Nicholas Farrell

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Grace of Monaco Review


Weak

While the tone is all wrong, this fantastical version of a momentous year in the life of Grace Kelly is still entertaining, and not just unintentionally. Lavishly designed and heavily fictionalised, the film is anchored by a solid movie-star performance from Nicole Kidman that may miss Kelly's persona but captures an intriguing inner life.

It's set in 1961, five years after Grace (Kidman) left her Oscar-winning career to marry Monaco's Prince Rainier (Tim Roth). Now with two kids, she is still struggling to define her role as a foreign-born princess while considering a return to Hollywood. Meanwhile, France is ominously threatening Monaco with embargoes and more if Rainier doesn't start taxing his population and paying the money to France. Taking advice from her priest friend Tucker (Frank Langella), Grace decides to devote herself to her husband to help solve the crisis. This will require training with an etiquette guru (Derek Jacobi) as well as fending off the in-laws (Geraldine Somerville and Nicholas Farrell). And it may mean that she'll never return to the movies.

The script by producer Arash Amel presents each of Grace's decisions in the most simplistic melodramatic light, as director Olivier Dahan cuts to yet another extreme close-up of Kidman's weeping eyes. The corny approach undermines any chance at real drama, as the filmmakers keep trying to crank up suspense (someone is leaking secrets!) or emotion (the people need a champion!) without building up any meaningful substance. This makes most of the plotting feel rather laughably silly, centred around a painfully dull series of political negotiations.

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Grace of Monaco Trailer


Grace Kelly is one of the most famous and most beloved Hollywood actresses in the world having won an Academy Award and two Golden Globes among others, and having starred in some of the most exciting films of the fifties. In 1955, her life changes dramatically when she catches the eye of the charming Prince Rainier III of Monaco who is on the lookout for the perfect wife. After three days of meeting, wedding plans begin and the high profile of such an event forces Grace to give up acting. Their marriage is about to be seriously tested, however, as Grace is offered a new screen role and she is itching to get back in front of the cameras. Unfortunately for her, nobody is in agreement with her continuing in film as a bad role could mar her royal reputation.

'Grace Of Monaco' is the dramatic onscreen biography of actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, who was well-known for appearing in several of Alfred Hitchcock's films. It has been directed by the BAFTA nominated Olivier Dahan ('La Vie en Rose', 'Ghost River', 'Crimson Rivers 2') and written by Arash Amel ('The Expatriate'). The film is set to be released in the UK on June 6th 2014.

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Grace Of Monaco - Teaser Trailer


Grace Kelly is one of the most loved women of the past 100 years. The former Hollywood star was a favourite of the silver screen, but that was only really the beginning of her journey. When Grace Kelly fell in love with Prince Rainier III of Monaco, her personal life turned into a story that could rival that of a classic fairy tale. 

Though not from royal stock, Grace is to many their favourite royal to have lived; beauty, elegance and a gentle and nurturing nature only added to the appeal of Grace throughout the world. 

Nicole Kidman now takes on one of her most difficult roles to date and plays the much loved actress. Set in the 1960's whilst her husband, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, faced invasion by the French over tax disputes, the princess was also facing one of the most turbulent times of her life. Grace of Monaco was directed by Oscar winner Olivier Dahan (La Vie En Rose) and written by relative newcomer Arash Amel.

Summer in February screening

Nicholas Farrell - UK Gala screening of 'Summer in February' at the Curzon Mayfair cinema - London, United Kingdom - Monday 10th June 2013

Nicholas Farrell

Chariots Of Fire Trailer


We all know the soundtrack, those simple few chords that have backed many great sporting moment have become synonymous in the sporting world. Now, after 31 years since it's initial release, the true story of two very different runners in the 1924 Paris Olympics will be released once again, this time in full digitalised glory, as Chariots of Fire is set to be released once more as part of the London 2012 Festival.

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The Iron Lady Review


Good
A fairly straightforward character portrait without any real analysis or message, this biopic succeeds because of the translucent performance by Meryl Streep. While the script and direction are inventive, they're also oddly uncritical.

In present-day London, Baroness Thatcher (Streep) is battling delusions of her dead husband Denis (Broadbent), who triggers memories of her life in politics.

Growing up during the war, young Margaret (Roach) becomes increasingly involved in politics, catches the eye of young Denis (Lloyd) and moves up the ladder from MP to become Britain's first female Prime Minister. She was also the longest-serving PM in the 20th century, staunchly sticking to her guns through the Poll Tax strikes, Falklands War and privatisation of much of the British state.

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Driving Lessons Review


Grim
As with many young stars before him, Rupert Grint finally strikes out from his Harry Potter series to see if he has the chops to be anyone but Ron Weasley. Jeremy Brock's Driving Lessons offers him a more dramatic role compared to the comic-relief label that his character in the Potter films often is stamped with. It's a shame that the screenplay and filmmaking doesn't pursue the movie with the same integrity Grint attempts to instill into his character.

Ben Marshall (Grint) has been born into a house of piety. His father (Nicholas Farrell) is an English vicar and his mother (Laura Linney, of all people) preaches and speaks The Word with more holier-than-thou sentiment than her husband ever even considered. Ben's father is aloof to the fact that his wife is also being "visited" by a younger priest that works at his church. These things could be the explanation behind Ben's peculiar behavior with girls and other schoolmates, but his mother insists it's that he isn't doing enough in the community. To rectify this, Ben is somewhat forced into weed-pulling servitude to Evie Walton (Julie Walters), a washed-up theater actress who speaks with brash wit and blunt obviousness. As expected, what first starts out as awkward employer/employee relations turns into warm friendship and blossoms when Ben accompanies her to a small reading in Edinburgh, where Ben drops his V-card and, in theory, learns what life is really about.

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Chariots Of Fire Review


Good
If nothing else, Chariots of Fire stands as a unique entry into the history of cinema: Its soundtrack is much more famous than the film itself. Ask anyone to sing the title song and they'll do it in a heartbeat. Ask them what the movie was actually about and you'll probably get shrugs and a mumbled comment about running.

Today, that Vangelis score -- produced when everyone thought the synthesizer was a really cool idea -- probably wouldn't win the Oscar it won in 1981. And whether Chariots itself would win Best Picture (among the total of four awards it was bestowed) is a matter for debate.

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Bloody Sunday Review


Weak
A nonviolent protest march in Derry, Northern Ireland escalates into a bloodbath on January 30, 1972. Alas, this event is best known within the American pop culture lexicon as U2's sanctimonious rock ballad, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (which makes a grating appearance during the closing credits, after a movie that has nearly no music in it whatsoever). If nothing else, the new film Bloody Sunday directed by Paul Greengrass (The Theory of Flight) should be able to get a sense of the tensions that arose that fateful day between Irish protesters and British paratroopers. Told in a minute-by-minute documentary style, the story recreates the events of that morning switching back and forth between the British and Irish perspective.

It's a compelling idea, with handheld digital cameras swooping around the actors as the Derry citizens prepare for the march. It has the lived-in quality of any rally you've ever been to, with stressed-out volunteers trying to coordinate the herd. The performances are naturalistic and unshowy, with a committed performance by James Nesbitt as Protestant activist Ivan Cooper (whose everyman mug and receding hairline make him a believably workaday hero). There's a surprising lack of self-righteousness in the proceedings, for the most part fairly handling the British officers and soldiers caught up in gung-ho tension and resentment for being there in the first place. And the Irish aren't given a halo, with IRA thugs working their way through the crowd and stupid kid hooligans throwing stones during the "peaceful" march.

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