Manhattan Cast, Ashley Zukerman, Daniel Stern, Olivia Williams, John Benjamin Hickey, Rachel Brosnahan, Thomas Schlamme and Sam Shaw - WGN's 'Manhattan' - Photocall - Beverly Hills, California, United States - Wednesday 9th July 2014
John Benjamin Hickey, Olivia Williams, Rachel Brosnahan, Ashley Zuckerman, Thomas Schlamme, Sam Shaw, Bill Richardson and Daniel Stern - The Paley Center For Media Presents An Evening With WGN America's Manhattan - Beverly Hills, California, United States - Wednesday 9th July 2014
'Anna Karenina' actress Olivia Williams is interviewed at a press junket in Cannes for her new movie 'Last Days On Mars' and talks about what attracted her to the script, who she modelled her character on and her favourite memory from shooting.
The breezy, entertaining tone of this historical comedy-drama kind of undermines the fact that it centres on one of the most pivotal moments in US-British history. Director Michell (Notting Hill) knows how to keep an audience engaged, and yet he indulges in both tawdry innuendo and silly cliches, never giving the real-life events a proper sense of perspective. Even so, some terrific performances make it enjoyable.
The events in question take place in 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Murray) invites Britain's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (West and Colman) to visit Hyde Park, the upstate New York residence he shares with his mother (Wilson), while his wife Eleanor (Williams) lives down the road with her "she-male" friends. Roosevelt knows that George is here to ask for help against the growing threat of Hitler's Germany, and as a result of their talks a "special relationship" develops between America and Britain. Meanwhile, the womanising Roosevelt is not-so-quietly having an affair with his distant cousin and confidant Daisy (Linney).
Essentially there are two films here fighting for our attention. Much of the story is seen through Daisy's eyes, complete with an annoyingly mousy voiceover that never tells us anything we can't see on screen. Linney underplays the character to the point where we barely notice that she's in the room, and the depiction of Daisy's romance with FDR is often squirm-inducing. By contrast, the other aspect of the plot is fascinating, with West and especially Colman shining in their roles as witty, nervous Brits trying to make the most of the first ever visit of a British monarch to America. Their steely resolve is brilliantly undermined by their brittle nerves and endless curiosity.
Continue reading: Hyde Park On Hudson Review
Kind of a disappointing showing this week folks, best hold on for those Christmas heartwarmers, or, if you’re one of the 56 people left on the globe that haven’t seen Skyfall, that’s probably still showing…
Hyde Park On Hudson has been touted by many as Bill Murray’s next stab at Oscar success. However, the movie itself has hardly received glowing reviews. Directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill) and also starring Laura Linney and Olivia Williams, Hyde Park on Hudson tells the story of Franklin D Roosevelt and his love affair with his distant cousin, Margaret Stuckley. The ‘action’ takes place over a weekend in 1939, when the King & Queen of England visited upstate New York.
Murray’s performance has been hailed as a masterpiece and there have been mutterings of Oscar contention, but it seems that Murray is a jewel in a pretty shabby crown, here. He may carry the film, but it’s clear that it’s a deadweight. Bill will have to keep his fingers crossed that the Academy award voters can stay awake through the historical drama long enough to appreciate his performance.
Tessa is like every other sixteen year old; she'd love a boyfriend and she'd like to lose her virginity as soon as possible. Her best friend Tessa encourages her wishes. There is a difference, however: Tessa has leukaemia. She was diagnosed with it four years ago but has recently learned that it is terminal.
Continue: Now Is Good Trailer
Hanna (Ronan) has spent her entire life deep in the snowy woods, where her ex-spy dad (Bana) has raised her to be the ultimate super-agent. Now 16, she's ready to face up to her wicked nemesis Marissa (Blanchett), the agent who killed her mother. But Marissa has caught her trail, and as they chase each other Marissa calls in a ruthless German henchman (Hollander) for help.
Meanwhile, Hanna hides out with a sparky British teen (Barden) whose hippie parents (Williams and Flemyng) have no idea what's going on.
Continue reading: Hanna Review
When a successful British ghost-writer (McGregor) is hired to clean up the memoirs of former Prime Minister Adam Lang (Brosnan), he can't quite believe the large paycheque heading his way. He soon relocates to an isolated island home in America to work with Lang, his wife (Williams) and assistant (Cattrall), but it quickly becomes clear that something fishy's going on here.
And maybe the scandalous news reports, about Lang's approval of torture in the War on Terror, are missing the real story.
Continue reading: The Ghost [aka The Ghost Writer] Review
Disabled by polio at age 10, Ian Dury (Serkis) grew up with a fierce determination to be himself, and against the odds became an iconic leader of Britain's punk scene in the 1970s. But his unruly lifestyle takes a toll on his personal relationships, and he barely knows his son Baxter (Milner) from his first wife Betty (Williams). So Baxter comes to stay with him and his current girlfriend Denise (Harris), and both father and son need to figure out how to relate to each other. And to realise how much they need each other.
Continue reading: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll Review
In 1961 London, Jenny (Mulligan) is a gifted 16-year-old on track for a place at Oxford University, much to the joy of her parents (Molina and Seymour), literature teacher (Williams) and headmistress (Thompson). Then she meets the charismatic David (Sarsgaard), an older man who sweeps her off her feet with a love of the arts, his glamorous life and intelligent friends (Cooper and Pike) who offer more engagement than Jenny finds with those her age. Jenny loves being all grown up around them. Who needs Oxford?
Continue reading: An Education Review
Watch the trailer for An Education
Jenny (Carey Mulligan - Public Enemies) is a schoolgirl with very high hopes in a considerably bleak post war Britain. Her thoughts of a place at Oxford University are fuel to her 'study-intensive' life as she forever tries to excel. Until just a short time before her 17th birthday she meets David (Peter Sarsgaard- Jarhead) who is considerably older than her, and she soon finds herself in the middle of a whirlwind romance.
Enticed by the lifestyle that it seems David can offer her, her dreams of Oxford start to slowly dissipate as the idea of an easy life becomes her new fascination. But as she makes the transition from enthusiastic schoolgirl to a lady of sophistication, she starts to question David, herself and the path in life she has chosen to take.
Directed by Lone Sherfig (Hjemve) and with a screenplay from Nick Hornby (Fever Pitch, About A Boy), and featuring a performance from Academy award winner Emma Thompson, the film received great critical acclaim when it premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
Cast: Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike, Olivia Williams and Emma Thompson.
Screenplay: Nick Hornby.
Director: Lone Sherfig.
Unfortunately, such generous adjectives can't be used for Elysian, which has a promising premise but does little of interest with it. Andy Garcia plays Byron Triller, a struggling novelist who has mounds of trouble supporting his young family. Out of luck and out of nowhere, Byron meets a mysterious, upscale pimp, Luther (Mick Jagger), who thinks Byron would be an ideal addition to his escort service.
Continue reading: The Man From Elysian Fields Review
The concept is that young Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) sees ghosts, and they torment him night and day, to the point of physical abuse. Desperate for help, he eventually hooks up with brilliant child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis), who tries to help him out.
Continue reading: The Sixth Sense Review
Sure 'nuff, I never could have expected the day when Olivia Williams (Rushmore) and Balthazar Getty (Shadow Hours) would appear in the same film -- much less play lovers. And in fact, the rest of 4 Dogs Playing Poker is just as improbable, with Tim Curry(!) leading four young and aspiring art thieves on a caper in Argentina, only to blow it by failing to ensure the loot is shipped to the man (Forest Whitaker) who comissioned the gig. Our young heroes find themselves in a bind, as Curry gets snuffed and they are asked to pay up $1 million for the objet d'art gone missing. Their plan: insure each of their lives for a mil, then secretly and randomly assign one of the four to kill another, thus collecting the payoff fee.
Continue reading: 4 Dogs Playing Poker Review
Yes, I'm talking about The Postman. Post-millennial, post-apocalyptic, and post-intelligence, The Postman is the story of patriotism being reborn (ironically, the patriotism is in opposition to nationalism, which is the flip side of the patriotic coin) in the form of Postal Carriers. OK. It's dumb. The United States has become defunct, a racist psychopath holds all of the power, and the first thing that the new US Government is trying to get working is the mail.
Continue reading: The Postman (1997) Review
The plot is thin, if not threadbare, presenting the too-oft-seen love triangle. Perhaps the notion of a pair of sisters in love (in their particular ways) with one's husband seemed like an original idea, but it comes off as derivative and tedious. Paul Bettany, who played Chaucer in A Knight's Tale and John Nash's imaginary roommate in A Beautiful Mind, takes on the colorless banker-husband-lover Rickie, the object of the sisters' desires. Stuffy though he may be, we understand why he's prone to stray from his wife, Madeleine (Olivia Williams), a caustic and chilly socialite who criticizes her younger sister with haughty superiority. She seems to think that there's something wrong with Dinah (Helena Bonham Carter) for remaining unmarried and free-spirited when, as we see it, Dinah is the more attractive and sensual of the two.
Continue reading: The Heart Of Me Review
It's easy to see why the money is going elsewhere. Valiant clocks in at just below 80 minutes, and it feels padded. The typical Disney trademarks of untested heroes, sarcastic sidekicks, and puppy love are offered, but they feel like hand-me-downs, worn ragged by Aladdin, Timon, and the rest. Nothing in Valiant is larger than life, including the villains, always a staple. Tim Curry voices an evil falcon, and his work won't make anyone forget Jeremy Irons' Scar anytime soon.
Continue reading: Valiant Review
So, what is Rushmore? Rushmore is a prestigious private school in Nowhere, U.S.A. (actually Houston and Dallas, Texas), where its most vocal student, Max (Schwartzman), is also its worst academically. Rushmore the movie follows Max in his travails at school, where he falls hopelessly in love with teacher Miss Cross (Williams, straight from The Postman and a haircut). Unwilling to accept that the age differential is a concern, the 15-year old Max embarks on a grand scheme to build an enormous aquarium as a symbol of affection. That he builds it on the school's baseball diamond is what gets him thrown out of Rushmore.
Continue reading: Rushmore Review
Though it goes against everything he stands for, this rejuvenated Pan actually shows signs of growth and maturity. Special effects advancements help Peter and his cohorts pop off the screen. Cinematographer Donald McAlpine expands the rich color palette he utilized in such vivid films as Moulin Rogue and Romeo + Juliet. And director P.J. Hogan slips in subplots of unrequited love, develops pangs of loneliness, and mixes fleeting flights of happiness with his heroism.
Continue reading: Peter Pan (2003) Review
In an era of severely dumbed-down children's movies, the first live-action "Peter Pan" picture since the silent era does something extraordinary -- it un-Disneyfies the story, revives the deeper themes of J.M. Barrie's original book and play, and emerges as an appropriately wily family-fare delight.
From its exquisite, Maxfield-Parish-inspired Neverland of golden sunlight, lush green forests and cotton-candy clouds to the quintessently pubescent and enigmatically tingly chemistry between Peter (the strangely pretty 14-year-old Jeremy Sumpter) and Wendy (the even prettier 13-year-old Rachel Hurd-Wood), the film is a vivid and surprisingly visceral experience.
Director P.J. Hogan ("My Best Friend's Wedding") evokes the true wonder of childhood in the eyes of his young stars as Peter Pan, the mythical leafy-clad boy who refused to grow up, hovers with the power of happy thoughts and fairy dust outside the third-story window of Wendy Darling on a snowy night in 1900s London, engrossed in the stories of adventure that the girl spins with wide-eyed zeal for her little bothers John and Michael.
Continue reading: Peter Pan Review
Do you remember that scene at the end of "The Sound of Music" in which the family Von Trapp sneaks out of Austria one at a time during a singing performance? So do screenwriter Ronan Bennett and director Peter Cattaneo ("The Full Monty"), who borrowed the idea for their far-fetched but passably entertaining British prison escape comedy "Lucky Break."
As a matter of fact, in a stroke of intentional irony Cattaneo cast Christopher Plummer -- Capt. Von Trapp himself -- as the prison's warden, whose dream of producing his own musical becomes the catalyst for a group of ambitious jailbirds to make getaway plans.
Lead by charmingly surly, hound dog-featured James Nesbit ("Waking Ned Devine"), the convicts (including comical English actors Timothy Spall, Bill Nighy and Lennie James) rehearse the warden's Gilbert and Sullivan-styled operetta about Admiral Horatio Nelson in the prison's disused old chapel while working out a way to employ stage props to go "over the wall."
Continue reading: Lucky Break Review
Already packed solid with all the claustrophobic wartime tension a good submarine thriller needs, "Below" squeezes in something more -- a startling, bone-chilling element of the supernatural.
Set onboard an American sub called the USS Tiger Shark, cruising the Atlantic during World War II, the tightly drawn story begins with the boat doubling back on its planned course under orders to rescue the only three survivors of a torpedoed British hospital ship -- a crewman, a badly burned patient and a nurse (Olivia Williams), who causes consternation among the crew. She's pretty, sure. But more importantly, maritime superstition holds that women are bad luck on a submarine.
Director David Twohy ("Pitch Black") wastes no time in building seat-gripping suspense. The Tiger Shark's sonar officer picks up an unknown contact just as the sub is surfacing amongst the sunken steamer's debris, so the rescue becomes a palpably perilous race against time. The scene is nerve-wracking, thanks in no small part to Twohy's touches of tense creativity (all the dread he needs is found in a single shot looking back at the captain's eye from inside the periscope) and a potently unsettling, untraditionally military score by Graeme Revell ("Pitch Black," "Blow," "Tomb Raider").
Continue reading: Below Review
If the line is still too long for "The Blair Witch Project" this weekend, buy a ticket to "The Sixth Sense," the first truly scary studio picture in longer than I can remember and a serious contender against "Blair" for most creepiest movie of the year.
Yes, I know it's a Bruce Willis flick, and yes, I know the plot -- about a very disturbed little boy who talks to ghosts -- sounds inane.
But this movie stunned me. The hair on the back of my neck stood up five or six times in this picture. The traumatized performance by Haley Joel Osment as the haunted child is the most skilled and chilling turn by a pre-pubescent actor since Kirsten Dunst in "Interview with the Vampire." And Willis, as an emotionally wrecked kiddie shrink, garners more empathy than a truck full of other ex-action heroes could.
Continue reading: The Sixth Sense Review
We're obsessed with this Scottish hero.
How are the world's biggest superstars changing?
Graham J tells all about his experience with the Jazz Journal.
An interview with Nick Wilson.
He dropped his newest single Losing Sleep earlier this year.
Seven ways you can be greener at a music festival.
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