Paul Bettany posing alone and with and Jennifer Connelly at a Special Screening of Lionsgate's new movie 'American Pastoral' - held at Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills, California, United States - Friday 14th October 2016
Paul Bettany makes a strong impression with his first film as a writer-director, exploring the big issue of homelessness from a variety of pointed angles. He also casts his wife Jennifer Connelly and his Avengers costar Anthony Mackie in demanding roles. The resulting film sometimes feels a little overworked dramatically, and relentlessly grim, but it's also provocative and moving.
It's set on the streets of New York, where Nigerian musician Tahir (Mackie) is living, having overstayed his US visa. Then he runs into junkie Hannah (Connelly), and the two have an immediate spark of camaraderie that blossoms into a tender relationship. But Tahir is trying to be a good Muslim, while Hannah is indulging in opportunistic crime to fund her habit. A brief respite squatting in an empty luxury home gets them off the streets briefly, so he can help her through withdrawal. And later when he's ill, she nurses him back to health. But finding somewhere to feel safe as winter bites down isn't easy. And desperation drives them to extraordinary actions.
The film is shot in an earthy, offhanded style that feels improvised, allowing Tahir and Hannah to emerge as complex people with a variety of talents and flaws. As they chat, details from their back-stories emerge, sparking anger and wrenching emotion, and drawing them inexorably together. Both Connelly and Mackie give performances that are full of passion. These are intelligent people who have been beaten down by life and don't have a clue where to turn next. So their sojourn in the empty house offers a glimpse into what kind of private life they would make if they had a chance, including borrowing some clean clothes from the vacationing owners ("I look like a zombie Goldilocks," Hannah observes).
Continue reading: Shelter Review
Connelly insists that she felt a lot of trust towards Bettany as a director.
For Shelter, his first film as a writer-director, Paul Bettany cast his wife Jennifer Connelly in the demanding leading role of a homeless junkie. And he let her get on with it. "Mostly I think character preparation is the actors' job," he says. "And I don't like it when a director tells me how to go about it, just as I don't tell a director where to put the camera or what lenses to shoot with. If I'm struggling as an actor I'll ask a question, but mostly I like to prepare quietly and do what I need to do to be ready."
Connelly's role in Shelter was particularly demanding
To prepare for their roles, Connelly and costar Anthony Mackie spent time on the streets meeting transients and talking to experts. "Jennifer became a card carrying member of New York's needle-exchange programme," Bettany says. "She would often leave me at home with the kids and off she would go to meetings or to hang out at night in parks. She also spent months gradually losing weight until she got to a pretty frightening place."
Continue reading: Paul Bettany Pushed Jennifer Connelly Into Dark Places With Shelter
Written and directed with a rakish swagger, and featuring two full-on performances from Tom Hardy, this true London gangster drama is hugely entertaining, even if it feels undercooked. Aside from that generic title, the film basically has no plot at all, and it strips real-life people of their complexity. It's as if the filmmakers were afraid to challenge the audience in any way. But the edgy mix of comedy and violence is riveting.
The events recounted took place over about two years in the early 1960s, although the film's anecdotal structure makes it feel more like a decade. As it begins, the fearsome young Kray brothers (both played by Tom Hardy) are consolidating their gangland grip on East London and expanding around the city, with their next target being South London boss Charlie Richardson (Paul Bettany). Reggie Kray is the tough-minded businessman, while identical twin Ronnie is a terrifying thug who happens to be openly gay at a time when being so was illegal. As they blatantly manipulate the rule of law, a Scotland Yard inspector (Christopher Ecclestone) is desperately looking for a way to take them down. Meanwhile, Reggie is romancing the 16-year-old Frances (Emily Browning), much to the annoyance of her imperious mother (Tara Fitzgerald).
The tumultuous relationship between Reggie and Frances is the only thing that adds a sense of narrative momentum to the film. Otherwise, it's a series of set-pieces that take a darkly humorous approach to family clashes and criminal violence. Writer-director Brian Helgeland infuses even the grisliest brutality with an amusing smirk, which makes the movie much more engaging than expected. And Hardy storms through the film with real charisma in both roles, as the steely, magnetic Reggie and the more unstable, fearsome Ronnie. Both performances are scene-stealing, nicely conveying how these men managed to hold the entire city in their grip, even though they were only in their early 30s at the time.
Continue reading: Legend Review
Captain America will be joined by Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and a whole host of others in 'Captain America: Civil War'.
Marvel has announced the cast of Captain America: Civil War and it looks like pretty much everyone from the Avengers world will return alongside Chris Evans as Steve Rogers. The news was announced by Marvel on Thursday (7th May).
Chris Evans' Captain America will lead the Avengers team in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.
Continue reading: 'Captain America: Civil War': Marvel Announces Cast & Plot Synopsis
Marvel fans will love the action mayhem in this Avengers sequel, but everyone else will vividly feel the fatigue that has descended over this franchise. After the bright spark of originality in last summer's Guardians of the Galaxy, we're back to the same tired formula involving terrific actors battling for screen time in between gratuitous, brutal action sequences that are so digitally animated that they're technically cartoons.
The film opens in the middle of the action as Captain America (Chris Evans) leads Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner) to recapture an Asgardian sceptre. Tony then discovers that the sceptre could be useful for Ultron, his artificial intelligence project to create a global peacekeeping force. But this goes badly wrong as Ultron (James Spader) springs to life and decides instead to obliterate humanity to make space for his population of smart machines. So the team races from America to Africa, Korea and Eastern Europe, facing off against Ultron and his super-powered twin cohorts Pietro and Wanda (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), who of course defect to the Avengers. They also get help from a human-computer entity called The Vision (Paul Bettany).
Yes, there are a lot of characters in this film, and writer-director Joss Whedon is exceptionally good at giving each of them something to do, both dramatically and in the thick of the action. These brief moments of humour and emotional depth are what make the movie enjoyable, giving the solid actors some meaty material to play with.
Continue reading: Avengers: Age Of Ultron Review
Paul Bettany - Stars from Marvel's action movie took to the red carpet at the UK premiere of 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron' which was held at the Westfield White City in London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 21st April 2015
Paul Bettany, who plays The Vision in the upcoming 'Avengers' movie, has been overwhelmed by the size of 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron' set and he's not the only one.
Paul Bettany was shocked with the size and scale of The Avengers: Age of Ultron set. The 43-year-old actor has previously had a role in The Avengers Assemble and the Iron Man trilogy as the voice of Iron Man's computer JARVIS but he plays the villain, The Vision, in the upcoming Avengers film.
Paul Bettany stars as The Vision in The Avengers: The Age of Ultron.
Despite a superior cast and terrific-looking production values, this mystery romp is a misfire on every level. The only vaguely entertaining moments come in some snappy wordplay that's presumably all that remains of Kyril Bonfiglioli's beloved novel Don't Point That Thing at Me. Otherwise, the film feels clumsy and outdated, and even Johnny Depp's quirky schtick seems halfhearted. So even though it looks great and elicits a few giggles, it's such a mess that it's hard to imagine why anyone got involved.
Depp plays Lord Charlie Mortdecai, an art expert whose immaculately kept manor house is at risk of foreclosure due to unpaid taxes. So he leaps at the finder's fee when his old pal MI5 Inspector Martland (Ewan McGregor) asks him to investigate a murder linked to a missing Goya painting. The problem is that Martland still holds a torch for Charlie's wife Joanna (Gwyneth Paltrow), a brainy bombshell who launches her own investigation into the case. With his trusty manservant Jock (Paul Bettany) by his side, Charlie is taken to Moscow and Los Angeles in search of the Goya. And it all boils over in a chaotic encounter with a smirking art collector (Jeff Goldblum), his man-crazy daughter (Olivia Munn) and a sneaky killer (Jonny Pasvolsky).
Despite quite a lot of adult-aimed innuendo and violence, director David Koepp (Premium Rush) shoots the movie as if it's a hyperactive kiddie flick, all bright colours and shameless over-acting, with whooshing digitally animated transitions and a series of awkwardly staged car chases. None of this is remotely amusing. Even the constant double entendres are painfully overplayed, while the cartoonish Received Pronunciation accents put on by Depp, Paltrow and McGregor are more distracting than humorous. All of this leaves the characters impossible to engage with on any level; they aren't funny, endearing or even interesting.
Continue reading: Mortdecai Review
Paul Bettany - A host of stars were photographed as they attended the UK premiere of 'Mortdecai' which stars American actor Johnny Depp. The premiere was held at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square, London - Monday 19th January 2015
They've fought private military corporations, Nazi splinter-groups and a Norse god. Now, The Avengers assemble once again to celebrate their success. But when a new project from Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) reveals itself to be sentient and ready to bring the world to its knees, The Avengers are ready to fight amongst themselves while the threat of Ultron (James Spader) grows his strength, and gains allegiance from Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). Meanwhile, Stark is seeing hostility from Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) while Captain America (Chris Evans) desperately tries to bring the team back together to stop the Age of Ultron.
Continue: Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer
When a priceless painting is stolen with the presumable intention of being sold to fund terrorist activities, England needs a hero. Enter, Mortdecai. Lord Charles Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) is a well-known and barely liked art dealer. He is also on the verge of bankruptcy. Well, 'on the verge' may be a little too generous. Mortdecai's extravagant lifestyle ensures that he is in desperate need of money - so much so, that he is willing to take on the job of tracking down and returning the painting. Or, perhaps, he'll steal it himself when he gets the chance. Either way, he'll have to get his hands on it first, and that is going to be far from easy. Or safe.
Continue: Mortdecai Trailer
A lot has happened since the Battle of New York. The world was attacked by Norse God, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), causing a united force of tech super-hero Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), reanimated World War Two super soldier Captain America (Chris Evans) and Loki's brother - the Norse God of thunder, Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Two years on, the Avengers have worked to defeat evil in Godly realm of Asgard, on planet Earth, and within S.H.I.E.L.D., the organisation that brought them together in the first place. Now, with Iron Man in retirement and S.H.I.E.L.D. in disarray, the world is suddenly threatened by Ultron (James Spader), a robot who seeks to destroy the Avengers now that he has been unshackled.
Continue: Avengers: Age Of Ultron - Teaser Trailer
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