Throughout the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, a secret war took place on the streets of England. For years, women of all ages and classes had fought for their right to vote, although they used politics and reason as their biggest weapon. When no clear results were seen, a specialist group formed a more radical idea - to take the political campaign out of the shadows and into the streets, with protests and fighting to gain what was theirs by right. But as the government fights back even harder, desperate times call for desperate measures.
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Romola Garai - Various stars of film and television were photographed on the red carpet as they arrived for the the EE British Academy of Film and Television Awards which were held at The Opera House in London, United Kingdom - Sunday 8th February 2015
Frank (Marsan) is a recovering drunk who can't cope with his past as a military officer. He has lost his wife and daughter as a result, but he's snapped out of his stupor when he meets snarky homeless teen Lynette (Reid) and helps her get back on her feet. Then she brings her drug-dealing boyfriend Danny (Sturridge) into his flat, and Frank's grip on reality starts to waver as he hits the bottle again. Meanwhile, a wealthy businesswoman (Garai) struggles to balance motherhood with her personal and professional lives.
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On St Swithin's Day, 15th July, in 1988, Emma (Hathaway) meets Dexter (Sturgess). Both are university students in Edinburgh, and there's a clear spark between them, but circumstances prevent them from becoming a couple. The years pass. Dexter moves from being an annoying TV host to a chef and has a daughter with Sylvie (Garai). Meanwhile, Emma has a career as a teacher and maintains an unsatisfying relationship with Ian (Spall). And they keep running into each other along the way, wondering what might have happened - and may yet happen - if they got together.
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Anne (Garai) is the adopted eldest daughter of powerful politician Alexander Keyes (Nighy) and his wife (Agutter), who went on to have two of their own children (Redmayne and Temple). It's the glorious summer of 1939, when Britain felt like it had averted conflict with Hitler, so when Anne stumbles on hints of a government conspiracy, she turns to a fellow actor (Bonneville) and her boyfriend (Cox) for help. But the mystery only deepens, compounded by a sinister Home Office official (Northam) and the distracting presence of her Aunt Elizabeth (Christie).
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The same shot can be found in Wright's adaptation of Ian McEwan's monumental Atonement, though the setting is now 1930s France. Three soldiers from London come upon a beach filled with soldiers waiting to return to their respective homelands. The camera glides past sergeants executing diseased horses, a choir of damaged infantry men and dozens of wounded battalions. Smoke bellows from scrap fires and a looming ferris wheel turns in the distance as the three English soldiers make their way into a bar.
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Make no mistake: Amazing Grace is not a complex movie. The good guys are good and the bad guys aren't so much bad as they are yet to become good. Such a simple and optimistic moral vision may seem antiquated to some, but Amazing Grace doesn't apologize for its old-fashioned piety. As the action starts, Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) undergoes a religious conversion. His long-abandoned childhood faith has once again stirred his heart and moved him to commit to doing whatever he can to improve the world. Already a member of Parliament, he asks several of his friends -- including the clergyman John Newton (Albert Finney), who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace" -- if he should continue his political career or move on to a more spiritual pursuit. At all of his friends' urging, Wilberforce chooses politics and not long after takes an unpopular stand on the issue that will dominate his political career thereafter: the slave trade.
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Animation technology seems to be advancing at exponential speed. Each Pixar film easily out-wows the last, and computer-generated releases are now par-for-the-course for kiddie fare. So its no small achievement that the French drama Renaissance, the feature debut from director Christian Volckman, has one of the most intriguing visual styles in years.
Volckman combines motion-capture elements, computer animation, and meticulous black-and-white art for a unique style and fitting medium for his hard-boiled futuristic detective story. The city is Paris. The year is 2054. And the plot centers on a kidnapped girl, a steely cop, and a sci-fi conspiracy involving medicine, government and commerce.
Normally, it might take viewers a few revelatory scenes to get involved in a multi-layered potboiler, but you don't really get that opportunity here--your brain is too busy adjusting to the aesthetic. Renaissance's stark black-and-white imagery is just that: black, and white. Grays and shadows don't seem to surface (if there even are any). What's left is a palette of extremes, rich black and shockingly bare white, making both a visual statement and a narrative one.
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2002 will earn but a single Dickens adaptation, a motion picture of Nicholas Nickleby, perhaps Dickens' least-read work and one of his most wandering (the novel being more than 800 pages long).
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Based on Dodie Smith's novel, I Capture the Castle gives us a 17-year-old named Cassandra (Romola Garai), who spends most of her time writing in her journal. There is plenty of material around her. At the height of his literary fame, her father (Bill Nighy) bought an isolated castle on the English countryside. Twelve years later, circa mid-1930s, he hasn't written anything more than a laundry list and looks like a fine candidate for a straitjacket. As his creativity crumbles, so does his family, while the castle remains dank, dark, and home to quite a few rats.
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