At home, #sundaychillin in bed. Inspired the @JL_Scott #tedtalk on the '10 item wardrobe' and… https://t.co/j6Hj0esZck
Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in danger of tipping over into extreme sentimentality, and this one very quickly gets bogged down in buckets of syrup. It's a slickly made movie with a first-rate cast, but occasional glimpses of gritty honesty aren't quite enough to counteract sudsy philosophising that sounds profound but is actually rather shallow.
It's set in New York, where advertising company owner Howard (Will Smith) is still lost in grief six months after the death of his 6-year-old daughter. And his business partners are worried that the company is falling apart as a result. In desperation, best pal Whit (Edward Norton), protege Claire (Kate Winslet) and rising-star Simon (Michael Pena) hire a private detective (Ann Dowd) to determine Howard's mental fitness to run the company. They also hire three actors to confront him as Love (Keira Knightley), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Death (Helen Mirren), abstract concepts he's obsessed with. But they don't know that Howard is also considering attending a grief counselling meeting run by Madeleine (Naomie Harris).
Directed with a magical sheen by David Frankel (Hope Springs) and written to within an inch of its life by Allan Loeb (The Switch), there's nothing about this film that doesn't feel contrived and controlled. In addition to their scenes with Howard, each of the three actors has an impact on the colleague who needs their specific gifts. And there are a number of revelations and twists that feel annoyingly hokey. Even so, the cast is strong enough to add moments of lightness that lift the movie briefly out of the sludge. Mirren, Knightley and Latimore have a sparky edge as the story's catalysts. While Norton, Winslet and Pena bring some raw, honest emotion to their own personal dramas.
Continue reading: Collateral Beauty Review
This independent American drama has been generating headlines and earning awards for its inventive approach to a big topic. It's such a warmly involving film that it can't help but engage the audience as it traces the experience of a young black man at three key points in his life. What emerges is an unusually astute coming-of-age story that encompasses the gangster culture, drug addiction and sexuality without ever taking the simple route.
Set in Miami, it opens with 9-year-old Chiron (Alex R. Hibbert), who is called "Little" at school due to his height as well as the fact that he's unusually sensitive. After school, he roams the streets rather than going home to his junkie mother Paula (Naomie Harris), and one day the cool drug dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali) takes him under his wing, introducing Chiron to his girlfriend Teresa (Janelle Monae), who becomes a kind of surrogate mother. Later when Chiron is 16 (now Ashton Sanders), he still uses Teresa's flat as a refuge, especially when the school bullying gets particularly nasty, damaging his close friendship with classmate Kevin (Jharrel Jerome). Ten years later, Chiron (now Trevante Rhodes) is working as a dealer in Atlanta and returns to Miami to try to reconnect with Kevin (now Andre Holland).
Writer-director Barry Jenkins constructs this film beautifully, echoing themes and images through the three chapters to explore Chiron's trajectory from a sweet young boy to a tough street hood. Running through all of this is his yearning desire for love, and there's a clear underlying romantic connection with Kevin that expresses itself in a variety of complex ways at each stage in their lives. Hibbert, Sanders and Rhodes bring a remarkable soulfulness to Chiron. They may not look much alike, but that's the point: they're the same person inside, no matter how outside circumstances change them.
Continue reading: Moonlight Review
Naomie Harris at the premiere of Moonlight, Naomie plays the role of Paula in the movie. The premiere was part of the BFI London Film Festival held at Embankment Gardens - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 6th October 2016
John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal thriller, packed with thrills that find suspense in the characters and their predicament rather than pushy movie cliches. It's so sleek and involving that it's easy to ignore the nagging plot holes. We're too busy imagining what we might do in the same situations.
It opens in Marrakech, where poetry professor Perry (Ewan McGregor) and his lawyer wife Gail (Naomie Harris) have gone in an attempt to save their troubled marriage. One evening in a bar, Perry meets the boisterous Dima (Stellan Skarsgard), a Russian who openly admits that he launders money for the mafia. And he asks for Perry's help in delivering information to British intelligence in exchange for his family's safety. Back in London, Perry meets MI6 agent Hector (Damian Lewis), who sees this data as vital to bring down corrupt British politicians. But he has to go rogue to continue on the case, drafting Perry and Gail in to help. Soon they're travelling to France and Switzerland in a dangerous game that puts them in the crosshairs of both a Russian mafia boss (Grigoriy Dobrigyn) and a shifty British MP (Jeremy Northam).
The key point here is that Perry and Gail get involved because they are trying to help Dima's family. This makes everything that happens unusually down-to-earth, with a plot that hinges on the safety of a wife and children rather than the fate of the world. Actually, it's the state of the world that's the villain here, as corrupt Western politicians accept huge money to sidestep the rule of law. Screenwriter Hossein Amini is terrific at keeping the film's focus on the people rather than the plot machinery. And director Susanna White fills the screen with classy touches that are gorgeously shot and edited. The action sequences are unusually clever, avoiding cliches for something more deeply involving (a big shootout is particularly imaginative).
Continue reading: Our Kind Of Traitor Review
Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises of both 2014's Back to the Future and 2015's Star Wars, this immersive take on Danny Boyle's classic zombie movie feels rather undercooked. But there's a lot of fun to be had (if not many scares) spending several hours trying to survive in a world overrun by the undead.
The set-up is very clever: you are given an appointment at an NSH hospital in a secret London location, and told to wear scrubs or protective clothing. On arrival you're handed a surgical mask and ordered here and there for interviews, physical examinations and eventually an oral vaccination that seems to make everything go blurry and then pitch black. When you "wake up" all hell has broken loose, and you are sent running through a series of blood-drenched corridors and stairwells, encountering characters and settings from the film as zombies lunge from every corner. In the safe zone, food and drink is for sale, and you get a chance to relax a bit, play a game, have a dance. Finally, you're led into an inventively themed cinema to watch the 2002 film as on-screen elements are performed around you.
Through all of this, medical and military officials harshly shout instructions at you, while TV screens show news reports of chaos on the streets. Combined with the dimly lit post-apocalyptic setting, the atmosphere is enjoyably claustrophobic, only broken by the nagging sense that money is draining out of your wallet at an alarming rate. Not only is the ticket £67 (or £134 for a "premium experience"), but there are things to buy at every point, from the scrubs or coveralls to pricey cocktails served in small bottles or coffee mugs and a relatively slim selection of restaurant-priced food options.
Continue reading: Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Review
Professor (Perry) Makepiece and his partner Gail are enjoying an evening on in the bar whilst on holiday in Marrakech. A lavish gentleman also in the bar catches Perry's eye and the man eventually walks over and asks the couple to join them for a drink. Accepting the offer, the two are taken in by the man and his excessive spending. The man, Dima, has a foreign accent and extends an invitation to the couple for them to join Dima and his friends for a party at his villa.
Accepting the offer, Perry and Gail arrive at Dima's house to find it's not the small gathering they were expecting. Taken in by Dima's friendly persona, Perry and Dima talk and Dima eventually reveals his motives to Perry for inviting the Brit over. Dima wants Perry to take a USB to MI6 with a message - Dima explains that he's actually a money launderer for the Russian mob and wishes for asylum for him and his family in exchange for information on the highest ranking members of the Russian mob and their international affiliates.
Perry must weigh up all the risks involved and decide just how much he's willing to risk in order to help Dima.
For his latest adventure, James Bond mixes the personal drama of Skyfall with the vintage globe-hopping action of the previous 23 movies. The result is an epic thriller packed with exhilarating set-pieces and dark surprises. Again directed by Sam Mendes, the film has a meaty tone from the astounding pre-titles sequence in Mexico City to the climax in North African. And it takes its time to build the suspense, mystery and drama in ways few blockbusters bother to do.
After the calamitous events at Skyfall, Bond (Daniel Craig) has gone rogue, following a videotaped message from his late boss (Judi Dench) to track a villain to Mexico, then continuing to Rome, where he woos the grieving widow (Monica Bellucci). Pursued by relentless goon Mr Hinx (Dave Bautista), he travels onward to Austria, he confronts an old nemesis (Jesper Christiansen), whose daughter Madeleine (Lea Seydoux) joins Bond to travel to Morocco to face the shady top boss Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) in his secret lair. Meanwhile in London, the new M (Ralph Fiennes) is fighting to to keep MI6 in operation as new boss C (Andrew Scott) works to restructure British security as part of a global conglomerate.
Mendes stages this on a massive scale, with huge action sequences that are never rushed or choppy, beautifully shot by ace cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema. And it's all underpinned by darker personal drama between the characters, so every sequence features thoughtful conversation, witty banter, more clues to the larger mystery and then thrilling action. And as 007 hops from location to location filling in the bigger picture, the film feels like all of the classic Bond movies rolled into one.
Continue reading: James Bond - Spectre Review
James Bond has never played by the rules, but this time he may have gone too far when he responds to a mysterious message by travelling to Mexico on an unauthorised mission to meet Lucia Sciarra, the widow of one of the world's most notorious criminal masterminds. She has information regarding a corrupt underground organisation known as SPECTRE, but he's still managed to seriously anger his boss M. Thus, Bond decides to continue his mission undercover, setting out to find a woman named Madeleine Swann who may be able to help him infiltrate the society, bring it down and save the world. Completion of the mission could also secure MI5's continued work, as the new boss of the Centre for National Security Max Denbigh becomes increasingly sceptical of its necessity. However, little does Bond know that he's also about to uncover some secrets about the SPECTRE head that he may rather have kept hidden.
Continue: Spectre Trailer
Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's complete lack of originality keeps it from being something memorable. Centring on a committed performance from Jake Gyllenhaal, it's always watchable, but it's rather annoying that every time an interesting theme is raised the script sidesteps into yet another boxing-movie cliche.
Gyllenhaal plays Billy Hope, an orphan raised in the system who rose to become the world light heavyweight champion. He has savvy wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) at his side, smart young daughter Leila (Oona Laurence) cheering him on and the fiercest manager (Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson) in the business. But personal failures, unexpected tragedies and financial crises suddenly bring an end to his millionaire lifestyle, leaving him alone and wandering the New York streets in search of a place to live. He seeks help from grizzled gym owner Tick (Forest Whitaker), who helps Billy rebuild himself so he can take on his nemesis (Miguel Gomez).
Billy is such a hot-head that he's not easy to like, continually blowing his top to make everything much worse for himself and his family. Gyllenhaal is an astonishing mass of muscles, scars and tattoos, with a burning inner rage that's startlingly believable. He also works hard to earn the audience's sympathies, despite the blunt superficiality of Kurt Sutter's script. Whitaker's role is even less nuanced; he's little more than the formulaic gruff trainer who's always played by an ageing Oscar winner. McAdams injects some snappy energy in her too-brief role, and it's actually Laurence who emerges as the film's most resonant character, effortlessly stealing her scenes right out from under Gyllenhaal's smashed-in nose.
Continue reading: Southpaw Review
It seems James Bond's flighty career has all boiled down to this moment. He's in deep trouble when MI5 boss M finds out that he has set up his own secret mission to Mexico City, but it was a trip he couldn't afford to miss after discovering a message in regards to a top secret criminal organisation. With a new car and a new lover, now he just needs every trace of his existence erased as he sets out to Rome to uncover this sinister mystery, while on the way meeting the only person with inside knowledge of this group; Lucia Sciarra, the widow of a notorious crime boss who informs Bond about SPECTRE. It soon becomes clear that Bond has a new enemy to face off against, though with every member of SPECTRE having some sort of link to 007, maybe this time the enemy's not such a new face after all.
Continue: Spectre Trailer
The life of a boxer has never been easy, but for heavyweight champion, Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal), he is able to make by. With the love of his wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) and daughter Leila (Oona Laurence), Billy can take any beating and dish out worse. But when an altercation takes place that leads to his wife's murder, Billy loses himself, and is deemed to be unable to look after his daughter. Now, with no career, no friends, and almost no hope, Billy must do what he can to regain his title and win the chance to look after his daughter once again.
Continue: Southpaw Trailer
Date of birth
6th September, 1976
At home, #sundaychillin in bed. Inspired the @JL_Scott #tedtalk on the '10 item wardrobe' and… https://t.co/j6Hj0esZck
When someone likes the character you play in a film so much that they #tattoo it on their arm!!!… https://t.co/guZ38I3mzq
Fact 😂 https://t.co/Ut0osCzNTq
RT @SwarovskiFrance: Les derniers instants de @NaomieHarris avant sa montée des marches au @Festival_Cannes avec les bijoux Fine Jewelry #A…
Thank you @Elemis for the brilliant facial to revive my tired skin after my 4th flight in 4 days! So grateful!!
Reunited with my omega family! The wonderful raynald_08 and charming @bastian_baker who got us… https://t.co/pNHWQL9QzA
Being a busy bee this week! With #princealbert II of #monaco opening the first omega store in… https://t.co/47u4AAmEY4
RT @swarovski: .@NaomieHarris arrived to the 2017 @Festival_Cannes Opening Ceremony in the #AtelierSwarovski Fine Jewelry 'Concentric' coll…
Hi @lucashollweg got your details from Stephanie Wolff, pls can you follow me so that I DM you. Thanks!
In LA today celebrating the fabulously talented victoriabeckham and her collaboration with… https://t.co/M7siujEMPF
The #Oscars celebrations continue thanks to my wonderful mummy who cooked up a storm last night… https://t.co/fKFYBcw0oF
RT @A24: All love, all pride. Always and forever. #MOONLIGHT https://t.co/LorcFCns6U
@michaelb4jordan @BandryBarry @octarell @_Trevante_ @JanelleMonae @moonlightmov THANK YOUU!! 💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽
RT @michaelb4jordan: CONGRATS! To @BandryBarry @Octarell @_Trevante_ @NaomieHarris @JanelleMonae @moonlightmov Mahershala and the rest of…
RT @BBCWorld: The best picture mix-up was a "very strange moment" - star of Moonlight @NaomieHarris https://t.co/XgDSqWy6ss #Oscars https:/…
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BEST PICTURE! 🏆😀
#Moonlight won Best picture!!! So proud of these two extraordinary human beings with hearts just… https://t.co/2cohS9VHpo
Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...
Moonlight tells the story of one boy, Chiron, over the course of his childhood, teenage...
This independent American drama has been generating headlines and earning awards for its inventive approach...
Love, time and death connect every single human being on earth, we long for love,...
John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...
Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...
Professor (Perry) Makepiece and his partner Gail are enjoying an evening on in the bar...
For his latest adventure, James Bond mixes the personal drama of Skyfall with the vintage...
Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...
The life of a boxer has never been easy, but for heavyweight champion, Billy Hope...
Picking up after the climactic battle at his childhood home of Skyfall Lodge and the...
Based on his autobiography, this film is clearly designed to be the definitive film about...