Sir Tom Courtenay , actor (Dad's army) - The Winners of the Oldie Of The Year Awards were pictured at the Simpson's-in-the-Strand in London as they arrive for the photo call. - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 2nd February 2016
Cinderella premieres as 45 Years wins two prizes at Berlin Film Festival, sequels premiere in London and Los Angeles, Julia Roberts cries on-set and trailers arrive for films starring Adam Scott, Samuel L. Jackson and Charlie Hunnam...
The Berlin Film Festival wrapped up last weekend after the premiere for Disney's new live-action version of Cinderella, and stars Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Lily James and Richard Madden, plus director Kenneth Branagh were all on hand for the event.
Double Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman has, at the age of 75, finally switched to directing. While many were surprised it had taken him so long, others were distinctly apprehensive about what Hoffman may offer. As the reviews roll in it appears that Quartet is a light hearted delight and that Hoffman has triumphed.
As well an A-lister as a director, Hoffman brought in some of Britain's best loved actors and actresses. Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Sheridan Smith and Tom Courtenay star in a sweet story set in an home for elderly and retired musicians. When an old star turns up, a group in the home attempt to get her to perform again in their quartet, but with old romances and a worn ego to get in the way, it's a struggle for them to persuade her.
Rolling Stone puts Hoffman's skill down to his long career, saying he "directs with elegance" and describes the movie as "flushed with humor and tenderness." Likewise, USA Today was also impressed by the veteran actor's directorial skill: "Hoffman directs with elegance, allowing the denizens to be dignified, as well as adorable. We get a strong sense of each major character."
Continue reading: Dustin Hoffmans' Directorial Debut, 'Quartet', How Did He Do?
After the holiday season, the movie world is slowly cranking up to speed. Although the really big news doesn't start until next week, with the announcement of the Oscar and Bafta nominations.
This week's biggest nominee announcement came from the Producers Guild of America, seen as a taste of the Best Picture Oscar race. The PGA's 10 feature film nominees are: Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Les Miserables, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty.
Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay - Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay Monday 15th October 2012 56th BFI London Film Festival - Quartet - Premiere Arrivals
Harry Deane is a pretty hopeless British art curator who has suffered years of condescension and disrespect at the hands of his preposterously rich and eccentric boss that is the renowned art collector Lionel Shabandar. Frustrated at his own lack of recognition in the art world, Harry decides to organise an elaborate plot of revenge on his employer by tricking him into buying a seemingly priceless Monet painting that happens to be a fake. As part of his cunning ploy, he travels to the states and meets a stunning, blonde Texas cowgirl who he enlists to help him by posing alongside her grandmother as inheritors of the valuable piece. He takes her to England where Shabandar is immediately taken with her and goes to all lengths to charm her. Harry's affection for Nicole is also growing and his jealousy of the two of them results in more than one embarrassing situations.
This flamboyant crime comedy is a remake of the 1966 Academy Award nominated film of the same name which starred Michael Caine ('The Dark Knight', 'Children of Men') and Shirley MacLaine ('The Apartment', 'Terms of Endearment'). Not only has this 2012 movie also got an all-star cast, it has been written by the multi-Oscar winning writing brothers Ethan Coen and Joel Coen ('No Country for Old Men', 'Fargo', 'True Grit') as well as being directed by Michael Hoffman ('One Fine Day', 'The Emperor's Club'). It's set for release in the UK on November 21st 2012.
Colin Smith, the classic angry young man of disaffected postwar England, puts it all right out there in the film's first line, "Running's always been a big thing in our family, especially running away from the police." Played by a brooding Tom Courtenay, Colin is doing quite a bit of running in general when the police finally catch up with him for breaking into a bakery (a crime that is only mentioned at first, we'll only see it all much later, gradually built up to in flashback). Sent off to a reform school, Colin at first sets himself apart through his sarcasm, the first line of defense for any proper cinematic anti-hero. Despising everyone pretty equally -- especially the whingeing new administrator, spouting new-fangled psychological nonsense that's as condescending as the school's old-fashioned authoritarian rot -- Colin finds a release of sorts in running. It seems a pure thing, especially when he's given leave to go on unsupervised practice runs in the countryside, where he gambols through woods and babbling brooks while jazz tinkles on the soundtrack. Simple and ultimately pointless, it's nevertheless a sight better than his previous life.
Continue reading: The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner Review
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).
Continue reading: Nicholas Nickleby Review
In Lean's hands, the book is transformed into a sprawling epic and a lot of the subtlety is removed -- but despite all the lurid images and overdramatic camera work, the result is not as overwrought as one might have expected. After all, Russia is a big place, and communism is a big subject. Fortunately, the screenwriters of yesterday were not as heavy-handed as today's, and often the dialogue is nearly as rich as the costumes and settings.
Continue reading: Doctor Zhivago Review
Jack (Michael Caine) has recently died, leaving in his wake a widow, two children, and three close friends. His last wish is that lifelong companions Vic (Tom Courtenay), Lenny (David Hemmings), and Ray (Bob Hoskins) throw him out to sea at the honeymoon spot he shared with wife Amy (Helen Mirren). His son, Vince (Ray Winstone), joins them.
Continue reading: Last Orders Review
"Last Orders" is a humorous and human, intelligent and emotional movie about the ups and downs of lifelong friendship and about living long-term with decisions, mistakes and regrets of youth. It's exactly the kind of movie adults are wishing for when they complain nobody makes movies for adults anymore -- and it's a simple but wonderful example of how good grown-up movies can be.
Based on a Booker Prize-winning novel by Graham Swift, half the film stars Bob Hoskins, Tom Courtenay and David Hemmings as three old pub pals on an afternoon's road trip to take a fourth buddy's ashes to the sea at a low-end English resort. The other half takes place in flashbacks that establish the history of this foursome who saw each other through 50 years of workaday trials, including war, love, parenthood, financial woes, marital woes and more.
Michael Caine takes center stage in these flashbacks as the fourth friend who passed away before the film began -- a butcher named Jack who always tried to remain jolly in the face of life's petty and not-so-petty adversities. Married too young due to a pregnancy (in an even further-back flashback) -- but to a girl he absolutely loved (played in her graying years by the wonderful Helen Mirren) -- Jack always kept his chin up, even as his butcher shop struggled and his son Vince grew resentful over family secrets that made him feel like an outsider.
Continue reading: Last Orders Review
You deserve a grain-of-salt warning before reading this review: Your friendly film critic really can't abide Charles Dickens, and "Nicholas Nickleby" is especially exemplary of everything that irks me about his work.
The characters in this tale of 19th Century woe are largely one-dimensional -- implausibly sweet and naive or absurdly ruthless and cruel without reason -- and they invite second-guessing to a distracting degree.
Nineteen years old and suddenly the head of his family after his father's death, the title character (played by the over-earnest Charlie Hunnam) reluctantly moves with his mother and sister from the quiet country cottage they can no longer afford to dirty, polluted, noisy, heartless London, seeking the help of Nicholas's rich, odious uncle (Christopher Plummer), who doesn't see why he should be burdened with helping his brother's family.
Continue reading: Nicholas Nickleby Review
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