Penelope Wilton

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The BFG Review

Very Good

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison, with whom he made E.T. nearly 35 years ago. Another story of an unlikely friendship, this film is even more wondrous and earnest, and also much more reliant on effects. But it's also hugely involving, with a terrific cast and of course a delightful story with a wry sense of humour.

 

It's set in a timeless London, where Sophie (newcomer Ruby Barnhill) lives in an orphanage. One night she spots a stealthy giant (Mark Rylance) prowling the city streets, so he grabs her and takes her back to Giant Country so she can't reveal his secret existence. As she gets to know him, Sophie discovers that he's an outcast in his own community, half the size of the nine giants (including Jemane Clement and Bill Hader) who live around him and bully him mercilessly because he doesn't eat human beans. This has earned him the nickname Big Friendly Giant, which Sophie shortens to BFG as she accompanies him into a colourful parallel world in his job collecting dreams and nightmares. Then when the bullies' threats grow stronger, Sophie comes up with a plan to get help from the Queen (Penelope Wilton) and her staff (Rebecca Hall and Rafe Spall).

Continue reading: The BFG Review

British actress Penelope Wilton at the Los Angeles premiere of 'The BFG' held at The El Capitan Theatre - Hollywood, CA, USA. Penelope had the pleasure of playing The Queen in the new Steven Spielberg adaptation. Tuesday 21st June 2016

Penelope Wilton
Penelope Wilton
Penelope Wilton
Penelope Wilton

The BFG Extended - Trailer


One of Roald Dahl's most popular children's novels The BFG is once again going to appear on the screen, this time it the retelling comes courtesy of director Steven Spielberg. The narrative follows a 10 year old girl, Sophie, on her journey as she comes face to face with a giant that shows her that giants really do exist in the world. The BFG takes Sophie to his cave, in Dream Country to show her how he collects dreams and shows her how he sends them to children.

Continue: The BFG Extended - Trailer

Mark Rylance, Steven Spielberg, Ruby Barnhill , Penelope Wilton - 69th Cannes Film Festival - 'The BFG' (Le Bon Gros Geant - Le BGG) - Premiere at Cannes Film Festival - Cannes, France - Saturday 14th May 2016

Mark Rylance, Steven Spielberg, Ruby Barnhill and Penelope Wilton
Mark Rylance and Claire Van Kampen
Steven Spielberg, Ruby Barnhill and Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance and Steven Spielberg
Mark Rylance and Claire Van Kampen
Steven Spielberg, Ruby Barnhill and Mark Rylance

Penelope Wilton - 69th Cannes Film Festival - 'The BFG' (Le Bon Gros Geant - Le BGG)' - Photocall at Cannes Film Festival - Cannes, France - Saturday 14th May 2016

Penelope Wilton
Penelope Wilton
Rebecca Hall, Mark Rylance, Steven Spielberg, Ruby Barnhill and Penelope Wilton
Rebecca Hall, Mark Rylance, Steven Spielberg, Ruby Barnhill and Penelope Wilton
Penelope Wilton

The BFG Trailer


Sophie and the other girls at Mrs. Clonkers orphanage share a big sleeping dorm and once the lights go out, the girls are expected to go straight to sleep. No talking and most certainly no getting out of bed but little Sophie isn't one for sticking to the rules. Once the rest of the girls are asleep, Sophie is busy reading her books. 

When the bespectacled young girl hears strange noise coming from outside her window, she can't help but take a peek out of the pane. A vague shape starts to form in the background, Sophie's unsure what it is but knows it's gigantic. Beginning to get scared, Sophie runs back to her bed and hides under her blankets but it's too late, before Sophie knows what's happening she's snatched from her bed and taken to a far and distant world.

Initially scared for her life, Sophie thinks the giant has taken her to have as his next meal but soon she's introduced to her new home and keeper, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant). The BFG doesn't want to hurt Sophie, he wants to protect her. As the pair begin having adventures together, Sophie soon learns that not all giants are as welcoming as The BFG.

The BFG - Teaser Trailer


Sophie has spent her life alone. She lives in an orphanage full of girls just like her. Each night the girls tell tales of the witching hour when the boogieman comes to visit and children go missing, Sophie's friends believe the witching hour is at midnight but little Sophie doesn't agree, she thinks the hour is much later, at 3am when only Sophie remains awake.

One night, whilst Sophie is reading, she hears an almighty rumble from outside and cannot help but open the window and look to see what's there; what she finds will change the lives of many forever.

The BFG is the much loved Roald Dahl book which was originally published by the author in 1982. The book was later turned into an animated film which featured David Jason as the voice of The BFG.

Continue: The BFG - Teaser Trailer

Penelope Wilton - Evening Standard Theatre Awards at the Old Vic - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 22nd November 2015

Penelope Wilton
Penelope Wilton

Penelope Wilton - The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2015 held at Grosvenor House Hotel at Grosvenor House - London, United Kingdom - Monday 28th September 2015

Penelope Wilton
Penelope Wilton

'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Unites Original Starry Cast With Richard Gere


Richard Gere Judi Dench Maggie Smith Bill Nighy Celia Imrie Dev Patel Penelope Wilton

After The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel earned nearly $140 million on its release in 2012, the all-star cast and crew were keen to reassemble for a sequel. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel hits UK cinemas this weekend and arrives in America next week, adding Richard Gere and Tamsin Grieg to a cast that includes Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Dev Patel and Penelope Wilton.

Richard Gere and Lillette Dubey in 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'
Richard Gere is a newcomer in 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

For Nighy, the biggest fear during filming was "killing the national treasure that is Dame Judi" while filming a sequence on a scooter. "This is the second time I've been on a motorcycle - the first was the first movie - and it's probably the last," he laughed. "That's enough for my motorcycling career!"

Continue reading: 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Unites Original Starry Cast With Richard Gere

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review


Good

A badly under-developed script leaves a fine cast without much to do in this sequel to the 2012 hit. Reuniting in India, the actors find moments of comedy and emotion that help make the film watchable, and the big Bollywood-style finale leaves the audience with a smile on its face. But the simplistic plot-threads never amount to much at all, which leaves the project feeling like a missed opportunity to deepen the characters and push the premise in more interesting directions.

Business at the hotel in Jaipur is booming, so managers Sonny (Dev Patel) and Muriel (Maggie Smith) are looking for investors to expand into a second property. But this distracts Sonny from his upcoming wedding to Sunaina (Tena Desae), and she's not too happy about that. There are also two new guests (Richard Gere and Tamsin Grieg) who may be important. Meanwhile, Evelyn (Judi Dench) is offered a new job just as she realises she might like to pursue a relationship with Douglas (Bill Nighy), whose ex-wife (Penelope Wilton) turns up unexpectedly. Madge (Celia Imrie) is struggling to choose between her many suitors. And Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are having relationship issues due to their lack of communication.

All of these momentous plots, and a few more, swirl around over the course of about a week, which means that none ever has a chance to develop. It also means that the characters are all so busy with their own stories that they don't interact very much, and what contact they do have feels rather contrived. As a result, the film feels like an awkward mix of disconnected slapstick, farce and melodrama. That said, these high-powered actors can hold together even the flimsiest scene. Dench and Nighy generate some lovely emotional resonance in their contrived storyline, while Smith finds some quiet pathos in Muriel's own journey, even if the filmmakers seem to have forgotten to hire someone to do her costumes, hair and make-up.

Continue reading: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer


Set eight months after the 2012 original film, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sees the majority of the cast return India for this sequel from director John Madden. In the run up to Sonny's (Dev Patel) wedding to Sunaina (Tena Desae), he is struggling to find the time to work at his hotel. With only one room left in the hotel, Sonny is confronted with an interesting situation when two new arrivals turn up - Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). With help from Murial (Maggie Smith) acting as the co-manager, will Sonny will be able to juggle his personal and working lives?

Continue: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer

Belle Review


Excellent

The plot feels like a Jane Austen novel infused with a hot-potato political issue, but this is actually a true story. It's been somewhat fictionalised, but the central facts are accurate, and while the production is perhaps a bit too polished for its own good, the solid acting and filmmaking make the story involving and provocative. And its themes feel just as relevant today.

In 1769 London, a young half-black girl named Dido Belle is taken by her soldier father (Matthew Goode) to live with his uncle, the Lord Chief Justice Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson). With his wife (Emily Watson) and sister (Penelope Winton), he is already caring for another niece, and the two girls grow up as inseparable friends. Hidden from society, Dido (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) inherits a small fortune from her father. And while Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) is penniless, her white skin makes her a more suitable spouse. Then family friend Lady Ashford (Miranda Richardson) foists her son James (Tom Felten) on Elizabeth. To their horror, his brother Oliver (James Norton) falls for Dido. But she's more interested in an impoverished law student (Sam Reid).

Along with these rather standard period-movie romantic shenanigans, there's a major subplot about Lord Mansfield's imminent ruling in the first court case to take on the slave trade, which could destabilise the entire British Empire. And this is where the film jolts into something significant: the UK's top judge had an adopted mixed-race daughter who probably influenced the first landmark decision against slavery. Meanwhile, director Amma Asante also vividly portrays the gritty realities of this young black woman's precarious position in society.

Continue reading: Belle Review

Belle Trailer


Dido Elizabeth Belle is the mixed race daughter of Royal Navy officer Captain John Lindsay resulting from his affair with an African woman. Desperate for his only child to receive a comfortable upbringing, he takes her back to England and begs his uncle, Lord Mansfield, to take her in and care for her as their own. As much as she is treated well and enjoys the company of her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, she finds herself an outcast with no specified social status and disallowed from dining with her family on social occasions all because of her colour. While she is shunned by almost everybody, one man takes an interest in her; John Davinier, the apprentice of Lord Mansfield. However, both her great-uncle and John's parents are averse to the idea of their marriage - though their shocking love story forces Mansfield to re-think his own feelings about race and family.

Continue: Belle Trailer

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review


Very Good
Colourful and engaging, this lively comedy-drama gives a handful of mature actors terrific roles to play within a bustling international setting. It feels a bit cute and tame, but it's still entertaining.

Seven retirees meet at the airport as they move to Rajasthan to retire in a newly restored hotel. Evelyn (Dench) is financially strapped due to her late husband's debts. Muriel (Smith) is getting a faster, cheaper hip replacement.

Douglas and Jean (Nighy and Wilton) can't afford to retire in Britain. Graham (Wilkinson) has unfinished business in India. And Norman and Madge (Pickup and Imrie) are both single and looking for love. But manager Sonny (Patel) has slightly exaggerated the hotel's facilities.

Continue reading: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

Penelope Wilton

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Penelope Wilton Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

The BFG Extended -  Trailer

The BFG Extended - Trailer

One of Roald Dahl's most popular children's novels The BFG is once again going to...

The BFG Trailer

The BFG Trailer

Sophie and the other girls at Mrs. Clonkers orphanage share a big sleeping dorm and...

The BFG - Teaser Trailer

The BFG - Teaser Trailer

Sophie has spent her life alone. She lives in an orphanage full of girls just...

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie Review

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie Review

A badly under-developed script leaves a fine cast without much to do in this sequel...

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer

Set eight months after the 2012 original film, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sees...

Belle Movie Review

Belle Movie Review

The plot feels like a Jane Austen novel infused with a hot-potato political issue, but...

Belle Trailer

Belle Trailer

Dido Elizabeth Belle is the mixed race daughter of Royal Navy officer Captain John Lindsay...

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie Review

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie Review

Colourful and engaging, this lively comedy-drama gives a handful of mature actors terrific roles to...

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer

Muriel, Evelyn and Jean are just a few of a group of British retirees who...

Match Point Movie Review

Match Point Movie Review

I'm tired of apologizing for Woody Allen. I've rated his recent films higher than most...

Calendar Girls Movie Review

Calendar Girls Movie Review

Nigel Cole's empowering Calendar Girls calls to mind Peter Cattaneo's The Full Monty, though not...

Iris Movie Review

Iris Movie Review

In the refined and sobering drama Iris, we witness a loving but unconventional relationship between...

Shaun of the Dead Movie Review

Shaun of the Dead Movie Review

Shaun (Simon Pegg) is going nowhere in life. He's a 29-year-old sales manager at a...

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