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Vera Farmiga Joins Cast Of 'Philip K Dick's Electric Dreams'


Vera Farmiga

Following her work throughout the 'Psycho' horror prequel TV series 'Bates Motel', in which she starred as Norma Bates, and in both of 'The Conjuring films she's led to-date, Oscar and Emmy-nominated actress Vera Farmiga has now signed up to appear on a new television series coming to Channel 4; the anthology show 'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams'.

Vera Farmiga has impressed with her recent performancesVera Farmiga has impressed with her recent performances

Finding her place in an episode entitled 'Kill All Others', she'll work alongside Emmy-nominated American writer-director Dee Rees, playing a politician in the episode who shocks the world when they make a statement encouraging violence. Mel Rodriguez ('Last Man on Earth') will star opposite Farmiga's character as the one person who dares to question the call for violence, making himself an instant target.

Continue reading: Vera Farmiga Joins Cast Of 'Philip K Dick's Electric Dreams'

The Conjuring 2 Review

Very Good

Continuing on from the 2013 hit, this sequel blends fact and fiction to follow real-life ghostbusters Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) from the 1976 Amityville haunting to an encounter with the Enfield poltergeist in 1977 London. Filmmaker James Wan continues to deploy every cinematic gimmick he knows to freak out the audience, and the fact that it's based on a true story makes it even more unsettling. Although the cliches of the genre feel a bit tired.

The story opens in Amityville, where the Warrens are deeply disturbed by supernatural forces and decide to take some time off. But they're soon summoned to England to help a family being terrorised by a nasty spirit. Arriving in Enfield, North London, they meet Peggy Hodgson (Frances O'Connor), a plucky single mother of four, who is worried that the ghost of an angry old man is threatening her 11-year-old daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe). Now staying with neighbours (Simon Delaney and Maria Doyle Kennedy) across the street, Peggy has also called in two experts, a true believer (Simon McBurney) and a sceptic (Franka Potente), to work with the Warrens to clear this malevolent presence from the family home.

While the script inventively intermingles the facts of the case with a generous dose of movie fiction, Wan fills the screen with all kinds of creepy goings-on, including banging noises, levitating furniture and flickering TV screens. Additional standard scares include a nerve-jangling toy and a seriously scary nun (who's about to get her own spin-off film, like the creepy doll Annabelle from the first movie). Wan also uses manipulative movie trickery from moody music to grubby production design to prowling camerawork that constantly reveals something frightening in the deep shadows. What he never does is find a new way to scare the audience: we have seen all of these tricks before, but of course they still work.

Continue reading: The Conjuring 2 Review

'The Conjuring 2' Reviews: Good Enough That The Cheap Scares Are Forgiven By Most Critics


James Wan Patrick Wilson Vera Farmiga

'The Conjuring 2' always had a lot to live up to after the original film in 2013; how was James Wan going to scare his audience with his next Ed and Lorraine Warren case? As it turns out, the new movie has much less of that slow-burning dread about it and a lot more cheap 'BOO!' moments. But that doesn't mean the critics didn't love it.

The Conjuring 2'The Conjuring 2' isn't as much of a slow-burner as its predecessor

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return in this fictional re-telling of The Enfield Poltergiest; a true story of a family in London back in the 70s who were terrorized by a number of malevolent spirits, all centering around one of the daughters, Janet. It's a very meticulously recorded case, so there was a lot of source material to take from - but the 133 minutes of movie that came out of it was always going to be controversial.

Continue reading: 'The Conjuring 2' Reviews: Good Enough That The Cheap Scares Are Forgiven By Most Critics

The Conjuring 2 Trailer


Not fazed by their previous experiences, Lorraine and Ed Warren are still successful paranormal investigators and their reputations have made them known around the world. As they hunt for new cases to investigate they decide to travel to England, Enfield just outside London to help a single mother and her children who are being haunted by a nasty spirit. 

Continue: The Conjuring 2 Trailer

'The Judge' Is Formulaic, Contrived And Very, Very Entertaining


Robert Downey Jr Robert Duvall Leighton Meester Vera Farmiga

Robert Downey Jr was the star name on the opening night of the Toronto Film Festival even if his latest film, The Judge, hadn't exactly drummed up a mountain of anticipation. David Dobkin's drama stars Downey Jr as a lawyer who returns home when his father, a judge, is implicated as a murder suspect.

Robert Downey JrRobert Downey Jr [L] and Robert Duvall [R] in 'THe Judge'

The Judge features a hugely accomplished supporting cast including Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Billy Bob Thornton and Leighton Meester and for the most part the ensemble keep things entertaining, at least.

Continue reading: 'The Judge' Is Formulaic, Contrived And Very, Very Entertaining

Vera Farmiga - Celebrities outside the Ed Sullivan Theater for their taping on the Late Show with David Letterman - New York, New York, United States - Monday 28th April 2014

Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga

After Strong Ratings, 'Bates Motel' Is Renewed For Third Season By A&E


Vera Farmiga Freddie Highmore

Thriller drama Bates Motel has been renewed for a 10-episode third season by A&E and is expected to air in 2015, the network announced on Monday. The series, based on the classic novel Psycho and the equally important 1960 movie by Alfred Hitchcock, stars Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates and Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates. Production is expected to begin in the fall.

Bates Motel

"The incredible writing team and talented Bates Motel cast has made this series one of the most compelling original dramas on television," David McKillop, A&E Network's executive vice president and general manager, said in a statement. "The brilliant twists and turns of the past two seasons keep its loyal fan base coming back for more. We are so proud of the show."

Continue reading: After Strong Ratings, 'Bates Motel' Is Renewed For Third Season By A&E

Vera Farmiga - A&E's 'Bates Motel' and 'Those Who Kill' Premiere Party at Warwick - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 26th February 2014

Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga

Vera Farmiga - HBO's Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Post Award Reception at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 22nd September 2013

Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Renn Hawkey and Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Renn Hawkey and Vera Farmiga

Renn Hawkey and Vera Farmiga - 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 22nd September 2013

Renn Hawkey and Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Renn Hawkey and Vera Farmiga

US Box Office: The Conjuring Haunts R.I.P.D. During Its Opening Weekend


Vera Farmiga Patrick Wilson Lili Taylor Ron Livingston Jeff Bridges Ryan Reynolds Steve Carell Steve Coogan Miranda Cosgrove Benjamin Bratt Kristen Wiig Russell Brand

The Conjuring, opening this weekend, gained $41.5 million. Another lower budget film beat off the likes of R.I.P.D. which, according to reports, cost more than $130 million to make.

Vera FarmigaVera Farmiga at the premiere of Bates Motel, L.A. 

Warner Brother's haunted house horror, which stars Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel); Lili Taylor (Hemlock Grove); Patrick Wilson (Prometheus) and Ron Livingston (The Time Traveller's Wife), follows two paranormal investigators as they attempt to help The Warrens overcome a malign presence which lurks in their seemingly idyllic country house. 

Continue reading: US Box Office: The Conjuring Haunts R.I.P.D. During Its Opening Weekend

Primetime Emmy Award Nominations: Will Netflix Triumph With 'Arrested Development'?


Aaron Paul Lena Dunham Tina Fey Game Of Thrones Arrested Development Kate Mara Claire Danes Hugh Dancy Bobby Cannavale Noah Emmerich David Morrissey Matthew Rhys Vera Farmiga Adam Driver Neil Patrick Harris Jessica Walter Jon Cryer Charlie Sheen Jason Bateman Sofia Vergara

The Primetime Emmy Award nominations will be announced on Thursday (18th July). Speculation surrounding the awards is high, with Netflix's Arrested Development predicted to triumph. The awards will be announced by Kate Mara and Aaron Paul.

Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul will announce the nominations on Thursday.

Game Of Thrones is also suspected as a strong contender in the category of Best Drama Series. Homeland who won a number of awards last year is predicted to flop owing to its disappointing second series.

Continue reading: Primetime Emmy Award Nominations: Will Netflix Triumph With 'Arrested Development'?

Vera Farmiga - Actress Vera Farmiga, who stars in the new A&E series "Bates Motel" is seen leaving her hotel with her family in Soho - New York, New York, United States - Tuesday 19th March 2013

Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga

Taissa Farmiga and Vera Farmiga - The premiere of 'Bates Motel' at Soho House - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 12th March 2013

Taissa Farmiga and Vera Farmiga
Taissa Farmiga and Vera Farmiga
Taissa Farmiga and Vera Farmiga
Taissa Farmiga and Vera Farmiga
Taissa Farmiga and Vera Farmiga
Taissa Farmiga

Taissa Farmiga and Vera Farmiga - The premiere of 'Bates Motel' at Soho House - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 11th March 2013

Taissa Farmiga and Vera Farmiga
Taissa Farmiga and Vera Farmiga
Taissa Farmiga and Vera Farmiga

A Week In Movies: The Oscars Ends Award Season, Kidman Thrills In Stoker And Hansel & Gretel Is Action Fairy Tale Romp


Jennifer Lawrence Daniel Radcliffe Jeremy Renner Gemma Arterton Nicole Kidman Olesya Rulin Patrick Wilson Lili Taylor Vera Farmiga

Oscars Winners 2013

On Sunday night, the Oscars brought the curtain down on awards season with a ceremony that combined the usual starry glamour with rather a lot of music. And it was nice that one movie didn't sweep the boards this year, with top honours spread between Argo, Life of Pi, Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln, Django Unchained and Les Miserables

The night before the Oscars, Hollywood's A-listers gathered in Los Angeles to celebrate non-studio movies at the Independent Spirit Awards. Jennifer Lawrence won best actress at both ceremonies, and was caught by the paparazzi signing autographs for fans on her way into the Spirits.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: The Oscars Ends Award Season, Kidman Thrills In Stoker And Hansel & Gretel Is Action Fairy Tale Romp

Vera Farmiga and Taissa Farmiga - Taissa Farmiga, Vera Farmiga Tuesday 7th February 2012 New York Premiere of 'Safe House' held at the SVA Theater - Arrivals

Vera Farmiga and Taissa Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga

Vera Farmiga - Renn Hawkey, Vera Farmiga New York City, USA - the New York premiere of 'The Iron Lady' at the Ziegfeld Theater. Tuesday 13th December 2011

Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga

Video - Hugh Dancy's Martha Marcy May Marlene Overlooked At Awards Ceremony - Gotham Independent Film Awards Part 3


British actor Hugh Dancy (Martha Marcy May Marlene) was seen on the red carpet for the 2011 Gotham Independent Film Awards. Martha Marcy May Marlene was surprisingly overlooked at the awards ceremony, despite being nominated for three awards: Best Feature; Breathrough Actor and Best Ensemble. George Clooney's The Descendants were also nominated in those three categories but lost out as well.

Gossip Girl actress Blake Livey; Star Trek star Zachary Quinto and Up In The Air's Vera Farmiga all made appearances on the red carpet.

Vera Farmiga Tuesday 29th November 2011 2011 UNICEF Snowflake Ball at Cipriani 42nd Street - Arrivals New York City, USA

Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga

Vera Farmiga Monday 28th November 2011 IFP's 21st Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards - Inside New York City, USA

Vera Farmiga

Vera Farmiga Monday 28th November 2011 Gotham Awards 2011 - Arrivals New York City, USA

Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga

Vera Farmiga and Ziegfeld Theatre - Vera Farmiga, New York City, USA - at the 'Hugo' premiere shown at the Ziegfeld Theatre. Monday 21st November 2011

Vera Farmiga and Ziegfeld Theatre
Vera Farmiga and Ziegfeld Theatre
Vera Farmiga and Ziegfeld Theatre
Vera Farmiga and Ziegfeld Theatre

Dagmara Dominczyk and Vera Farmiga - Dagmara Dominczyk, Vera Farmiga New York City, USA - The New York premiere of Higher Gorund - Arrivals Monday 15th August 2011

Dagmara Dominczyk and Vera Farmiga
Dagmara Dominczyk
Dagmara Dominczyk
Dagmara Dominczyk
Dagmara Dominczyk
Nina Arianda, Dagmara Dominczyk, Donna Murphy and Vera Farmiga

Vera Farmiga and Taissa Farmiga - Taissa Farmiga, Vera Farmiga Tuesday 26th April 2011 at Tribeca Film Festival New York City, USA

Vera Farmiga and Taissa Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga

Source Code Review


Excellent
Sharply intelligent and also viscerally entertaining, this pacey "Groundhog Day meets the War on Terror" thriller keeps us (and the characters) guessing where it might go next. And after the terrific Moon, director Jones shows that he's ready for the big league.

Colter Stevens (Gyllenhaal) is a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan who wakes up into a perplexing new mission: he's on a commuter train heading into Chicago with a woman, Christina (Monaghan), who keeps calling him Sean. Then a huge explosion tears the train apart and he wakes up in another reality, where an officer named Goodwin (Farmiga) is talking to him, asking questions and ultimately sending him back into the train to relive the same eight minutes and find the bomber. Over the next several cycles, Colter makes some startling discoveries.

Continue reading: Source Code Review

Source Code Trailer


Captain Colter Stevens is a respected soldier and is involved in a government project set up as a counter terrorist strategy. The science is new and it's very experimental but scientists have found they can enter lives of others 7 minutes before the die by entering into a source code computer programme.

Continue: Source Code Trailer

Henry's Crime Review


Good
This sleepy comedy is surprisingly entertaining as its plot twists and turns along the way, combining a bank heist with a romance. And rather a lot of Chekhov too. But it's the likeable cast that makes it worth seeing.

Henry (Reeves) is just drifting through life with his wife Debbie (Greer) when his old school friend Eddie (Stevens) leaves him to take the fall for a bank robbery Henry knew nothing about. His life in prison isn't much worse than outside, and his new friend Max (Caan) makes up for the fact that Debbie runs off with one of the robbers (Hoch). And when he gets out a year or so later, Henry decides that since he's done the time, he might as well do the crime.

Continue reading: Henry's Crime Review

Up In The Air Review


Excellent
Smart and funny, this breezy and bittersweet drama carries dark resonance for a society caught in the middle of both recession and downsizing. And Clooney couldn't be more perfectly cast in this role.

Ryan Bingham (Clooney) sacks people for a living. As he flies around America trying to soften the blow, he connects with a sexy businesswoman (Farmiga) and starts a side job leading motivational sessions about minimising the baggage in your life. He also builds up a whopping frequent flier account. So when his boss (Bateman) hires efficiency expert Natalie (Kendrick) to streamline the downsizing business, he feels the rug being pulled out from beneath him.

Continue reading: Up In The Air Review

Orphan Review


Good
For a laughably preposterous thriller, this film is slickly made and much longer than expected. But it's an entertaining addition to the evil child genre, simply for its over-the-top chills and nutty plot.

Kate and John (Farmiga and Sarsgaard) live in a spectacular designer home in the snowy countryside with their bright children Danny and Maxine (Bennett and Engineer), who happens to be deaf. But they have a tormented past, peppered with infidelity, addiction and a tragic miscarriage. They decide to adopt a child to get back on course, and settle for the perky Esther (Fuhrman), a 9-year-old Russian who learns very quickly indeed. She's also up to no good, as the ominous underscore keeps reminding us.

Continue reading: Orphan Review

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas Review


Very Good
In Mark Herman's adaptation of John Boyne's controversial children's bestseller offering a kid's-eye view of Holocaust, the young eight-year-old Bruno (Asa Butterfield) has the wide, blue-eyed innocence of the unprotected. Sheltered and half in a fantasy world, he runs through city streets with his friends, his arms outstretched like wings, gliding untouched through the busy and congested world of adults. Herman bathes these opening scenes in a fantastic fairy-tale burnish, like a golden world ready to be lost.

Bruno shares a family dinner with his loving parents (Vera Farmiga and David Thewlis) and his older sister Gretel (Amber Beattie). With their sparkling British Masterpiece Theatre accents, the family appears as well-scrubbed paragons of British banality. (Even Richard Johnson, that great bastion of British nobility from the epics of the 1960s, is exhumed to appear as the family's Grandpa.) So it comes as a shock when Thewlis dons a German commandant's uniform for a going-away party and Herman quietly reveals that the Dad has been reassigned, taking the family with him. As Dad remarks, "Home is where the family is." In this case, however, home is Auschwitz and Dad is the new camp commandant, who will be supervising the mass exterminations.

Continue reading: The Boy In The Striped Pajamas Review

Never Forever Review


Very Good
Despite a slightly stilted setup and a couple of cinema-style coincidences, Never Forever is a tight, sexy, and compelling melodrama that tackles some tough issues. It's the kind of date movie that will definitely give the two of you something to discuss over dinner.

Beautiful Sophie (Vera Farmiga) is happily but claustrophobically married to Andrew (Davis McInnis), a Korean-American whose devoutly religious Korean family has kept her at arm's length. The withering looks Sophie gets from that coven of hatchet-faced crones are devastating, but she gamely tries to fit in. The problem is that Sophie and Andrew can't conceive a child, and it's his fault, an unbearable humiliation for him that has driven them to fertility clinics time and time again.

Continue reading: Never Forever Review

Joshua (2007) Review


Good
Shot in wide-angled lens, the apartment in which the Cairn family resides could be any market-trading, publisher-dictating, money-horny Manhattanite's family bungalow. The rooms have respectably high ceilings, there's space for a big ol' piano, and there's even enough room for one of those nifty new fridges with enough compartments to be able to fit tons of leftovers from the Tribeca Grill. The halls look shadowy, and in the daytime the sun comes in basically as a vomit-colored fog. Only in an apartment with this sort of eerie ambience could a so-creepy-maybe-he's-the-devil child like Joshua Cairn be brought up by his insanely yuppie parents.

Director George Ratliff's shift into narrative cinema isn't completely unlike his hair-raising Trinity Church documentary Hell House. Though intriguingly unexplored, the idea of religious fundamentalism gets breached in a scene when the young Joshua (Jacob Kagon) takes a trip to church with his grandmother (Celia Weston). He later announces that he is prepared to accept Christ; his mother (Vera Farmiga) responds by reminding her mother-in-law and Joshua that she is a "big, fat Jew". The father (Sam Rockwell) takes his son's eccentricities and disturbing statements ("you don't have to love me") with a shambling good nature, only truly breaking down when the family dog dies. In a wicked twist, Ratliff only hints at the father's possible infidelity and revels in the lame AM radio rock he sings as he enters his apartment palace.

Continue reading: Joshua (2007) Review

The Hard Easy Review


Weak
Jon Lindstrom must have thought he was on to the gimmick of the century when he sat down to write The Hard Easy: Two separate gangs plan a diamond theft that goes down at the same time. One gang shows up, only to find the other's already working the job. Now that's an "oh snap!" moment.

And hey, it's not a bad idea. The problem is that The Hard Easy doesn't have any other ideas to sustain the other 95 minutes that don't involve the two gangs facing off. Director Ari Ryan practically admits this from the start. He opens with a snippet of the botched heist, then flashes back to how we got there, then we see the heist in all its glory. Those are some rocky times, alas. Try as he might to make Henry Thomas's lovable loser Paul into the hero we're supposed to root for, it doesn't really pan out. Thomas is a terrible choice for the role, in the end, a whiny loser and a bit of a jerk (and on the hook for countless gambling debts) that deserves what he has coming. The schlub on the other team: David Boreanaz, an odd choice who has substantially less screen time than Thomas but does little with what he gets.

Continue reading: The Hard Easy Review

Breaking And Entering Review


Weak
Bathed in browns and tans and coursing with pent-up socioeconomic ponderings, Anthony Minghella's gentrification hiccup Breaking and Entering joins a rather terminal genre of films that want to have their cake and eat it too. Balancing a fumbling love triangle and a plethora of misconceived notions on class structure, Minghella has confined himself to an intimate story that betrays his often loftier ambitions.

A string of robberies has plagued the ghetto of King's Cross in London. The thievery seems to be centered on an architecture firm that (no surprise) is trying to clean up and reconstruct the famed slum into something more suitable for London's middle-class. Headed by pretty boy Will (Jude Law) and scruffy Sandy (Martin Freeman), the company has an internal conflict on whether it was a member of the cleaning staff (that Sandy is sweet on) or outside burglars that committed the crimes. While attempting his own makeshift stakeout, Will spots the young robber and jumps out of his posh SUV to chase him. It leads him to the home of Amira (the luminous Juliette Binoche), a survivor of the horrors of Bosnia who yearns to return to Sarajevo with her son Miro (Rafi Gavron), the thief in question.

Continue reading: Breaking And Entering Review

Down To The Bone Review


Excellent
Drug or alcohol-based plotlines usually follow the predictable formula of working towards cataclysmic redemption or moralizing a main character's journey towards a bottomless pit in order to teach an audience a thing or two. But writer-director Debra Granik takes a different approach with her debut feature, Down to the Bone, and places us alongside living the minutest of struggles of paying the bills and raising kids while overcoming withdrawal from substance abuse.

Poignant but beautifully far from precious, Down to the Bone captures the very human daily tasks that are difficult to contend with while fighting the personal demons of addiction. The characters are not immediately easy to attach to because of their flaws, but it's their effort to grasp the strings of their lives that will lead them to not give up that form compelling performances rich with sympathy and care. You want them to beat the odds, and even when they falter, there is a quiet understanding that they are learning from their poor choices instead of just falling on an old habit because it's there.

Continue reading: Down To The Bone Review

The Departed Review


Excellent
Just as Spike Lee took a basic caper and added his own pet issues to elevate Inside Man to the upper echelons of its genre, Martin Scorsese has taken The Departed, based on an intriguingly simple premise, to its own heights by infusing issues that have concerned him ever since Mean Streets. Along the way, he makes room for some memorable performances, not the least of which comes from the most likely of sources.

The Departed is based on the Hong Kong blockbuster Infernal Affairs, in which a cop goes undercover in the mob while the mob places one of their own as a mole in the police force. In Scorsese's version, the scene shifts to Boston, where mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) puts loyal-from-boyhood employee Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) through police training. As Sullivan rises through the ranks, Special Investigations Unit chiefs Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) recruit rookie Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) to get "kicked off" the force and do time to gain Costello's confidence.

Continue reading: The Departed Review

Breaking And Entering Review


Weak
Bathed in browns and tans and coursing with pent-up socioeconomic ponderings, Anthony Minghella's gentrification hiccup Breaking and Entering joins a rather terminal genre of films that want to have their cake and eat it too. Balancing a fumbling love triangle and a plethora of misconceived notions on class structure, Minghella has confined himself to an intimate story that betrays his often loftier ambitions.A string of robberies has plagued the ghetto of King's Cross in London. The thievery seems to be centered on an architecture firm that (no surprise) is trying to clean up and reconstruct the famed slum into something more suitable for London's middle-class. Headed by pretty boy Will (Jude Law) and scruffy Sandy (Martin Freeman), the company has an internal conflict on whether it was a member of the cleaning staff (that Sandy is sweet on) or outside burglars that committed the crimes. While attempting his own makeshift stakeout, Will spots the young robber and jumps out of his posh SUV to chase him. It leads him to the home of Amira (the luminous Juliette Binoche), a survivor of the horrors of Bosnia who yearns to return to Sarajevo with her son Miro (Rafi Gavron), the thief in question.While he is away from his wife Liv (Robin Wright Penn) and borderline-autistic stepdaughter Bea (Poppy Rogers), Will takes coffee with a Russian prostitute (Vera Farmiga) while warming up for a rather awkward affair with Amira. The affair is about bourgeois guilt and escape for him, but for her it's a way of securing her son from a life in jail and keeping him away from the local coppers, led by the reliable Ray Winstone.Replacing regular cinematographer John Seal, the masterful Benoît Delhomme (The Proposition, What Time Is It There?) gives this panorama of class and relations an inebriated tone of mystique. That's half the problem: King's Cross has no real sense of danger or of any sort of differentiation of class, visually speaking. Catcalls of "better watch out" or "shouldn't be wearing those duds round here, mate" become rather pathetic signals of danger when Will chases Miro through the underbelly of the "slum." This also puts a lot of stress on Binoche and Gavron: If their surroundings don't communicate the class difference, the actors have to. Binoche has become an actress so malleable in her talents and appearance that it's often hard to categorize her. The fit, stressed mom in Michael Haneke's superb Cache has given way to a slightly chubbier, East-European-accented mother hen with drab clothing and a strongly felt love for her son and his future.Binoche is the heart of the film, and the scenery and mood matches her, ironically, up until Amira and Will's affair begins. The dazed atmosphere of the film becomes gelatinous, giving the class struggle a somewhat hollow resonance. The descents of all the characters (Liv is Scandinavian) becomes a point of order in the film's context but it's never given any sort of importance to offer the narrative a sense of intricacy. Even more so, Sandy's yearning and ultimate disappointment with his lower-class cleaning lady hints at a more developed and poignant representation of bourgeois ethos, but it's never developed past the films first 30 minutes. So, instead, the cultural clash is restricted to pale shades of white, and any sort of challenging critique of modern status and stratum is widely averted. Not quite a misdemeanor, but definitely nothing to celebrate.Is your refridgerator running?

The Departed Review


Excellent

Just as Spike Lee took a basic caper and added his own pet issues to elevate Inside Man to the upper echelons of its genre, Martin Scorsese has taken The Departed, based on an intriguingly simple premise, to its own heights by infusing issues that have concerned him ever since Mean Streets. Along the way, he makes room for some memorable performances, not the least of which comes from the most likely of sources.

The Departed is based on the Hong Kong blockbuster Infernal Affairs, in which a cop goes undercover in the mob while the mob places one of their own as a mole in the police force. In Scorsese's version, the scene shifts to Boston, where mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) puts loyal-from-boyhood employee Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) through police training. As Sullivan rises through the ranks, Special Investigations Unit chiefs Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) recruit rookie Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) to get "kicked off" the force and do time to gain Costello's confidence.

All of this happens before the opening titles.

Continue reading: The Departed Review

Running Scared Review


Good
Like Paul Walker's character in it, Running Scared is a lot smarter than it looks. Unfortunately, it spends as much time being dumb as acting dumb, making for an experience that can be as frustrating as it is entertaining. The film is basically three different movies: One, a straightforward crime drama, probably its strongest suit. Two, a satire of the genre, working on many levels from Peckinpah-esque examination of the male psyche to urban Grimm fairy tale. And, sadly, three, a genuinely clunky thriller. Unfortunately, you never know which you'll get from scene to scene, or even moment to moment.Paul Walker plays Joey Gazelle (Get it? He runs. This would be the less clever part.), a family man in suburban Jersey who also happens to work for the local mob. After a deal gone wrong ends up with a lot of dead people, some of them dirty cops, Joey is charged with his usual task of disposing of the gun that killed said cops. Joey, however, has been stashing the guns he's supposed to have ditched as an "insurance policy." When his son Nicky (Alex Neuberger) and his neighbor's kid Oleg (Cameron Bright) witness him adding the weapon to his collection, Oleg sees an opportunity to settle the score with his abusive father, Anzor (Karel Roden).Soon, Anzor is wounded, Oleg is on the run, and Joey has one night to get the gun back or end up dead at the hands of his own people. Since Nicky might know where to find Oleg, what ensues is the worst Take Your Kid To Work Day ever.Writer/director Wayne Kramer (The Cooler) displays an appetite for flashy camera tricks, but we're not in Domino territory here, thank God. Unlike Tony Scott, Kramer shows some restraint and variety, but the frequent double exposures still wear thin. Just as often, though, he creates intimate spaces where his characters can interact, isolated from the surrounding chaos.The writing varies from sly satire to witless implausibility. Chazz Palminteri's character, a dirty cop, steps into more than one commercial parody in the film, making a passing reference to the actor's own Vanilla Coke ad in the process. At the same time the film relies far too much on coincidence to further the plot.The performances here are all adequate. Walker shows that he can do a convincing Jersey accent. Vera Farmiga's performance as Joey's wife is uneven, but effective when it really counts. Bright pulls off the eerie thousand-yard stare of a kid who's seen too much at home, and so is unfazed by the monsters he encounters in the real world.The deliberate nature of some of Kramer's choices suggest something bubbling under the surface. He sets a key action scene in a hockey rink, a place of socially acceptable violence. Anzor has a tattoo of John Wayne on his back, and carries an obsession with the actor that might serve as a commentary on film violence. References to ultra-violent films like Scarface surface from time to time. It's clear that Kramer's trying to say something, but what?Unlike Revolver, which pretentiously aspires to levels it never achieves, Running Scared aspires to levels it occasionally achieves without ever taking itself too seriously, and while being massively entertaining even when it's not making a whole lot of sense. Kramer's sophomore effort shows flashes of brilliance but smacks of an artist still working out what he wants to say and how he wants to say it. It may not be Peckinpah, but if you're a fan of the genre, it's probably worth a look.The DVD includes a commentary track, storyboards, and behind-the-scenes featurette.Sitting unscared.

Down To The Bone Review


Excellent
Drug or alcohol-based plotlines usually follow the predictable formula of working towards cataclysmic redemption or moralizing a main character's journey towards a bottomless pit in order to teach an audience a thing or two. But writer-director Debra Granik takes a different approach with her debut feature, Down to the Bone, and places us alongside living the minutest of struggles of paying the bills and raising kids while overcoming withdrawal from substance abuse.

Poignant but beautifully far from precious, Down to the Bone captures the very human daily tasks that are difficult to contend with while fighting the personal demons of addiction. The characters are not immediately easy to attach to because of their flaws, but it's their effort to grasp the strings of their lives that will lead them to not give up that form compelling performances rich with sympathy and care. You want them to beat the odds, and even when they falter, there is a quiet understanding that they are learning from their poor choices instead of just falling on an old habit because it's there.

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Return To Paradise Review


Very Good
Surprisingly effective, if highly unlikely, drama of the soul and the conscience. If some guy you hardly knew was sentenced to hang in a Malaysian jail unless you went back and did 6 years in a third-world slammer, would you go?

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The Manchurian Candidate (2004) Review


Extraordinary
I'm a huge fan of the original Manchurian Candidate, so naturally I approached Jonathan Demme's redo with some amount of trepidation. In this, the year of the shoddy remake, we've already seen such hack jobs as The Stepford Wives, The Big Bounce, and The Punisher, among a half-dozen or so updates. The catch of course is that the original Manchurian is a classic. If Demme screwed it up, it wouldn't be the same as if he'd botched a Dolph Lundgren movie.

With a heavy sigh of relief I'm happy to report that Demme's done right by the original. Demme takes the best of the 1962 movie, updates it appropriately for the corporate power-trip of the 2000s, and puts some spin into the plot, so even if you watched the original on DVD last week, you still won't be able to guess how this one will end.

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Love In The Time Of Money Review


Weak
Filmmaker's dilemma: You want to make a movie with a lot of sex scenes and no plot whatsoever, but you have to make something respectable. Hell, Robert Redford is an executive producer! He isn't going to tolerate any Cinemax soft-core porn.

Answer: String together a bunch of unrelated vignettes revolving around sex. Start with a hooker and her client, then send that client to work to have sex with someone there, then send that woman's husband to an art gallery to have sex with an artist, and send him on his way as well.

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Dummy Review


Excellent
Just before Adrien Brody delivered his Oscar-winning performance as an isolated and frightened Holocaust survivor in The Pianist, he played a whole different kind of isolated and frightened. As Steven, a lonely underachiever in Greg Pritikin's fantastic indie comedy Dummy, Brody finds solace not in piano music, but in the twisted art of ventriloquism.

It's an offbeat concept that might fit in a chop-'em-up horror movie or a sad, pathetic character study -- yet writer/director Pritikin finds his own niche with the idea, producing a creatively eclectic tale. Dummy is full of exciting surprising laughs, true heart, and enough dysfunctional characters to fill a Wes Anderson film.

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Vera Farmiga

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Vera Farmiga

Date of birth

6th October, 1973

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Female

Height

1.65




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Vera Farmiga Movies

The Commuter Trailer

The Commuter Trailer

Every working day for the last ten years, insurance salesman Michael MacCauley has gotten the...

The Conjuring 2 Movie Review

The Conjuring 2 Movie Review

Continuing on from the 2013 hit, this sequel blends fact and fiction to follow real-life...

The Conjuring 2 Trailer

The Conjuring 2 Trailer

Not fazed by their previous experiences, Lorraine and Ed Warren are still successful paranormal investigators...

The Judge Movie Review

The Judge Movie Review

This generational drama strains so hard to be serious that it's almost laughable. Its big...

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The Judge Trailer

The Judge Trailer

Hank Palmer is a ruthless but excellent lawyer, despised by many of his peers for...

At Middleton Trailer

At Middleton Trailer

It seems you can take a kid out of college but you can't take college...

The Conjuring Movie Review

The Conjuring Movie Review

Old-style filmmaking makes this movie scarier than other recent horror films, simply because director Wan...

The Conjuring Trailer

The Conjuring Trailer

When the Perron family of six move to a rural old farmhouse in New England,...

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Goats Trailer

Goats Trailer

Ellis is probably the most normal member of his weird family. His mother, Wendy, is...

Safe House Movie Review

Safe House Movie Review

With a cool Cape Town setting and constant sweaty, kinetic violence, this entire film plays...

Safe House Trailer

Safe House Trailer

Matt Weston is a young CIA agent who, for the past year, has been bored...

Source Code Movie Review

Source Code Movie Review

Sharply intelligent and also viscerally entertaining, this pacey "Groundhog Day meets the War on Terror"...

Source Code Trailer

Source Code Trailer

Captain Colter Stevens is a respected soldier and is involved in a government project set...

Henry's Crime Movie Review

Henry's Crime Movie Review

This sleepy comedy is surprisingly entertaining as its plot twists and turns along the way,...

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