Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in danger of tipping over into extreme sentimentality, and this one very quickly gets bogged down in buckets of syrup. It's a slickly made movie with a first-rate cast, but occasional glimpses of gritty honesty aren't quite enough to counteract sudsy philosophising that sounds profound but is actually rather shallow.
It's set in New York, where advertising company owner Howard (Will Smith) is still lost in grief six months after the death of his 6-year-old daughter. And his business partners are worried that the company is falling apart as a result. In desperation, best pal Whit (Edward Norton), protege Claire (Kate Winslet) and rising-star Simon (Michael Pena) hire a private detective (Ann Dowd) to determine Howard's mental fitness to run the company. They also hire three actors to confront him as Love (Keira Knightley), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Death (Helen Mirren), abstract concepts he's obsessed with. But they don't know that Howard is also considering attending a grief counselling meeting run by Madeleine (Naomie Harris).
Directed with a magical sheen by David Frankel (Hope Springs) and written to within an inch of its life by Allan Loeb (The Switch), there's nothing about this film that doesn't feel contrived and controlled. In addition to their scenes with Howard, each of the three actors has an impact on the colleague who needs their specific gifts. And there are a number of revelations and twists that feel annoyingly hokey. Even so, the cast is strong enough to add moments of lightness that lift the movie briefly out of the sludge. Mirren, Knightley and Latimore have a sparky edge as the story's catalysts. While Norton, Winslet and Pena bring some raw, honest emotion to their own personal dramas.
Continue reading: Collateral Beauty Review
Love, time and death connect every single human being on earth, we long for love, wish we had more time and we fear death. Howard Inlet was once one of New York's most sought after advertising exec's but after suffering a great personal loss, his life has been left in ruins.
Now all his friends can do is look on and see a man who once loved life now living each day wishing the end would come. To help deal with his grief, Howard writes letters to 'time', 'love' and 'death' in the hope that he'll eventually understand why he has lost so much. With a little help from his friends, Howard finds himself actually receiving answers to some of the questions he asks in his letters and hopefully finds a way to live beyond just existing.
Collateral Beauty is directed by David Frankel with a screenplay written by Allan Loeb.
David Sampliner challenges his masculine identity in a telling documentary.
Edward Norton joins the team of David Sampliner's poignant forthcoming documentary 'My Own Man' as executive producer, as it prepares to air exclusively on Netflix this Spring having premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year.
Academy Award nominated actor Norton returns to film production with 'My Own Man', having previously worked on the Primetime Emmy winning documentary 'By the People: The Election of Barack Obama'. This new movie, a Netflix Original Documentary, is a little more personal, detailing the ever changing relationships between fathers and their sons, as it follows director Sampliner's difficult journey into parenthood.
Continue reading: Edward Norton Produced Documentary 'My Own Man' Set To Debut On Netflix
With 'Birdman' taking place in and around a theatre, the filming process interesting took on a very theatrical performance style, as the film was shot continuously in one take.
When approaching 'Birdman', director Alejandro González Iñárritu decided that to fully get into the mind-set of his main character, his introspective film would be shot as a continuous piece. Or rather, six continuous pieces that could be stitched together in order to resemble one continuous piece. But when confronted with the monumental task of filming large sections of a motion picture in one sitting, there were certain, fairly obvious challenges to follow even if you had, as actor Michael Keaton describes, "an Academy Award-winning cinematographer who is kind of a genius".
Michael Keaton stars as Riggan Thomas in 'Birdman'
Keaton plays the starring role in 'Birdman', one Riggan Thomson - former superhero movie star, currently attempting to reinvigorate his career by writing, directing and starring in his own Broadway debut. "Everyday was one scene," explained Keaton, "and all the actors were petrified constantly." 'Birdman' boasts a fine cast of actors, including Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts and Zach Galifianakis amongst others, so Keaton's statement has even more resonance.
The cast and crew of 'Birdman' discuss the visionary filming techniques behind the movie in a short featurette. Among them are director, writer and producer Alejandro González Iñárritu, producers John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, and stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough and Amy Ryan.
Inarritu explains his initial idea of having the audience see the movie through the eyes of main character Riggan Thomas himself, which resulted in a one-take experience that struck fear in the hearts of the cast who, as Emma reveals, constantly had to be switched on in their roles. We also get a glimpse into the semi-hallucination effects that affect Riggan throughout the movie.
'BiRDMAN (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)' is released in UK cinemas on 1st January 2015.
Actor Ed Norton talks about 'Birdman' and how it's "a movie about people inside the trade of entertainment"
With movies and theatre embodying the very essence of escapism, it is a time-honoured idea to set a play or film within the entertainment industry (2011's 'The Artist', for example). This is a chance to play around with ideas and themes often reflected on and behind the screen or stage, or so actor Ed Norton believes. "I think it's always fun when you have a movie about people inside the trade of entertainment," says Norton, "and then you have people who are obviously inside the business themselves and are willing to stick a fork in it a little bit. This is very much in that tradition."
Ed Norton spoke about his role in Birdman
Norton is currently promoting 'Birdman', where he stars alongside Michael Keaton and Emma Stone. 'Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)', tells the story of Riggan (Keaton), an aging actor, best known for his appearance in an old superhero film series. In an attempt to maintain relevance, Riggan adapts a novel for the stage and prepares to make his Broadway debut. From there, the film expands on writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu's own fears of irrelevance within the entertainment industry.
Riggan Thomas (Michael Keeton) is faced with a serious problem. In an attempt to make himself appear relevant in the new world following his role as television superhero Birdman twenty years ago, he has written a stage adaptation of sixty-year-old book. But his problem is, that the actor hired to star in the production has dropped out. The plays producer, Jake (Zach Galifianakis) is in the process of explaining how much trouble they are in, when Lesley (Naomi Watts) explains that her lover, the famous Mike Shiner (Edward Norton) is ready and willing to step into the role.
Continue: Birdman - Clips
'Birdman' stars Emma Stone and Edward Norton made their arrivals on the red carpet at the movie's premiere held at the 71st Venice Film Festival. The comedy drama is set for UK release in January 2015.
Michael Keaton is exceptional in 'Birdman', which has received critical acclaim at the Venice Film Festival.
After the trailer hit, there was always the sense with Birdman was probably going to be very, very impressive but perhaps a little too avant-garde for the Academy. A sort of Synecdoche, New York situation. That may still prove the case, though a slew of five-star reviews at the Venice Film Festival has done nothing to hurt its chances as Hollywood gears up for the long campaign to the Oscars.
Michael Keaton in 'Birdman'
Alejandro González Iñárritu's follows Michael Keaton - a former Batman, remember - playing an actor once known for portraying an iconic superhero. He struggles to mount a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love and, in the days leading up to opening night, battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, career and himself.
Wes Anderson's fun new film receives glowing reviews, we present the round-up.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is preparing to throw its doors open to the world, having premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February. Director Wes Anderson has built his career upon his idiosyncratically quirky, colourful and surrealist movies and the eagerly-anticipated Budapest looks to be no different.
Critics Have Heaped Praise On To 'The Grand Budapest Hotel.'
Early reviews have bathed the movie in a warm glow of praise, loving the kitsch details, kooky plotline, and star-packed cast, which includes (deep breath), Ralph Fiennes, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Harvey Keitel.
Norton finally made the prestigious club of SNL hosts.
This week’s SNL was not just the Halloween episode – which is usually more treat than trick – but also Edward Norton’s very first time hosting the sketch comedy show. Despite Norton’s lack of any kind of comedy background, he pulled off quite a funny show. His Woody Allen impression in the opening monologue was spot on and, of course, he did have plenty of help.
Norton did great, despite not having a comedy background.
And we’re not talking about Jenelle Monae demonstrating her impressive vocal chops or killer style here, though she did do both of those things. There were two celebrities that popped by during Norton’s opening monologue, to provide the greenhorn host with some oldschool SNL wisdom – Alec Baldwin and Miley Cyrus. And while Baldwin definitely has some experience to back him up – and his jokes got a good round of laughs – Cyrus did seem a bit nervous and too scripted, her tongue gag raising eyebrows, more than prompting laughs.
Continue reading: Edward Norton Does A Surprisingly Good Job Hosting Halloween-Themed SNL
A new documentary tracking the life of J. D. Salinger reveals a man who seemingly hated the attention his novels brought him.
A documentary addressing the life of famed late poet, J. D. Salinger, entitled Salinger has been released in the US. The feature-length, Shane Salerno-directed piece depicts the author's life through interviews, clips, photographs and his novels and also addresses the reasons why Salinger effectively went into hiding.
Salinger: Dissecting The Life Of The Author You May Know Little About.
Jerome David Salinger, AKA Jerry, found unbridled success with his 1951 story of adolescence, The Catcher In The Rye as well as 1961's Franny and Zooey. However, he chose not to publish any more work after 1965 and led an embattled life as he struggled with the publicity his novels garnered, perpetuated further by his notoriously prickly disposition and dislike of attention.
J.D. Salinger - known to his friends as Jerry - is the mysterious author of the most famous adolescent book in the last century, 'The Catcher In The Rye'. Little has ever been known about the talented Jewish author; he preferred to keep his private life out of the public eye, stopped taking interviews 30 years before his death and hated being photographed by the media. In 1965, he had stopped publishing stories altogether and few people knew exactly what had happened to him. Few people also knew about his troubling experiences in the army during World War II and there were rumours that he had suffered a nervous breakdown and worked on his writing alone in an isolated cabin. It was no wonder, in some respects, that he wanted to stay out of the limelight as much as possible, after three young boys used the novel to justify cold-blooded murders. Now, some of the most sought after details of his Salinger's personal life are revealed, from his relationships to his emotional struggles.
Continue: Salinger Trailer
In 1960's New England, Sam and Suzy meet after the former sneaks backstage before a show, which features the latter. The pair fall in love and, from then on, communicate by writing letters. The pair makes a pact to run away together. Sam will escape from his summer camp and Suzy will climb out of her bedroom window.
Continue: Moonrise Kingdom Trailer
Frida Kahlo's (Salma Hayek) first meeting with Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina) and her injury in a horrible bus accident set in motion the two major forces behind Frida. Bedridden for months in a full-body cast, the young Frida keeps herself busy--and learns to express her internal passions and pain--through drawing and painting. Falling in with the womanizing Rivera and his bohemian cadre of artists and revolutionaries deepens Frida's commitment to her painting and life with the loyal but philandering muralist. Their art carries them from Mexico to New York and back in the company of such impressive historical figures as David Alfaro Siqueiros (Antonio Banderas), Nelson Rockefeller (Ed Norton), and Leon Trotsky (Geoffery Rush).
Continue reading: Frida Review
Neither tearjerker nor suspenseful crime drama, 25th Hour is extraordinary in that it avoids all the clichés that such a premise so often invites. It is instead a carefully focused character study about a charismatic but condemned man who must come to grips with his sentence before morning. Edward Norton plays Montgomery Brogan, the felon in question. He spends his last free hours visiting his father (Brian Cox) and attending a going away party in his honor at a New York nightclub. In tow are his girlfriend (Rosario Dawson) and his two childhood pals, Frank (Barry Pepper) and Jakob (Philip Seymour Hoffman) -- the latter of which is so perfectly cast that you can't help but chuckle the first time you see Hoffman give his usual dyspeptic sneer, signaling that he is disgusted not only with his high school English students but essentially the entire outcome of his life.
Continue reading: 25th Hour Review
After the obnoxious but popular host Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams) is caught taking bribes from parents who want their kids on television, network head Frank Stokes (Jon Stewart) pulls the plug on his show. An exhaustive search through the downtrodden Barney wannabes to replace Randolph yields a pink, squeaky-clean rhino named Smoochy (Edward Norton), who becomes an overnight success with the kids despite his preachings of bland politically correct messages to children. Despite Smoochy's best wishes, his boss Nora (Catherine Keener) wants to cash in on the show's newfound success by selling Smoochy-sponsored cereals, cola, and string cheese. Randolph, on the other hand, is hell-bent on making life miserable for the rhino, and Smoochy's crooked agent (Danny DeVito) is busy making backdoor deals trying to sell Smoochy out to the mob.
Continue reading: Death To Smoochy Review
After playing the role of a leper king in 'Kingdom of Heaven', Edward Norton has talked about how he wished the role went uncredited to maintain mystery around the character.
'Fight Club' star Edward Norton doesn't think that his role in 'Kingdom of Heaven' should have been credited, in order to add mystery to the character. Norton portrays King Baldwin in the Ridley Scott epic - the masked king of Jerusalem afflicted with leprosy. The 'Best Actor' and 'Best Supporting Actor' nominee believes, however, that if the role had gone uncredited, it would have added to the characterisation of Orlando Bloom's lead role.
Norton explained the reasons behind these thoughts to 'Empire' magazine, saying: "I didn't want to be billed because Orlando Bloom's character keeps hearing about him. There's this anticipation, this big mystery about him. It's the whole point. And it was a free trip to Morocco!"
For almost five years now, Hollywood studios have beentrying to duplicate the success of "Gladiator"by making the same big-budget historical battle epic over ("TheLast Samurai") and over ("Troy")and over ("KingArthur") and over ("Alexander").
Each movie has re-imagined history from a modern, let's-keep-an-open-mindperspective and hewed to a shopworn formula in which the hero rallies hismen against great odds and for a greater good. He invariably leads theminto the same blood-and-mud war scenes, which are always shot in the samestaccato slow-motion that characterizes the chaos of combat but forgetsthe audience needs to be kept abreast of who is winning. The hero alsoalways finds time to romance a beautiful woman from another culture.
Aside from having different casts, the only significantvariations between these films seem to be 1) whether the hero was of noblebirth or came up from nothing to become a great leader, and 2) whetherthe battlefields are green and forested or brown and sandy. One thing mostof them definitely have in common is that they've bombed at the box office.
Continue reading: Kingdom Of Heaven Review
Most movies about the lives of famous artists never provide a true sense of what drove the person's creativity. Even in a strongly acted, strongly directed biopic like 2000's "Pollock," for example, the closest it came to explaining why heavily splattered canvases were a breakthrough in modern art was when the painter's wife cryptically proclaimed, "You've done it, Pollock! You've cracked it wide open!"
But in "Frida," a transporting cinematic experience about the life and work of Mexican surrealist Frida Kahlo, director Julie Taymor captures the very essence of Kahlo's creative process through a wondrously rich, freeform visual language that fuses the events of her life with the imagery in her paintings so vividly that the artist's work may take on a striking new significance for anyone who sees the film.
Passionately played by Salma Hayek, who has been personally shepherding this project for seven years, Kahlo comes to life in this picture as a complicated, dynamic, proud and intelligent woman whose frequent hardships informed her art. Opening when she was a plucky high school girl (36-year-old Hayek passes for 16 with remarkable ease), Frida is established as a young woman with a spicy individuality even before the 1925 bus wreck that irreversibly altered her life.
Continue reading: Frida Review
Date of birth
18th August, 1969
Yes. How has this story faded so fast? Think about how firmly compromised you have to be by your Russian handlers t… https://t.co/kOiHOjcMDs
RT @SteveSchmidtSES: [email protected] is a fool. She is cosmically incompetent. Her interviews are a disaster. Her only “qualification”is in…
RT @MeidasTouch: Trump’s worst nightmare has always been people learning the truth about him. He isn’t a success. He’s #FredsFailure. http…
RT @robreiner: He will cheat, intimidate, suppress, collude with foreign governments to try to steal another election. We must overwhelm wi…
RT @danjlevy: 👇🏼 https://t.co/ILwO22rO5K
Ahem... cough cough https://t.co/7WIqvFQpR3
When a list like this is not hyperbole but a recitation of facts it’s impossible not to acknowledge that we’re in f… https://t.co/svIcG5QwTB
Please please, good people of Maine, rise to end the damage being done to our country by sending this simpering, hy… https://t.co/ClccZ1YCXk
RT @melissadderosa: Today NY's hospitalization dropped below 800 for the first time since March 18th Let's go NY -- don't stop now! Wear…
Yes. A stark and perfectly on target contrast that is emblematic of the system’s discrimination and corruption. https://t.co/6qEdALJWqm
RT @ChrisMurphyCT: This is, like, super simple, right? Stone had info that would have put Trump in jail. He told Trump he'd obstruct justi…
RT @Weinsteinlaw: Donald Trump has now officially done more to help Roger Stone evade justice than he’s done to protect our troops from bei…
Excited any time I get to have a long conversation w my friend, mentor, all around inspiring person @JonathanFPRose… https://t.co/kTDA58Pkqe
RT @thedailybeast: [email protected]: He pretended he was too rich to be bought. Now we know that he’d chase a dollar bill on a string throug…
We need to #ProtecttheArctic now before it is too late. A new report from @ClimateCrisis lays out recommendations t… https://t.co/s6UzNQ8327
RT @JuddApatow: And maybe @apple should make phones in America instead of in a country which has concentration camps like China. Their sta…
Love to see an actual soldier, patriot and public servant tell the bratty cousin of the Pillsbury Dough Boy,… https://t.co/kGCRhg183x
RT @nedprice: He doesn’t read his PDB, nor does he take intelligence briefings. Complete dereliction. “Through the first half of this yea…
Imagine a world without dogs. It hardly bears thinking about, but in this dystopian look...
Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...
Love, time and death connect every single human being on earth, we long for love,...
Frank is a hot dog Wiener who's packed into a vacuum seal bag with all...
Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu continues to reject traditional narrative structures with this whizzy, ambitious...
While preparing to film 'The Grand Budapest Hotel', director Wes Anderson and company scouted for...
The cast and crew of 'Birdman' discuss the visionary filming techniques behind the movie in...
Riggan Thomas (Michael Keeton) is faced with a serious problem. In an attempt to make...
20 years ago, Riggan Thomas (Michael Keaton) played the iconic Birdman - a comic book...