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Trumbo Review


An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who defied McCarthy's communist witch-hunt hearings in the late-1940s and was blacklisted by Hollywood for more than a decade. As written by John McNamara and directed by Jay Roach, the film is bright, funny and emotionally resonant, clearly simplified to make it more involving. And with such a terrific cast on board, it's both revealing and a lot of fun.

In 1947, Dalton (Bryan Cranston) is the film industry's top-paid screenwriter, so of course Senator McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Commission goes after him about his rumoured links to the communist party during the war. But he and nine fellow writers refuse to testify, so they're imprisoned for contempt, denied work by the Hollywood studios and targeted personally by the powerful gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren). To survive, Dalton begins writing under a series of pseudonyms for the B-movie producer Frank King (John Goodman), creating a script factory in his home with the help of his wife Cleo (Diane Lane) and daughter Niki (Elle Fanning). Two of these screenplays win Oscars, and it isn't until Dalton begins writing Spartacus in 1960 that actor Kirk Douglas (Dean O'Gorman) breaks the studio blacklist.

Roach directs this story in a sunny, snappy way that includes lots of smart wordplay and a clear sense of the us-or-them mentality that has defined America since the Cold War. People need a villain to hiss at, so anyone with even a passing connection to communism will do. And Mirren hisses better than most. Her performance is riotously funny and relentlessly nasty at the same time. More textured characters include Louis C.K. as a fellow writer and Michael Stuhlbarg as conflicted actor Edward G. Robinson. All of the actors are excellent, anchored by Cranston's wonderfully prickly Oscar-nominated turn as a bullheaded man who hilariously seizes every opportunity to make an inspiring speech.

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Love The Coopers (aka Christmas With The Coopers) Review


This may look like it's going to be a zany Christmas romp, but it's really a warm exploration of family connections, essentially an American take on Love Actually's multi-strand comedy-drama. At least it has an unusually strong cast and moments of hilarity scattered throughout the story. And while it's never very deep, the themes are strongly resonant.

The Cooper family is gathering for what Charlotte (Diane Keaton) hopes will be one last perfect Christmas together. She knows that her 40-year marriage to Sam (John Goodman) is on the brink, but is ignoring that to plan a massive dinner. Their son Hank (Ed Helms) is stinging from divorce and unemployment, while daughter Eleanor (Olivia Wilde) has picked up a hunky soldier (Jake Lacy) in the airport and asks him to pose as her boyfriend so her family will stop asking about her love life. Meanwhile, Charlotte's father Bucky (Alan Arkin) is trying to cheer up his favourite waitress (Amanda Seyfried), and Charlotte's sister Emma (Marisa Tomei) is delayed when a cop (Anthony Mackie) arrests her for shoplifting.

Narrated with wry joviality by Steve Martin, the interwoven stories are fairly simplistic, but each touches a raw nerve. And the above-average cast brings out the underlying themes without overplaying their scenes. Keaton and Goodman add subtle shades to the slightly undemanding central roles, while Arkin finds a couple of new textures to his usual twinkly grandad persona. Helms and Wilde strike the right balance in their intriguingly unlikeable roles, while Tomei gets the most complex character as a woman who feels like she's merely watched her life drift along. By contrast, the outsiders played by Seyfried, Lacy and Mackie are much less defined, but each actor brings just enough magnetic energy. The most wasted performer is June Squibb, as a ditzy old aunt who's little more than the requisite gross-out relative.

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U.S. Premiere Of TRUMBO

Michael London , Guest - Celebrities attend the U.S. Premiere of TRUMBO at Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. at Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 27th October 2015

Michael London and Guest

John Goodman For Trumbo?

John Goodman Dalton Trumbo Helen Mirren Bryan Cranston Frank King Jay Roach Michael London Ben Affleck Mark Wahlberg

John Goodman is in talks to join the cast of 'Trumbo'.

'The Monuments Men' star is in early negotiations to take on the role of a film producer in the upcoming movie about American screenwriter and novelist Dalton Trumbo, The Wrap reports.

Helen Mirren has signed on to co-star as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper while 'Breaking Bad' star Bryan Cranston will take on the role of Trumbo himself, who was blacklisted from Hollywood after refusing to testify before the House of Un-American Activities Committee in 1947.

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Helen Mirren In Talks For Trumbo

Helen Mirren Bryan Cranston Jay Roach Michael London

Helen Mirren is in talks for 'Trumbo.'

The 'RED 2' actress is negotiating a role to star opposite Bryan Cranston in the biopic which is based on the life of the late blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, according to Variety.com.

The American screenwriter and novelist - who died age 70, in September 1976 - refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947 during investigation of Communist influences in the motion picture industry.

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Married And Cheating Cast Expands

Kiefer Sutherland Brendan Fraser Eva Longoria Michael London Raymond De Felitta Sarah Jessica Parker

Kiefer Sutherland, Brendan Fraser and Eva Longoria have joined the cast of 'Married and Cheating'.

The acting trio will star with Sarah Jessica Parker in the movie, which follows three couples who deal with ''infidelity, deceit and confusion''.

Marissa Tomei was previously linked to the film, which is being written and directed by Raymond De Felitta, but it is believed she has now left the project.

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Win Win Review

As with The Station Agent and The Visitor, McCarthy creates a series of encounters for some astonishingly vivid characters, and the result is an entertaining film that challenges prejudice. It's also both funny and moving.

Mike (Giamatti) is a New Jersey lawyer struggling to make ends meet when he discovers he can earn a bit extra as the guardian of senile client Leo (Young).

But his wife Jackie (Ryan) only finds out when Leo's 16-year-old grandson Kyle (Shaffer) turns up needing a place to stay while his mother (Lynskey) goes through rehab. To keep him busy, Mike invites Kyle along to the wrestling practice he coaches with his friends (Tambor and Cannavale). Surprise: Kyle's a gifted wrestler who may help the team win for a change.

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Sarah Jessica Parker To Join Married And Cheating?

Sarah Jessica Parker Bette Midler Cynthia Nixon Kim Cattrall Kristin Davis Marisa Tomei Michael London Raymond De Felitta Sex And The City The Family Stone

Sarah Jessica Parker is in negotiations for indie comedy 'Married and Cheating'.

The 'Sex And The City' star - who is currently filming romantic comedy 'I Don't Know How She Does It' in New York - would star alongside Marisa Tomei in the movie, set to be directed by Raymond De Felitta.

The movie, which is set in New York and Paris, tells the tale of three married couples who are struggling to stay happy and in long-term relationships.

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Milk Review

Thirty years before Sen. Barack Obama broke through a significant political color barrier, Harvey Milk tore down a similar wall that was obstructing America's gay community from holding political office.

Milk finds experimental auteur Gus Van Sant taking cautious steps back toward the mainstream to celebrate Harvey's accomplishments. Van Sant's tender human-interest story, which showcases Sean Penn's considerable talents, is a closer relative to earlier efforts such as Finding Forrester or Good Will Hunting than to recent, abstruse features like Elephant, the spare Gerry, or the haunting Last Days.

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The World Premiere Of Milk - Arrivals And Inside

Michael London and Lynn London - Michael London, Lynn London, at The Castro Theater San Francisco, California - The world premiere of Milk - arrivals and inside Tuesday 28th October 2008

Michael London and Lynn London

Appaloosa Review

Unlike its immediate predecessors, which have retooled (Unforgiven), remade (3:10 To Yuma), revered (Open Range), and re-imagined (The Proposition) the genre, Ed Harris' Appaloosa is simply content being a good Western. It's unapologetic of its formula, unwilling to waver in its characterizations, and unhurried in its pace. It tells a story you've heard before -- more than once -- but it handles its business with rugged aplomb. That ought to be enough. But for some reason, it isn't.

It's 1882, and the intimidating landowner Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) casts a long shadow over the New Mexico town of Appaloosa. With three booming gun blasts, the film establishes Bragg's cold-blooded disdain for authority and utter lack of morals. Man, how I wish Appaloosa gave this character more time to breathe, develop, and wreck proper havoc.

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The Visitor Review

The post-9/11 U.S. has always seemed like a grieving widow waiting for the other fatalistic shoe to drop. Part of this comes from a government selling fear as the foundation for its continued power. The other stems from the media's mindless grind of less-than-soothing imagery. Yet what many citizens fail to understand is that people more than politics are affected by our nervous kneejerk reactions. Such a sentiment forms the basis of Thomas McCarthy's intriguing new film, The Visitor.

For Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins), existence is a stifled sleepwalk of commitments and complaints. He hates teaching. He hates faculty politics. He especially hates the lonely life he leads as a widower. His wife long dead, Vale just can't find a purpose. Forced to travel from his new home in Connecticut to his old apartment in New York City to present a paper, he discovers two strangers living there. As illegals, Arab Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and African Zainab (Danai Jekesai Gurira) have no real place to go, so Vale reluctantly lets them stay. When the Syrian Tarek is wrongfully arrested and detained, our quiet professor becomes his champion. The arrival of Tarek's mother (Hiam Abbass) from Michigan makes matters more complicated.

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