Sophie Okonedo

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War Book Review

Excellent

With an ingenious concept, this fairly simple film becomes one of the most gripping thrillers of the year even though it rarely leaves a wood-panelled conference room. Since the 1960s, British officials have met to role-play various scenarios about how a global nuclear war might play out, with their findings going into the eponymous War Book. Watching this group go through a fictional scenario is riveting, because it offers striking insight into our precarious political system.

The film takes place during three 30-minute meetings over three days in 2014, as eight relatively low-level officials and one hapless Member of Parliament (Nicholas Burns) gather in a London boardroom. Philippa (Sophie Okonedo) chairs the meeting in the role of the home secretary, as her assistant (Phoebe Fox) reads a chilling brief about a nuclear bomb that Pakistan detonates in Mumbai. Playing the Prime Minister, Gary (Ben Chaplin) takes over, holding emergency votes on diplomacy, humanitarian aid and whether the UK should be quarantined to keep radiation sickness out. And as the situation deteriorates, differences of opinion begin to emerge around the table, most notably about the repercussions of joining with Britain's allies to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike.

For a movie that consists almost entirely of people sitting in a room talking, this is remarkably visual, never looking like a claustrophobic stage play. Director Tom Harper sends the camera prowling around the room, occasionally glimpsing normal life continuing outside the window. And in between the meetings, the people also have their regular jobs to deal with. Meanwhile, their dialogue is packed with biting humour, power plays, rivalries and some startlingly vivid emotions. While some interaction hinges on short, sharp verbal gymnastics, other segments require much closer attention as the conversations wander through lengthy discussions and anecdotes. The only scene that feels out of place is a pre-meeting encounter between Chaplin and Phoebe Fox that touches on the connection between power and sex.

Continue reading: War Book Review

War Book Trailer


Nine people from different walks of life who all work for the government are enlisted to take part in a 'scenario' based on decision-making in the event of a nuclear assault. They are given the notice that a nuclear warhead has been detonated in Mumbai, with deaths entering hundreds of thousands, and asked to make a decision on what to do next. It doesn't take long for Gary the 'Prime Minister' to plan a course of action and have his cabinet members vote for it, and when some of the group question whether or not they should be rushing decisions that could affect the lives of millions, it becomes clear that this task is one that some people are happy to take on with a pinch of salt. However, two people in the group understand that this isn't really a fake scenerio at all; it's very, very real and they have to put their social differences aside in order to come to the best course of action.

Continue: War Book Trailer

Sophie Okonedo - RHS Chelsea Flower Show Press and VIP Viewing Day at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, london at Royal Hospital, Chelsea - London, United Kingdom - Monday 18th May 2015

Sophie Okonedo
Brendan Cole and Sophie Okonedo
Sophie Okonedo

Sophie Okonedo - RHS Chelsea Flower Show - Press and VIP view. - London, United Kingdom - Monday 18th May 2015

Sophie Okonedo

Sophie Okonedo - A variety of stars were snapped as they arrived at the BBC Films 25th Anniversary Reception which was held at BBC Broadcasting House in London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 25th March 2015

Sophie Okonedo
Sophie Okonedo
Sophie Okonedo
Sophie Okonedo
Sophie Okonedo

Sophie Okonedo - A variety of stars were snapped as they arrived at the BBC Films 25th Anniversary Reception which was held at BBC Broadcasting House in London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 25th March 2015

Sophie Okonedo
Sophie Okonedo
Sophie Okonedo

Sophie Okonedo - Moet British Independent Film Awards held at Old Billingsgate - Arrivals. at Old Billingsgate - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 7th December 2014

Sophie Okonedo

After Earth Trailer


Cypher Raige is a renowned military general who finds himself and his frightened 13-year-old son Kitai in the middle of a deadly asteroid storm while on their aircraft on the way to their home planet Nova Prime to see their family. When they are hit, they end up crashing on to a dangerous and quarantined planet that is revealed to be Earth 1000 years after mankind was evacuated following a set of global disasters. Now it is almost entirely a jungle with savage evolved creatures roaming the land, but Kitai must brave the danger and remember that his fear is only in his mind as he treks into the wild to recover a distress beacon that he must use to call for help as his father is in a critical condition and close to death after being thrown across the ship in the crash. Little do they know that the unfamiliar new earthling species are not the only danger they must face as a brutal alien has now escaped onto the forgotten planet.

'After Earth' has had a string of different screenwriters working on it including director M. Night Shyamalan ('The Sixth Sense', 'Signs', 'The Last Airbender'), Stephen Gaghan ('Traffic', 'Rules of Engagement'), Gary Whitta ('The Book of Eli') plus additional dialogue from Michael Soccio who has previously worked with star Will Smith when he wrote four episodes of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'. This sci-fi adventure is set to hit cinemas in the UK from June 7th 2013.

Starring: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Isabelle Fuhrman, Zoe Kravitz, Sophie Okonedo, Kristofer Hivju, David Denman, Sacha Dhawan, Lincoln Lewis, Chris Geere,

Continue: After Earth Trailer

Skin Review


Extraordinary
Based on a true story, his powerful drama tells an important story from Apartheid-era South Africa with honesty and real sensitivity. And the cast makes it thoroughly gripping by never playing it safe.

In 1965, the Laing family is caught in a loophole of the 1950 law prohibiting South Africans from living or studying with people of another racial group. The problem is that Sandra (Ramangwane then Okonedo) looks more black than her white parents Abraham and Sannie (Neill and Krige). Treated horribly by teachers in her all-white school and abused by strangers, The Laings go to court to officially classify Sandra as white. But this has repercussions when she falls in love with a black man (Kgoroge) and can't legally live with her husband or children.

Continue reading: Skin Review

The Secret Life Of Bees Review


Bad
Caucasians, apparently, have no soul. Or heart. Or common sense. According to the movies, whenever the majority lacks a moment of personal clarity, they seek solace, advice, and sage-like wisdom from the groups they marginalized for centuries. As a result, some manner of karmic comeuppance is achieved. The latest example of this Bagger Vance-ing of inferred race relations is The Secret Life of Bees. Set in the percolating days of the Civil Rights Movement, this weepy feel-good sampling of you-go-girl saccharine has some real value. But it can't avoid the sugared-sap clichés that have helped to craft this particular motion picture subgenre.

Lily (Dakota Fanning) lives in rural South Carolina with her no-account abusive redneck daddy T. Ray (Paul Bettany) and the family housekeeper Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson). Her mother died when she was very young, and the circumstances have haunted the young girl ever since. When President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1964 into law, Rosaleen decides to register. In the process, she is assaulted, beaten, and arrested. In a moment of opportunity, she escapes the police, and takes Lily out on the run. They wind up in the care of the Boatwright sisters -- August (Queen Latifah), June (Alicia Keys), and May (Sophie Okonedo). Successful beekeepers, their safe haven gives Lily a chance to face the demons from the past and plot a course for the future.

Continue reading: The Secret Life Of Bees Review

Tsunami: The Aftermath Review


Excellent
As its title suggests, HBO Films' Tsunami: The Aftermath begins not with a crashing wave of water but rather with something far more chilling. A boatload of vacationing scuba divers returns to their Phuket resort after a morning outing on December 26, 2004 and notice all sorts of debris, and then bodies, in the water. At the dock they see that the entire landscape is destroyed, the hotel is in ruins, and everyone, including their families and friends, is gone. As they run through the wreckage screaming, you'll feel chills.

Among the group is Susie Carter (Sophie Okonedo), who quickly reunites with her husband Ian (Chiwetel Ejiofor) but is devastated to learn their four-year-old daughter slipped out of her father's arms and has disappeared. Meanwhile, Kim Peabody (Gina McKee) has lost her husband but finds her teenage son horribly injured.

Continue reading: Tsunami: The Aftermath Review

Aeon Flux Review


Good
Music video director Anton Corbijn's video clip for industrial dance band Front 242's "Headhunter" featured a topless woman in a surreal black outfit holding a giant egg and wandering around a desolate industrial park. It's a music video that is absurdly artificial and at the same time engagingly artful.

Aeon Flux, Girlfight director Karyn Kusama's second film, is like a 95-minute remake of that video. It's visually sumptuous for no other reason than to indulge arty gluttons. And that's fine by me. I dig it, arty glutton that I am. Based on the animated short films of Peter Chung, the movie succeeds in translating Chung's fluid and sparse design. While it would be impossible to have an actress bend and slide like the heroine in the original MTV animated series, Charlize Theron is suitably acrobatic and looks great in spandex and black leather. The costumes are futuristic and the landscapes, mostly CGI, are eerily organic takes on mid-century design.

Continue reading: Aeon Flux Review

Tsunami: The Aftermath Review


Excellent
As its title suggests, HBO Films' Tsunami: The Aftermath begins not with a crashing wave of water but rather with something far more chilling. A boatload of vacationing scuba divers returns to their Phuket resort after a morning outing on December 26, 2004 and notice all sorts of debris, and then bodies, in the water. At the dock they see that the entire landscape is destroyed, the hotel is in ruins, and everyone, including their families and friends, is gone. As they run through the wreckage screaming, you'll feel chills.

Among the group is Susie Carter (Sophie Okonedo), who quickly reunites with her husband Ian (Chiwetel Ejiofor) but is devastated to learn their four-year-old daughter slipped out of her father's arms and has disappeared. Meanwhile, Kim Peabody (Gina McKee) has lost her husband but finds her teenage son horribly injured.

Continue reading: Tsunami: The Aftermath Review

Aeon Flux Review


Good
Music video director Anton Corbijn's video clip for industrial dance band Front 242's "Headhunter" featured a topless woman in a surreal black outfit holding a giant egg and wandering around a desolate industrial park. It's a music video that is absurdly artificial and at the same time engagingly artful.

Aeon Flux, Girlfight director Karyn Kusama's second film, is like a 95-minute remake of that video. It's visually sumptuous for no other reason than to indulge arty gluttons. And that's fine by me. I dig it, arty glutton that I am. Based on the animated short films of Peter Chung, the movie succeeds in translating Chung's fluid and sparse design. While it would be impossible to have an actress bend and slide like the heroine in the original MTV animated series, Charlize Theron is suitably acrobatic and looks great in spandex and black leather. The costumes are futuristic and the landscapes, mostly CGI, are eerily organic takes on mid-century design.

Continue reading: Aeon Flux Review

Dirty Pretty Things Review


Very Good
The title of Stephen Frears' new film Dirty Pretty Things revels in contradiction. The same might be said of the film itself, which is part melodrama, part social critique, and part black comedy all rolled into one delectably grimy treat. It's a thriller that only nominally wants to thrill, and a critique of modern society's disregard for the illegal immigrant class that only sporadically bothers to drum up the audience's indignation over its characters' plight. Willfully unwilling to be pigeonholed, the film embraces its various temperaments with a poise imparted by a director whose steady hand never allows the unconventional material to falter. That the lurching tone of the film coalesces into a satisfyingly original narrative at all speaks to Frears' keen sense of the delicate balance between sentimentality and somberness.

Okwe (newcomer Chiwetel Ejiofor) works as a cab driver by day and a hotel desk clerk by night, regularly chewing addictive plant leaves to keep himself from dozing off. An illegal immigrant and former doctor who's arrived in London to flee political forces who sought his arrest in Nigeria, Okwe now resides on the couch of fellow hotel employee Senay (Amelie's Audrey Tautou), a Turkish maid whose legal immigrant status, in a puzzling twist that's never fully explained, prohibits her from being employed. The two social outcasts keep their friendship hidden from their fellow coworkers, each interested in blending into the environment like a chameleon changing spots to elude predators. In a city that eagerly makes use of immigrant labor, Okwe and Senay are the tattered fringe of society, forced to endure humiliation and unable to fight back for fear that their presence might be detected by the immigration police who constantly scour the city's underbelly. What's not mentioned, however, is that since Okwe is an illegal immigrant, he doesn't have any right being in London, and this near-sighted portrayal of his situation - one can assume that his life in London, no matter how difficult and unpleasant, is better than the life in Nigeria that he fled, although the film glosses over this fact - saps some of our sympathy for him.

Continue reading: Dirty Pretty Things Review

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Sophie Okonedo Movies

War Book Movie Review

War Book Movie Review

With an ingenious concept, this fairly simple film becomes one of the most gripping thrillers...

War Book Trailer

War Book Trailer

Nine people from different walks of life who all work for the government are enlisted...

After Earth Trailer

After Earth Trailer

Cypher Raige is a renowned military general who finds himself and his frightened 13-year-old son...

Skin Movie Review

Skin Movie Review

Based on a true story, his powerful drama tells an important story from Apartheid-era South...

The Secret Life Of Bees Trailer

The Secret Life Of Bees Trailer

Watch the trailer for The Secret Life Of BeesThe Secret Life Of Bees is based...

The Secret Life of Bees Movie Review

The Secret Life of Bees Movie Review

Caucasians, apparently, have no soul. Or heart. Or common sense. According to the movies, whenever...

Scenes Of A Sexual Nature, Trailer Trailer

Scenes Of A Sexual Nature, Trailer Trailer

Scenes Of A Sexual Nature Trailer First time British director Ed Blum presents Scenes of...

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Aeon Flux Movie Review

Aeon Flux Movie Review

Music video director Anton Corbijn's video clip for industrial dance band Front 242's "Headhunter" featured...

Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker Trailer

Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker Trailer

This summer sees the eagerly awaited big screen debut of 14 year old special agent...

Aeon Flux Movie Review

Aeon Flux Movie Review

Music video director Anton Corbijn's video clip for industrial dance band Front 242's "Headhunter" featured...

Dirty Pretty Things Movie Review

Dirty Pretty Things Movie Review

The title of Stephen Frears' new film Dirty Pretty Things revels in contradiction. The same...

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