Noomi Rapace - A variety of celebrities were photographed as they took to the red carpet at the 68th Annual Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of 'Sea of Trees' in Cannes, France - Saturday 16th May 2015
For some film-makers, hearing that your movie has been banned in certain countries can be seen as a seal of approval. However, when the country in question has as huge film market, as Russia does, it can be a different story.
As 'Child 44' opens in cinemas this weekend, novelist Tom Rob Smith is praising Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace as the perfect actors to bring his characters to life on the big screen. But since the story is set in the Soviet Union, Russia's officials have had a very different reaction to the movie.
Noomi Rapace and Tom Hardy in 'Child 44'
Indeed, Russia's culture ministry has banned the movie across the country, saying that it "distorts" historical facts. The story is a fictionalised version of the true case of a serial killer who was executed in 1994 for killing 52 children and women. The film, by contrast, is set at the beginning of the Cold War in 1953.
Continue reading: 'Child 44' Is Praised And Banned
A meaty, fascinating story is splintered into three plot strands that battle for the viewer's attention, so while the film is never boring, it's also oddly uninvolving. Fortunately, it has an excellent cast and is shot with skill and a relentless intensity to feel like a big, epic-style dramatic thriller with heavy political overtones.
After a scene-setting prologue, the story starts in 1953 Moscow, where Leo (Tom Hardy) is a war hero now working in the military police, purging the city of its spies. Or at least its suspected spies. In the Soviet socialist utopia, crime officially doesn't exist, but Leo finds it difficult to tell his best pal Alexei (Fares Fares) that his 8-year-old son was killed in a train accident when he was so clearly tortured and murdered. Ordered by his boss (Vincent Cassel) to let it go, and menaced by his rival colleague Vasili (Joel Kinnaman), Leo continues investigating, resulting in a reprimand that sees Leo and his wife Raisa (Noomi Rapace) relocated to the the grim industrial city of Volsk. But when another young boy's body appears here, Leo gets his new boss (Gary Oldman) to see the connection.
There are at least three main plots in this film, and the filmmakers oddly never allow one to become the central strand. There's the mystery involving this brutal, unhinged serial killer (Paddy Considine) stalking boys along the railway. There's the thriller about Leo being brutally taunted by Vasili, who has a thing for Raisa and is trying to crush them for good. But the only emotionally engaging strand is Leo and Raisa's complex marriage relationship, which takes a couple of unexpected turns. Along the way, there are several action sequences shot with shaky cameras and edited so they're impossible to follow. And there's a sense that the film also wants to be a grandiose Russian epic with its expansive cinematography and big orchestral score.
Continue reading: Child 44 Review
The actor plays military man Leo Demidov in the Tom Rob Smith adaptation.
Tom Hardy has a go at yet another accent in the Ridley Scott produced 'Child 44', an adaptation of Tom Rob Smith's award-winning 2008 novel about a series of brutal murders during the time of the Soviet Union.
Gary Oldman and Tom Hardy go head to head in 'Child 44'
Hardy plays a former Russian military officer named Leo Demidov in the thriller, who's offered the highest protection in the wake of his war heroism. But things take a dark turn when it becomes apparent that a set of ongoing child killings are being covered up by the authorities, and Demidov wants to do the right thing and find the perpetrator - to much anger from his Stalin obsessed superiors.
A slow-burning intensity sets this crime thriller apart from the crowd, directed by Belgian filmmaker Michael Roskam with a sharp focus on flawed characters who continually surprise each other. It's also a strikingly involving screenplay by Dennis Lehane, an author known for flashier thrillers like Mystic River and Shutter Island (this is his first film script, based on his short story Animal Rescue). All of this pays off with terrific performances from an excellent cast and situations that genuinely shake up the audience, even if it remains moody and subdued right to the end.
It's set in Brooklyn, where bars take turns acting as the mafia drop point for the day's takings. And after Cousin Marv's Bar is robbed on a non-drop day, Chechen gangster Chovka (Michael Aronov) is furious. Even though he has assumed ownership of the bar from Marv (James Gandolfini), Chovka orders him to get the $5,000 back, implying that Marv knows the thieves. So Marv turns to his mild-mannered barman Bob (Tom Hardy) for help. Bob knows how to keep his head down, and as he works on finding the cash, he discovers an abused puppy abandoned in a trash can outside the home of Nadia (Noomi Rapace), who helps him nurse the dog back to health. But the puppy - and Nadia - were both cast aside by the thuggish Eric (Matthias Schoenaerts), who doesn't want to let anything go.
Viewers expecting an action-packed crime thriller might be disappointed by the muted tone of this film, but it's the kind of story that worms its way under the skin, creating complex characters who are constantly revealing new details about themselves as the situation inexorably escalates around them. Hardy is simply superb, layering all kinds of emotions into Bob's actions as he struggles to maintain his composure while everyone around him does something inexplicable. As a result, the film's final act is a sequence of heart-stopping moments that make the most of the witty, nervy and darkly gritty scenes that went before.
Continue reading: The Drop Review
Tom, Arnie and Hugh pick up honours at the Empire Awards, while the stars of Noah, The Other Woman and Divergent walk red carpets in London. And new trailers arrive for films starring Shailene Woodley, Cameron Diaz, Tom Hardy, Dwayne Johnson and Scarlett Johansson...
Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hugh Jackman and Emma Thompson were all on hand for Sunday night's Empire Awards in London, a lively and colourful event with most winners chosen by the magazine's readers. Cruise was named The Legend of Our Lifetime, while Schwarzenegger was crowned The Action Hero of Our Lifetime and Jackman picked up the Empire Icon Award.
There was also a flurry of high-profile premieres in London this past week. Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Ray Winstone walked a watery-style carpet for Noah; Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton were on hand for The Other Woman; and Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet and Theo James dazzled the fans for Divergent.
'The Drop' is James Gandolfini's final movie.
The trailer for The Drop - James Gandolfini's final movie before his untimely death last year - has rolled out online. Co-starring Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace, the crime-drama centers on Brooklyn's gangster underworld and particularly a bar owned by Gandolfini's Freddie that acts as a premises for criminal 'drops' of cash.
James Gandolfini in 'The Drop'
Freddie's cousin Ronnie, played by Hardy, works as a bartender, but a robbery upsets the fine balance of their lives.
'Prometheus 2' is on the way, with added Michael Fassbender.
Prometheus 2 will hit cinemas in March 2016 though may take on a different movie title, according to The Wrap. An insider confirmed that production is scheduled to start this fall, once Ridley Scott has delivered his Moses movie Exodus, to Fox.
Michael Fassbender at the Independent Spirit Awards
The sci-fi sequel will be re-written by veteran movie scribe Michael Green, who worked with Scott on Blade Runner and recently penned the derided Green Lantern movie. Jack Paglen (Transcendence) had written the original draft of the screenplay.
Continue reading: Prometheus 2 Gets Release Date, Will Be Heavy on Michael Fassbender
Brian De Palma has failed to excite the critics with his latest effort.
Brian De Palma, a man once considered the finest director on the planet having helmed The Untouchables and Scarface, returns this week with Passion - a thriller based on the 2010 French movie Love Crime.
It stars Rachel McAdams and the ultra-talented Noomi Rapace and follows the story of a deadly power struggle between two women in the dog-eat-dog world of international business. Or at least that's what the promotional bumf says: essentially, McAdams plays a Berlin-based advertising executive who engages in a power struggle with her assistant Isabelle, who attempts to further her career.
Passion - De Palma's first movie since his war movie Redacted in 2007 - was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, but it won't win.
Continue reading: 'Passion' Reviews: Brian De Palma, Is That Really You?
Guillermo Del Toro's summer blockbuster Pacific Rim holds huge premieres in Mexico and London, while The Wolverine and RED 2 begin their own publicity assaults. And trailers tease us with glimpses of Jobs, Passion, Thanks for Sharing and more...
This week's big world premiere was for Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim, which was held in Mexico City on Monday with cast members Charlie Day, Ron Perlman and Rinko Kikuchi. They were joined by British costars Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam and new True Blood hunk Robert Kasinsky for the European premiere in London on Thursday. Critics' reviews are embargoed, but Emma Watson and Kanye West both tweeted praise for the film, which opens next week.
The next big blockbuster this summer will be The Wolverine, a stand-alone X-men movie set in World War II Japan. Hugh Jackman returns as the iconic character, and this week appears in a short behind-the-scenes doc with director James Mangold. They reveal several enticing clips from the film, which opens later this month. Watch The Wolverine featurette here.
Check out the trailer for this tense thriller
Passion is set for its U.S release, and in light of that, a new trailer has been released, showing the thrilling battle between Noomi Rapace and Rachal McAdams in a sometimes horrifying trailer. Check it out:
'Passion' is a remake of the French film 'Love Crime' (originally 'Crime d'amour') written by Natalie Carter and Alain Corneau. It has been adapted by award-winning director and writer Brian De Palma ('Carrie', 'The Untouchables', 'Scarface'). The story of white-collar rivalry, money and power, 'Passion' is set to hit cinemas on August 30th 2013.
Continue reading: Passion Trailer - Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams [Trailer]
Date of birth
28th December, 1979