'A United Kingdom' is the story of Sir Seretse Khama who, in 1948, caused a stir within both the UK and South African governments when he - as the Prince of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) - fell in love and decided to marry a white woman named Ruth Williams from London.
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Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with present-day resonance as it explores a relationship that sparks intense social and political fallout. And it's made properly engaging with central roles beautifully played by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike. So it's a shame that the screenplay is so simplistic, failing to generate any momentum in the story with its awkward structure and paper-thin side characters.
It opens in 1947, as Seretse Khama (Oyelowo) has spent 20 years of his life studying in London and is ready to return to Bechuanaland (now Botswana) to take his rightful place as king. But he has fallen in love with white, working-class Englishwoman Ruth (Pike), and they decide to return to Africa together. This causes a crisis for Seretse's uncle Tshkedi (Vusi Kunene), who has been ruling the country while Seretse was away. And there's even more fierce resistance from the British colonial officials (including Jack Davenport and Tom Felton), who refuse to allow the couple to live together in Bechuanaland because a mixed-race marriage undermines the UK's acceptance of South Africa's policy of Apartheid. So they exile Seretse from the country and manipulate the situation to Britain's political benefit. But Ruth stays and fights on.
The film chronicles this astonishing battle with a fascinating attention to detail, although screenwriter Guy Hibbert struggles to avoid repetition as the events shift between Africa and London, leaving main characters off the screen for what turns out to be years at a time. Meanwhile, the British are portrayed as moustache-twirling villains who lie and conspire to undermine the government of Bechuanaland. A bit more complexity might have made the situation compelling on-screen.
Continue reading: A United Kingdom Review
British actor Oyelowo was speaking at the BFI Southbank's Black Star season opening symposium, and said that a lack of opportunity caused him to move to America.
British actor David Oyelowo, star of prestigious movies like Selma and the newly-released A United Kingdom, has called on the British film industry to expand its efforts for increased diversity, claiming that he moved to the United States because a lack of opportunity for black actors in the UK.
The 40 year old actor was delivering the keynote address at a symposium organised by the BFI Southbank on Thursday (October 6th), in order to mark the start of the Black Star season celebrating the contributions of black actors to the British film industry.
However, Oyelowo argued that the sense of progress the industry had made needed to be accelerated, particularly pushing for more historical and period pieces that show Britain “how it became what it is.”
Continue reading: David Oyelowo Urges Greater Diversity In The British Film Industry
Once upon a time, a handsome, intelligent man fell in love with an equally clever and intelligent woman, the couple married and lived happily ever after. Ruth Williams and Seretse Khama met in Britain in 1947, he was a young man training to be a barrister and she was a clerk working for Lloyds of London.
The pair immediately felt an affinity for one another and courted for a year before Seretse and Ruth married. As well as being an interracial couple, Seretse has a lot more to his past than Ruth ever knew. Seretse is a prince of Bechuanaland and lives a hugely important life in a county that feels a whole world away from the comparatively cosmopolitan London.
Though Ruth and Seretse married - much against the advice of all their peers - apartheid in South Africa, the people of Bechuanaland and the British government all played a part in keeping Sertse from his birth right and went to extreme lengths to have the couple extradited from the country.
Continue: A United Kingdom Trailer
Disney's Queen of Katwe is set in the slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda where we follow Phiona Mutesi on her journey to dream big and create a better life for her and her family. Her mother Harriet works on the market selling vegetables in order to just provide enough money to keep a roof over the family's head and says to Phiona that she will be disappointed if she 'dares to dream'.
Ava DuVernay was snubbed by the DGA and Oscars, but she's already looking ahead to a new project.
David Oyelowo is close to signing on for Ava DuVernay's new project - set during Hurricane Katrina
DuVernay will write, produce and direct the movie, being touted as both a love story and murder mystery. Oyelowo is in negotiations to produce and star, though a start date has not been set, reports Variety.
Continue reading: After Oscars Snub, Ava DuVernay And David Oyelowo Announce 'Katrina'
It's been a long time in production but the King drama is finally on its way.
David Oyelowo became involved with Martin Luther King biopic 'Selma' seven years ago; a project which saw many pitfalls along the way - from financing to director selection - but is now here to tell an extraordinary story of one of the world's biggest heroes.
David Oyelowo thinks the movie wouldn't have been made without Oprah
It was 2008 when screenwriter Paul Webb first announce the project, which would also bring on board Brad Pitt as a producer, but according to Oyelowo it took seven years in total to complete - a situation that wasn't as much of a drawback as it sounds in hindsight. 'I think it kind of happened at exactly the right time because the preparation for it was layered', he explains. 'There was a physical element to it, emotional, research element interviewing people but then there was a spiritual element to it as well. This man was led by his spiritual conviction and I felt I had to open up to that in order to be able to do it.'
Continue reading: David Oyelowo Credits Oprah With Bringing 'Selma' To Fruition
On 14th December 2014, the New York premiere for 'Selma' took place at the Ziegfeld Theatre, with various celebrities and stars of the film gracing the red carpet. Amongst these was Oprah Winfrey, who appears as African-American civil rights activist Annie Lee Cooper. Andre Holland and Jeremy Strong - both of whom also appear in the film - posed on the red carpet as well.
The New York premiere of 'Selma' was held at the Ziegfeld Theatre on 14th December 2014. The red carpet arrivals saw a host of actors and actresses posing for pictures, including English actress/actors spouses Jessica and David Oyelowo. British singer and actress Carmen Ejogo was also in attendance.
Writer and director Ava DuVernay graced the red carpet at the Ziegfeld Theatre for the New York premiere of her latest film 'Selma'. Legendary actor Tim Roth also posed for photos, as did actor David Oyelowo who plays Martin Luther King, Jr. in the film.
“What happens when a man stands up and says ‘enough is enough’?” So goes the question raised by Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) when President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) declines to help him in battling the race-related violence in Alabama. In retaliation, King organises a peaceful protest; he has African Americans march into Selma, Alabama, in an attempt to gain rights to vote. What follows, is a truly horrifying attack from the police on the peaceful protest which was televised and seen by millions, forcing the President’s hand, as he is forced to watch innocent people suffer.
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In 1981, New York City saw its most violent year in the city's history. When an immigrant arrives in the city in pursuit of the American Dream, he never expected that his journey would result in so much bloodshed. The man's name is Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac), and he will do anything to grow his family's business and secure the dream for his wife Anna (Jessica Chastain). But as the NYPD are forced to double their efforts with regards to putting an end to the violence, an investigation begins into the business Abel has bled to support. When the police start asking questions, Anna is forced to confront her husband about the nature of his work which, in turn, forces him to finally be totally truthful with her.
Continue: A Most Violent Year Trailer
Mankind is doomed. Following generations of neglect and a lack of care, the planet Earth is a polluted mess and food supplies have all but run out. Only one hope remains for humanity if it is to survive into its next generation - they must leave Earth behind. Cooper (Matthew Mcconaughey), is a widowed engineer, living in a time where engineers are no longer needed. He also happens to be one of the world's best pilots. He is offered the choice to stay with his children and except the fate of the human race, or captain a mission through a newly discovered wormhole in search of a new, habitable planet which can sustain the prolonged existence of our species. He chooses the latter option, and begins his interstellar travels in search of a new home.
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Cooper is a pilot and engineer with a huge ambition to save the world. With little discoveries left to be made on Earth and the development of pioneering technology ever slowing down, mankind's only chance of survival is to take to the stars - though there's a chance there's nothing out there either. But human endeavour once again proves fruitful as a team of space explorers discover a wormhole in the void of the universe. Cooper decides to join them on their intergalactic expedition to find out if there are any other habitable worlds out there. However, he has a big decision to make as the trip means leaving his beloved family behind with the possibility that he might never return. This is a dangerous mission unlike anything mankind has ever done before, but is it worth it to find a way to save the world?
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With the Earth facing a bleak future, pilot and engineer Cooper wants to know how it can possibly be saved from its inevitable demise. The world seems to be slowing down in terms of technological advancement and important discovery, but one group of scientists and explorers are determined to keep pushing the boundaries of human endeavour in the hope that human beings can learned enough to save themselves. When an unusual wormhole like void is discovered in space, the scientists prepare to embark on an interstellar voyage of wisdom to unlock the hidden mysteries of the universe and uncover the key to time travel. It's an expedition that faces great danger and has never before been undertaken by man, and while Cooper is concerned about his separation from his family, he can't pass up this opportunity to explore the stars.
Continue: Interstellar Trailer
At a time where scientists and explorers are on the verge of reaching a stalemate with making new discoveries and extending the limits of human endeavour, a group of ever-curious space explorers uncover a wormhole in the universe that can allow them to make critical shortcuts through spacetime. The team set out on an intergalactic expedition never before untaken by man, to find whole new worlds of new discoveries, hidden dimensions and unearth the key to time travel.
Continue: Interstellar Trailer
This is an strangely slushy movie from Lee Daniels, whose last two films (Precious and The Paperboy) bristled with unexpected life. By contrast, this star-packed drama uses a true story to trace the Civil Rights struggle from the 1950s to the present day. But it's been so fictionalised that it feels kind of like a variation on Forrest Gump.
Cecil Gaines (Whitaker) grew up on a Georgia cotton plantation, where the cruel master's kindly mother (Redgrave) taught him to be a house servant. Years later, he marries Gloria (Winfrey) and moves to Washington DC, where he gets a job in the White House as a butler to presidents from Eisenhower (Williams) to Reagan (Rickman). His job description is simple: "You hear nothing, you see nothing, you only serve." And yet as the nation grapples with its racist culture, he has a quiet influence on each leader who moves through the house.
Whitaker narrates the film in drawling flashbacks, while the story flickers between Cecil and his eldest son Louis (Oyelowo), an activist who is involved in every key moment in the Civil Rights movement. And their younger son (Kelley) is sent to Vietnam. So it's like a condensed version of late 20th century American history, made notable by the lively cast of cameo players including Marsden (as JFK), Schreiber (LBJ), Ellis (MLK) and Cusack (Nixon), plus Fonda as a lively Nancy Reagan.
Continue reading: The Butler Review
Members of the cast including singer Lenny Kravitz and 'Jack Reacher' actor David Oyelowo arrive at the premiere of 'The Butler' in New York. Lenny plays the role of James Holloway in the film while David stars as Louis Gaines.
Cecil Gaines is a modest and dedicated butler at the White House who manages to make for himself a respectable career despite his underprivileged upbringing and cotton farm roots. Starting out as a regular kitchen worker, Cecil soon proves himself to be extremely proficient and works his way up to be the head butler for eight different US presidents. Some of them prove to be discriminatory, treating Cecil with little respect and holding massively differing views to him, but he always remains polite and does everything within his power to care for his employers while keeping any top secret information that he might hear firmly to himself. Meanwhile, he struggles at home with his son; a Black Panther with aggressive views on racial equality who is less than grateful to have a father working for the people that he believes are causing racial oppression.
This story of loyalty and unconditional dedication is based on the true story of Eugene Allen; a butler who similarly lived through years of racial inequality before finally seeing, in his retirement, the election of the first black President, Barack Obama. His story was documented in the article 'A Butler Well Served by This Election' written by Wil Haygood. 'The Butler' has been directed by Lee Daniels ('The Paperboy', 'Precious', 'Shadowboxer') and co-written by Danny Strong ('Game Change', 'Recount') and will be released in the US on August 16th 2013.
'The Butler' boasts a superb supporting cast including Robin Williams, John Cusack, Alan Rickman and Cuba Gooding Jr.
The first trailer for 'Precious' director Lee Daniels' new movie The Butler starring Forest Whitaker has rolled out online. It has always been assumed that Harvey Weinstein believes the film is one of his better chances of tasting Oscars success this season and the trailer certainly appears to confirm that. It stars Whitaker as Eugene Allen, the man who served eight presidents as the White House's head butler. It's over-the-top, patriotic and, well, Oscar bait.
In the mould as The King's Speech and The Iron Lady, the historical biopic is set for release on October 18th - just in time to be wafted under the nose of the Academy. As well as Whitaker returning to a leading role, 'The Butler' boasts one of the more spectacular casts of the year, including Robin Williams (Dwight Eisenhower), John Cusack (Richard Nixon), James Marsden (JFK), Liev Schreiber (Lydon B. Johnson), Alan Rickman (Reagan), Cuba Gooding Jr (Carter Wilson). David Oyelowo (Loius Gaines) and Oprah Winfrey (Gloria Gaines) are among the supporting cast though this one appears to be set up for Whitaker.
Watch 'The Butler' Trailer!
Speaking to Indiewire last year, Daniels hinted that his movie might be a little too focused on awards, "I'm trying to keep it [The Butler] PG13 which is not easy for me. It's very un-Precious and un-Paperboy... I can't go into my bag of tricks on this one [...] I felt like I directed the film in handcuffs and a muzzle," he said.
Continue reading: Forest Whitaker As 'The Butler' Could Be A Recipe For Success [Trailer]
Cecil Gains is a devoted White House butler who grew up on a simple cotton farm where he and other black workers were not treated with any respect by their white counterparts. From a simple kitchen worker, he rises to be top butler to eight different presidents over the course of more than 30 years. Sworn to secrecy over the goings on at the White House, he serves the likes of Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson with all the care that he has in spite of their differing policies and the suppression of his race across the country. He rejects his freedom fighter son's distaste at Cecil's job and never once wavers in his respect for his government. He merely stands back, silver platter in hand and watches the progression of racial equality until the day the country's first black president is finally inaugurated.
This is a story about loyalty and commitment based on the article by Wil Haygood, 'A Butler Well Served by This Election', about Eugene Allen; a real butler who showed his devotion to his job over the course of three decades while he and his fellow black civilians went from being the underdogs to top dog as he lives to see the election of President Barack Obama. It has been directed by Lee Daniels ('The Paperboy', 'Precious', 'Shadowboxer') and co-written by Danny Strong ('Game Change', 'Recount'), and has an incredible all-star ensemble cast. 'The Butler' is set to his theatres in the US on August 16th 2013.
Lee Daniels is clearly vying for Oscars glory with 'The Butler.'
The first trailer for 'Precious' director Lee Daniels' new movie The Butler starring Forest Whitaker has rolled out online and Harvey Weinstein's ambitions of taking this film all the way to the Oscars couldn't be more apparent. Whitaker stars as Eugene Allen, the man who served eight presidents as the White House's head butler.
The movie is clearly Oscar bait. Firstly, it's a typical Weinstein movie in the same mould as The King's Speech and The Iron Lady and secondly it's set for release on October 18th - just in time to be wafted under the nose of the Academy. Oh, and there's a pretty strong cast with plenty of Oscar winners and several up-and-coming stars. Robin Williams (Dwight Eisenhower), John Cusack (Richard Nixon), James Marsden (JFK), Liev Schreiber (Lydon B. Johnson), Alan Rickman (Reagan), Cuba Gooding Jr (Carter Wilson), David Oyelowo (Loius Gaines) and Oprah Winfrey (Gloria Gaines) are among the supporting cast though this one appears to be set up for Whitaker.
Filmmaker Daniels follows up his acclaimed hit Precious with what might be the trashiest movie in recent memory: a swampy thriller packed with desperate characters hiding grisly secrets. Daniels and his cast dive headlong into this garish world, refusing to blink as they take us to the fringes of human behaviour. It's so marvellously audacious that we feel like we need a shower after watching it.
The film takes us into the steamy backwoods of central Florida in 1969, as Miami journalist Ward (McConaughey) returns home with his black colleague Yardley (Oyelowo), who sparks whispers of racism everywhere he goes. Staying with his editor dad (Glenn) and delivery boy brother Jack (Efron), Ward is investigating the case of death row inmate Hillary (Cusack), whose trashy fiancee Charlotte (Kidman) is filing an appeal. The 20-year-old Jack is instantly smitten with the overtly sexual Charlotte, who seems happy to seduce every man she meets. And as Ward, Yardley and Jack dig deeper into the case, they get several startling surprises.
Daniels keeps the film sweaty and snarky as he delves into the story's seriously dark corners. And the actors all go along with him. The always terrific Kidman really goes for broke here, prowling through each scene and oozing raw sexuality. It's no wonder she triggers Jack's lust, and Efron plays him with a delicate balance of intelligence and naivete, underscored of course with relentless horndog desire. None of the characters are as dumb as they look, and McConaughey, Oyelowo and especially Cusack revel in playing against expectations. Each actor packs every line with attitude and insinuation, creating fascinating chemistry along the way.
Continue reading: The Paperboy Review
Charlotte Bless is a busty, blonde, middle-aged woman who enchants most men she meets with her looks and sexual appeal. She has fallen emphatically in love with Hillary Van Wetter, an inmate on death row accused of murdering a sheriff with whom she is regularly in correspondence with, and plans to marry him once she finds a way of getting him released. She enlists the help of two newspaper reporters to investigate the circumstances surrounding the crime and to gather evidence to prove his innocence. One of their main objections is that the judge who sentenced Wetter did not see the evidence that was presented before him in court. Whilst Charlotte is convinced that Wetter is not a bad person, young Jack Jansen is equally convinced that she doesn't really love Wetter and becomes deeply infatuated with her.
Continue: The Paperboy Trailer
Opening on a terrified-looking man in a hospital bed, we are immediately informed that Jack Reacher is a, "kind of cop", but doesn't care about proof or the law, only what's right. From the word go, we ca see that Reacher is not a man to be trifled with.
Continue: Jack Reacher Trailer
During WWII, black pilots trained in Tuskegee, Alabama, were sidelined in the segregated US forces. But Colonel Ballard (Howard) gets them an assignment accompanying bombers on raids in Italy. Led by Major Stance (Gooding), the team includes hot-shot Lightning (Oyelowo), self-doubting Easy (Parker), eager Junior (Wilds) and the even less-defined Smoky (Ne-Yo) and Joker (Kelley). As they square off against their Luftwaffe nemesis (van Riesen), the Tuskegee airmen's distinctive red-tailed planes develop a first-rate reputation that begins to break down racial barriers.
Continue reading: Red Tails Review
In the height of World War II, the American Army have devised an experimental training programme, known as the Tuskegee Training Programme, that consists of African American soldiers. Despite their hard work training, they are beginning to lose hope that they will ever fight in the war. Discrimination in the army was so rife, the men were often seen as unable to fight for their country.
Continue: Red Tails Trailer
Will (Franco) is a San Francisco scientist experimenting with a new Alzheimer's medication he hopes will cure his father (Lithgow). But things take an unexpected turn when his greedy boss (Oyelowo) gets rid of his lab-test chimps, leaving Will to raise infant ape Caesar (Serkis) in secret. But Caesar's super-human intelligence can't keep him out of the clutches of the nasty father-son animal controllers (Cox and Felton), who badly underestimate him.
Can Will and his chimp-expert girlfriend (Pinto) sort out the mess before a furious Caesar takes matters into his own capable hands?
Continue reading: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Review
Adapted with sub-simian grace from the iconic Ray Bradbury story, the film puts us in the year 2055, where a Chicago firm called Time Safari takes wealthy, bored men back in time and hunt dinosaurs. The trick here is that Bradbury - prefiguring all the great time travel paradox stories and films to follow - realized one couldn't just do this without creating massive complications further down the time pipeline. So Time Safari has its hunters walk through the 65-million-year-old jungle on a pathway suspended above the ground, with the strict dictum not to touch anything, never step off the path and not to bring even the most microscopic thing back with them. And the dinosaur that they "hunt" (over and over again) has been selected for the fact that it's going to die anyway, bare seconds after the safari team shoots it. Thusly the time continuum remains unchanged and everybody's happy.
Continue reading: A Sound Of Thunder Review
Date of birth
1st April, 1976
'A United Kingdom' is the story of Sir Seretse Khama who, in 1948, caused a...
Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...
Once upon a time, a handsome, intelligent man fell in love with an equally clever...
Disney's Queen of Katwe is set in the slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda where...
Ashley Smith is heavily addicted to drugs so much so that she has lost custody...
One of the finest biopics in recent memory, this drama manages to present someone as...
With this confident drama, J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, All Is Lost) continues to evolve as...
In 1981, New York City saw its most violent year in the city's history. When...
Mankind is doomed. Following generations of neglect and a lack of care, the planet Earth...
Cooper is a pilot and engineer with a huge ambition to save the world. With...