A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply well-made film feels somewhat slight, with only a wisp of a plot. But the characters are so vivid that it's thoroughly engaging, and it's written and directed by Stanley Tucci with a terrific attention to detail. So even if the plot itself barely seems to have enough fuel to keep moving, there are constant bits of comedy, drama and emotion to hold the interest.
It's set in 1964 Paris, where journalist James Lord (Armie Hammer) agrees to sit for a portrait with Alberto (Geoffrey Rush), who says it will only take a day or two. But Alberto doesn't work very quickly, painting then repainting while constantly being distracted by his favourite muse, the prostitute Caroline (Clemence Poesy). His wife Annette (Sylvie Testud) barely tolerates this, while his brother Diego (Tony Shalhoub) just shrugs it off as he assists Alberto around the studio. James watches all of this with a smirk, then becomes a little worried as days stretch into weeks and he begins to understand that for Alberto this painting will never be completed. Indeed, he never sees any of his work as ready to show to the world.
Anchored by one of Rush's best performances yet, the film is a wonderful depiction of Giacometti's artistic process, watching him produce his work with only his own inner voice to guide him. Rush plays him as a man who never lets a moment of pleasure pass him by, and everything he does is based on spontaneous impulse. So the people around him need the patience of a saint. The wry Hammer is a terrific foil for the blustering Rush, sitting with a bemused smile watching the chaos unfold around him while wondering how he can extricate himself from this situation without ruffling the artist's feathers.
Continue reading: Final Portrait Review
With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to define this franchise. The first film was solidly entertaining, but the sequels have been hit and miss. And this jarringly chaotic episode never finds its feet. Is it aimed at teen boys (robots hitting each other), young children (a random little girl in the cast) or action fans (Mark Wahlberg being heroic)? Meanwhile, the plot only barely connects a stream of wildly overblown set-pieces.
We find Wahlberg's mad inventor Cade now in hiding protecting the good Autobots, while government meathead Lennox (Josh Duhamel) chases the evil Decepticons. Somewhere in space, tentacled temptress Quintessa (Gemma Chan) has turned heroic Transformer Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) to the dark side, and now they're heading to suck the life out of Earth, as you do. Humanity's only hope is in a mysterious talisman Cade possesses and the staff of Merlin the magician (Stanley Tucci in an Arthurian prologue), which only Oxford professor Vivian (Laura Haddock) can wield. She's accompanied by dotty Sir Edmund (Anthony Hopkins), who helpfully explains the mythology with the assistance of robot butler Cogman (Jim Carter). Then everyone converges on Stonehenge for an epic battle.
To be fair, Bay does have an eye for spectacle, and the film looks properly amazing in Imax 3D, especially as Bay throws everything he can think of at the screen, including some adorable baby dinosaur robots, a submarine chase, various elements from Star Wars and Alien, and a military invasion that desperately wants to outdo Saving Private Ryan's opening scene. All of this is piled into a blender and edited together with absolutely no sense of logic or geography.
Continue reading: Transformers: The Last Knight Review
Suzanne Collins' saga comes to a suitably epic conclusion in a climactic series of battles that are packed with emotional kicks to the gut. Director Francis Lawrence continues to show remarkable reverence for the source novels while relying on his A-list cast to bring layers of nuance to even the smallest roles. The result is a massively textured war movie that's packed with darkly personal moments and glimpses of wit and spark. It's also a satisfying conclusion to the franchise that avoids the usual Hollywood bombast.
As the rebels prepare to attack Panem's Capitol and President Snow (Donald Sutherland), the rebellion's figurehead Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) decides to take matters into her own hands. Rebel leaders Coin and Plutarch (Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman) try to stay one step ahead of Katniss, using her as the Mockingjay to rally the troops. With Gale (Liam Hemsworth), a not-quite-unbrainwashed Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a small group of cohorts, Katniss works her way across the bombed-out city to Snow's mansion, intending to put an arrow through his heart. But the battle takes a shocking twist, and Katniss has to make a difficult decision about doing the right thing no matter what it costs her.
Right from the start, the filmmakers continue to echo Katniss' earliest act of heroism when she volunteered for the Hunger Games to protect her sister Prim (Willow Shields) and then vowed to keep Peeta safe in the violent arena. These are the things that drive her right to the very end of this saga, holding the audience in an emotional grip. This means that the political nastiness, violent warfare and publicity posturing all have a much deeper resonance for the audience, while for Katniss they are virtually irrelevant. Her mission remains untainted: she just wants to protect her loved ones and make the future safe. Which is why her speeches carry such rousing power.
Continue reading: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review
Katniss Everdeen is determined to take down President Snow once and for all. Too many lives have been sacrificed and too many homes destroyed while the Capitol has brainwashed and controlled the people of Panem. Now re-united with Peeta after his rescue from Snow's clutches, Katniss gathers her friends from District 13 - Gale, Finnick and Cressida - and sets out on the ultimate mission to free Panem, and fight Snow to the death. But it seems it's not only Snow that wants Katniss dead, as she becomes increasingly paranoid about some of the supposed rebels. Facing increasing uncertainty, more tragedy and some of the worse warfare she could possibly imagine, Katniss starts to realise that ending the nightmare won't end the fear or the collective sorrow.
Rachel McAdams will star opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in ‘Doctor Strange’.
Rachel McAdams has joined the cast of Doctor Strange. The 36-year-old Canadian born actor, best known for her roles in The Notebook and True Detective, confirmed her casting whilst appearing at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday (14th September).
Rachel McAdams at the New York premiere of Southpaw in July 2015.
Continue reading: Rachel McAdams Confirms Her Casting In Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’
Get ready for the likes of 'Everest', 'The Danish Girl' and 'Black Mass'.
With the Venice Film Festival kicking off this week, awards season is officially underway. Venice has been the launchpad for a number of films that have gone on to Oscar glory. Last year, the opening night film was Birdman, and the year before it was Gravity. So there are big hopes for this year's opener, the true-life thriller Everest, directed by Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur with an ensemble cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright, Emily Watson and Jason Clarke.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars in true story disaster thriller 'Everest'
And anticipation is running even higher for a number of other movies. Venice is hosting the premiere of The Danish Girl, the true story of one of the world's first-known transgender women, played by Eddie Redmayne. Can he win back-to-back Oscars? This week's new poster and trailer are very promising.
Continue reading: Awards Season Kicks Off With Venice Film Festival 2015
Michael Rezendes is a dedicted reporter for the Boston Globe and part of their Spotlight Team; an investigative division focused on justice and whistle-blowing. When accusations of child sex abuse by members of the Catholic Church arise, he leads the team into their latest case, determined to uncover the truth about a morally questionable priest and his scandalous activities across six different parishes over the course of several decades. It is alleged that the church knew what was going on, but chose not to act and hold their reputation above the welfare of their children. Not only that, but past statements from attorneys don't appear to add up and a delicate battle ensues with the government and police all getting involved as the Boston Globe take on the church. There's a large team at the newspaper working on bringing this case into the open once and for all, and they refuse to let these atrocities be swept under the rug another time.
Continue: Spotlight Trailer
Having successfully rescued Peeta and the other Hunger Games victors, Katniss Everdeen is feeling the strain of being the Mockingjay for the rebel group of District 13. The propaganda is exhausting, and she is starting to become uncertain about who are the heroes and who are the villains. While victory over the Capitol looks in the rebels' favour, Katniss is becoming increasingly suspicious of President Coin - a suspicion which becomes all the more intense when she confronts the captured Panem leader President Snow. He seems intent on killing her, but he's not the only one. When the rebels' methods are shown to be just as hostile as the Capitol, Katniss has to decide which path the take and with the oncoming final Hunger Games, her decision is fated to change her life forever.
The star had to juggle both directing and acting in the period drama.
It's been a long time since Alan Rickman made his directorial debut back in 1997, and so returning to the role (alongside acting in a major role as well) in 'A Little Chaos' presented a lot of challenges, surprises and, indeed, pleasures for the star.
Alan Rickman plays King Louis XIV in his latest directorial feature
He was at the helm of 1997 drama 'The Winter Guest' but hasn't approached the director's chair since. It's safe to say that coming back into it on a film of this scale, such is the visually stunning 'A Little Chaos', while also portraying the formidable King Louis XIV was a lot of hard work. Though Rickman admits that his two jobs had their similarities.
Audiences looking for a French historical costume drama should look elsewhere, but those who enjoy British period comedies will love it. With a pointed dash of history and politics, this is a silly movie about social status, and it's so well written and played that only cynics won't have a lot of fun with it. Thankfully, the talent both in front of and behind the camera keep the focus on the lively characters, which makes it engaging on a deeper level than expected.
The fictional story is set around real events in 1682 France, as King Louis XIV (Alan Rickman) was planning to move his court from Paris to Versailles, a vast palace still under construction. The final project there is the expansive garden, which landscaper Andre (Matthias Schoenaerts) has to complete on deadline and under budget. And everyone is shocked when he hires the little-known Sabine (Kate Winslet) to build an outdoor ballroom and fountain. But he has been smitten with her skill and passion for gardening, and there's also a gently gurgling romantic spark between them as well. The problem is that his high-society wife (Helen McCrory) notices this and sets out to sabotage Sabine's work.
There's not much here that's historically accurate, from the frankly outrageous costumes to the English filming locations and dialogue that buzzes with specifically British humour. But it's so breezy and snappy that all we can do is sit back and enjoy it for what it is. Those who do so may even find some underlying resonance in the discussions of order and chaos in landscape design, as well as the way honesty is like a blast of fresh air in a world constrained by status. Indeed, the film's most memorable scene is a gorgeously written and played chance encounter between Sabine and the King in which they initially don't know who the other is.
Continue reading: A Little Chaos Review
Date of birth
11th November, 1960
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