The music scene of Austin, Texas becomes tainted by lust and illict desires as two aspiring songwriters named Faye (Rooney Mara) and BV (Ryan Gosling) become entwined in two overlapping love triangles with a major player in the music business named Cook (Michael Fassbender) - who encourages them to take their music careers further - and a charming waitress (Natalie Portman). As much as their lives are about making it in the industry and becoming world renowned successes, their lives get more complicated by disloyalty, temptation and infatuation with each other, pushing all of them ultimately further away. Can love last when betrayal lies at every corner?
Continue: Song To Song Trailer
Deadline reported this week that Rihanna could be about the join the all-female cast of 'Ocean's Eight', a purported spin-off of Steven Soderbergh's 'Ocean's Eleven' trilogy.
According to Deadline, comedienne Mindy Kaling and actor/rapper Awkwafina are also on the verge of joining the cast of the comedy crime caper. They’re set to join Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett on the project, who have already been confirmed.
The movie is to be known as Ocean’s Eight, according to all previous reports on the movie, meaning that one more actress is still to be cast, with rumours holding that Elizabeth Banks will be joining the cast soon.
Some of these stars would suit a real crown.
Today (April 21st 2016) is the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II; one of England's most remarkable queens. She's been celebrated in numerous ways over the years, not least with several depictions of her in film both as a young princess and as a monarch.
Happy birthday Queen Elizabeth II
So what better way to celebrate the 'celebrity' of this extraordinary woman than by reflecting back on some of the best queens we've ever seen on screen? Some are fictitious and some are her ancestors, but all have been portrayed by absolute dramatic royalty.
Continue reading: Our Favourite Screen Queens! In Celebration Of Elizabeth II's Birthday
That generic title obscures a surprisingly complex exploration of the real-life events surrounding the fall of iconic American newscaster Dan Rather in 2004. And while the film's script is rather talky (it's like Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom crossed with George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck), it's strongly made point is too important to ignore. And it features yet another storming, intelligent performance from Cate Blanchett.
She plays Mary Mapes, a producer at the classic CBS news programme 60 Minutes, who just a few months before the 2004 presidential election is working on a story about incumbent George W. Bush's shady National Guard service during the Vietnam War. She has an ace team of investigators (including Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid and Elisabeth Moss), plus the nation's top news anchor Rather (Robert Redford). But after the story airs, Mary is attacked with questions about the authenticity of a series of memos that trace irregularities in Bush's service record. Her boss (Bruce Greenwood) applies plenty of pressure as the controversy gains more traction than the story itself. And the media storm that follows catches everyone by surprise.
This account is based on Mapes' own memoir about these events, which gives the film a personal, as opposed to journalistic, tone. It hints heavily at both government and corporate efforts to discredit the story, putting Mapes and her entire team in an impossible situation. The film also makes it clear that those memos were indeed real, and that the controversy was actually just misdirection. What brings this to life is the revelatory acting from the ensemble cast, led beautifully by Blanchett, who gives Mary a passion for the truth that's fuelled by her inner demons. And the entire supporting cast adds layers of wit and insight, although Redford kind of relaxes on his easy charm as the engaged, engaging Rather.
Continue reading: Truth Review
The play has been adapted by her husband Andrew Upton from Chekhov's 'Platonov'.
Cate Blanchett is set to finally make her Broadway debut this year in her husband Andrew Upton's adaptation of Chekhov's 'Platonov' alongside 'Moulin Rouge!' star Richard Roxburgh. The play is entitled 'The Present' and will be directed by John Crowley of the original 2015 production.
Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton bring 'The Present' to Broadway
'The Present' was originally shown in Australia with the Sydney Theatre Company, but now the STC is bringing the play to New York's Broadway for the very first time, marking double-Oscar winning Blanchett's Broadway premiere. The play, adapted by Andrew Upton with whom Blanchett has been married for eighteen years, is based on the unfinished first play by Anton Chekhov which was discovered after his death and later titled 'Platonov'.
Continue reading: Cate Blanchett Goes To Broadway For The First Time In 'The Present'
'Carol' and 'Bridge of Spies' have nine nominations apiece, as Redmayne picks up his second nomination for Best Actor in consecutive years.
Last year’s Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne has received his second BAFTA nod in as many years for his star turn in The Danish Girl, with Bridge of Spies and Carol leading the 2016 BAFTA nominations with appearances in nine categories each.
Todd Haynes’ 1950s-set lesbian romance Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, is jockeying with Steven Spielberg’s Cold War drama that features Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance in the most categories. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who missed out on the Best Film last year for Birdman, is back in contention with The Revenant which has eight nominations.
Mad Max: Fury Road, which saw director George Miller return after a lengthy absence, has seven nominations, while Ridley Scott’s The Martian and British film Brooklyn received six. All with five nods were The Big Short, The Danish Girl and Ex-Machina. Alicia Vikander, who features in both of the latter two movies, is up for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for her respective roles.
The actress and her husband welcomed an adopted daughter in February
Talented actress Cate Blanchett has revealed she is taking time out of winning awards and starring in critically-acclaimed films to raise her adopted daughter Edith in 2016. Blanchett welcomed the little girl into her family in February and already has three biological sons so the next year will be a busy one for the mum-of-four.
Cate Blanchett and her husband welcomed an adopted baby girl earlier in 2015
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, the Carol star said the introduction of a little girl to the family has made her feel like a first time mum all over again.
Continue reading: Cate Blanchett Will Take Time Out Of Work For Family In 2016
Rich Cline picks out his top films of 2015.
There were some nice surprises in cinemas this year, with thoughtful thrillers, quality blockbusters, exhilarating franchise reboots and twists on familiar genres...
10. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
An Iranian vampire movie shot in California, this super-cool black and white comedy-thriller is witty, scary and sexy. It's also so original that it takes the breath away.
9. Inside Out
Pixar triumphs again with this inventive look inside the mind of a young girl struggling with her emotions. It's colourful, hilariously silly and also the kind of movie that can make grown men cry.
Continue reading: Rich Cline's 10 Best Films Of 2015
Rick is one of the hottest screenwriters in Hollywood but after the death of his brother he finds himself becoming absorbed into a world of parties, drinking and excess. Parties are part of the norm for Rick but after the loss of his brother he finds himself evaluating his life and what it all means.
Spiralling uncontrollably his only real solace comes from short lived relationships with women, but each relationship actually brings Rick a little closer to the closure he seeks.
Knight Of Cups is the new film from Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life & The Thin Red Line)
Cate Blanchett is tapped for a role in the upcoming third installment of the 'Thor' movies in 2017.
Cate Blanchett could be about to join the Marvel universe, as new reports suggest that she is in final talks to star in the new Thor film.
While there are no details as to the role she might be playing, The Hollywood Reporter suggested on Thursday evening (December 10th) that the Australian two-time Oscar winner is poised to make her debut in the comic book universe. Sources say that the studio has been looking for a “bad-ass female” to cast in Thor: Ragnarok.
Cate Blanchett could be making her Marvel univerise debut in 'Thor: Ragnarok'
Continue reading: Cate Blanchett To Make Marvel Universe Debut In 'Thor 3'?
The names are finally in!
The second biggest film awards ceremony is due next month, and after weeks of speculation, we've finally received the full confirmed list of nominees for the 2016 Golden Globes with 'Carol' and 'The Big Short' leading the categories.
Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett are both up for Best Actress
'Carol' is among those in the Best Drama section, with director Todd Haynes also up for an award and stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara vying against each other for Best Actress. The visceral 'Mad Max: Fury Road' also joins the Best Drama list, with George Miller up for Best Director, and Leonardo Dicaprio is looking at a Best Actor award for his role in the third Best Drama contender 'The Revenant'; Alejandro Iñárritu is also among possible Best Directors.
Continue reading: 'Carol' And 'The Big Short' Land Most Nominations For 2016 Golden Globes
As in his gorgeous film Far From Heaven and TV series Mildred Pierce, filmmaker Todd Haynes tells a simple story with visual impact and thematic resonance. All three of these projects centre on characters who feel like outsiders in their societies, offering staggeringly complex roles for Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet and now Cate Blanchett. This one is also based on a Patricia Highsmith novel (published originally as The Price of Salt), so it has an added layer of underlying intensity.
The story is set in the run-up to Christmas 1952, as New York department store clerk Therese (Rooney Mara) becomes intrigued by Carol (Blanchett), a glamorous customer who seems unusually attentive. Therese finds a reason to contact her, and the two become friends despite the difference in age and class. Meanwhile, Carol is trying to extricate herself from her marriage to Harge (Kyle Chandler), who is still feeling wounded by Carol's relationship with another woman (Sarah Paulson) and threatens to use her friendship with Therese to deny custody of their young daughter. And Therese also has a nice-guy suitor in Richard (Jake Lacy), who is becoming increasingly suspicious. With all of this pressure on them, Carol and Therese make an impulsive decision to take a road trip together.
The events unfold with delicate precision, as Phyllis Nagy's script smartly allows these woman to circle around each other trying to work out how they feel. There's a gun-in-the-suitcase element that adds a bit of spark, but the real story here plays out between the lines in exquisite performances from Blanchett and Mara, who convey most of their feelings through offhanded glances and subtle gestures. This adds beautifully to the depiction of the period's repressive attitudes without ever being obvious about it, and it also reveals the deep emotions that come with feeling like you don't fit in with what society expects of you.
Continue reading: Carol Review
Patricia Highsmith's scandalous 1952 novel The Price of Salt took a long time to reach the big screen, but it's finally out in cinemas under its alternative title Carol, directed by Todd Haynes and starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
As Variety said, it's no surprise that the film took so long to get made, because it's "a double whammy by industry standards: it's headlined by two women, who fall in love with each other."
Attached to the project for several years, Blanchett began to wonder if the movie would ever get made. "It was so hard," she says. "Midrange films with women at the center are tricky to finance. There are a lot of people laboring under the misapprehension that people don't want to see them, which isn't true."
Cate Blanchett on the set of Carol
Continue reading: Carol Was A Passion Project For Cate Blanchett
Chappie premieres just before it opens, while Cinderella hosts a lavish red carpet in L.A. Ethan Hawke and Greta Gerwig are spotted filming in New York, and trailers tease films about the Beach Boys, an ageing Sherlock Holmes, immortality and an old lady living in a van...
Neill Blomkamp's new film Chappie held its world premiere this week in New York, just a day before before it opened around the world. Blomkamp (who previously made District 9 and Elysium) was present along with stars Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley and Dev Patel.
Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Chappie And Cinderella Premiere In New York And L.A., Ethan Hawke Is Snapped On-Set, And New Trailers Arrive For Movies Starring Veterans Ian Mckellen, Ben Kingsley And Maggie Smith.
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.
Get excited, Frozen fans! More Elsa and Anna action is coming up sooner than you think...
What better way to encourage cinema-goers to see the forthcoming live-action 'Cinderella' movie, than the promise of more 'Frozen'? Disney announces short film 'Frozen Fever' to precede the film when it hits movie theaters on March 13th 2015.
'Frozen Fever' set to screen before 'Cinderella'
Hollywood is going fairytale mad this year, what with 'Frozen' becoming such an enormous worldwide hit and several adaptations making waves in the media such as 'Maleficent' and the forthcoming 'Into The Woods'. 'Cinderella', starring Lily James, Helena Bonham Carter and Cate Blanchett, is the next big thing for film folklore, but it seems people are still stuck on the Oscar winning animation featuring Anna, Elsa and friends.
With Cumberbatch joining yesterday, and Bale + Banchett today, Serkis' Jungle Book is really building up some momentum
While two high budget Jungle Book adaptations coming out within a year of each other from rival studios seems like a confusing prospect, it certainly makes for some interesting toing-and-froing, especially in the casting stage.
Christian Bale has joined Warner Bros' 'Jungle Book' movie [Getty/Tim P. Whitby]
Yesterday we reported that Benedict Cumberbatch had bagged the voice role of Shere Khan, building on his impressive vocal work to bring the legendary antagonist to life. Now, Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett have been added to the cast, making Andy Serkis’ Warner Bros. version an even more exciting prospect.
The actress waved off the incidente
It’s good that the entertainment industry is finally talking about harassment an personal space because the situation is pretty bad. Take America Ferrera’s recent experience for example. The former Ugly Betty star was walking the red carpet at Saturday night’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, when a man decided that it would be ever so funny to make a stage dive – under her dress.
Ferrera looked gorgeous at the Cannes premiere.
Despite how this sounds, the man in question was not a crazed fan, he was a professional – sort of. According to TV Guide, the man was Ukranian TV host Vitalii Sediuk. Security soon arrested the man, but he didn't go easily, clinging to Ferrera's ankles until security finally pried him off. Cate Blanchett was reportedly the first to rush to her fellow actress and make sure that 30-year-old Ferrera was alright. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Blanchett immediately tried to push Sediuk away from Ferrera and asked whether she was okay.
Continue reading: America Ferrera Is "Over" Cannes Red Carpet Harassment
Sunday's Academy Awards topped the ratings as they awarded popular winners. Meanwhile, Wes Anderson assembles his latest starry cast for a New York premiere and we get new trailers for Transformers 4 and the Paddington Bear movie...
The Academy Awards drew its biggest TV audience in more than a decade on Sunday night, as the Oscars were shared by a variety of hit films and performances. Ellen Degeneres hosted the ceremony, giving the night a populist touch by serving pizza to the A-listers and taking a star-packed selfie that managed to crash Twitter.
As for the winners, 12 Years a Slave won three top prizes - for best film, screenplay and supporting actress - while the blockbuster Gravity took home seven awards. There were also popular wins for Matthew Mcconaughey, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and the animated film Frozen. If you need to catch up on any of the above click to find more info on 12 Years a Slave taking Best Picture, Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett's triumph, Pizza anoyone? and Ellen deciding to get a couple of stars together for an impromptu selfie.
The Oscars: need we say more? The movie event of the year finally came and went with lots of dazzling winners and hilarious stories.
The 86th Academy Awards: The night we'd all been waiting for was finally here: this year's Oscars ceremony has come and gone along with another ground-breaking year in cinema. 12 Years a Slave predictably took Best Picture but Gravity emerged as the movie of the evening with seven awards, five of which were in the technical categories. Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett triumphed with their respective acting awards, pizza was served, Lupita Nyong'o was the darling of yet another awards show and high-scoring host Ellen Degeneres wrapped up the festivities with a neat and expertly-timed bow.
The Oscars Selfie: They say a picture speaks a thousand words but nowadays an image is judged by how many retweets it can get within the shortest space of time. When Ellen Degeneres decided to get a couple of stars together for an impromptu selfie, she probably didn't expect the shot - which featured Bradley Cooper, Brangeline, JLaw, Lupita, Kevin Spacey, Jared Leto, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep - to surpass Obama's re-election shot's previous world record. The snap broke Twitter, attracting 80,000 retweets within 30 minutes and 1.2 million in an hour.
Alongside Cate Blanchett you wouldn't guess which stars also have tattoos.
Cate Blanchett really wanted to commemorate her Oscar win on Sunday, and what better more permanent way is there then getting yourself a tattoo? The actress was seen leaving a tattoo parlour with a bandage on her wrist opening speculation as to what special ink the ‘Blue Jasmine’ star might have had done. While we were a little surprised at the image of Cate getting tattooed she’s not the only celeb sporting some unlikely ink.
Cate Blanchett went from the red carpet to a tattoo palour after her Oscar win
Firstly none other thank Dame Helen Mirren has gone under the tattoo needle. The actress sports some ink on her left thumb of all places. The Dame said she got it when she was very drunk, a long time ago before tattoos were cool and mainstream, which is why she hates it now. She told ‘Good Morning America’ back in 2010 "I was very, very drunk. It was a very, very long time ago, when only sailors and Hell's Angels were tattooed, honestly, and prisoners. And I decided to get a tattoo because it was the most shocking thing I could think of doing." Seems Helen was always ahead of her time.
Continue reading: Cate Blanchett's Oscar Tattoo, And Other Surprising Celebrity Ink
Cate Blanchett jokingly said to Ellen, "It's the closest my husband and I have ever come to a threesome," when revealing she slept with her Oscar award for Best Actress.
Cate Blanchett won the premier prize for actresses at Sunday night's Academy-Awards, and she wouldn't let it out of her sight.
The 44 year-old was presented with the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the Woody Allen-directed 'Blue Jasmine'.
And to prove how priceless the accolade is, Blanchett revealed to Ellen DeGeneres, the host of this year's Oscars, she slept with the golden statue.
Cate Blanchett was a nailed on certainty for best actress, and the Academy duly voted for the Australian actress.
As we predicted, Australian actress Cate Blanchett has won the Oscar for best actress at the 86th Academy Awards for Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. Blanchett was the overwhelming favorite to win the statuette for her career best performance as a neurotic - perhaps psychotic - woman whose life is turned upside down when her rich husband is discovered to be a crook.
Woody Allen Working On The Set of 'Blue Jasmine'
Blanchett - who paid tribute to her late friend Philip Seymour Hoffman when winning the same award at the BAFTA's last month - told the audience, "Sit down too old to be standing."
Rain won't dampen what will surely be a glitzy affair
Spring showers are expected to fall tomorrow night as the biggest Hollywood stars descend upon the Dolby theatre for The Oscars ceremony. The National Weather Service has forecast heavy rain for Friday and Saturday in the Los Angeles area, with a chance those showers will extend until Sunday. The Academy’s failsafe in case Mother Nature decides not to play nice? Plastic marquees.
Dallas Buyers Club features two Oscars favourites: Jared Leto and Matthew Mcconaughey
"We're prepared to welcome our guests regardless of the weather," said a spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As the most important night in the film calendar, precautions are being taken. The plastic marquees will provide cover if rain threatens valuable interview time in the embellished annual build up to the event. And that iconic red carpet – that’s covered by a thick plastic sheet so there’ll be no muddy Armani prints come the big night.
Sunday's Academy Awards look like they may be the least predictable in years, although we know Lupita Nyong'o will wear the best frock. This week's new trailers offer a glimpse of Godzilla, a snappy return for Veronica Mars, and Michael Cera terrifying Juno Temple in Chile...
All eyes are on Hollywood this weekend as the Academy Awards take place this Sunday night. The least predictable Oscars in years, there are multiple possible winners in most of the major categories, as Gravity, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle vie for Best Picture and Alfonso Cuaron and Steve McQueen contend for Best Director. We relive some of the the biggest upsets in Oscars history here.
Other too-close races include actor (Matthew Mcconaughey vs Chiwetel Ejiofor), supporting actor (Jared Leto vs Barkhad Abdi) and supporting actress (Lupita Nyong'o vs Jennifer Lawrence). The only sure thing is Cate Blanchett for Best Actress. And that Gravity will mop up all the technical awards. Here is more detail on the best supporting actress Oscar battle between jennifer lawrence and lupita nyong'o being too close to call.
Who should win the three most coveted awards at this year's Oscars?
On March 2nd 2014, the 86th Annual Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. As we all well know, for the few months leading up to the Oscars, the awards ceremony is practically all that anybody can talk about...‘Oscar buzz this' and ‘Award nominated that’ are phrases that are worked into practically every article or discussion regarding actors and movies. However, the big question at this point isn’t ‘Who will win?’ it’s ‘Who should win?’, and that’s a question for us film buffs, and not the critics to decide!
Is this the year that Leonardo Dicaprio will finally win his first Oscar?
When it comes to Best Picture the competition is of a seriously high calibre this year. American Hustle was immensely popular with film-goers, while Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave about slavery in the States may be considered difficult to watch but it does look set for a double win after claiming Best Film at the BAFTAs. Will Martin Scorsese’s much celebrated The Wolf of Wall Street even get a look in with such a high quality of competition? Other movies nominated include Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Philomena and Nebraska.
Continue reading: Forget Who Will Win, Who SHOULD Win At The Oscars?
The Australian actress offered up a sincere tribute to her late friend.
Not everyone likes sitting through award ceremonies; some people find the speeches pretty dull and everything in-between mildly entertaining at best. But when a speech like Cate Blanchett’s comes along, it makes all minutes treading dishwater worth it.
Cate Blanchett poses for Baftas pics
The Australian actress beat out considerable competition for the Best Actress nod, the award for which she dedicated to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead earlier this month due to a reported drug overdose.
Cate Blanchett will still win the Oscar for best actress.
Given the recent Woody Allen scandal - which actually got buried under the weight of the Philip Seymour Hoffman news this month - some commentators have speculated on the race for best actress at the Oscars, suggesting that Cate Blanchett's predicted streamrolling of her fellow nominee isn't so cut and dry.
Cate Blanchett [L] in Woody Allen's 'Blue Jasmine'
In a 1,000 word open letter to Woody Allen in the New York Times, his adopted daughter Mia Farrow accused the acclaimed filmmaker of molesting her as a child. Allen has been investigated in the past though was never prosecuted and has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
Continue reading: Cate Blanchett's Oscar Is Safe And Sound, Despite Woody Allen Scandal
The critics haven't been kind to George Clooney and his motley crew - why not?
John Goodman and George Clooney read the reviews...
The comedy drama sees Clooney compile an unlikely group of heroes, put them through basic training and take them over to strategic in Western Europe in a bid to perverse the very culture Hitler is attempting to destroy. It’s a fantastic premise and, needless to say, the star power attached to the movie certainly got people excited.
Continue reading: Why Is 'The Monuments Men' Bad? It Was Supposed To Be The Best Film Ever
George Clooney's 'The Monuments Men' premiered in New York last night with a star studded red carpet.
George Clooney led a star studded red carpet on Tuesday for the New York premiere of his new film ‘The Monuments Men’ The actor, who also co-wrote and directed the film, appeared alongside stars Hugh Bonnerville, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and John Goodman last night, where he spoke about his excitement at the film’s release.
George Clooney arriving at the world premiere of 'The Monuments Men
Clooney told The Hollywood Reporter that he was glad the film’s release date got pushed back, saying "I'm excited about the release date; we're in a really good slot.” The movie was initially meant to come out in December, but had its release pushed back to March when it became clear the film wouldn't be finished on time. The actor added, "looking back it was a really tough December, so I'm really happy we have some breathing room, it’s nice.”
The film, based on a book by Robert Edsel, tells the story of an Allied group named the 'Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Program', who were tasked with saving pieces of art and other culturally important items before their destruction by Hitler during World War II. Clooney admitted that adapting Edsel’s 700 page book was challenging saying, "The biggest challenge was making it not a civics lesson because there's a lot of detail that if you just do that, then it's a really boring civics lesson, and we set up at the beginning to make it an entertaining film.” The author himself commented, "They're telling a dramatic story. My book is telling the historical story, they had to make adjustments to be able fit it into two hours because it goes by with the snap of a finger. The overarching principles of my book are intact.”
The real Monuments Men comprised of about 350 men and women, but the character list was whittled down to eight for the film. Hugh Bonneville explained the decision saying, "in our film, it's been distilled down to a manageable eight, so I think all the characters are an amalgam." His co-star Bob Balaban added “all the stuff that happens in it is true, but a lot of it is compressed and our characters are combinations of characters.”
Last night's SAG awards evened out the odds for the upcoming Oscars.
The Screen Actor Guild Awards are one of the biggest industry events during awards season and the one of the early indicators for Oscar trends. So, when Lupita Nyong’o won the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting role (aka Supporting Actress) over Jennifer Lawrence, the world of film took note. Earlier this month, Lawrence beat Nyong’o in the corresponding category at the Golden Globes, but this sets their chances pretty much on par.
The tables turned as Nyong'o beat Lawrence in the Supporting Actress category.
Something else was made clear last night: the main contenders this January are David O’Russel’s American Hustle and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Each film ended the night with one award, but Hustle received the top honor for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Continue reading: Lupita Nyong'o, "American Hustle" Dominate SAG Awards 2014
The red carpet outside the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, welcomed some of Hollywood's biggest stars to the awards show
The Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California, set the stage for the latest instalment of the awards season program, playing host to some of the biggest names in showbiz and paying tribute to some of the year's biggest films for the 19th annual Critic's Choice Awards.
The latest instalment of the awards show schedule to pass us by offered another indicator of what films will continue to find success over the course of the next few months, with Gravity, American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave dominating proceedings.
The space thriller was the night's biggest winner, taking home seven gongs in total
On the same day as the nominations for this year's Academy Awards ceremony were revealed, the latest instalment of the ongoing awards season went by at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California, where the 19th annual Critic's Choice Awards honoured the cast and crew of some of last's year's biggest and best films.
Gravity soared to success at the Critic's Choice Awards
The big winner on the night was the space thriller Gravity, which soared to success with seven wins by the end of the night. Among it's credits the film earned Alfonso Cuarón the award for Best Director and the award for Best Editing, shared with co-editor Mark Sanger. The film also earned Sandra Bullock the award for Best Actress In An Action Movie and was crowned as crowned the Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie. The film also scored recognition for Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography and Best Score.
'American Hustle' was the night's big winner, with three major wins, but there were surprises elsewhere as even Leonardo DiCaprio won an award!
The 2014 Golden Globes came and went on Sunday, 12 January night as the stars of Hollywood gathered for the first real awards showcase of the year. The event didn't let down, with hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler delivering the laughs throughout the event and with individual stars using their time in the spotlight to grand effect, resulting in a night to remember.
American Hustle was the night's big winner
The two top-contested awards, Best Motion Picture for Drama and for Musical or Comedy, were awarded to the early favourites and the two titles looking most likely to sweep up over the course of awards season: 12 Years A Slave and America Hustle.
Forget the favorites, where can the best money be found? Two words: Captain Phillips.
There’s a special time in ‘Oscars season’. It comes after the standout pictures separate from the pack, but before the ceremony itself. It’s a time of conjecture, speculation and guesswork, and can often lead to wild predictions, like ‘The Counselor is going to win an Oscar’.
These guys have messed about with the Oscars odds
This unique period of Academy lingo also leads to varied odds, as great films get pushed out – sometimes as far as 66-1 – as others triumph in the various Oscars precursor awards.
Continue reading: Early Oscars Betting Guide - Make The Most Of Some Crazy Odds
'Blue Jasmine' star Cate Blanchett poses on the red carpet at the 2013 New York Film Festival held at The Film Society of Lincoln Center where she is being honoured for her onscreen work over the years. She has rosy cheeks and red lips which stand out beautifully against her nude, lacy gown.
The anti-smoking legislation in India has proved controversial for film makers before
This weekend would have seen Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine open in around 30 cinemas in India, but the director has decided to withdraw him film due to the anti-smoking campaign that would have penetrated two of his scenes. In India, on selected scenes that are deemed suitable, a banner is shown warning against the dangers of smoking.
Woody Allen on the set of Blue Jasmine
In Blue Jasmine, which stars Cate Blanchett, there are two scenes that would have been affected by this, which wasn’t acceptable for Allen, who decided to pull the movie.
Actors court Oscar attention, Chris Hemsworth hits the streets for Rush and Thor 2, and we get glimpses of new films with Daniel Radcliffe, Jude Law and Shailene Woodley...
Awards season is cranking up a notch as some attention-grabbing performances land in cinemas. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal are getting praise for their gritty work in the unnerving thriller Prisoners, now showing in both America and Britain. And Cate Blanchett is radiant in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, which finally opens in the UK this week. Click here to read the Prisoners movie review or here for Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine review.
Fans of less high-brow entertainment may enjoy Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck in the online gaming thriller Runner Runner, which has just opened in the US and UK. You can read the Runner Runner movie review or go here for the Runner Runner trailer.
The actress is emerging as a favourite for the golden statuette.
Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine is being hailed as his best film in two decades by some, his best film ever by others. At its marrow, the film is a character drama about loss and decisions. And, talking to The Guardian, the legendary film make has talked about Cate Blanchett’s character: Jasmine.
Jasmine starts hanging around with a new crowd -namely these guys.
"Ninety-nine per cent of decisions are predicated on feelings – instinctive, emotional, fears, conflicts, unresolved childhood problems. They're our dominant motivating factor, not reason or rationality or common sense. And that's why the world is in a terrible, terrible state,” said Allen.
With a riveting performance, Cate Blanchett creates one of Woody Allen's most memorable movie characters in years. And it's also the writer-director's strongest film in recent memory, as it balances comedy and drama in an engaging story that has a kick of resonance as it explores fall-out from the current economical recession.
Blanchett is Jasmine, a New York socialite who has fallen from grace after her husband Hal (Baldwin) lost control of his dodgy financial empire. So Jasmine is forced to move across the country to live with her sister Ginger (Hawkins) in San Francisco. Although she misses her high-society lifestyle, Jasmine gets on with things, finding a job with a local dentist (Stuhlbarg) and a flicker of romance with a rising-star politician (Sarsgaard). But living in Ginger's small apartment with her two kids and her blue-collar boyfriend Chili (Cannavale) takes its toll. And while smoothing the edges with alcohol and Xanax, Jasmine begins to lie to herself and others about her past.
All of the characters here are jaggedly complex, interacting with hilariously observant dialog as their relationships get increasingly messy. But while Jasmine is snobby and prickly, Blanchett also reveals her fragility as she tries to get back on her feet. And Hawkins is just as revelatory as the tenacious and much more generous Ginger. The men around them are just as complicated: Cannavale is hot-tempered but charming, Sarsgaard is kind but a bit slippery, Baldwin is charismatic and over-confident. No one fits into a simple box, which keeps us on our toes and lets the characters worm their way deep under the skin.
Continue reading: Blue Jasmine Review
The celebrated actress is making the move from the front to behind he camera to direct ‘The Dinner’
Cate Blanchett has decided to make the leap from screen star to scene setter, and has been handed her first script to kick star her career as a budding director. As initially reported by Deadline, the actress will make her directorial debut with the adaptation of Herman Koch's The Dinner, the Dutch writer's 2009 best-selling crime thriller.
The Oscar-winner is making the move from actress to director
Oren Moverman (The Messenger) is in charge of writing the screenplay for the film, and Cotty Chubb is producing, with Eva Maria Daniels and Olga Segura serving as executive producers. The story itself covers the kidnapping of a child, and the lengths that a parent will go to in order to get their child back (much like the recently released Prisoners). With the script still in development, there has apparently been no advancements in finding a cast, which could mean Blanchett may be in talks to make an appearance in the film herself.
Continue reading: Cate Blanchett To Helm Herman Koch Adaption In Directorial Debut
Oscar winner Cate Blanchett to take to film directing in a new project, 'The Dinner'.
Cate Blanchett might've put on a jaw-dropping performance in her most recent film Blue Jasmine, but she's about to display a new talent as a budding film director in the upcoming adaptation of The Dinner.
Perhaps working with such iconic directors as Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine), Peter Jackson (The Hobbit), George Clooney (The Monuments Men, due out 2014) and Kenneth Branagh - who she is currently filming the new adaptation of Cinderella with - has inspired her to branch out in her film career as she finally takes on the tricky role new in a new film based on the novel by Herman Koch.
It's a suspenseful thriller about two couples who are trying to make a drastic decision about their teenage sons who have been involved in a horrific situation that's now in the hands of the police. There is little action and one setting, but that will only make it harder to infuse each second with nail-biting tension and heart-stopping dread when it is put to film.
Cate Blanchett has been predicted an Oscar win with the unanimously positive reception she's received for her performance in 'Blue Jasmine'.
'Blue Jasmine' depicts the story of a New York socialite who is forced to move into her sisters lower-middle class apartment in San Diego after the luxurious lifestyle she loved was suddenly taken from her. The arrival of Jasmine in San Diego is deceiving as she looks like the a million but doesn't have a dime to her name.
Kate Blanchet is predicted an Oscar win for her protrayal of Jasmine
Australian actress Cate Blanchet stars as the millionaire socialite, Jasmin Francis and there is an Oscar buzz surrounding her performance, she is the current 1/3 favourite for 'Best Actress' and many believe that if she doesn't, it will be one of the biggest Oscar snubs in history.
Continue reading: Blue Jasmine- Review Round Up
49 films and counting for the big-screen stalwart.
The legendary filmmaker Woody Allen is set to have his achievements and influence recognized as the organisers of the Golden Globe Awards have announced that the director will receive the 2014 Cecil B DeMille Award. Come the 71st annual Golden Globe ceremony on January 12, a special tribute to the 77-year-old will be paid.
(Left to right) Cate Blanchett, Max Casella Bobby Cannavale and Sally Hughes star in Blue Jasmine
"There is no one more worthy," said awards organiser Theo Kingma. Allen might be looking at an awards-laden winter. His 49th movie, Blue Jasmine, starring Cate Blanchett, is an outsider for a Best Picture award, while the Best Director category is still wide open. Allen, though, is more likely to receive a Best Screenplay for his drama, which also stars Alec Baldwin.
Continue reading: Honorary Golden Globe For Woody Allen, For Contribution To Filmmaking
We take a look at the front-runners and underdogs for next year's Oscars ceremony.
Six months of anticipation for four hours of award giving: that’s what you signed up for. The Oscars 2014 has its host, and now it has its favorites. Which director will be hurtling through an acceptance speech at breakneck speed, and which actor will be practising their sad-yet-humble loser face?
It’s Oscars season.
New trailer shows fab actors, interesting premise and a bit of good ol' Nazi butt-kicking. What could be better?
The first trailer for upcoming George Clooney movie The Monuments Men has dropped ahead of the 2013/2014 film release. American audiences will catch the film this year, but most other countries (including the UK) will have to wait until 2014.
George Clooney Is Firmly At The Helm Of The Monuments Men As Actor, Writer & Director.
Here in Britain, we've been teased with snaps showing the glamorous American A-listers, such as Clooney himself, Matt Damon, Bill Murray and John Goodman, filming in "exotic" authentic wartime locations on our shores and occasionally popping by to check out the local amenities.
So, what's it going to be?
This weekend’s releases include The Wolverine, Blue Jasmine and The To Do List, with The Way, Way Back and Fruitvale Station widening their scope with added theatres. Some pretty difficult decisions stand in your way tonight, so which film are you going to choose when the box office assistant says “Excuse me, what film? I need an answer.”
Hugh Jackman as The Wolverine
The geeks choice: The Wolverine
Cate Blanchett's portrayal of an abandoned and broke socialite takes critics by storm.
Cate Blanchett's latest film Blue Jasmine was released today (July 26th 2013) and has already received a flood of positive reviews.
The Aviator star portrayed the cold, haughty and formerly wealthy socialite Jasmine in the new Woody Allen drama which sees her lose everything from her high status to her husband as she is forced to move in with her sister and rebuild her life once more.
So far it has been a hit with critics with Rotten Tomatoes holding it at a more than reasonable 82% as reviews heap praise onto Oscar winning Cate. ''Blue Jasmine' showcases a brilliant, Oscar-worthy performance by Cate Blanchett as sort of a WASP version of Ruth Madoff', said the New York Post, while the Los Angeles Times praise Woody with: 'For all of 'Blue Jasmine's' darkness, the movie is among the filmmaker's most emotionally affecting.
Is Cate Blanchett a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination?
Ok, so this happens every year. Every movie writer around - including yours truly - writes a story about Oscar buzz and whether or not an actor will score a golden statuette come February. It's happening again this year. Idris Elba could win Best Actor. The Monuments Men could win Best Picture. But Cate Blanchett could win Best Actress - she really could.
We're not afraid of using the word. So we're going to use it. There's serious 'buzz' around Woody Allen's new movie Blue Jasmine, particularly the Australian actress's performance as Ruth Madoff, a New York housewife struggling through a life crisis.
"In all, this is the strongest, most resonant movie Woody Allen has made in years," said David Denby of the New Yorker.
Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and their company thirteen dwarves have managed to leave the Misty Mountains almost unscathed after a series of death-defying encounters with trolls, stone giants, goblins and orcs. Armed with the One Ring and an array of elven forged swords, Bilbo must now set out to help retrieve the mountain of treasure that once belonged to the dwarves under the Lonely Mountain that was usurped by the dragon Smaug. Unfortunately, it proves less then straight-forward as more threats lie in their way from giant spiders and yet more goblins to unforgiving elves and waterfalls. However, as they approach the dragon, they begin to feel that all their other deadly ventures were just the tip of the iceberg.
'The Hobbit' returns with the second part of the movie trilogy 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' which sees the return of director Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') following part one, 'An Unexpected Journey'. Writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro are also back, along with last year's star cast and many new faces. Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, this new fantasy adventure film is set to hit cinemas this winter on December 13th 2013.
Jasmine is an aristocratic New York housewife whose luxurious lifestyle and marriage to the wealthy Hal has been snatched away from her leaving her with quite literally nothing but the clothes on her back. She is forced to fly to San Francisco to move in with her sister Ginger whose apartment is well below her usual standards, as is her boyfriend Chili who is equally as resentful of Jasmine. It doesn't take long before Jasmine starts to plummet emotionally and mentally and only just manages to keep herself sane with several handfuls of anti-depressants a day. In a bid to get her life back on track, she takes a job as a dental receptionist while pursuing a career in interior design. Suffering from a serious breakdown, things are looking dark for Jasmine's future, but do things begin to look up when she meets the sophisticated Dwight?
Continue: Blue Jasmine Trailer
The glamour of Hollywood comes to Rye in Sussex as upcoming George Clooney film 'The Monuments Men' is shot on location. New photos show Clooney & Co at work.
A host of Hollywood stars, including Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bill Murray and Hugh Bonneville have landed in southern English locations while filming World War II movie The Monuments Men in Rye, Sussex, and Duxford's Imperial War Museum in Cambridgeshire.
Adapted from the 2010 true story novel, Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves And The Greatest Treasure Hunt In History, by Robert M. Edsel, the film will be centred upon a group of historians and art curators - members of the 'Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives' program - a taskforce who work together to recover priceless artwork stolen by Nazis and other important cultural items, before they are destroyed by Hitler or bombed in the six-year-long conflict.
The film, which is produced and directed by Clooney, will also co-star Cate Blanchett and The Artist's Jean Dujardin, and will use the former airfield in Duxford for plane scenes and American war-base footage, and the coastal Rye location for shotting of a nautical nature.
2012 has held big things for Anne Hathaway with multiple media appearances, a lot of activism and of course, the big one – a part as Catwoman in Dark Knight Rises. But that wasn’t all – in November, Hathaway married jewelry designer Adam Shulman and she is reigning in the new year with multiple award nominations for her highly critically acclaimed part as Fantine in the screen adaptation of Les Miserables. Although her career started out with parts in lighthearted comedies like The Princess Diaries or The Devil Wears Prada, the actress has talked about trying to shake off the squeaky clean teenager reputation.
The beginning of her career was a struggle to build a reputation in Hollywood. The actress graduated from New York University, all while acting in numerous flicks and steering away from the now classic story of a young actress’s fall from grace.
"I see the sort of work that people like Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet can do, and I want to do that level of work so badly," the actress said to the LA Times. "But I don't believe I'm as gifted as them. So the only thing I can control is how hard I work at it — how much do I commit to it? How far will I take it?"
In New York, Leonardo Dicaprio, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson and a bald-shaven Christoph Waltz attended the premiere of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, joking with the photographers as they posed for them. And Tarantino even turned up with his Kill Bill star Uma Thurman on his arm.
Meanwhile in London, the first part in Peter Jackson's new trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, had its royal film performance this week with much of the cast in attendance, including Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen, who watched the film alongside Prince William. The film is in cinemas now, with the following chapters scheduled for next Christmas and the summer of 2014.
This first chapter of Peter Jackson's new Tolkien trilogy takes us back to the familiar settings and characters, inflating a simple journey into an epic adventure in the process. This film also looks strikingly different, shot both in 3D and 48 frames technology, double the definition of film. But it's the story we're really interested in.
The events take place 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, when Bilbo (Freeman) is a younger Hobbit enjoying a quiet life. Then he meets the wizard Ganfolf (McKellen) and everything changes. Suddenly he's invaded by 13 riotous dwarves led by Thorin (Armitage), who has decided to lead an expedition to reclaim their homeland from the sleeping dragon Smaug. Bilbo reluctantly agrees to help them, and their journey kicks off with a series of adventures as they are chased by wolf-riding orcs, captured by greedy goblins and terrorised by gigantic mountain-monsters. They also call in for help from the elf leaders Elrond and Galadriel (Weaving and Blanchett), and try to convince the sceptical wizard Saruman (Lee) to back their quest.
The film opens with familiar characters as the older Bilbo (Holm) chats with Frodo (Wood) before we flash back to the start. And Jackson continues to link the two trilogies like this, with connective characters and events as well as developing the simple novel into a much bigger epic, complete with tenacious villains. All of this is hugely involving, with tense moments that are nerve-shredding as well as scenes of dark emotion and broad humour. The best sequence is Bilbo's encounter with Gollum, which vividly reveals the progress in performance-capture technology over the last decade. We can even more clearly see Serkis in Gollum this time, and it gives the film a real kick.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review
George Clooney has signed up British actors Daniel Craig and Hugh Bonneville for his new World War 2 movie The Monuments Men. The Bond and Downton Abbey stars will join established Hollywood actors John Goodman, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Oscar winner Jean Dujardin, according to Deadline.
The movie, written by Clooney and Grant Heslov, tells the story of a group of art experts chosen by the US government to retrieve works stolen by the Nazis, before Hitler destroys them. It's based on Robert M Edsel's book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, And The Greatest Treasure Hunt In History. "I'm excited about it," Clooney told industry website TheWrap. "It's a fun movie because it could be big entertainment. It's big budget - you can't do it small - it's landing in Normandy". Hitler's forces swept through the museums and private collections of Europe during World War II, though 'The Monuments Men' were the directors, curators and art historians who risked their lives to retrieve the masterpieces. "I'm not opposed to doing a commercial film, I'm just opposed to doing a commercial film that doesn't feel organic to me," Clooney said of the subject matter, adding, "So if we're going to do a commercial film we thought 'let's do something that seems fun and actually have something to say."
The movie is due to begin production in March 2013, with a release date likely to be set for 2014.
Continue reading: George Clooney Signs Up Daniel Craig For WW2 Flick 'The Monuments Men'
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, who lives a quiet life in The Shire. His peace is interrupted one day when Gandalf arrives on his doorstep, persuading Bilbo to hold a party in his home. Bilbo refuses but has no choice but to agree when Gandalf pesters him.
Robin Longstride (Crowe) fought alongside King Richard (Danny Huston) in the crusades but returned to England under shady circumstances with two of his archer buddies (Grimes and Doyle) and a beefy fighter (Durand). Heading to Nottingham to honour an oath, he meets Sir Walter (von Sydow) and his feisty daughter-in-law Marian (Blanchett), who are being squeezed out of their land by the Sheriff (Macfadyen). But there are bigger problems, as Godfrey (Strong) marauds through the country with an army of French goons, plotting to steal the country from the vain new King John (Isaac).
Continue reading: Robin Hood Review
At first, he's a young, train-hopping wanderer who has taken the name Woody (Marcus Carl Franklin), from his hero Woody Guthrie. He also plays a guitar with "This Machine Kills Fascism" painted on it. Later, the man appears as an aged Billy the Kid (Richard Gere) who can't understand why the locals are being bullied out of their land by a decrepit Pat Garrett (Bruce Greenwood). Fitfully, the sequences are shot in the dusty browns of Peckinpah and the hippie westerns of the late 1960s and 1970s. Both stories, along with the others, are consistently interrupted by a press conference with poet Arthur Rimbaud (Ben Whishaw), who speaks in a particularly American sarcasm while scrutinizing everyone who questions him, half-mumbling with cigarette in hand.
Continue reading: I'm Not There Review
For one thing, historical costume dramas rarely spawn second chapters, particularly ones that struggle to make back their production budgets. Kapur's critically acclaimed original Elizabeth earned multiple Oscar nominations but was largely overshadowed (at the ceremony and in the public eye) by John Madden's opposing Golden Age tryst Shakespeare in Love.
Continue reading: Elizabeth: The Golden Age Review
In Babel, directed and co-written by Alejandro González Iñárritu (21 Grams, Amores Perros), a clutch of characters from a range of cultures and walks of life attempt to build a towering film of meaning from coincidence and portent; unfortunately, in the end it is the viewer who is punished for the filmmaker's hubris.
Continue reading: Babel Review
It's not really Spacey's fault, it's just the script. Spacey is Quoyle, a newly single father, after his slutty whore of a wife (Cate Blanchett) is killed while selling their daughter on the black market to earn spending cash for her latest biker boyfriend. Quoyle spends his time grieving and in denial and soon decides to follow a long lost aunt to the homeland of his family in Newfoundland. There, he stumbles into a job as the shipping news reporter for the local newspaper.
Continue reading: The Shipping News Review
How do you satisfy a legion of fans, some of whom have been waiting almost 65 years to see their absolute favorite work of literature put to film? More often than not, you don't, and though Peter Jackson's production of The Lord of the Rings is painstakingly faithful and earnest, it is almost a foregone conclusion that the movie will never quite be good enough for the obsessed fans (see also the 1978 animated Lord), just is it will be far too obtuse for those who haven't read the books.
Continue reading: The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Review
The Victorians were well known for keeping a stiff upper lip about everything, and their romance was absolutely no exception. Their entire world was constructed around subtlety, and, in tune with that, the one word that can be used to describe An Ideal Husband is subtle.
Continue reading: An Ideal Husband Review
Jarmusch enlists a diverse cast of indie stars and former colleagues for this modest ensemble, but his uncharacteristically wheezy writing frequently undermines the film's wry humor. Cate Blanchett, in a dual performance, plays an arrogant version of herself as well as her skuzzy, jealous cousin, but the piece's portrait of jealousy and resentment loses steam after you become accustomed to seeing the actress talk to herself. Similarly, The White Stripes' Meg and Jack White provide a brief lesson on inventor Nikola Tesla's Tesla Coil, but save for the creepy, Mao Tse-tung-inspired portrait of Lee Marvin hanging on the wall behind them, the skit is nothing more than an overly long non sequitur. And even a brief appearance by Steve Buscemi can't rescue an insipid bit about two argumentative African-American twins talking racial politics in a Memphis diner.
Continue reading: Coffee And Cigarettes Review
The latest from Sam Raimi (For Love of the Game) is a muddled thriller, filled with tired clichés and some of the worst casting in years. Raimi, along with screenwriters Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson, try so hard to create a "serious" psychic chiller that the film is practically drained of any excitement.
Continue reading: The Gift (2000) Review
Unless you're a "Lord of the Rings" superfan, you'd better brush up on "Fellowship of the Ring" before seeing the sequel "The Two Towers," because director Peter Jackson just jumps right in to the middle of the story without much in the way of introductions or explanations.
He assumes you know who Hobbits Merry and Pippin are and why they've been abducted by the Uruk-Hai, the beastly minions of unseen supernatural villain Sauron (you know all about them, right?). He assumes you recall where "Fellowship" left off with human warrior Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Elfin archer Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and why they're trying to rescue Merry and Pippin.
He also assumes you know that hero Hobbits Frodo and Sam (Elijah Wood and Sean Austin) are still trying to reach the kingdom of Mordor, where they are to cast the dangerously omnipotent Ring into the volcanic fires of Mount Doom, thus keeping it out of the hands Sauron, who would use its dark psychic powers to lay waste to the world.
Continue reading: Lord Of The Rings:
the Two Towers Review
The first of several pivotal scenes in "Heaven" -- a stirring film about guilt, love, retribution and deliverance directed by Tom Tykwer ("Run Lola Run") from the last screenplay by the late Krzysztof Kieslowski ("Red," "White" and "Blue") -- is impossible to watch without your heart jumping into your throat.
A beautiful woman smuggles a homemade bomb (a large C4 packet and a timer set for five minutes) into a Turin, Italy, office high-rise and slips it into an executive's trash can, managing to look nonchalant although on closer examination she is, in fact, frightened and tense but clearly resolute. She then leaves too quickly to notice the janitor enter the office just behind her and empty the trash into her cart.
As the woman hurries to a phone booth across the street, the janitor pushes the cart into a glass elevator already occupied by a father and his two young girls, and the doors close behind her.
Continue reading: Heaven Review
In the entire three hours of the audacious, transporting, spectacularly cinematic first "Lord of the Rings" installment, there are only two very brief moments that don't come across as being 100-percent a part of the mystical, dark and magical realm of Middle Earth.
These moments are not because of bad performances (there aren't any), negligent directing or special effects gaffes. In fact, from the digitally dialed-down stature of the actors playing hobbits to the frightfully demonic hoards of living-dead orcs (minions of the supernaturally evil antagonist), the effects are seamless.
These moments of doubt are merely scenes that take place in such plain locations (e.g. a non-descript river bed) that they seem far too familiar and Earthly in a movie of underground troll cities, ominous mountains called Doom, idyllic ancient forest hamlets of immortal elves, and hobbit's homes burrowed into impossibly green hillsides.
Continue reading: Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring Review
By the time hobbit hero Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) finally -- finally! -- struggles to the top of Mount Doom, where at the climax of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" he must cast into its volcanic fires the malevolently omnipotent Ring that has been slowly consuming his psyche for three movies now, many of the nit-picky things that have gotten on my nerves throughout all the "Lord of the Rings" flicks had come to a head.
So many times now has Frodo's whiney, obsequious traveling companion Samwise Gamgee (Sean Austin) begun boo-hoo-hooing that I started rooting for him to be chucked into the lava along with the jewelry. One too many times has a lucky coincidence saved our hero, as when in this picture he's captured by the demonic, bad-tempered Orcs, only to be rescued moments later when his two guards -- the only two guards in an entire tower it seems -- are conveniently distracted by fighting with each other.
And once too often has director Peter Jackson assumed that the previous installments will be fresh in minds of the audience. That's a pretty safe bet for his fan base, but for the unobsessed, "Return of the King" -- like "The Two Towers" before it -- has many what-did-I-miss? moments. For example, in one of two climactic battle scenes, a never-identified army of fearsome face-painted foes riding atop gigantic elephants appears on the flank of the protagonists' battalion, prompting the question, "Who the heck are these guys?" (Apparently they were in the second movie too, but pardon me for not having seen it since last year.)
Continue reading: The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King Review
Date of birth
14th May, 1969
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