It's the 1930s and a group of strangers from different walks of life board a crowded luxury train called the Orient Express in Istanbul, preparing for a long overnight journey to their destination. Among them is the world famous detective Hercule Poirot who certainly isn't expecting to be working in such circumstances, but when a passenger named Edward Ratchett is found havng been brutally murdered in his sleep on the second night, it's up to him to gather all available evidence and wheedle out all of the suspects. So who are they? He soon deduces that the potential killer could be one of eleven including Professor Gerhard Hardman, Edward Masterman the Butler, Count Andrenyi, Hector MacQueen the Assistant, Mary Debenham the Governess, Pilar Estravados the Missionary, Mrs. Hubbard the Widow, Marquez the Salesman, Hildegarde Schmidt the Maid, Doctor Arbuthnot or Princess Dragomiroff.
Continue: Murder On The Orient Express Trailer
The story of Romeo and Juliet is one of unconditional love that shows how far two people will go in order to be together for eternity. The two families the Montagues and the Capulets are at war with each other and both Romeo the son of Montague and Juliet the daughter of Capulet fall in love with each other which is strictly forbidden because of the family's ongoing feud.
Continue: Branagh Live: Romeo & Juliet Trailer
'Effie Gray', despite being a film about a secret love story, takes a very repressed approach to sexuality.
Critics have been divided about the latest British period drama to hit cinemas. Effie Gray is based on a notorious true scandal from the mid-19th century, and most reviews have commented that the buttoned-up approach leaves the film feeling more than a little dull.
Dakota Fanning stars in 'Effie Gray'
Indeed, for a film about a torrid love triangle, the movie only barely hints that there's any sex going on beyond lots of aching glances. Director Richard Laxton was clearly channelling Victorian timidity about these things, but there are spicier hints laced through Emma Thompson's script and the layered performances of the strong cast, including Dakota Fanning, Greg Wise, Tom Sturridge, Julie Walters, David Suchet, Derek Jacobi and Thompson herself.
Continue reading: Effie Gray: Does It Take Victorian Repression Too Far?
It was a fitting way to cap off five decades of quality productions.
The National Theatre in London celebrated five decades of quality productions yesterday with the aid of some of the brightest and most experienced stars of UK theatre. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon, Simon Russell Beale and plenty of others gave their best performances to represent the distinguished institution.
Last year, the National celebrated the London Olympics with a fire garden of lit candles.
The guest list was also sufficiently star-studded, with attendees like playwrights Tom Stoppard, Peter Shaffer and David Hare alongside directors Richard Eyre and Peter Hall and actresses Prunella Scales and Juliet Stevenson. The guest of honor was Joan Plowright, the widow of the late first director of the National’s first director and distinguished actor in his own right Lawrence Olivier.
The stylish new film has a stylish new trailer, which you can see below.
Ladies and Gentlemen: welcome another runner in the race for decoration at the Oscars, Nicole Kidman in Grace of Monaco. The Australian actress leads the cast in this biopic surrounding the extravagance, revelry and mystery that was Grace Kelly’s life.
Grace Kelly's extraordinary life is explored in Grace of Monaco
With a supporting cast consisting of Frank Langella, Parker Posey, Derek Jacobi, Paz Vega, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Milo Ventimiglia and Tim Roth, and an emotive story, director Olivier Dahan may have an Oscar contender on his hands, if he’s managed to pull it all together.
Continue reading: Nicole Kidman Is Grace Kelly In 'Grace Of Monaco' [Trailer + Pictures]
Grace Kelly is one of the most loved women of the past 100 years. The former Hollywood star was a favourite of the silver screen, but that was only really the beginning of her journey. When Grace Kelly fell in love with Prince Rainier III of Monaco, her personal life turned into a story that could rival that of a classic fairy tale.
Though not from royal stock, Grace is to many their favourite royal to have lived; beauty, elegance and a gentle and nurturing nature only added to the appeal of Grace throughout the world.
Nicole Kidman now takes on one of her most difficult roles to date and plays the much loved actress. Set in the 1960's whilst her husband, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, faced invasion by the French over tax disputes, the princess was also facing one of the most turbulent times of her life. Grace of Monaco was directed by Oscar winner Olivier Dahan (La Vie En Rose) and written by relative newcomer Arash Amel.
The BBC decided Ben Elton's sitcom 'The Wright Way' would not be returning after universal panning by critics.
The BBC has dropped Ben Elton's sitcom The Wright Way. The sitcom ended in May 2013 and the BBC announced yesterday (Wednesday 10th July) that it would not be renewing the comedy for a second series.
Ben Elton at the 2010 Laurence Olivier Awards.
Independent critic Tom Sutcliffe described the sitcom as "groan-inducing". The sitcom was set around a health and safety department of a local council in which social stereotypes were actively encouraged but seemed cliché and "old fashioned" (according to Daily Mail reviewer Christopher Stevens).
Continue reading: BBC Cancels Ben Elton's Sitcom 'The Wright Way'
Are British audiences ready to hark back to traditional sitcoms like 'I Love Lucy?'
Sir Ian McKellen says his new ITV sitcom with theatre legend Sir Derek Jacobi will not be an "expose on gay life," and more of a traditional show such as The Golden Girls. Sir Ian plays one half of a gay couple in the sitcom which starts on ITV next Monday (April 29, 2013).
McKellen, one of the world's respected actors, raised eyebrows when signing up for the ITV sitcom, though the actor says he wanted to change the way in which gay characters are often portrayed in sitcoms (think, Little Britain.) "It's a fairly traditional sitcom which reminds me of The Golden Girls or I Love Lucy. It's not aiming to shock people. It won't alarm anyone. It isn't a satire or an exposé of gay life. These characters just happen to be gay. For me, it is as if TV has grown up," he told The Sun.
The TV spots in recent weeks suggest Vicious probably isn't going to be belly-laughing territory, though perhaps British audiences need to recapture their love for a traditional, inoffensive sitcom. "It's a family show that will get the broadest possible demographic. Everyone will be able to relate to the characters," sir Sir Ian.
Continue reading: Sir Ian McKellen's Sitcom 'Vicious' May Be Refreshing, But Is It Funny?
By the gusto of his performances and larger than life energy in interviews, you'd never guess that star of the stage and screen, Sir Ian McKellan, had been battling prostate cancer for over 6 years.
In an interview with the Mirror he spoke of his health problems with humour. "You are going to write 'Ian McKellen is decrepit. He can't see, he can't hear he can't pee, he's having his teeth done'," he said, before explaining: "I've had prostate cancer for six or seven years. When you have got it you monitor it and you have to be careful it doesn't spread. But if it is contained in the prostate it's no big deal."
Sir McKellan's honesty is bound to give hope to many other sufferers around the world. He admits to a mixture of emotions, beginning with fear, but that it has been 'totally treatable' and also gave a few tips about healthy living including lots of exercise. "I am lucky," he said. "I don't have aches and pains. I do pilates regularly... and I recommend it to anyone. I always walk up the escalator on the tube and I live in a house with a lot of stairs." Adding "The wonderful thing about modern medicine is that so many of these complaints that used to signify old age and decline can be coped with." His main piece of advice though is to get tested and to keep getting tested.
Last night (November 20, 2012), Last Tango in Halifax debuted on BBC1. Set in Yorkshire, it’s a tale of love between two widows, who were formerly childhood sweethearts (played by Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid). Thanks to the wonders of everybody’s favourite social networking site (that’s Facebook, in case you’re unaware), they meet up after fifty years and romance begins to blossom.
Reviews for the new series are largely positive. Unsurprisingly, Jacobi’s performance was praised, as was Reid’s. Writing for The Independent, Simon Usborne praised the programme’s makers for not patronising older viewers and also for managing to engage younger ones. “But it triumphed because it wasn't about old people or even elderly romance, but love. This (sentimental) 30-year-old loved every minute,” wrote Usborne. John Crace, of The Guardian, was less accepting of the “bitter-sweet rom-com,” suggesting that the likelihood of the two central characters getting together was a touch too obvious. However, despite describing Last Tango In Halifax as “”terribly familiar and predictable,” he admitted that it was, in fact “not at all bad,” saved by the quality of the acting.
Looking past the “cheap shot” of the programme’s title, The Metro also found much to love in Last Tango In Halifax. “The story plays as a wistful reflection on the way the world has changed,” though the sub-plots are widely damned for being “ludicrous.” A good start, then, for this heart-warming tale.
Sir Ian McKellen is going to be teaming up with fellow stalwart actor Sir Derek Jacobi to play a bickering gay couple in a new sitcom going out on British network ITV. According to the BBC, the show Vicious has been created by Will and Grace writer Gary Janetti and award-winning playwright Mark Ravenhill. In addition to the two gay actors, the show will feature Rising Damp actress Frances de la Tour as their best friend.
The plot will focus, though, on McKellen and Jacobi’s characters, with the pair having lived together for 50 years. The catalyst for the change in the couple’s equilibrium will come with the addition of a third, younger man, Ash, who moves in upstairs.
Janetti’s pedigree also extends to work on the US animated series Family Guy, but he confessed that he was “incredibly excited” to be involved in this new project – scheduled to air next year. ITV’s commissioning comedy editor Myfanwy Moore meanwhile added that he was "thrilled this exciting and bold sitcom, with stellar performers and writing talent is to join the increasing slate of new look comedy shows on the channel". All eyes are currently on McKellen as fans eagerly await the first of the three Hobbit films, out in cinemas in December.
Sir Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi, two of Britains best loved, and most talented actors are to be star in a brand new ITV sitcom about an old couple, living together in Covent Garden, called 'Vicious'.
According to the Guardian, McKellen and Jacobi will be playing Freddie and Stuart, respectively, who have lived together for 50 years, first meeting when Freddie was an actor and Stuart a barman. Frances de la Tour also features, as the couple's best friend, Violet. Gary Janetti, who was the executive producer of US sitcome Will & Grace, is a co-producer of 'Vicious', and Ed Bye will be directing, although he's not a household name, he has directed some of the best loved British comedies, including episodes of French and Saunders, My Family and the film Kevin and Perry Go Large.
"ITV is thrilled this exciting and bold sitcom," said Myfanwy Moore, commissioning editor at ITV said, "with stellar performers and writing talent [joining] the increasing slate of new look comedy shows on the channel." It is not only the obvious talent involved with the project that makes it exciting, but the traditionally marginalized sects of society- the aged and the gay- being at the forefront of the new show makes it a show that has been a long time coming, and one not to miss. Quoted by the Telegraph, McKellen said being gay had made him better at his job; "I think that's why so many great British actors are gay - we spent so long pretending to be straight, to be someone else, that eventually we became very good it," he said. With the brilliant combination of two of the country's longest standing gay actor-vists, alongside Gary Janetti, expectations are high this unusual sitcom concept.
At age 23, Colin (Redmayne) is struggling to break into the movie business, camping out at the production offices of Laurence Olivier (Branagh), who is just about to start filming the 1957 comedy The Prince and the Showgirl with Marilyn Monroe (Williams). While Marilyn's diva behaviour and strict acting coach (Wanamaker) enrage Laurence, he can't deny that when she gets it right, she's magic. Meanwhile, Colin is assigned to help Marilyn make it through the shoot. And of course he can't help falling for her.
Continue reading: My Week With Marilyn Review
Colin Clark is an aspiring film maker and his first job upon leaving university is the role of assistant on a new film, called The Prince and The Showgirl. It stars a young Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe, the blonde bombshell who shocks with her implications that she sleeps in the nude.
Continue: My Week With Marilyn Trailer
Robert Torres is an investigative journalist who's looking into the life of Saint Josemaria Escriva the founder of Opus Dei. Visiting Josemaria's homeland of Spain it doesn't take long to discover a link from Josemaria to his own father Manolo Torres who were friends in childhood and went on to attended the same seminary.
Continue: There Be Dragons Trailer
George (Damon) has a gift: he can see into the afterlife and help people communicate with their lost loved ones. But he feels it's more like a curse.
Meanwhile in Paris, star journalist Marie (De France) has just recovered from a near-death experience. Instead of working on her planned biography of Mitterand, she instead starts investigating why accounts of after-death experiences are so shunned. And in London, pre-teen Marcus is looking for ways to communicate with recently deceased twin (they're played by Frankie and George McLaren).
Continue reading: Hereafter Review
Beginning for beginners with a flashback to 1202 A.D. where two siblings - Marcus (Tony Curran), the original vampire, and William (Brian Steele), the first Lycan - are battling each other in a frosty village, the film does much to quickly remind us of its vampirical mythology. Marcus is betrayed by Viktor (Bill Nighy), stored away in the vaults of the family mansion, and William is trapped in a steel coffin for all of eternity. The twins are separated. With this effective piece of prehistory portrayed with some pizzazz and a lot of furrow-browed earnestness, director Len Wiseman treats us then to a series of flashbacks from the original film. Selene (Kate Beckinsale) has killed Viktor and his blood has revived a hybrid Marcus, now with wings. What he wants, and the very nature of his resurrection, are muddily explained in a film whose plot is too convoluted to be enjoyed, but whose occasional sparks of light work hard to make it float.
Continue reading: Underworld: Evolution Review
Fans of 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Harry Potter' have often debated what a fight between Gandalf and Dumbledore would look like, but it turns out it isn't as interesting as you might think.
Legendary thespian and film star, Sir Ian McKellen, came under fire from the late Richard Harris several years ago when he landed the role of the wise but mischievous Gandalf in 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. McKellen claims that Harris was furious for not being cast in Peter Jackson's fantasy epic, and this was exacerbated by McKellen being chosen over him.
Harris reportedly exploded at the rumour that McKellen would then take the role of Dumbledore as well in 2002 when Harris' health steadily began to fail. The actor explained: "Before Richard Harris died, there was an enquiry: would I be interested in playing in Harry Potter? And I said, 'Yes, certainly'. But I've not heard anything since."
Date of birth
22nd October, 1938
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