don't know what you'd do that for, but whatever. What she did instead was flirt back. [Laughs] I was so surprised."
Legendary actress MacLaine was married to businessman Steve Parker until 1982, though revealed to Oprah Winfrey in 2011 that she had an open relationship with her husband. Smith has been married on two occasions, to actor Robert Stephens and playwright Beverly Cross, and she and MacLaine compared notes on past lovers on the Downton Set. "We sat and we reminisced about life and lovers and the business and directors," said MacLaine, adding, "That was really interesting and so much fun.When we were doing a press conference here, someone asked me if I had known Maggie before. And I said, 'Oh, yes, we were lovers in another life.' [Laughs] I don't know where that came from."
Season 3 of Downton Abbey is about to hit PBS in the USA on Sunday and so far, Michelle Obama has managed to keep her sneak-peek at the new series under her hat but the footnote at the bottom of Hitfix.com’s review suggests that social media sites have probably provided quite a few spoilers for US audiences. Unless America’s citizens have been living a net-free life since the series aired in the UK, it’s inevitable that they’ll have stumbled upon some of the storylines. The disgruntled Hitfix blogger Alan Sepinwall writes that “Twitter has already spoiled plenty for the non-torrenting American audience; let's leave it at that,” imploring the site’s users not to add to the gossip.
That said, Sepinwall is hardly a fan of the show, concluding that he needs to “simply accept” that, after three seasons of writing about it, it simply isn’t the show for him. It’s not all bad news for Downton, as season three is considered to be an improvement on the previous two series.
The highlight for many Americans, of course, will be the presence of Shirley Maclaine, who appears in the role of Martha Levinson, the American mother of Lady Cora (played by Elizabeth McGovern). the time that she shares onscreen with Maggie Smith, particularly, provides some of the highlights of the series.
It's not all that rare to find a British television show nominated at the Golden Globes, both The Tudors and Cranford enjoyed their days in the sun in 2008 and 2009, but Americans really do love a British period drama, so this year sees Downton Abbey receiving three nominations, for Best Drama, Best Actress (Michelle Dockery) and Best Supporting Actress (Dame Maggie Smith), which really is an extraordinary achievement.
Some of the cast members joined the BBC to speak about their delight regarding the nomination. Joanne Froggat, better known as Anna Bates 'nee Smith', expressed her gratitude to the Globes, saying that "to have that kind of recognition from our American peers is wonderful... it's exciting!"
"We've now joined high table," said Hugh Bonneville, who plays Lord Grantham, the head of Downton Abbey, "and we're now being considered alongside these great other dramas that have excited the nation and we're thrilled that us from over seas have managed to fit in." Adding, "It's wonderful because when we're filming in Highclere castle... on a freezing February day in the mud, it's nice to know that sometimes it's worth it."
Continue reading: Downton Abbey's Cast Enjoys Golden Globe Nominations
The Golden Globes are one of the biggest film and television awards in the world. Winning an award from them will almost always top the C.V.s of anyone involved in film. 2012 has been one of the best years in film for a long time, with many films being deemed 'instant classics'. Although, of course, that's said every year, with just a quick glance at the calibre of performances, narrative and cinematography this year it's easy to see why it's being said.
2012's nominations were revealed today with few surprises. The favourites during speculation included Argo, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty and The Master, and they haven't failed to impress in the Globes' nominations. Lincoln's set to be a big winner with seven nominations, while Argo has 5 nominations, Zero Dark Thirty has 4 and The Master has 3. All four, except The Master, are also in the running for Best Motion Picture, competing alongside Ang Lee's Life of Pi and Quentin Tarantino's re-envisioning of a slave narrative, Django Unchained.
Tarantino's film received 5 nominations, which included two in the category for Best Supporting Performance by an Actor, for Christoph Waltz and Leonardo Dicaprio, which proves to us that it's more than worth the watch. Best Director nominations mirrors the Best Motion Picture, and include Ben Affleck (Argo), Stephen Spielberg (Lincoln), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), which is no surprise really.
Continue reading: The Golden Globes Nominations, No Surprises For A Great Year Of Film
ITV's flagship period Drama, Dowton Abbey, aired it's season finale last night, and was viewed by a massive 10.7m people, making it easily the highest rated drama of the year, reports The Daily Mail.
Sunday night at 9pm has become a no fly zone for anything other than 'watching Downton' in the U.K. It has captured Britain's hearts, and in doing so, has become one of the most popular dramas of all time. Last night saw the last episode of season 3, which was watched by a mammoth 10.7m people, but it's not single episode figures that excite the channels, rather a consistent viewing average, and Downton can boast that for sure; actors like Dame Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville help to pull in a very respectable 9.7 million viewers throughout the series. Compare that to the BBC's Call The Midwife and Sherlock, and Downton outperforms them by 2m and 2.7m respectively.
While the show's success knows no bounds, one key aspect is starting to get noticed: the homogenous level of white Caucasian characters. Many historical purists might point to inaccuracies of including a multicultural cast, but it's something that creator Julian Fellowes has considered. Talking in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he said "Oh I think that's rather a good idea. You have to work it in in a way that is historically believable, but I am sure we could do that. The show certainly ought to have an Indian character from that period."
Continue reading: Downton Abbey Series 3 Finale Pulls In Record Viewing Figures
Shoot your wife for cancer? It may seem a bit extreme, but Dawn Porter and her husband Chris O'Dowd from the IT Crowd, are making the ultimate sacrifice in the name of a good cause. That's right Chris O'Dowd will shoot his wife for the cause... with a paint pellet. If Dowd shoots his wife, Stand Up To Cancer will get a massive £10,000!
The entire affair is an extravagantly star studded event, and celebs have done a whole host of things to support it from pulling the trigger on their better halves, to donating a pair of shoes for the public to wear. The Telegraph reported on Tuesday (Oct 16th) that the public could try on the shoes of "Gwyneth Paltrow, Davina McCall, Twiggy, Sir Chris Hoy, Coleen Rooney and Dame Maggie Smith" in Leicester Square for one day only, before being sold in a silent auction that ends on Friday.
Plus, Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory has jumped on board to lend his support, by giving an earnest plug before every showing on Channel 4 and its sister channel E4. And you can see him supporting the cause in a hilarious music video called Up2 You + Me on YouTube.
Continue reading: Stand Up To Cancer, Shoot Your Wife For Cancer, Give Money To Cancer
Julian Fellowes wishes to write a prequel on the main characters in his hit ITV1 show ‘Downton Abbey’ after the last series is aired.
The Oscar winning screenwriter, who also wrote the recent ‘Titanic’ mini-series, ‘The Tourist’ and ‘Gosford Park’, wants to recreate the story of when characters Robert and Cora Crawley, the Earl and Countess of Grantham, met and the ‘trouble courtship’ that ensued on to screen. ‘She was in love with him before they married, as we know, and he married her entirely for her money’, Fellowes said at the BAFTA Screenwriters’ Lecture Series. ‘I sort of feel there's something quite nice in there because he's a decent cove, and so he feels rather guilty about this which has affected their marriage beyond that.’
Fellowes was also adamant that the show be aired after ‘Downton Abbey’ had finished. ‘I don't think you can continue a narrative in more than one area at once’, he said. ‘I never really liked those Coronation Street Christmas specials where they all go to Haiti, and you don't have to watch it. Somehow it doesn't feel very organic.’ The show is currently on series three and stars Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith and Michelle Dockery.
British actor Damian Lewis and screen veteran Maggie Smith were among the winners at the Emmy Awards 2012 in Los Angeles on Sunday evening (September 23, 2012). Lewis – who plays an American soldier in ‘Homeland’ – picked up the award for Best Actor in a Drama, while Downton Abbey’s Smith won Best Supporting Actress.
On receiving his award, Lewis joked with the star-studded audience, “I'm one of those pesky Brits, I apologise,” adding, “I don't really believe in judging art, but I thought I'd show up just in case.” Lewis’ show ‘Homeland’ upset the odds by taking the evening’s biggest prize, for Best Drama, ahead of big favorite Breaking Bad and four-time winner Mad Men. Maggie Smith’s award was the solitary highlight in a terrible night for Julian Fellowes’ Downton Abbey, which had been nominated for a whopping sixteen prizes. Instead, it was national security drama Homeland, HBO’s Game Change and the much-loved US comedy Modern Family who won the most awards, with three each. Armed with Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, the BBC would have felt quietly confident for the Lead Actor and Supporting Actor gongs, but both actors missed out.
Another big surprise at this year’s Emmys was Jon Cryer’s award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in ‘Two and a Half Men’. The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons was the hot favorite for the award, though it was Cryer who walked away with the prize. Who needs Charlie Sheen?
The eight-part saga comes to a close with an action-packed finale that neatly ties up the strands of the whole series and also manages to give its actors some meaty scenes to play with. While it's hugely satisfying, there's also a letdown as we reach the end.
With Voldemort (Fiennes) in possession of the mythical Elder Wand, and four Horcruxes still at large, Harry (Radcliffe) and pals Hermione and Ron (Watson and Grint) know that they have work to do. Breaking into a Gringotts vault is tough enough, but when they sneak back into Hogwarts, they find themselves in all-out war against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. So with the help of adults (Smith, Walters and more) and fellow students (including Lewis, Wright and Lynch), they make their final stand.
After a sort of "Previously on Harry Potter" prologue and a quietly intense opening, the film plunges into the Gringotts heist and barely pauses for breath. Director Yates adeptly juggles action and drama, keeping images razor sharp and making sure the effects work is seamlessly eye-catching (they're also the most consistently high-quality effects in the series). But of course Lord of the Rings-scale spectacle is nothing without great characters, and this film pushes everyone into new territory.
Radcliffe takes on the challenge extremely well, bringing Harry's self-doubt and crippling guilt together with a potent sense of destiny and sacrifice. Of the supporting cast, Rickman, Smith and Gambon get the weightiest scenes, while Lewis and Walters finally have superb moments in the spotlight. And Bonham Carter clearly has a ball with a terrific scene as a shape-shifted Hermione.
Meanwhile, that outrageously starry ensemble fills out each scene, including many who barely utter a word.
As the story propels to the climactic moments, there are a few fits and starts while events recoil and wait to burst forth again. Even though this is the shortest of all eight movies, it feels a little long due to its intensely focussed plot. This means every moment on screen is vitally important, and most are given the chance to play out without feeling rushed. But it also means that, as the ending (and epilogue) get closer, we simply don't want it to end.
Gnomeo (voiced by McAvoy), son of Lady Bluebury (Smith), is the leader of the blue Montague garden. Accompanied by his sidekick Benny (Lucas), Gnomeo engages in tit-for-tat warfare with the red Capulets next door. Then he meets Juliet (Blunt), daughter of Lord Redbrick (Caine), and it's love at first sight. Which sends red warrior Tybalt (Statham) into a rage. As they plot a secret life together, Gnomeo and Juliet are assisted by Juliet's frog friend Nanette (Jensen) and the garden flamingo Featherstone (Cummings). But can these star-crossed lovers find happiness?
Continue reading: Gnomeo & Juliet Review
Some gardens just wouldn't be complete without the addition of a garden gnome or two. The gardens on Verona Drive are no exception; the owners of the houses are extremely fond of their little hat wearing friends. What the human residents don't realise is that when all's quiet and there are no humans around, their garden comes to life!
Continue: Gnomeo & Juliet Trailer