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Which Film Will Win The Oscar For Best Picture? Vote Now!


Chiwetel Ejiofor David O Russell Steve McQueen Jennifer Lawrence

Both keen film aficionados and casual purveyors of cinema won’t have missed the Oscar nominations being released today. The usual suspects are in line, and there were some pretty high profile snubs, too. But at least we can get on with the most exciting part of awards season: arguing over which film will grab Best Picture.

Oscars 2014

It’s a strong category. 12 Years a Slave is the bookies favorite, with Steve McQueen’s deeply emotive slavery epic receiving 8 other nominations, including a Best Actor nod for the film’s lead, Chiwetel Ejiofor. But a surge in betting has seen American Hustle emerge as an interesting outsider, despite having cleaned up so far with various acting awards being doled out to the all star cast – none more so than current Hollywood darling, Jennifer Lawrence.

Continue reading: Which Film Will Win The Oscar For Best Picture? Vote Now!

Have The Oscars Ever Been More Predictable? '12 Years A Slave' Leads The Pack


Chiwetel Ejiofor Steve McQueen Michael Fassbender David O Russell

A late surge in betting on American Hustle has rocked 12 Years a Slave’s dominance atop the odds charts, but as we approach the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations - Chris Hemsworth and Cheryl Boone Isaacs will tell us what’s what later on today – it’s pretty easy to name the films in line for the big prize.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel EjioforCumberbatch's Ford hands Northrup a violin in one of 12 Years' more touching moments

Nods for Steve McQueen’s emotive adaptation of Solomon Northrup’s book and David O Russell’s 70s period comedy drama are all but guaranteed, as are hat-tips towards Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity and Nebraska.

Continue reading: Have The Oscars Ever Been More Predictable? '12 Years A Slave' Leads The Pack

Idris Loses Golden Globe Hopes For 'Mandela' And 'Luther'


Idris Elba Golden Globe Awards Matthew Mcconaughey Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Douglas

Idris Elba loses out on a Golden Globe gong for Best Actor in 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' as Matthew Mcconaughey takes home the award.

Idris Elba at Palm Springs International Film Festival
No Globe for Idris this year

'The Wire' star impressed critics with his performance as late humanitarian Nelson Mandela, with our own critic Rich Cline describing him as having 'enormous presence. with the right physicality and charisma', but it seems that it just hasn't been enough at this year's Globes. The movie was nominated for a remarkable four awards and did manage to land Best Original Song - Motion Picture; an award which went to U2 for 'Ordinary Love'.

Continue reading: Idris Loses Golden Globe Hopes For 'Mandela' And 'Luther'

It's Golden Globes Night - Top 5 Predictions For The "Biggest Party In Hollywood"


Tina Fey Amy Poehler Chiwetel Ejiofor

Who’s excited for the Golden Globes? Given that the award show will be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler again this year, the obvious answer should be “everyone”. With just hours to go until the show, we’re taking a look at some of the other acts and big moments that the night will hold.

Tina Fey, American Museum of Natural History GalaAmy Poehler
Friendship is magic, especially when we're talking about Fey and Poehler.

1. Extra long speeches. At least that’s what Fey and Poehler have promised in their recent interview with E!News – lots and lots of nice, long, sleep-inducing speeches. "We're going to encourage people to go real long on their speeches," Poehler joked, while Fey added, "I'm going to tell people to find it. Don't stop talking until you 'find it.'"

Continue reading: It's Golden Globes Night - Top 5 Predictions For The "Biggest Party In Hollywood"

A Week In Movies: 12 Years A Slave Leads The Pack, Depp Is On Set In L.A., Plus Peeks At Godzilla, Romances, Comedies And Lemurs


Chiwetel Ejiofor Steve McQueen Johnny Depp Aaron Johnson Elizabeth Olsen Bryan Cranston Evan Rachel Wood Scott Speedman Peter McDonald Morgan Freeman

12 Years a Slave

The big news this week is the further escalation of awards-season fever. Steve McQueen's drama 12 Years a Slave continues to lead the field as the British Academy Film Awards announced its Bafta nominations this week - just as the movie opens in the UK. Chiwetel Ejiofor is now the odds-on favourite for both Bafta and Oscar best actor awards. Read our 12 Years a Slave Movie Review here or find out more about the film's star Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Meanwhile, Johnny Depp's new film Mortdecai finished shooting in London and moved to Los Angeles, where he was snapped on set surrounded by actresses in bikinis. The action comedy follows Depp's title character on a quest for stolen art and Nazi gold. Costars Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor and Paul Bettany, have been joined in California by Aubrey Plaza, Oliver Platt and Jeff Goldblum. Take a look at our 'behind the scenes' photos of Johnny Depp filming Mortdecai.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: 12 Years A Slave Leads The Pack, Depp Is On Set In L.A., Plus Peeks At Godzilla, Romances, Comedies And Lemurs

'12 Years A Slave': Chiwetel Ejiofor Becomes A Global Star


Chiwetel Ejiofor Benedict Cumberbatch Michael Fassbender Steve McQueen

After dominating the critics awards and top 10 listings at the end of the year, 12 Years a Slave is the film to beat. And things got much more serious with this week's Bafta nominations, while the Golden Globes come this weekend and then Oscar nominations are out next Wednesday.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel EjioforBenedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave

So by this time next week everyone should be able to pronounce Chiwetel Ejiofor's name properly. To impress your friends: it's CHEW-it-ell EDGY-oh-for.

Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave': Chiwetel Ejiofor Becomes A Global Star

Meet The Cast Of 12 Years A Slave [Video]


Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Fassbender Benedict Cumberbatch Paul Dano Paul Giamatti Alfre Woodard

If '12 Years a Slave' doesn’t win a single award from now until the Oscars, it will still go down in history as one of the 21st century’s most important, affecting films. The story of Solomon Northrup’s enslavement and the subsequent hell he faced is as brutal as any ever told, and to truly extract even a modicum of sincerity, the entire cast had to be both honest and befittingly talented.

Chiwetel EjioforChiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave

But when you’re speaking of a cast that comprises Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Brad Pitt, Pual Giamatti, Quvenzhané Wallis and Michael K. Williams, honesty and talent is never in question.

Continue reading: Meet The Cast Of 12 Years A Slave [Video]

12 Years A Slave Review


Extraordinary

Much more than a film about 19th century slavery in America, this sharply well-told true story has a lot to say about the world we live in today. And as he did in Hunger and Shame, filmmaker Steve McQueen puts us right into the middle of the story so we live it ourselves. Watching this film is a riveting, unnerving and ultimately moving experience.

It's based on a firsthand account by Solomon Northrup (Ejiofor), a musician who is living with his family in 1841 Saratoga, New York, when two friendly men offer him a great gig. But they drug him and sell him to slave traders, who send him to New Orleans and strip him of his identity. He spends the next 12 years working for two masters. Ford (Cumberbatch) is a fair man who puts him under the watchful eye of the cruel Tibeats (Dano). Then he is sold to Epps (Fassbender), a harsh boss who sends him into cotton fields and angrily suspects that Solomon is more educated than he admits.

Made with an earthy, realistic style, there's a clear sense that McQueen and screenwriter Ridley stuck closely to the details of Northrup's memoir, which was published shortly after his release and became a bestseller at the time. By never indulging in Hollywood-style exaggeration, the events remain grounded in the characters, drawing on the spiky interaction between them. At the centre, Ejiofor is utterly magnetic, delivering a transparent performance that takes our breath away. In his terrified eyes, we experience this horror ourselves.

Continue reading: 12 Years A Slave Review

12 Years A Slave - Featurettes


Director Steve McQueen joins the stars of '12 Years A Slave' to praise the immense level of acting skill that went into creating the movie. Among those actors were main star Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o.

Continue: 12 Years A Slave - Featurettes

The Baftas 2014: Predicting Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director And Best Supporting Categories


Chiwetel Ejiofor Jennifer Lawrence Tom Hanks Steve McQueen Michael Fassbender Amy Adams Judi Dench BAFTA

Award season has been grumbling away like Smaug inside Erebor for the last few months; but dragon is slowly awakening. Since the Gotham awards last year, the perennial question of ‘who’ll win what?’ has echoed around the Internet, and the recently announced BAFTA nominations promise to shed some light on the eventual academy recipients.

GravityGravity is leading the way with 11 Bafta nominations

With that in mind, and with some tightly contested categories to work through, it’s time to start predicting who’ll take home the golden masks, before we start predicting who’ll take home the golden statuettes, you see.

Continue reading: The Baftas 2014: Predicting Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director And Best Supporting Categories

Baftas 2014: 'Gravity' Pulls In The Nominations While Chiwetel Ejiofor Stands A Great Chance


Sandra Bullock Chiwetel Ejiofor Tom Hanks Leonardo Dicaprio Martin Scorsese Emma Thompson Judi Dench Jennifer Lawrence Bradley Cooper David O Russell Steve McQueen Amy Adams Bruce Dern Cate Blanchett Woody Allen Julia Roberts Oprah Winfrey Christian Bale Sally Hawkins Paul Greengrass

The Bafta nominations didn’t really throw up any surprises, with many of the year’s top actors, directors and films being recognised. The constant metronome of: ‘Gravity,’ ’12 Years a Slave’ and ‘American Hustle’ still chimes away; the Oscar favourites are set to do battle.

GravityGravity is leading the way with 11 Bafta nominations

So 'Gravity' leads the way with 11 nominations; it’ll go up against '12 Years a Slave' in the Best Film Category as well as 'American Hustle', 'Captain Phillips' and 'Philomena', a film the Alfonso Cuaron space thriller must also beat to win Outstanding British Film gong. 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom', 'Rush', 'Saving Mr. Banks' and 'The Selfish Giant' make up that category.

Continue reading: Baftas 2014: 'Gravity' Pulls In The Nominations While Chiwetel Ejiofor Stands A Great Chance

Steve McQueen Harassed By Rude Critic At New York Film Critics Circle Awards [Trailer]


Steve McQueen Lupita Nyong'o Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Fassbender Brad Pitt Paul Dano

Steve McQueen was the subject of some pretty ugly heckling at last night; New York Film Critics Circle Awards where a critic shouted insults at the director. As a critic, whether you like someone's work or not should be confined to your review but one man decided to step out of line and make things personal.

Steve McQueen
Steve McQueen Was The Victim Of Some Petty Heckling At An Awards Show Last Night.

However, Armond White, a New York critic, hated McQueen's latest movie, 12 Years A Slave, so much that he couldn't resist spewing a little hatred as the director took to the stage to collect his 'Best Director' award. "You're an embarrassing doorman and garbage man. F*** you. Kiss my ass," yelled White, according to Variety.

Continue reading: Steve McQueen Harassed By Rude Critic At New York Film Critics Circle Awards [Trailer]

'Inside Llewyn Davis' Wins Big At US Critics Society Awards


Coen Brothers Joel Coen Ethan Coen Chiwetel Ejiofor Robert Redford Cate Blanchett James Franco Jennifer Lawrence

Inside Llewyn Davis took home the top honour at the National Society of Film Critics Awards last night, winning the majority of votes from the panel made up of some of America's top film critics from the nation's best-known publishers. Having already found success at the Gotham Awards last month, the latest win for ...Llewyn Davis might further outline the credentials of the latest Coen Brothers film as a potential Oscar contender, having largely been overlooked by most commentators.

Oscar Isaac
The film's star Oscar Isaac was also honoured with the Best Actor award

The film was crowned Best Picture ahead of American Hustle, which came second in the overall voting, and 12 Years a Slave, which placed third. Despite winning yet another award, the Coen Brother's 'a week in the life' tale of a musician traveling through the Greenwich folk scene in 60's New York is still largely considered an outsider for major awards success, however if these gongs keep on piling up for the Coens then the Academy may be persuaded to change their mind somewhat when the votes are cast.

Continue reading: 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Wins Big At US Critics Society Awards

Oscar Balloting Begins: Which Films Are In With A Chance At Best Picture?


Tom Hanks Chiwetel Ejiofor Sandra Bullock

Balloting has finally begun today to determine the winners of the 2014 Academy Awards. Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are invited to cast secret ballots until January 8th 2014 for their favorite film categories from the past year.

Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks Stars In The Tense Pirate Thriller 'Captain Phillips.'

For the second year, the academy is offering electronic voting in which a small percentage of the 289 feature films eligible for best-picture consideration will be identified by members and announced on the 16th January.

Continue reading: Oscar Balloting Begins: Which Films Are In With A Chance At Best Picture?

10 Best Films Of 2013


Chiwetel Ejiofor Steve McQueen Matt Damon Rob Lowe Michael Douglas Sarah Polley Lake Bell Paul Greengrass Tom Hanks Ryan Coogler Michael B. Jordan Octavia Spencer James McAvoy Christian Bale Bradley Cooper Jennifer Lawrence Amy Adams

BEHIND THE CANDELABRA

10. Behind The Candelabra - Sadly consigned to TV in America, this Liberace biopic's lavish production design deserves to be projected on the biggest screen possible. As do great performances from Michael Douglas, Matt Damon and a hilarious Rob Lowe.
Read our 'Behind The Candelabra' Review
Watch 'Behind The Candelabra' Trailer

STORIES WE TELL

Continue reading: 10 Best Films Of 2013

Tina Fey & Amy Poehler Launch Hilarious Series Of Golden Globes Promos [Video]


Tina Fey Amy Poehler Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Fassbender

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be hosting the 2014 Golden Globes, making it the second time the two best friends and comedy stars will be hosting the awards show in successive years. Following the release of the nominees for the awards earlier this week, a series of promotional videos starring the pair have been released online and as you'd expect, they're pretty hilarious.

Tina FeyAmy Poheler
Fey and Poehler will host the awards for the second time

In the trio of videos, the pals and lovers of song and dance tell jokes and continue to run with their awkwardly funny routine used so well last year. Describing it as the biggest Hollywood party of the year, the comics joke their way through the three promos in what is a promising display before the big night actually arrives. You can check out one of the videos below, and the others here and here.

Continue reading: Tina Fey & Amy Poehler Launch Hilarious Series Of Golden Globes Promos [Video]

Golden Globes Odds - The Nominees Have Been Priced Up, So Who's Favourite?


Chiwetel Ejiofor Cate Blanchett Robert Redford Michael Fassbender Bradley Cooper Christian Bale

The Golden Globes won’t be handed out until January 12th, but with the nominees freshly announced, a set of odds have already been priced up by Paddy Power, meaning you can start speculating with a few to accumulating post haste. But what are you going to place your hard-earned cash on?

12 Years a SlaveChiwetel Ejiofor as Soloman Northrup in 12 Years a Slave

Kicking off with the big one, Best Drama, and it looks as though 12 Years a Slave will pick up the Grammy as a precursor to an awesome Oscars performance. The Steve McQueen directed, Chiwetel Ejiofor-starring slavery epic has stunned the critics, and odds of 4/11 make it the favourite.

Continue reading: Golden Globes Odds - The Nominees Have Been Priced Up, So Who's Favourite?

SAG Awards Noms & Snubs: '12 Years A Slave' Leads The Way [Trailer]


Chiwetel Ejiofor Steve McQueen Jennifer Lawrence Daniel Bruhl Michael Fassbender Lupita Nyong'o Robert Redford Christian Bale Matthew Mcconaughey Jared Leto Cate Blanchett Sandra Bullock Meryl Streep Julia Roberts

12 Years a Slave hasn't even been released in most countries yet but has already been heaped with accolades with more awards bound to blossom from the scores of nominations Steve McQueen's movie has garnered. The Screen Actors Guild awards nominations are out and yet again the slavery drama starring Chiwetel Ejiofor has emerged on top with four major nominations.

12 Years A Slave Chiwetel Ejiofor
Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave' Leads The SAG Nominations.

The critically lauded movie is up for best ensemble, best male actor (Chewitel Ejiofor), best supporting male actor (Michael Fassbender) and best supporting female actor (Lupita Nyong'o). 12 Years will come up against American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, Lee Daniels' The Butler and August: Osage County in the coveted Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture category, according to the LA Times.

Continue reading: SAG Awards Noms & Snubs: '12 Years A Slave' Leads The Way [Trailer]

'12 Years A Slave' Leads Independent Spirit Awards Nominations In Seven Categories


Chiwetel Ejiofor Steve McQueen Lupita Nyong'o James Gandolfini Cate Blanchett Michael Fassbender

We're into the realms of awards season now and Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave seems set to continue its miraculous habit of picking up awards, like a giant snowball gathering more prizes as it rolls along.

12 Years A Slave Chiwetel Ejiofor
Chiwetel Ejiofor's '12 Years A Slave' Set To Sweep The Board.

Ahead of the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards, widely considered to be a landmark ceremony of the season, the Chiwetel Ejiofor-starring film about 19th century slavery in America has been nominated in seven categories, including best feature, director, screenplay, male lead for Chiwetel Ejiofor, supporting lead for Lupita Nyong'o, supporting male for Michael Fassbender and cinematography.

Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave' Leads Independent Spirit Awards Nominations In Seven Categories

A Dejected Saoirse Ronan Looks Back As Star Wars Moves Forward With Casting


Saoirse Ronan Jj Abrams Harrison Ford Carrie Fisher Mark Hamill Benedict Cumberbatch Chiwetel Ejiofor

Saoirse Ronan may be one of Hollywood’s most promising young stars, but she won’t be yielding lightsabers or galaxy-hopping when the Star Wars franchise is rebooting with Episode VII. The New York-born actor announced that she would be auditioning for the role.

Saoirse RonanSaoirse Ronan missed out on a 'Star Wars' role

"I don't have 'Star Wars.' I don't have the role," Ronan said told Indie Wire's The Playlist, who noted that she sounded “defeated when she told them the news. "I just shouldn't have said anything. I just auditioned for it, like everyone else did."

Continue reading: A Dejected Saoirse Ronan Looks Back As Star Wars Moves Forward With Casting

Idris Elba Hospitalised After Suffering Asthma Attack On Way To South Africa


Idris Elba Naomie Harris Nelson Mandela Chiwetel Ejiofor Robert Redford Matthew Mcconaughey

Idris Elba has been admitted to a unspecified UK hospital after suffering an asthma attack whilst on his way to the premiere of new film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. The Brit-actor suffered the attack whilst on board the plane, but was able to be removed from the aircraft whilst it was still in the UK and taken to a near-by hospital to recover.

Nelson MandelaWinnie Mandela
Long Walk to Freedom has been given mixed reviews

Elba, who stars alongside fellow Brit Naomie Harris (who plays his wife Winnie Mandela) in the film, was forced to miss a press conference due to take place upon his arrival earlier today (2 Nov.), however producers have said that they remain confident that the star will be able to fly out and attend the premiere of the film on Sunday, 3 November, according to Sky News.

Continue reading: Idris Elba Hospitalised After Suffering Asthma Attack On Way To South Africa

'12 Years A Slave' Makes Solid Box Office Debut, High Yield Expected For Wider Release


Steve McQueen Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Fassbender Robert Redford

Get ready to be underwhelmed: when we say 12 Years A Slave’s box office was solid on opening, we’re talking about a limited release. $960,000 from 19 theaters over the weekend is pretty good going, though.

12 Years a Slave
 Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in 12 Years a Slave as Solomon Northup.

Steve McQueen’s powerful slave drama, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodward, and Brad Pitt – an all-star ensemble indeed – has been a hit with the critics, and its relative success on a limited release suggests the film has the fiscal legs to see it through a competitive season.

Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave' Makes Solid Box Office Debut, High Yield Expected For Wider Release

'12 Years A Slave' Is A Harrowing Trip Back To A Darker Period In History: Review Round-Up


Steve McQueen Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Fassbender Brad Pitt Paul Giamatti Paul Dano Alfre Woodard Benedict Cumberbatch

12 Years A Slave is the film version of Solomon Northup's account of his kidnap and subsequent sale into slavery until his rescue twelve years later. The real-life account of the tragic fate of Northup and the appalling conditions he and millions of other slaves were forced to endure has been turned into a feature-length epic by British director Steve McQueen, who leads a largely British cast in the film that is being heralded by critics as a must-see film.

Chiwetel Ejiofor
Chiwetel Ejiofor is spellbounding in 12 Years A Slave

Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon, McQueen adapted the memoirs of the main character along with John Ridley to chronicle Solomon's harrowing twelve years, where he went from being a freeman living in New York, to a plantation slave in New Orleans between 1841 and 1853. Ejiofor has been roundly praised for his exceptonal acting talents, as have the rest of the cast, who include Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alfre Woodard and Michael Fassbender, whose role as the heartless slave trader Edwin Epps has also been widely applauded for his unflinching brutality and realism.

Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave' Is A Harrowing Trip Back To A Darker Period In History: Review Round-Up

'12 Years A Slave' Receives Rave Reviews Ahead Of US Release


Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Fassbender Brad Pitt Sarah Paulson

12 Years a Slave tells of Solomon Northup, a black man living free from the shackles of slavery in upstate New York, until he is abducted and sold into slavery. Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men), is taken to New Orleans where he is forced to work on a plantation. The film, based on the memoirs of Northup, has been praised for its brutal and unflinching portrayal of the horrors inflicted to slaves during the 1800s in the USA.

12 Years a Slave
 Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in 12 Years a Slave as Solomon Northup.

The film is due to be released in the US today (Friday 18th October) and early reviews suggest this may be one of the best - and most important- films of the year. The critics love 12 Years a Slave; and with a stellar cast and crew in addition to a moving, brutal and accurate portrayal of slavery, it's likely to be an Oscar contender. 

Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave' Receives Rave Reviews Ahead Of US Release

Video - Chiwetel Ejiofor Arrives At The NYFF Premiere Of His New Movie '12 Years A Slave' - Part 1


The cast of '12 Years A Slave' arrive at the movie premiere at the New York Film Festival including lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor and director Steve McQueen. Ejiofor plays real life wronged man Solomon Northup in this story about one man's illegal enslavement despite his American citizenship and achievements, based on the autobiography of the same name.

Continue: Video - Chiwetel Ejiofor Arrives At The NYFF Premiere Of His New Movie '12 Years A Slave' - Part 1

'12 Years A Slave' And Every Inch An Oscar Contender Following Toronto Win


Steve McQueen Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Fassbender Brad Pitt Paul Dano Paul Giamatti George Clooney

Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave has secured a place as ‘Oscars favorite’ following its triumph at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. The Steve McQueen-directed epic – based on the memoir of Solomon Northrup – remains the odds on choice for Best Picture at 13/4.

Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years a SlaveChiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave.

By winning the BlackBerry People's Choice award, 12 Years a Slave follows in the footsteps of previous Oscar winners, The Kings Speech and Slumdog Millionaire. What was once a the faint hum of Oscars buzz is now a powerful thud as McQueen’s latest effort leaves Mandela and Osage County in its wake.

Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave' And Every Inch An Oscar Contender Following Toronto Win

Which Film Will Get An Oscars Boost At The Toronto Film Festival 2013?


George Clooney Sandra Bullock Paul Giamatti Benedict Cumberbatch Michael Fassbender Chiwetel Ejiofor Idris Elba Alfonso Cuaron

The Toronto Film Festival has grown into one of the most important events in the movie calendar. Following the prestigious and glamorous Cannes and Venice festivals, it’s the sheer scale of Toronto’s slate that gives it its Oscars precursor status. As we wrote in our – admittedly early – Academy preview, this year’s competition is stronger than ever.

Benedict Cumberbatch Benedict Cumberbatch's in The Fifth Estate

Of course, Toronto is famous for exposing a number of talents via their independent cinema; it doesn’t just cater for the mainstream. But when a film stuns at the Canadian fest, Oscars buzz is hot on its heels.

Continue reading: Which Film Will Get An Oscars Boost At The Toronto Film Festival 2013?

Calling All Timelords! Doctor Who Audition Script Released By Steven Moffat


Matt Smith Steven Moffat Ben Whishaw Rory Kinnear Ben Daniels Dominic Cooper Chiwetel Ejiofor Julian Rhind-Tutt David Harewood

Ever fancied yourself behind the controls to the TARDIS? This could be your chance: the audition script used by the BBC on the hunt for a new timelord has been published in Doctor Who magazine, giving us a glimpse of life after Matt Smith.

Matt Smith
The BBC Are On The Hunt For A Matt Smith Successor.

It could be safe to say that producers aren't on the lookout for a female Doctor Who. Although no indication is given whether the regenerated doctor's gender is the same or not, Jenna Lee Coleman's Clara's lines aren't half as surprised as they would have been had producers planned for the Doc to reappear with boobs and the Doctor doesn't react to a more feminine sounding voice. Sorry Olivia Colman and Helen Mirren; it's probably not going to be you.

Continue reading: Calling All Timelords! Doctor Who Audition Script Released By Steven Moffat

Toronto Film Festival To Open With WikiLeaks Movie 'The Fifth Estate' [Trailer]


Benedict Cumberbatch John Hawkes Mos Def Jennifer Aniston Steve McQueen Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Fassbender

The Fifth Estate, the Benedict Cumberbatch-starring biopic of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, will be the opening film at at this years annual Toronto International Film Festival. The film festival will also feature advanced screenings of fellow Oscar teasers 12 Years A Slave and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, with Daniel Schecter's Life of Crime - which stars John Hawkes, Mos Def and Jennifer Aniston - closing the first night. The festival starts on September 5.

Watch the trailer for The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate follows the end of the turbulent relationship between Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg at the height of WikiLeaks' infamy and mass exposure. Based on the books Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website by Domscheit-Berg himself and WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy by Luke Harding and David Leigh, the movie adaptation has been without Assange's consent. The film was directed by the Oscar winning Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Dreamgirls) and adapted for the screen by Josh Singer (The West Wing, Fringe). The film is due to arrive in time for Oscar season in January 2014.

Continue reading: Toronto Film Festival To Open With WikiLeaks Movie 'The Fifth Estate' [Trailer]

Solomon Northup's Story Comes To Life In '12 Years A Slave' [Trailer + Pictures]


Chiwetel Ejiofor Steve McQueen Brad Pitt Benedict Cumberbatch Michael Fassbender Paul Dano Paul Giamatti Michael K. Williams Quvenzhane Wallis

Solomon Northup was a regular New York resident who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. He was rescued 12 years later. 172 years on, and Chiwetel Ejiofor is an early Oscar contender for his turn as Northup in Steve McQueen’s 12 Days a Slave, which has a new trailer.

Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years a SlaveChiwetel Ejiofor looks excellent as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave

British actor Ejiofor is joined by an impressive cast, featuring Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Michael K. Williams, Quvenzhane Wallis, Alfre Woodard, Scoot McNairy, Taran Killam and Brad Pitt, while John Ridley adapted the script from Northup’s biography.

Continue reading: Solomon Northup's Story Comes To Life In '12 Years A Slave' [Trailer + Pictures]

12 Years A Slave Trailer


Solomon Northup was a well-educated man from a successful family living in upstate New York with his wife and three children. He was categorised as a free black man and made money through various jobs including as an entertainer playing the violin. In 1841, he was tricked into going to Washington DC with two white men for work where he was instead kidnapped and sold to slavery despite there being laws to protect free African-Americans. He spent twelve years on a plantation in Louisiana serving the brutal and abusive owner Edwin Epps. Determined to live his life again as a free man, he befriended a Canadian carpenter working for Epps by the name of Samuel Bass, whose high-morals turned Solomon's life around forever.

This poignant historical biopic is based on the 1853 autobiography 'Twelve Years a Slave' by the real Solomon Northup. It has been adapted to screen by writer John Ridley ('U Turn', 'Red Tails') and the BAFTA nominated director Steve McQueen ('Hunger', 'Shame'). With themes of freedom, racial inequality and the cruelty of mankind, '12 Years A Slave' could be one of the more heart-wrenching movies to kick of the year on its UK cinematic release on January 24th 2014.

Click Here To Read - 12 Years a Slave Movie Review

12 Years A Slave: The Slavery Movie We've All Been Waiting For


Chiwetel Ejiofor Steve McQueen Michael Fassbender Brad Pitt Michael K. Williams Benedict Cumberbatch Paul Giamatti Quvenzhane Wallis Sarah Paulson Paul Dano

Films - or should we say writers and directors - that dare to tackle the issue of slavery come rarely, and when they due, they face an increased level of scrutiny due to the sensitive subject matter. They are necessary though; teaching the world of the horrors it has faced will ensure they never happen again, or so they say.

Chiwetel EjioforChiwetel Ejiofor could be in for the biggest role of his life

Django Unchained came and went, as Quentin Tarantino’s ability to satirize and trivialize some of history’s most controversial times slowly turns into a trilogy of movies. Mixed reviews and a cavalier use of the ‘N’ word meant people saw it as less of a history lesson and more of a taboo comedy, which is exactly what it was.

Continue reading: 12 Years A Slave: The Slavery Movie We've All Been Waiting For

Is '12 Years A Slave' The Movie Django Should Have Been? [Trailer]


Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Fassbender Steve McQueen Brad Pitt Paul Dano Paul Giamatti Michael K. Williams

The trailer for Steve McQueen's hugely anticipated historical drama 12 Years A Slave, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free man tricked into slavery in the 1840s, has rolled out online.

Also featuring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Paul Giamatti, the movie appears to be a far more hard-hitting than many were expecting with some writers suggesting it tells the real story of the pre-civil war period in the United States of America, as opposed to, say, Quentin Taratino's Django Unchained.

Ejiofor plays a free black New Yorker who is sold into slavery after being lured to Washington DC with the promise of a well-paid job playing fiddle in a circus.

Continue reading: Is '12 Years A Slave' The Movie Django Should Have Been? [Trailer]

Ben Daniels Is New Favourite For 'Doctor Who' Job: Could He Be The One?


Ben Daniels Doctor Who Daniel Kaluuya Ben Whishaw Sue Perkins Olivia Colman Jenna-louise Coleman Domhnall Gleeson Chiwetel Ejiofor Steven Moffat Matt Smith David Tennant Rory Kinnear Dominic Cooper

Ben Daniels is the latest name to become the favourite to inherit the role of Doctor Who in the long-running BBC series. Very soon there'll be very few British male actors who haven't been rumoured to be taking over the controls to the TARDIS as the Merlin actor now has the most favourable odds at 6/1. With previous odds of 16/1, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Salt, American Gangster) now closely follows Daniels at 7/1.

Ben Daniels
Could Ben Daniels Take Over From Matt Smith As The New Doctor?

However, chances are the new Who may not be a male actor at all; there have been calls for the new Doctor to be female, which would mark a first for the series which has run since 1963.

Continue reading: Ben Daniels Is New Favourite For 'Doctor Who' Job: Could He Be The One?

Salt Review


Very Good
Intelligent filmmaking covers up the whopping plot holes in this action thriller. It's shot with confidence that makes it thoroughly enjoyable, with a few strong characters and a story that stays in constant motion.

Evelyn Salt (Jolie) is a skilled CIA operative devoted to both her husband (Diehl) and her country. Then a Russian spy (Olbrychski) tells her that she's actually a sleeper agent whose time has come. She denies this to her steely boss Ted (Schreiber) and hasty counter-intelligence agent Peabody (Ejiofor), but when things heat up she runs. Is she up to no good, or is she trying to stop the Russkies' evil plan? Sometimes it seems like even she isn't so sure.

Continue reading: Salt Review

2012 Review


Excellent
Gleefully over-the-top, this film takes the disaster movie pretty much as far as it can go, drawing on the Mayan prophecy that he world will end on 21 December 2012. Emmerich deploys all the genre elements (solid cast, detailed back-stories, gigantic set pieces) to give us a raucously enjoyable ride.

While on a camping trip in Yellowstone, novelist-turned-chauffer Jackson (Cusack) stumbles across a secret military operation and a raving nutcase (Harrelson) who claims the end of the world is nigh. Sure enough, top government scientist Adrian (Ejiofor) is advising the President (Glover) and his Chief of Staff (Platt) about preparations for impending natural catastrophes. By the time Jackson gets home to Los Angeles, the pandemonium has begun, and he barely gets his kids, his ex (Peet) and her new husband (McCarthy) out. But where do they go now?

Continue reading: 2012 Review

American Gangster Review


OK
There's something dead in Denzel Washington's eyes nearly all of the way through Ridley Scott's American Gangster, which takes what should have been a mesmerizing slice of urban historical grit and grinds it into roughly two hours of standard issue cinema. Washington is playing Frank Lucas, a real-life crime boss who for a period lasting from the late 1960s into the following decade, ran Manhattan "from 110th to 155th, river to river." A real slick character who doesn't need to strut his worth on the street, Lucas hates flash like a junkie hates rehab: It reminds him of all he truly is but doesn't want to be. Facing off against him is New Jersey narc Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe), a womanizing tough guy with a short fuse but a heart of gold (aren't they all), who's so clean that when he and his partner come across $1 million in untraceable cash he had the bad manners to turn it all in without taking a single bill for himself. In a big-city police department in the 1970s, boy scout behavior like that will just plain get you killed -- the guy who's not on the take is the guy who could very well sell you down the river when the grand jury comes sniffing around for who is on the take.

Ridley Scott has a good thing going here, tossing these two Hollywood bigshots into the ring and letting them play cops and robbers while he slathers on the period detail with a trowel. There's some serious Superfly outfits (including a godawful $50,000 chinchilla coat that plays a surprisingly key part in a plot twist), a generous helping of soul music, enough fantastic character actors to choke a horse (Idris Elba, Jon Polito, Kevin Corrigan, an incredibly sleazy Josh Brolin, and so on), the specter of Vietnam playing on every television in sight, and the odd enjoyment one gets from watching cops in the pre-militarized, pre-SWAT days take down an apartment with just revolvers, the occasional shotgun, and a sledgehammer to whack down the door. Scott's smart enough to let the story cohere organically and without rush, keeping his main contenders apart for as long as could possibly be borne, making them fully developed characters in their own right and not just developed in opposition to the other. But there's something in this broad and expansive tale that can't quite come together, and it seems to start in Denzel's eyes.

Continue reading: American Gangster Review

Tsunami: The Aftermath Review


Excellent
As its title suggests, HBO Films' Tsunami: The Aftermath begins not with a crashing wave of water but rather with something far more chilling. A boatload of vacationing scuba divers returns to their Phuket resort after a morning outing on December 26, 2004 and notice all sorts of debris, and then bodies, in the water. At the dock they see that the entire landscape is destroyed, the hotel is in ruins, and everyone, including their families and friends, is gone. As they run through the wreckage screaming, you'll feel chills.

Among the group is Susie Carter (Sophie Okonedo), who quickly reunites with her husband Ian (Chiwetel Ejiofor) but is devastated to learn their four-year-old daughter slipped out of her father's arms and has disappeared. Meanwhile, Kim Peabody (Gina McKee) has lost her husband but finds her teenage son horribly injured.

Continue reading: Tsunami: The Aftermath Review

Kinky Boots Review


Weak
I'd like to believe that my heart is open to even the most ill-conceived of English charmers. By all technical merits, both 2003's Love Actually and 2005's Layer Cake are absolute garbage, but if either of them shows up on HBO, there's a good chance I'll watch them to the end. It has to be something about the accents, or the way that English men tend to stutter a lot. Regardless, it wasn't until Kinky Boots that I realized that popular English films can, indeed, be as inane as popular films here.Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton) has just left his father and his father's shoe business for a life farther away with his fiancée and a job in marketing. Literally the day he moves away, he gets the call that pops has passed away. With a buyer pulling out and mounting amounts of "redundancies," Charlie considers selling the factory (his father was thinking of it, also). That is until he meets Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a cross-dressing singer who Charlie attempts to save from a beating, not knowing that Lola used to be a boxer. In a moment of inspiration, Charlie decides to design cross-dressing boots for Lola and her friends and brings her in to supervise the proceedings. Charlie and his flirtatious assistant, Lauren (Sarah-Jane Potts), must defend him when the male company workers don't warm up to Lola, and Lola comes to their rescue when a fashion show goes disastrously wrong.The plot seems impenetrably charming in overview. Uptight young English man gets a wake up call about life and love from a life-loving cross-dresser; what's not to love about that situation? As it turns out, a lot. The major problem here is time, notably lack of it. There is little or no time given to the characters to really get to know them and let us fall for them. Lola is the only one that the audience feels anything for, and that is mainly because she is persecuted by everyone. As much time as Charlie is on screen, his motives and actions are always based on the store and not himself, and therefore we can't really get to know who he is in general. The script by Tim Firth and Geoff Deane supposes that he binds himself to the company as a remembrance of his father. Fine, but then we are not given enough time to get what his dad meant to him. All we get is a trite montage of "shoes are the key to life" vignettes between a young Charlie and his father. There is a serious lack of character development. And call me a broken record player, but the love story between Charlie and Lauren is undercooked to an amateurish degree. Lauren and Charlie actually talk together perhaps five times, and some of those are just about business.What salvages the film is Ejiofor, the terrifically talented character actor from Melinda and Melinda and Dirty Pretty Things (also a drab villain in Four Brothers). He brings charm and a distinct comic timing to Lola, especially in a hysterical scene where Lola teaches Charlie what is wrong with his initial design. Edgerton, especially for a leading man, seems lacking in the charm department and doesn't do anything with the role (he simply says the line in his accent for the most part). Potts might have registered with talent if she was given more screen-time but most of the time is given to Edgerton and (thank God) Ejiofor. Where a one man show would usually fair okay with a contrived or lopsided plot (The Matador), Kinky Boots simply just doesn't take the time to let us give a hoot about anyone but Ejiofor. If that was their mission, consider it accomplished.These boots are made for kinkin'.

Love Actually Review


Very Good
I can only presume that the British calendar is so uniquely screwy that it allows for a Christmas movie to open a week after Halloween. Or maybe Love Actually is just in a universe of its own... one in which the prime minister is inaugurated in November and where an adverb can be used to modify a noun.

But a little oddness is forgivable: Directing a movie is a strange place for Richard Curtis, who's written umpteen Brit-friendly movies and TV shows over the years but hasn't directed one, until now.

Continue reading: Love Actually Review

Chiwetel Ejiofor

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Chiwetel Ejiofor

Date of birth

10th July, 1977

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.78


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