Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history, this film centres on just a few days in her life to offer some telling insights not only into the woman in question but also the culture of celebrity and the nature of political legacies. Yes, it's a complex, provocative film, artfully directed by Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain (Neruda) and anchored by a riveting performance from Natalie Portman.
The story is set in the aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, as Jackie (Portman) retreats to her seaside home in Massachusetts to make plans for her future. She is visited by a journalist (Billy Crudup), who asks her about her experience in the days after her husband (Caspar Phillipson) was shot while sitting next to her in the back of a car. During these days, she has been faced with some big questions. Who is she arranging the funeral for? Herself? Her children? The American public? The future generations who will remember her husband? The only people she can confide in are her brother-in-law Bobby (Peter Sarsgaard), her assistant Nancy (Greta Gerwig) and a straight-talking priest (John Hurt). Her husband may have been a relentless philanderer, but Jackie is consumed by grief and unsure where her life will go now.
Continue reading: Jackie Review
Jamie doesn't live a normal life, he's raised by his single mom and lives in a house occupied by tenants. It's the start of the summer of 1979 in Santa Barbara and Dorothea Fields is not only the matriarch of her little family but she also looks over the young people that seem to join her household.
At that moment in time the world was experiencing much turmoil and uncertainty as well as huge gains in personal freedom and all these things convinced Dorothea to ask other women involved in Jamie's life to help mould and shape him into a well-adjusted person. Mother's and Son's often have tumultuous relationships and Jamie loves his mom but can't help but constantly think that she's a know it all with all the answers.
Abbie is a young lodger in the household and becomes particularly influential in Jamie's life, she's a free spirit with a punk attitude to life that really appeals to the teenager attempting to find himself. Whilst his next door neighbour Julie is going through some issues of her own but also becomes a huge influence on the boy's life.
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Jacqueline Bouvier was always a highly independent woman, even when she was a debutant; she made a lasting impression on most who she met. Jackie always aspired to be a journalist and in 1947 she was offered a prestigious junior editor position at Vogue magazine, though she decided not to take the position in the end. Having travelled to various countries and lived in Paris for a short time, Jackie was an incredibly worldly lady and it's not so much of a surprise that she caught the attention of many men.
John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline met through social groups and they were both attracted to one another for many reasons and had similar life experiences. John was a rising star of politics and after his election to the Senate, he proposed to his love. Her answer didn't come as quickly as Kennedy might've hoped as she was assigned by the Washington Times-Herald to cover the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in the UK; ever the professional Jackie completed her assignment before taking Kennedy up on his offer. In 1953 the couple were married at one of the social events of the century. Though Kennedy was dedicated to his work, the deep love between the two was evident to all and Jackie was a constant support for her husband who eventually became president in November 1960.
Jackie's style, elegance and grace made her a much loved First Lady but more than that, she was dedicated to President Kennedy's vision and shared his burden.
Continue: Jackie Trailer
Based on real events, this sharply well-made film shifts from a rather light-hearted comedy into a horrific thriller. And it feels unnervingly natural as it does so. Where this goes is a bit relentless in its exploration of the darkest aspects of human capabilities, but it's also bracingly truthful. At the same time, it shows the enduring value of an experiment that seemed to go perilously wrong.
In Northern California in 1971, a group of 24 university students respond to a newspaper advert asking for participants in a psychological experiment. On the toss of a coin, organiser Dr Zimbardo (Billy Crudup) divides the young men into guards and inmates, and places them in a makeshift prison where they can be observed. And things start to turn nasty very quickly, as guard Christopher (Michael Angarano) targets snarky prisoner 8612 (Ezra Miller) for extra punishment. The guards also turn on the especially vulnerable 819 (Tye Sheridan). And when the inmates revolt, Zimbardo allows the guards to carry on with their increasingly harsh discipline. But Zimbardo's girlfriend Christina (Olivia Thirlby), herself a psychologist, worries that the situation has gone too far.
It's intriguing, and perhaps obvious, that it had to be a woman who saw through a scenario that had become little more than an out-of-control expression of masculinity. Even more telling, Zimbardo and his team became part of the experiment themselves, as they allowed and were fascinated by the abuse heaped on the prisoners by play-acting guards who let the power go to their heads. Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez (C.O.G.) shoots this in an unusually stripped-down style that gives the film a documentary tone. This low key approach means that the pacing sometimes feels draggy, as the intensely internalised suspense cycles around and around again. But what this is revealing about human behaviour is invaluable, and seriously terrifying.
Continue reading: The Stanford Prison Experiment Review
This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on a true story, this is a journalistic procedural following a team of newspaper writers who take on a corrupt system. The outcome is well-known (they won a Pulitzer Prize and launched the global investigation into child abuse by Catholic priests), but the film is still utterly riveting, beautifully written and played to perfection.
In 2001, the Boston Globe's investigative Spotlight team is working to report the biggest stories in the city. So newly arrived senior editor Marty (Liev Schreiber) asks them to find out if there's truth to rumours that the local Catholic Archdiocese is covering up abuse. But he's unaware that the church controls the city, and the Spotlight writers (Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Brian d'Arcy James) quickly encounter heavy resistance from the establishment. As they persistently dig deeper, they realise that the story is exponentially bigger than anyone thought it was. Two lawyers (Stanley Tucci and Billy Crudup) prove to be crucial in this process, as the team works to prove that the Cardinal (Len Cariou) has been covering up abuse for decades.
Cleverly, writer Josh Singer and writer-director Tom McCarthy never play this story for its salacious details. Instead, they focus on the people involved, which gives the film a strong sense of what's at stake here and the urgency of getting the story exactly right. It's a rare movie that can maintain this balance, gripping the audience and building suspense without ever tipping over into sensationalism. And the filmmakers bring out some strong emotional resonance in sensitive conversations between the journalists and the victims. All of this is expertly played by actors who stir in personal details without letting their characters' side-stories interfere with the larger narrative. They also resist the temptation to overplay the material, letting the facts of the case provide every gut-punch.
Continue reading: Spotlight Review
Award-nominated actors work through Super Bowl weekend, as Night at the Museum 3 takes to the streets of London, which also features in the A Long Way Down trailer. And we get glimpses of Owen's Blood Ties, more Rio action, a sinister Oculus and an eerie Maleficent theme song...
In the lull between big awards shows, media attention turns to Super Bowl halftime performances and adverts, while award-nominated actors and filmmakers travel around the world to squeeze in their next projects before Bafta and Oscar nights. Judi Dench is in India filming The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 with the reunited cast from the original. Chiewtel Ejiofor is in New Zealand filming something top-secret. Cate Blanchett is taking a well-deserved holiday. Meanwhile, Ben Stiller and Robin Williams have been snapped on the streets of rain-swept London filming scenes for Night at the Museum 3. We braved the British weather to snap the filming in action.
We got our first glimpse of the comedy-drama A Long Way Down this week, with a new trailer that plays up the film's black humour and warm emotion. Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots play four people who meet as they're planning to end it all by leaping from a London skyscraper. In the media circus that follows, they make a pact to live for at least one more month. It looks funny and rather sweet, with the terrific cast on great form. It's out in March. Watch 'A Long Way Down' Trailer here.
Mickey Prohaska is a small time insurance agent living in Wisconsin. He has grown apart from his wife, Jo Ann and is hoping that his business which he is jump-starting will help patch things up. Unfortunately, things with Jo Ann aren't as good as he makes out to be: she has separated with him. Financially, things are worse: Mickey has a gambling habit and during a recent trip to a casino, he lost his wallet after a one night stand with a prostitute.
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Liz Gilbert always thought that being successful in her work and home life would be enough to keep her content throughout her life but can't help but feel confused want more. Now divorced and ready to take a new approach to life, Liz decides to embark on a worldwide trip of self discovery. In each country she visits she learns more about herself and finds the inner peace and balance that her life has been missing.
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Cal (Crudup) is a Manhattan architect with a wife and 3-year old son who, for a largely unexplained reason, is discontent. His interior landscape is entirely his own, as he revels in the brooding inner drive that propels him to abandon his family and set out on the road. To help convey the mental anguish he's experiencing, the film employs hallucinatory images, flashbacks, time phase cuts, and other borrowings from films like the successful Memento, though without the consistency or effectiveness of that fine work.
Continue reading: World Traveler Review
Date of birth
8th July, 1968
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