'A United Kingdom' is the story of Sir Seretse Khama who, in 1948, caused a stir within both the UK and South African governments when he - as the Prince of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) - fell in love and decided to marry a white woman named Ruth Williams from London.
Continue: A United Kingdom - Featurettes
Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with present-day resonance as it explores a relationship that sparks intense social and political fallout. And it's made properly engaging with central roles beautifully played by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike. So it's a shame that the screenplay is so simplistic, failing to generate any momentum in the story with its awkward structure and paper-thin side characters.
It opens in 1947, as Seretse Khama (Oyelowo) has spent 20 years of his life studying in London and is ready to return to Bechuanaland (now Botswana) to take his rightful place as king. But he has fallen in love with white, working-class Englishwoman Ruth (Pike), and they decide to return to Africa together. This causes a crisis for Seretse's uncle Tshkedi (Vusi Kunene), who has been ruling the country while Seretse was away. And there's even more fierce resistance from the British colonial officials (including Jack Davenport and Tom Felton), who refuse to allow the couple to live together in Bechuanaland because a mixed-race marriage undermines the UK's acceptance of South Africa's policy of Apartheid. So they exile Seretse from the country and manipulate the situation to Britain's political benefit. But Ruth stays and fights on.
The film chronicles this astonishing battle with a fascinating attention to detail, although screenwriter Guy Hibbert struggles to avoid repetition as the events shift between Africa and London, leaving main characters off the screen for what turns out to be years at a time. Meanwhile, the British are portrayed as moustache-twirling villains who lie and conspire to undermine the government of Bechuanaland. A bit more complexity might have made the situation compelling on-screen.
Continue reading: A United Kingdom Review
Directed by Amma Asante, the film is the first made by a black female director open the festival.
The film is the first directed by a black woman to open the annual festival and tells the real-life story of a British woman who fell in love with and married Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland.
Rosamund Pike stars in A United Kingdom
Once upon a time, a handsome, intelligent man fell in love with an equally clever and intelligent woman, the couple married and lived happily ever after. Ruth Williams and Seretse Khama met in Britain in 1947, he was a young man training to be a barrister and she was a clerk working for Lloyds of London.
The pair immediately felt an affinity for one another and courted for a year before Seretse and Ruth married. As well as being an interracial couple, Seretse has a lot more to his past than Ruth ever knew. Seretse is a prince of Bechuanaland and lives a hugely important life in a county that feels a whole world away from the comparatively cosmopolitan London.
Though Ruth and Seretse married - much against the advice of all their peers - apartheid in South Africa, the people of Bechuanaland and the British government all played a part in keeping Sertse from his birth right and went to extreme lengths to have the couple extradited from the country.
Continue: A United Kingdom Trailer
In an alternative universe maybe...
Since Daniel Craig firmly stated that he didn't want to do another James Bond film after 'Spectre', suggestions have been flying all over the place about who it could be next. Will Idris Elba become the first black 007? Or will it embrace the talents of Tom Hardy or Tom Hiddleston? But what if was a woman?
Ok, so feminism aside, it's a firmly held idea that Bond should continue to be a male. For a start, you'd have to change the name - how many ladies do you know called James? (Apart from Blake Lively's daughter, of course). But if you erase the tradition of him being a man, you might as well erase all the other Bond conventions; the gadgets, the fast cars, the womanising etc. But, turning pop culture upside for a moment, if James Bond WERE a woman - who would she be?
Emily Blunt displayed some I-work-for-the-government skills in 'Sicario'
Continue reading: If James Bond Were A Woman She'd Be Any Of These Ladies
This intriguing drama takes on some darkly resonant themes with such an oddly bright and cheerful tone that it forces the audience to pay attention. As it continues, the terrific Rosamund Pike uses conflicting emotions to explore the aftermath of a horrific assault. But while there's growing suspense in the plot, the bigger tension comes from the viewers themselves as they wonder whether it's going to unravel into melodramatic rubbish.
Pike plays Miranda, a cleanliness-obsessed nurse with ambition to get a better job and move to a bigger house, partly to stop her single dad (Nick Nolte) from worrying about her. Then a nurse colleague (Rumer Willis) sets her up on a blind date. William (Shiloh Fernandez) is flirty and sexy, but after he brutally attacks her he goes to prison, leaving Miranda to put her life back together. Surprisingly, she takes a proactive approach that includes contacting William and trying to achieve some sort of reconciliation. Miranda's father is horrified by this, especially when William is released on parole and turns up to help her fix up her house.
This insinuating set-up keeps the audience guessing whether this is a complex look at how people wrestle with the fall-out from a violent rape, or perhaps either Miranda or William are up to something more nefarious. So whether it's sparking hope or dread, it's relatively gripping. And Pike is superb as a quirky woman who continually faces her fears. This includes both connecting with William and trying to befriend her dad's scary dog Benny. "Hating him only hurts me," she says pointedly. Nolte is reliably solid as her wheezy, concerned dad. And Fernandez is utterly magnetic as the mercurial William. All of the characters are defined by rather simplistic filmmaking shorthand, but the actors give them plenty of weight.
Continue reading: Return To Sender Review
A young nurse training to work in surgery is encouraged to go on a blind date with her friend's single male friend Kevin. However, he doesn't seem at all how he was described when he shows up on her doorstep. Locking the door of her house once inside, he savagely assaults her before fleeing. It's only later, when a kind-faced man with a bunch of flowers arrives (the real Kevin), that she realises she had let a dangerous stranger into her home named William Finn. While being questioned by police, the nurse recalls seeing her attacker once before and he is soon rounded up and thrown behind bars. The attack has left her shellshocked, struggling to concentrate on her job and occasionally giving in to frenzy. She decides to start writing to William, but every letter is returned without being read. He eventually agrees to her visiting, and appears to show remorse just as the nurse appears to show forgiveness. She hasn't told anyone of her intentions, and her father is left terrified as she continues to speak to the brute as a free man.
Continue: Return To Sender Trailer
The iconic Thunderbird 4 hit London today ahead of the new series broadcast.
It was a blast from the past for 'Thunderbirds' fans as the iconic yellow submarine known as Thunderbird 4 was seen taking a spin on the River Thames in London today (April 2nd 2015) ahead of the new ITV series, 'Thunderbirds Are Go'.
Thunderbird 4 hit the River Thames today
As part of the launch of the new series, which makes its return 50 years after it first aired in the UK, the stunt took place next to baffled onlookers; with the yellow rescuer cruising along aimlessly against a backdrop of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the Tower Bridge. It looked virtually indistinguishable from the vehicle that first gripped imaginations everywhere in 1965, apart from being slightly larger at fifteen feet. It took a considerable 6 weeks to build this fibreglass fantasy and all in the name of traditional puppetry TV.
The much-respected actress won a Best Actress Oscar at the fifth time of asking - and very well deserved it was too.
Julianne Moore won Best Actress at the 2015 Oscars. She won her gong for the lead role in Still Alice, in which she plays Dr. Alice Howland, a woman struggling with Alzheimer’s.
She fended off fierce competition from Marion Cotillard (Sandra Bya in Two Days, One Night), Felicity Jones (Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything), Rosamund Pike (Amy Elliott-Dunne in Gone Girl) and Reese Witherspoon (Cheryl Strayed in Wild).
Julianne Moore won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of an Alzheimer's sufferer in 'Still Alice'
Continue reading: Julianne Moore Wins Best Actress Oscar For 'Still Alice'
Date of birth
27th January, 1979
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