Mare Winningham and Deidre O'Donnell - Shots of a host of stars as they arrived for the Opening night after party for Broadway's Constellations, the event was held at the URBO restaurant in New York, New York, United States - Wednesday 14th January 2015
Nick Westrate, John Cullum, Gabriel Ebert, Tom McGowan, Patrick Page, Mare Winningham, Reed Birney, Larry Pine and Lisa Emery - Opening night curtain call for Broadway's Casa Valentina at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. - New York, New York, United States - Thursday 24th April 2014
Based on a true story, this warm drama uses sharp humour to keep from tipping over into sloppy sentiment. It's still hugely emotional, but in a shamelessly entertaining way. And it gives Judi Dench and Steve Coogan characters they can really sink their teeth into as the twists and turns of the real events unfold.
In 2002, cynical London journalist Martin Sixsmith (Coogan) has just been sacked from his job as a government spin doctor, so his editor suggests he try a human interest story to get back to work. He hates the idea until he meets Philomena (Dench), a retired Irishwoman who was raised by nuns in a workhouse, where she was forced to give her baby son up for adoption some 50 years ago. She'd like to know what happened to him, so Martin accompanies her back to Ireland and then on to America, where the babies were sold. But their search doesn't go as expected, and what they discover is startlingly moving.
As he did with The Queen, director Frears gives the film a gentle, light tone that helps balance the intensely serious subject matter. He also encourages his cast to deliver understated performances, which is especially effective for the usually broad Coogan. And of course Dench is simply wonderful as a feisty straight-talker who isn't thrown by anything she encounters. Gurgling under everything is an astute look at religious heritage: Martin is a lapsed Catholic who can't understand why Philomena still has a devout faith, because of what the church has done to her. And as the story continues, he begins to understand the strength this gives her.
Continue reading: Philomena Review
Sam Cahill (Maguire) is a loyal Marine getting ready to head back to Afghanistan with his men. His wife Grace (Portman) is trying to be strong for their young daughters (Madison and Geare), but his stern father (Shepard) couldn't be prouder. Just before he ships out, Sam's black-sheep brother Tommy (Gyllenhaal) gets out of prison and, when Sam is reported killed in action, he rises to the challenge to help care for Grace and the girls. But several months later Sam is found, and what he experienced has left him dangerously paranoid.
Continue reading: Brothers Review
Georgia (Mare Winningham) is the older of two singing sisters, one of those talented ultra-folky types with a huge following and who sings songs with choruses like "No more haaaaaard tiiiiiiimes." Sadie (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is the pariah of the family (and is much more interesting)--a strung-out heroin addict with a voice more reminiscent of Johnny Rotten than Joan Baez and who has a penchant for hacking up cover songs. As Sadie puts it, "I sing." Well, sort of.
Continue reading: Georgia Review