With its heart in the right place, this charming British football drama overcomes a script that frequently drifts into sentimentality and corny plotting. But the story is involving, and the cast is particularly good. So even though it has a tendency to drift into cuteness, a fresh sense of humour and sympathetic characters help build up a swell of honest emotion as it approaches the final whistle.
It's set in 1984 Manchester, where the legendary Manchester United manager Matt Busby (Brian Cox) is still haunted by the Munich plane crash in 1958 that took the lives of several of his dream-team players. In search of something to give meaning to his retirement years, he runs across a street-smart 10-year-old named Georgie (Jack Smith), who has his own issues. Georgie lives with his working-class single mum Erica (Natascha McElhone), who worries about his future and leaps at the chance of a scholarship to send him to a posh private school. Georgie isn't thrilled about studying for the entrance exam with snooty professor Farquar (Toby Stephens); he'd rather be out kicking a ball with his friends, and is secretly plotting to enter a youth competition with them. But they need an adult sponsor, so Matt and his friend Bob (Philip Jackson) agree to take them on. And the kids have no idea that they're being trained by a national icon.
Director David Scheinmann shoots the film with sundrenched charm, grounding the goofier moments by encouraging the cast to give deeply felt performances. At the centre, Cox and Jackson are an entertaining double act as old pals kickstarting their lives by taking on this young team overflowing with raw talent but no discipline. McElhone is essentially playing the standard movie mother who's too busy with the pressures of everyday life to notice much of anything that her tearaway son is doing, but she gives the role a sharp emotional centre. Stephens has more trouble in his rather wacky role, which drifts from callous nastiness to physical slapstick.
Continue reading: Believe Review
Max Morden is an art historian who's determined to re-discover his own history following the heart-breaking death of his ill wife. In a bid to re-visit his childhood, he descends upon an idyllic seaside town where he enjoyed much of his summer holidays alongside the Grace family. The boarding house he used to visit is now run by Miss Vavasour and is co-inhabited by a peculiar man named Blunden, and his own daughter is anxiously trying to convince him to return home. Instead, he reflects upon his time as boy, where he found himself infatuated with the dazzling Mrs. Grace and subsequently drew closer to her children, the hypersexual Connie and her brother Myles. He begins to remember significant details from his time there, including an affair between the children's nursemaid Rose and another member of the household, and starts to wonder just how accurate his childhood memories are.
Continue: The Sea Trailer
Nathan Filer still works on mental health wards, as well as teaching creative writing.
Nathan Filer, a mental health nurse who has worked on psychiatric wards for more than a decade, was the shock winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award on Tuesday evening (January 28, 2014) beating the bookies favourite Kate Atkinson with his debut novel The Shock of the Fall.
Nathan Filer With His Costa Winning Book, The Shock of the Fall
The book, narrated by a Bristol boy named Matthew from the age of five to his early 20s, is a gripping account of his descent into schizophrenia following the death of his youjnger brother.
Continue reading: Mental Health Nurse Marries Saturday, Wins Costa Book Award On Tuesday
The 'Californication' actress will take on Glenn Close's formidable 1987 role.
Natascha McElhone has been cast in a staged adaptation of 1987 thriller Fatal Attraction that will play in London this coming March. The Californication actress has won the iconic lead role of Alex Forrest, who was played most famously in the movie by Glenn Close in one of her Oscar-nominated performances.
Natascha McElhone To Play "Bunny Boiler" Alex Forrest In A Staged Version Of 'Fatal Attraction."
The classically trained British actress will take to the boards for her portrayal of the spurned, psychotic mistress of Dan Gallagher's nightmares. Adrian Lyne's film placed Behind The Candelebra's Michael Douglas in the role of cheating attorney alongside Close. Of course, who could forget the movie's most ominous yet memorable scene during which Forrest simmers Gallagher's daughter's pet rabbit on the stove?
Continue reading: Natascha McElhone Lands 'Fatal Attraction' Lead In Stage Production
Romeo and Juliet are two young lovers whose lives together cannot escape their inevitable tragic fate. They are from opposite feuding families; Romeo is a Montague while Juliet is a Capulet. They meet and fall immediately in love when Romeo sneaks into the Capulet family ball and they soon vow to be married. Unfortunately, their happy matrimony does not last long when Romeo is forced to kill a relative of hers who challenges him and he is subsequently banished from Verona. Juliet, meanwhile, is being forced to marry another man against her wishes. Blinded by her misery, she accepts the help of Friar Laurence who offers to help her fake her own death so that she and Romeo may elope. However, after a cruel twist of fate, Romeo fails to receive word of the plan and discovers his wife apparently dead in her tomb. The grief that ensues becomes the deadly fate for this star-crossed couple.
Continue: Romeo and Juliet Trailer
FearDotCom is easily in the running for worst film of the year. The whole mess is a painfully dull ripoff of much better films - namely Poltergeist, Videodrome, and 8MM (okay, so that one's not much better). Full of grotesque imagery of sadistic tortures and killings and a plethora of asinine characters and pathetic attempts at acting, FearDotCom is a prime example of just how bad a bad movie can be.
Continue reading: Feardotcom Review
This intimate drama (by director Lisa Cholodenko) deals with the effect a liberal living standard might have on a young, impressionable, Harvard graduate with a conservative nature and great looks. She's Alex (Kate Beckinsale), the fiancé of Sam Bentley (Christian Bale), who needs to come to Los Angeles to complete his residency at the renowned Hausman Neuropsychiatric Institute. The move to a quiet hillside home will enable Alex to complete her dissertation on Drosophila Genomics, the world of chromosomes and centimorgans applied to the reproductive aspects of the fruit fly. No dummy, this lady.
Continue reading: Laurel Canyon Review
For a long time I've had a theory that the musical genre couldn't survive the cynicism of modern audiences except as a ironic in-joke, like the "South Park" movie or as a post-modern homage, like Woody Allen's "Everyone Says I Love You."
I couldn't have been more wrong -- and leave it to Kenneth Branagh, a writer-director-actor who has made his name revitalizing old (old, old!) school entertainment -- to prove it by bringing back the kind of weightless musical delight that carried Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to stardom.
For his new adaptation of Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost," Branagh has re-imagined the buoyant romantic comedy as a classy, corny, 1930s movie musical, complete with uplifting dance numbers and a catalog of favorite big band ditties sung with great enthusiasm (if not great skill) by a quality cast of cheerful actors clearly having the time of their lives.
Continue reading: Love's Labour's Lost Review
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