Stephen Frears

Stephen Frears

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The Program - First Look Trailer


Lance Armstrong is a cycling legend, with seven Tour De France wins under his belt among other accolades, feats that were made all the more impressive following his battle and subsequent recovery from testicular cancer. Despite his illness, he seemed better than ever before on the road on his return and by 2004, he had attracted the attention of reporter David Walsh, who grew suspicious that the athlete was using performance enhancing drugs, along with many of his cyclist friends. Armstrong used a genius combination of loopholes and convincing acting to make people believe otherwise but he was ultimately exposed and shamed for his tactics by a determined journalist.

Continue: The Program - First Look Trailer

BAFTA Bound, But Could 'Philomena' Feature at the Oscars?


Steve Coogan Stephen Frears Judi Dench

Don't laugh. We're serious. Stephen Frears' new movie Philomena, based on the investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, could well figure in the behemoth that is the American movie awards season following stunning reviews in its homeland this week.

Watch the Philomena trailer:

It stars Oscar-winner Judi Dench as the title character, a mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock, something her Irish-Catholiccommunity didn't take kindly to. The child was given away for adoption to the United States and Philomena was forced to sign a doctrine promising she would not look for him. Years later, she meets Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a BBC reporter with whom she decides to set off on a journey to find her long-lost son.

Continue reading: BAFTA Bound, But Could 'Philomena' Feature at the Oscars?

Critics Agree, 'Philomena' Is A "Serious" Comedy That Needs To Be Seen


Judi Dench Steve Coogan Stephen Frears

Philomena stars Judi Dench as Philomena Lee in the movie adaptation of Martin Sixsmith's 2009 novel The Lost Children of Philomena Lee. Co-starring Steve Coogan as Sixsmith, the film is an emotionally moving and shocking true story that follows Sixsmith's journey to help find Philomena's lost children. Handled masterfully by The Queen director Stephen Frears, the film has been universally praised for its sensitive tone and lighthearted comic relief, with the performances from the two stars also being singled out for wide praise.

Philomena
Dench and Coogan give an acting masterclass in Philomena

Having just been sacked from his job as a government spin doctor, Sixsmith is sent by his editor to do a "human interest story," an idea he at first resents, until he comes across the elderly Philomena Lee. We and Sixsmith soon discover that Lee was sent to a Catholic home for unmarried mothers in the 1950's, where she gave birth to her son, who she was forced to give up for adoption by the zealous nuns running the home.

Continue reading: Critics Agree, 'Philomena' Is A "Serious" Comedy That Needs To Be Seen

First Look: Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong, What Do We Think? [Picture]


Ben Foster Stephen Frears Lance Armstrong

The first look at Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong in Stephen Frears's untitled biopic has rolled out online, showing the young American actor tearing through a likely French street in his recognisable Postal Service colours.

Ben Foster Lance ArmstrongBen Foster as Lance Armstrong in Stephen Frears' Untitled Project

Foster - who recently starred opposite Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings - leads the cast as drug cheat Armstrong, while Chris O'Dowd plays journalist David Walsh. There's even an appearance from Jesse Plemons who Breaking Bad fans will recognise as Todd. 

Continue reading: First Look: Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong, What Do We Think? [Picture]

BFI London Film Festival: 'Philomena' film premiere

Steve Coogan, Judy Dench, Stephen Frears, Philomena Lee, Sophie Kennedy Clark and Martin Sixsmith - BFI London Film Festival: 'Philomena' film premiere held at the Odeon Leicester Square - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 16th October 2013

Steve Coogan and Dame Judi Dench
Steve Coogan and Dame Judi Dench
Steve Coogan and Dame Judi Dench
Steve Coogan and Dame Judi Dench
Steve Coogan and Dame Judi Dench

Celebrities at Claridges hotel

Stephen Frears - Celebrities at Claridges hotel - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 16th October 2013

The Dramatic Side Of Steve Coogan In 'Philomena'


Steve Coogan Judi Dench Sophie Kennedy Clark Stephen Frears

Steve Coogan is known for his seminal character: Alan Partridge. He even mocked the disparity of popularity between his work with a live show entitled ‘Steve Coogan Live - As Alan Partridge And Other Less Successful Characters.'

Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Dame Judy Dench and Stephen FrearsSteve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Dame Judy Dench and Stephen Frears at the Venice Film Festival

With such a well-known character, indeed, Partridge is one of the U.K’s most popular comedy creations; it’s difficult to break free of the comedy mould. Especially when you’ve just been all over the big screen in a comedy feature. But Coogan was striving for something more than making people laugh.

Continue reading: The Dramatic Side Of Steve Coogan In 'Philomena'

Philomena - Teaser Trailer


Judi Dench stars as Philomena Lee in the emotionally moving and shocking true story based on Martin Sixsmith's novel: The Lost Children of Philomena Lee released in 2009. 

In a controversial pregnancy during the 1950's, Lee was sent to a Catholic home for unmarried mothers where she gave birth to her son before authoritarian, religious nuns forced the mother to give up her only child who was sent for adoption in America.

After 50 years of searching for her son she achieved very little but instead found political journalist Martin Sixsmith (Coogan) who would end up taking her to America to find the truth about her son in a heart gripping and extraordinary story that celebrates human love, loss and the celebration of life. 

Continue: Philomena - Teaser Trailer

Ben Foster Lined-Up To Play Lance Armstrong In Movie Biopic


Ben Foster Lance Armstrong Stephen Frears Mark Wahlberg Jj Abrams Bradley Cooper

Ben Foster has emerged as the number one candidate to take on the role as Lance Armstrong in the upcoming biopic about the seven-time Tour de France winner who was stripped of his titles in 2012 following an investigation into claims that he had used performance enhancing drugs. According to Deadline, who broke the story, Foster is in the final stages of discussions with the film's bosses, with filming expected to begin as early as fall this year.

Ben Foster Broadway
Foster is in 'advanced talks' with studio bosses

The Stephen Frears-directed biopic, which is being penned by Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge, will follow Armstrong from his battle with cancer in the mid-1990's, leading up until his much-publicised fall from grace in 2012 when he was found guilty of using illegal, performance enhancing drugs. Although he denied ever using drugs throughout his career, the disgraced cyclist admitted to doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

Continue reading: Ben Foster Lined-Up To Play Lance Armstrong In Movie Biopic

First Look At Judi Dench and Steve Coogan In 'Philomena' [Picture]


Judi Dench Steve Coogan Stephen Frears Jeff Pope Sophie Kennedy Clark Charlie Murphy

Stephen Frears' new film Philomena stars Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. The first picture of the film was released yesterday (Monday 16th July) and shows the two British actors in an evidently emotional scene. Coogan looks at Dench with a concerned expression as she holds a photograph.

Steve Coogan and Judi Dench

The film, directed by Frears, follows one woman's journey to discover a son she was forced to give up fifty years before. Young Philomena Lee (played by Sophie Kennedy Clark), according to the BBC's synopsis, fell pregnant in Ireland in 1952: she was then taken to a convent as a 'fallen woman'. As a consequence of her strict surroundings, Philomena was encouraged to offer her baby for adoption. 

Continue reading: First Look At Judi Dench and Steve Coogan In 'Philomena' [Picture]

Dark Rooms, Bans and Bolshy Women: How The Cannes Jury Choose The Palme d'Or Winner


Stephen Frears Cannes Film Festival Steven Spielberg Quentin Tarantino Coen Brothers Nicole Kidman Ang Lee David Fincher Nicolas Winding Refn Michael Gray Steven Soderbergh Alexander Payne

What it's like to sit on the jury at the Cannes Film Festival and have the power to present the director of the very best movie with the prestigious Palme d'Or? This year, Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, Nicole Kidman and Christoph Waltz bring a touch of Hollywood A-list glamor to the event and will spent 10 days in darkened screening rooms debating each of the movies in competition.

British director Stephen Fears headed the jury in 2007, when he and his team chose Romanian movie 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days as the Palme d'Or winner ahead of the Coen's No Country For Old Men, David Fincher's Zodiac, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. "They were very anti-American, the jury. But I kept saying that American films are watched all over the world. This cut no ice with a few bolshy women on the jury," Frears told the BBC ahead of the Festival this week, "I don't know, you try and behave sensibly. I hear all those stories about people manipulating things, but there didn't seem to be any of that. There were no orders from above - nobody tried to interfere, but there were a few basic rules which you had to follow," he added.

Sitting in a darkened room and watching the very best movies of the year before anyone else sounds pretty fantastic right? "...you're terrified of is going to sleep," said Frears, "...so I had coffee brought to me to stay awake - it was manageable. I didn't write notes but I had a friend with me and she and I would discuss the film afterwards." On whether he still recognised that he had chosen the best movie in competition, Frears was unequivocal, saying, "Oh yes, it was a wonderful, original film. I'm sure it benefitted from winning, it was a very accessible film. I'm sure if you spoke to distributors, I'm sure they would say Michael Haneke's film [2012 Palme d'Or and Oscar-winner] Amour has done really well."

Continue reading: Dark Rooms, Bans and Bolshy Women: How The Cannes Jury Choose The Palme d'Or Winner

Hot Tickets! This Weekend’s US Movie Releases: Hyde Park On Hudson, Playing For Keeps, Lay The Favorite, Bad Kids Go To Hell


Bill Murray Roger Michell Laura Linney Olivia Williams Gerard Butler Jessica Biel Rebecca Hall Bruce Willis Stephen Frears Judd Nelson

Kind of a disappointing showing this week folks, best hold on for those Christmas heartwarmers, or, if you’re one of the 56 people left on the globe that haven’t seen Skyfall, that’s probably still showing…

Hyde Park On Hudson has been touted by many as Bill Murray’s next stab at Oscar success. However, the movie itself has hardly received glowing reviews. Directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill) and also starring Laura Linney and Olivia Williams, Hyde Park on Hudson tells the story of Franklin D Roosevelt and his love affair with his distant cousin, Margaret Stuckley. The ‘action’ takes place over a weekend in 1939, when the King & Queen of England visited upstate New York.

Murray’s performance has been hailed as a masterpiece and there have been mutterings of Oscar contention, but it seems that Murray is a jewel in a pretty shabby crown, here. He may carry the film, but it’s clear that it’s a deadweight. Bill will have to keep his fingers crossed that the Academy award voters can stay awake through the historical drama long enough to appreciate his performance.

Continue reading: Hot Tickets! This Weekend’s US Movie Releases: Hyde Park On Hudson, Playing For Keeps, Lay The Favorite, Bad Kids Go To Hell

'Blackmail' world film premiere held at The British Museum - Arrivals

Stephen Frears Friday 6th July 2012 'Blackmail' world film premiere held at The British Museum - Arrivals

Lay the Favourite Trailer


Vivacious ex-dancer Beth reaches gambler's paradise Las Vegas in the hope of becoming a cocktail waitress. She meets keen gambler Dink Heimowitz who immediately warms to her, seeing her for her true potential rather than the ditzy thirty-something-year-old that it is easy to assume she is. He invites her to join his team, who have found a way to work Vegas' sportsbook system, as a lucky charm apparently giving him a miraculous winning streak contrary to his wife Tulip who he sees as a jinx. Soon he starts to suffer a few consecutive losses and Beth becomes ever more fond of him forcing him to dismiss her leaving her heartbroken. She retreats to New York to her trusty Jeremy who loyally succumbs to her charms. He is working for an illegal but successful bookie, Rosie, who flies her to his Caribbean island to supervise his growing kingdom. Beth begins to realise the instability and danger of working for Rosie, and tentatively contacts Dink and Tulip for their help. They unite in an attempt to tackle the potential jeopardy that they all may just fall into.

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Stephen Frears

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