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Hugh Bonneville Sees Viceroy's House As Relevant Today

Hugh Bonneville

After notable appearances in Notting Hill (1999) and Iris (2001), Hugh Bonneville found global stardom as the Earl of Grantham in Downton Abbey. And he remains in period mode for the new film Viceroy's House, which dramatises the independence and partition of India in 1947.

Viceroy's HouseHugh Bonneville stars in 'Viceroy's House'

Of course, while he was filming the role, he couldn't have predicted how relevant the movie would be. "Any project you undertake, you have no idea how it's going to land," Bonneville says, "and then when it does land, what the ripple effect is. But it seems more pertinent than ever that this is a film about strife, division, neighbour turning on neighbour, lack of understanding of different communities within the same country. And those are the key notes that unfortunately chime within so many countries at the moment, not least the huge one across the pond."

Continue reading: Hugh Bonneville Sees Viceroy's House As Relevant Today

Viceroy's House Trailer

'Viceroy's House' follows the life of the last Viceroy of India who was the figurehead of relinquishing British rule on the Indian subcontinent in 1947. Lord Mountbatten and his wife Lady Edwina Mountbatten were charged with overseeing India's newfound independence, wanting the nation to stay united as one. However, India was already divided by religion, with Muslim leader Muhammed Ali Jinnah wishing to establish a separate country in the form of Pakistan. The Partition of India was not a desirable option for the British rule, but as the civil unrest grew amongst the people and people began to divide themselves anyway, it became the only option for minimal damage to all nations.

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Has Dame Maggie Smith Signed On For A 'Downton Abbey' Film?

Maggie Smith Julian Fellowes Michelle Dockery Laura Carmichael Hugh Bonneville

Dame Maggie Smith has reportedly signed on to take part in the heavily rumoured ‘Downton Abbey’ film. While a movie version of the series has not yet been confirmed, Smith’s fellow cast member Michael Fox has said that the veteran actress will be taking part in a big screen adaptation.

Downton AbbeyIs ‘Downton Abbey’ the movie, really happening?

Speaking to MailOnline Fox, who played Andy Parker, said that Smith’s involvement was crucial to the film. “She elevates it to something else, because she is such a legend and a national treasure,” he said.

Continue reading: Has Dame Maggie Smith Signed On For A 'Downton Abbey' Film?

What's Next For The Stars Of 'Downton Abbey'?

Hugh Bonneville Michelle Dockery Lily James

It's been just over two months since 'Downton Abbey' ended for UK viewers, while the US still has the sixth and final series to complete. So what have all the main cast members been up to and where are we going to see them next? Some are sticking to the UK, but others are broadening their horizons.

Michelle Dockery and Maggie SmithBut what's Maggie Smith up to?

Many of the 'Downton Abbey' stars were already well-established in their own right, but for others the show has been a stepping stone to bigger things. Hugh Bonneville is of the former category, and he's looking pretty busy this year what with the new 'Hollow Crown' series coming up in which he stars as the Duke of Gloucester. He's also finished filming the UK/Indian drama 'Viceroy's House' with Michael Gambon and Gillian Anderson.

Continue reading: What's Next For The Stars Of 'Downton Abbey'?

'Downton Abbey's' Final Season Ends, But Not Everyone Got Their Happy Ever After

Hugh Bonneville Michelle Dockery Maggie Smith Laura Carmichael Elizabeth McGovern Jim Carter Rob James-Collier

Yes there’s still a Christmas special to come, but after six series on ITV, ‘Downton Abbey’ ended its run last night, with a surprise wedding and a suicide attempt. But while Lady Mary Crawley got what she wanted (as usual), her younger sister Edith was denied her own happy ending, leaving some viewers furious.

Downton AbbeyAfter six seasons ‘Downton Abbey’ has ended on ITV.

During the episode unlucky in love Edith had her chances of happiness stolen, when sister Mary ruined her relationship by revealing details of her secret love child to fiancé the Marquess of Hexham, Bertie Pelham. But while Edith faced a lifetime of loneliness, all was okay for Mary, as she wed Henry Talbot.

Continue reading: 'Downton Abbey's' Final Season Ends, But Not Everyone Got Their Happy Ever After

Could A 'Downton Abbey' Movie Be On The Way?

Hugh Bonneville

Are the Crawley’s about to transfer to the big screen? Well it could happen, one day, as in a interview with Britain's Daily Mirror actress Raquel Cassidy revealed that a 'Downton Abbey' movie is “definitely a possibility”.

Downton AbbeyCan you imagine the Dowager Countess on the big screen?

"There have been talks and there is definitely a possibility of a Downton film,” the actress who plays housemaid Phyllis Baxter told the newspaper. “There is real hope. It’s been mentioned more than once and there’s a lot of commercial and artistic interest. Stranger things have happened, so watch this space,” Cassidy added.

Continue reading: Could A 'Downton Abbey' Movie Be On The Way?

George Clooney's 'Downton Abbey' Appearance Teased In New Clip

George Clooney Hugh Bonneville

It’s the moment fans of Downton Abbey and well, George Clooney have been waiting for! Yes Hollywood’s favourite silver fox will be making a trip to Britain’s most famous luxury home later this month a part of special charity short. But fans desperate for an early glimpse of gorgeous George have been given an early treat, with a brief teaser clip released by ITV.

Continue reading: George Clooney's 'Downton Abbey' Appearance Teased In New Clip

Paddington - International Trailer

In the jungles of Peru, a young bear learns about and becomes obsessed with Great Britain and sets off on an adventure to visit the county. After an arduous journey, he finally arrives in London's Paddington Station, but realises quite soon that he is both lost and lonely. That is, until the Brown family discover him and adopt him, naming him Paddington, after the place they found him. Paddington (Ben Whishaw) is a great addition to the household, as his antics entertain the children. But said antics often end in destruction within the household, leaving the Brown family in a difficult position. Things become even more difficult when Millicent (Nicole Kidman) sets about trying to capture and stuff Paddington, in order to add him to her exhibition. 

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Culture Secretary Embraces US Takeover Of UK Production Companies

Hugh Bonneville

The culture secretary Sajid Javid has described US takeover of UK production companies as "no bad thing" and a "massive vote of confidence" for the creative economy. The producers behind Downton Abbey, Masterchef and The Voice have all been gobbled up by stateside firms though Javid described the trend as "a great British success story."

Downton AbbeyThe producer behind Downton Abbey was snaffled up

The culture secretary also used his first major speech on broadcasting to say the BBC "can and must" make more efficiency savings as well as taking issue with Channel 4's chief executive David Abraham who used his recent MacTaggart Lecture to warn against the takeover of the British TV industry by US media and tech firms.

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Downton Abbey Promo Shot Blasted By The Historical Accuracy Police Online

Hugh Bonneville Laura Carmichael

We’re preeetty sure they didn’t have plastic bottles back in the 1920s, but a recent Downton Abbey promo shot would beg to differ. With Downton’s third season premiere coming up in September in the UK and January in the US a new promotional photo was released on instagram, featuring, among other things a plastic bottle in the background.

Downton Abbey
Michelle Dockery and Allen Leech, featuring no plastic bottles.

This left some fans amused and many more questioning the historical accuracy of the Crawleys’ drawing room. While the humble plastic bottle first came into commercial use in 1047 (still a few decades after the events of Downton’s fifth season), it didn’t come into wider use until the 1960s.

Continue reading: Downton Abbey Promo Shot Blasted By The Historical Accuracy Police Online

Video - George Clooney Arrives At 'The Monuments Men' Premiere With His Parents - Part 1

George Clooney arrives at the world premiere of 'The Monuments Men', in which he directs and stars, at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. He is accompanied on the red carpet by his parents Nick Clooney and Nina Bruce Clooney.

Continue: Video - George Clooney Arrives At 'The Monuments Men' Premiere With His Parents - Part 1

Downton's Back, Alright! Downton Abbey Returns To US Screens

Julian Fellowes Lily James Hugh Bonneville

Downton Abbey will return to PBS for a fourth season this Sunday, 5 January, and anticipation for the quintessentially English period drama couldn't be higher in the United States. The early 20th century-set story of British aristocracy couldn't be further from the days spent by the modern Americans who will sit down in their droves to check out the new season, but can the escapist piece move America once again?

Downton Abbey
The big bad boys of Downton will be back

The Americanisation of the show, it's preoccupation with popular culture intertwined with the prevalent and glaring theme of British social history, is what has made it such a success on both sides of the Atlantic, and this American distinction will only increase in season four. In particular, one of the integral story lines of the season involves the Earl of Downton's niece and her courting of an African-American man, one that obviously hold higher implications not just because he is American.

Continue reading: Downton's Back, Alright! Downton Abbey Returns To US Screens

'Downton Abbey' Recap: Season Four, Episode Six

Julian Fellowes Hugh Bonneville Laura Carmichael Lily James Michelle Dockery

Downton Abbey is moving through the years with gusto, and already we're seeing some of the effects of time play havoc with the lives of some of the landed gentry trying to keep up with the break neck pace of the Roarin' Twenties. In the latest episode there were taboos of yesteryear broken at every turn. We look back at episode six of the current (fourth) season and try and keep up with the changing face of the 20th century along with the cast. The rest of this article contains spoilers.

Downton Abbey
I say sir!

One thing that did become clear early on in the episode was that, with the season hitting the half way mark, plot devices were being shoved in here there and everywhere to gear up the season for its final episode, which will air around Christmas time. The first little glimpse of the season closer came when the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) received a letter from Uncle Harold in America, stating that he had gotten himself into “a proper fix” over oil leases. The letter will make Paul Giamatti's entrance into the series at Christmas just that little less surprising now, but chances are you've already heard about his special guest spot by now anyway.

Continue reading: 'Downton Abbey' Recap: Season Four, Episode Six

A Fresh Look At The Art Of War– 'The Monuments Men' Trailer #2 [Trailer + Pictures]

George Clooney Matt Damon Cate Blanchett John Goodman Hugh Bonneville

A second trailer has been released for The Monuments Men, giving us another look at the sideways take on WWII. These men aren’t soldiers fighting to kill Nazis, rather captains of creative industries, over in Western Europe with a view to preserve the culture Hitler was vying to destroy.

George ClooneyGeorge Clooney starring in The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men is based on a book by Robert Edsel and tells the true story of a World War II platoon charged with rescuing artistic and architectural landmarks from the Nazis before Hitler has his way with them.

Continue reading: A Fresh Look At The Art Of War– 'The Monuments Men' Trailer #2 [Trailer + Pictures]

The Monuments Men - Alternative Trailer

The Monuments Men are a group of seven scholars from art historians to museum curators who are enlisted by the American government in the 1940s to retrieve some of the world's most priceless artefacts and art pieces from the hands of the Nazis during World War II. They plan to destroy certain parts of mankind's history bit by bit and, though it seems like a suicidal mission in itself, it is absolutely essential that the US doesn't let that happen. The men involved in the program have only received basic army training having been thrust into action with precious little time to lose. Encountering tumbling down shelters and landmines everywhere, they truly encapsulate the meaning of bravery by taking to the front line to protect history, no matter what the consequences.

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'Downton Abbey' Season 4 Episode 2 Enjoys High Ratings As Lady Mary's Mood Lifts

Lily Collins Hugh Bonneville Michelle Dockery

The second episode of Downton Abbey's fourth season managed to pull in 9.6 million viewers according to Inquisitr - beating the premiere episode last week. Ratings are expected to be equally impressive for the American premiere of season 4, set to air in January.

Downton Abbey Season 4
Matthew's Death Devastated Downton.

As rating rose, so did the widowed Lady Mary's spirits as the doom and gloom of episode one's grieving was lightened with some dancing. Although Mary (Michelle Dockery) did not join in with said dancing despite the invitation from Cousin Rose (Lily James), there was a palpable optimism in the air as the Lady moved out of her slump and back into the land of the living.

Continue reading: 'Downton Abbey' Season 4 Episode 2 Enjoys High Ratings As Lady Mary's Mood Lifts

'Downton Abbey' Consoles Emmy Loss With 10.5m Tune-In To New Series

Michelle Dockery Hugh Bonneville Maggie Smith Penelope Wilton

Downton Abbey has finally returned to television for a fourth season meaning Sunday nights are once again sorted for fans of the meaty period drama. The ITV1 show failed to scoop any awards, apart from 'Outstanding Music Composition,' at last night's Emmy Awards but this didn't prevent record viewing ratings - 10.5m viewers - tuning back into the trials, tribulations, romances, deaths and dramas of the fictional estate.

Michelle Dockery
Michelle Dockery Excels In Her Portrayal Of A Widow.

The new season's first episode picks up in 1922, six months after the last left off; Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) is still very much in mourning for her husband, Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) who was killed in a car crash. Britain's post-war boom has receded to government cuts and widespread unemployment. Though the inhabitants of Downton Abbey may be less affected by the harsh reality of the economy compared to the public, the first episode serves to only highlight the class differences between the servants and their masters at the time.

Continue reading: 'Downton Abbey' Consoles Emmy Loss With 10.5m Tune-In To New Series

Colin Firth Will Put On His Wellies & Raincoat As He Lends His Voice To Paddington Bear

Colin Firth Hugh Bonneville Julie Walters Jim Broadbent Nicole Kidman

Colin Firth has agreed to play Paddington Bear in a re-boot of the famed Michael Bond books about a bear from Peru with a taste for marmalade. In the original Bond books, Paddington is found by the Brown family in London's Paddington Station after getting lost on the way over from his South American homeland. It is thought that the origins from the book will be mirrored on to the screen.

Colin Firth
Colin Firth will play the marmalade-loving bear

In a discussion with the Daily Mail, Firth revealed that the movie will all be live action, except for the computer animated Paddington. Firth also revealed that as well as providing the voice for Paddington, his facial expressions will be mapped and used by the animators to construct the Paddington we see on stage, using the same methods used to capture Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films.

Continue reading: Colin Firth Will Put On His Wellies & Raincoat As He Lends His Voice To Paddington Bear

The Monuments Men Trailer

It's the 1940s and with World War II at its most fierce, Hitler's Nazi army is threatening whole worlds of culture and history. He wants entire generations to be wiped from time but America isn't going to let it happen. The government set up a Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, enlisting seven men - from art historians to museum curators - to march headfirst in the conflict and rescue important art masterpieces and artefacts from the thieving hands of the Nazis. Having only been given basic training and with very little time to waste, the brave men thrust themselves in the face of danger to protect mankind's history no matter what the consequences. With enemies everywhere and a terrain covered in landmines, the journey will not be a straightforward one.

Continue: The Monuments Men Trailer

Visit The 'Downton Abbey' Castle In Anticipation Of The Next Series.

Hugh Bonneville

The awe-inspiring Highclere Castle, set of the fictitious Golden Globe-nominated Downton Abbey television drama, is now open to the public so that fans of the show can stroll through the hallways and dining rooms and picture themselves as part of the early 20th century storylines.

Downton Abbey Cast
Highclere Visitors Can Pretend They're Part Of The Downton Cast.

Highclere Castle sits at the centre of a 1,000-acre estate about 70 miles west of London in the English county of Berkshire. The castle, with its striking square design, has been in the Earl of Carnavon's family for centuries. PBS' Downton Abbey has been filmed at the castle since 2010 and the decision to open up parts of the castle to the public will provide a welcome income and relieve the pressure of the costs required to keep such a large residence open, maintained and heated.

Continue reading: Visit The 'Downton Abbey' Castle In Anticipation Of The Next Series.

Downton Abbey Unveils Two New Stars: One-Year-Old Twins Logan & Cole Weston

Hugh Bonneville Elizabeth McGovern Shirley Maclaine Paul Giamatti Michelle Dockery

ITV's hit period drama Downton Abbey will return to our screens later this year, and in the meantime we've been given plenty of tidbits about what we can expect from season four, and our latest news story from the set of the show is that we have two new, very young stars joining the cast. Cumbria-born twins Logan and Cole Weston have been picked to share the role of Baby George, the son of Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and her late husband Matthew, who was written out of the show during last years' Christmas finale.

Michelle Dockery
Dockery will have a son to look after on the next season of the show

The twins, who hail from Meathop, near Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, will appear throughout the series as the youngest addition to the series, with filming for the new season coming to an end in the last few weeks. As reported by the BBC, the twins were given the all-star treatment on the set, and were treated with their own trailer and a limitless supply of sweets, milk and attention during the filming for the upcoming season. The twins make up just one of the many new stars due to join up with the Crawley family, including Hollywood star Paul Giamatti, James Fox and Gary Carr, who will star as the first black actor to appear on the show.

Continue reading: Downton Abbey Unveils Two New Stars: One-Year-Old Twins Logan & Cole Weston

Downton Abbey Hands Out Golden Deals To Avoid Dan Stevens Style Exits

Hugh Bonneville Dan Stevens Elizabeth McGovern Gary Carr Nigel Harman

Bosses behind the major British period drama Downton Abbey - which has also proved a huge hit stateside - have moved quickly to tie down the show's biggest stars in a bid to avoid another Dan Stevens-esque exit.

According to The Sun, stars including Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern have signed three year deals worth over £1 million each. The move was made to avoid another cast member leaving in the same way that Stevens did last year.

The 30-year-old, who played Matthew Crawley, was the ITV drama's major draw though left abruptly to pursue other interests. The actor is a keen fan of literature and has narrated several audiobooks including The Angel's Game, Wolf Hall and War Horse. In 2012, he was a member of the judging panel for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction and is currently editor-at-large for The Junket, an online quarterly is co-founded.

Continue reading: Downton Abbey Hands Out Golden Deals To Avoid Dan Stevens Style Exits

Downton Abbey's Surprise Success Means Huge Ratings Boost For PBS

Hugh Bonneville

In 2013, cable is dominating traditional broadcast giants and unexpected cult hits like Downton Abbey are where it’s at. By “it” we of course mean huge rating boosts. While ratings at the major networks plateau (and that’s considered a good thing,) PBS’s numbers have gone up 5% in prime time – and that’s just overall, with Sundays (aka Downton night) seeing a staggering 26% boost, no doubt due to PBS’s biggest hit in decades.

Julianne Fellowes, National Television Awards
Creator Julian Fellowes has teased a tension-filled season full of high profile departures.

"We are living in a golden era of drama in television," Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS commented for USA Today. "There is some very rich content and we have found that Sunday night on public television has become a great night for drama." Some criticisms have arisen from American Downton fans over the show’s airdates stateside. The fourth season won’t even begin airing in the US, until it is well and truly over across the Pond, which means that audiences are not only getting frustrated, but also run the risk of spoilers.

Continue reading: Downton Abbey's Surprise Success Means Huge Ratings Boost For PBS

Paul Giamatti Continues American Invasion Of Downton Abbey With Season Four Appearance

Paul Giamatti Maggie Smith Hugh Bonneville Jamie Foxx Chris Cooper Shirley Maclaine

Paul Giamatti will become the next American actor to appear in the hugely successful British period drama Downton Abbey, with the American Splendour actor set to appear as a maverick American playboy during the upcoming fourth season of the show.

Giamatti will appear in the Christmas special airing this December, which will follow on directly from the upcoming fourth season of the hit costume drama. He will play Harold, the life-loving brother of Elizabeth McGovern's Cora, and the son of Shirley Maclaine's Martha. MacLaine will also be reprising her role for the Christmas special.

See more images of Paul as Rhino in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2

Continue reading: Paul Giamatti Continues American Invasion Of Downton Abbey With Season Four Appearance

Hollywood Meets Sussex: Clooney And Co Shoot 'The Monuments Men' [Pictures]

George Clooney Matt Damon Hugh Bonneville Bill Murray Cate Blanchett Jean Dujardin John Goodman

A host of Hollywood stars, including Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bill Murray and Hugh Bonneville have landed in southern English locations while filming World War II movie The Monuments Men in Rye, Sussex, and Duxford's Imperial War Museum in Cambridgeshire.

Adapted from the 2010 true story novel, Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves And The Greatest Treasure Hunt In History, by Robert M. Edsel, the film will be centred upon a group of historians and art curators - members of the 'Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives' program - a taskforce who work together to recover priceless artwork stolen by Nazis and other important cultural items, before they are destroyed by Hitler or bombed in the six-year-long conflict.

The film, which is produced and directed by Clooney, will also co-star Cate Blanchett and The Artist's Jean Dujardin, and will use the former airfield in Duxford for plane scenes and American war-base footage, and the coastal Rye location for shotting of a nautical nature.

Continue reading: Hollywood Meets Sussex: Clooney And Co Shoot 'The Monuments Men' [Pictures]

Downton Abbey Will Return To PBS In January 2014

Hugh Bonneville Maggie Smith Julian Fellowes

After the surprise ending of series three, many were left wondering whether or not the hugely successful period drama Downton Abbey would be come back at all, but there's good news to all you Downton fans out there because a fourth series is imminent, and it will be back on PBS on 5 January 2014.

Downton executive producer Rebecca Eaton revealed the good news today in an official statement, revealing the airing date of the new series and adding that it will run for eight weeks. She also added the most of the show's original cast will be back too, including Shirley MacLaine, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt and Brendan Coyle, adding that there will be a number of new actors joining the established cast too.

Downton Abbey
Hugh Bonneville, Sophie McShera, Phyllis Logan, Julian Fellowes, Lily James and co. of the established Downton order

Continue reading: Downton Abbey Will Return To PBS In January 2014

Gary Carr Joining The Downton Abbey Cast As The Show's First Black Character

Gary Carr Hugh Bonneville Maggie Smith Michelle Dockery Jim Carter

Downton Abbey is going to get a whole lot more complicated and interesting, with the addition of a host of cast members, including Gary Carr. Carr will play the period drama’s first black character, the charismatic jazz singer Jack Ross. The rest of the new cast-members’ names were also an exciting announcement, since the list includes stars like Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Nigel Harman, Joanna David and Dame Harriet Walter, all joining the show for its fourth season.

Carnival Films’ Managing Director, Gareth Neame, said the following about the character of Jack Ross: “We are delighted to introduce another fantastic, dynamic character to Downton Abbey. His addition will bring interesting twists to the drama which we can’t wait for viewers to see in Series Four”.

We’re sure the viewers are excited as well, but we’ll all have to wait a while longer for the series to return with its next eight episodes later this year, as well as the highly anticipated Christmas special, of course. The new cast members will be joining Downton veterans Shirley McLaine Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery and Jim Carter. It’ll probably enhance the show’s dynamic, of course, but we can’t help asking… how are we supposed to memorise every tidbit of intrigue between so many characters?

Continue reading: Gary Carr Joining The Downton Abbey Cast As The Show's First Black Character

Downton Abbey Actor Hugh Bonneville Would Welcome A Part In Eastenders

Hugh Bonneville

There’s a strange kind of dichotomy in soap land; Downton Abbey is considered a highbrow, period drama, aired on ITV – not everyone’s idea of premium television, while Eastenders remains the jewell in the crown of The BBC – Britain’s most respected sitcom.

And there’s a further caveat; most of the people who love a bit of East-end drama, are lapping up Downton Abbey. They take the rough with the smooth; the gritty with the glitzy; the real and the ridiculous. Hugh Bonneville – lauded for his role in Downton – used to star in Eastenders, and wouldn’t write them off if they offered him a return to the square. “I might go back. I am a jobbing actor and I will take whatever comes along, thank you very much. I would never say never,” he told The Mirror in an interview. “The actors who work in soaps are the hardest working actors. The amount of material they have to learn is so much. It’s phenomenal."

Hugh BonnevilleHugh and his Downton Abbey buddies

Continue reading: Downton Abbey Actor Hugh Bonneville Would Welcome A Part In Eastenders

James McAvoy Gets The Critics And Stars Excited With His Performance In Macbeth

James McAvoy Stephen Merchant Beverley Knight Hugh Bonneville

James McAvoy in Macbeth is causing quite a stir. Both the critics and the stars in the audience have lavished praise over the Scottish actor who has applied his trade in Hollywood, in X Men and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. He is perhaps best known, though, for his roles in The Last King of Scotland and Atonement.

Stephen Merchant said he “loved it. I loved the bloodiness of it, the passion and the youthfulness of it, which was a nice take on the play.” Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville said of him, “James McAvoy is a brilliant actor, full stop,” while singer Beverley Knight had kind words for the plays writer. “Only Shakespeare himself could come up with the words to describe what I’ve just seen. I’m at a bit of a loss. It was so spellbinding, so intense, incredibly gripping. I thought I knew the play but now I’m seeing it with fresh eyes. It was absolutely unreal,” she said. The Director of the play, Jamie Lloyd, said of the play: “It's an apposite, urgent play for today, and that's why I don't want it to be set in period. I don't want the production to be a reflection of a time long past, I want it to resonate here and now."

James McAvoy on the set of 'Trance'

Continue reading: James McAvoy Gets The Critics And Stars Excited With His Performance In Macbeth

Downton Abbey Returning For Another Season Of Drama In Dinner Jackets

Hugh Bonneville

Downton Abbey is about to return to PBS’s Masterpiece Classic, in what is shaping up to be a defining season opener for the show.

The last season left many more than a little disappointed with the increasingly ridiculous and at times soapy plotlines and, in order for American audiences to stay enamored with the period drama, this third season has to offer something new and exciting. And, from the reviews so far (due to PBS’s scheduling strategy, Downton airs in the US about half a season behind the UK), it looks like this season certainly won’t disappoint.

There’s no question that part of the appeal of this show comes from the costumes, the settings, the stuffy manners… the fact that everybody has to be impeccably dressed for dinner, etc. But there’s more to Downtown this season. The war is over. And yet nothing is settled, because the characters still have to face issues like class struggle, gender politics, uncertain investments, in short, things that all or most of us are facing today, almost a century after the events of Downton are set. Add to that some really phenomenal acting and all of those beautiful costumes, and it’s no wonder that the unlikely period drama has managed to capture the imaginations of about six million viewers since it began airing in the US.

George Clooney Signs Up Daniel Craig For WW2 Flick 'The Monuments Men'

George Clooney Daniel Craig Hugh Bonneville John Goodman Bill Murray Cate Blanchett Jean Dujardin Grant Heslov

George Clooney has signed up British actors Daniel Craig and Hugh Bonneville for his new World War 2 movie The Monuments Men. The Bond and Downton Abbey stars will join established Hollywood actors John Goodman, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Oscar winner Jean Dujardin, according to Deadline.

The movie, written by Clooney and Grant Heslov, tells the story of a group of art experts chosen by the US government to retrieve works stolen by the Nazis, before Hitler destroys them. It's based on Robert M Edsel's book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, And The Greatest Treasure Hunt In History. "I'm excited about it," Clooney told industry website TheWrap. "It's a fun movie because it could be big entertainment. It's big budget - you can't do it small - it's landing in Normandy". Hitler's forces swept through the museums and private collections of Europe during World War II, though 'The Monuments Men' were the directors, curators and art historians who risked their lives to retrieve the masterpieces. "I'm not opposed to doing a commercial film, I'm just opposed to doing a commercial film that doesn't feel organic to me," Clooney said of the subject matter, adding, "So if we're going to do a commercial film we thought 'let's do something that seems fun and actually have something to say."

The movie is due to begin production in March 2013, with a release date likely to be set for 2014.

Continue reading: George Clooney Signs Up Daniel Craig For WW2 Flick 'The Monuments Men'

Third Star Review

Very Good
A fascinating, realistic exploration of male friendship, this beautifully shot and finely acted drama will struggle to find an audience simply because its subject matter is ultimately so dark.

James (Cumberbatch) has just turned 29 and he's dying of cancer. As a birthday wish, he gets his best mates Miles, Davy and Bill (Feild, Burke and Robertson) to take him on a hike across Pembrokeshire to his favourite beach. Along the way, good-natured banter gives way to sometimes too-honest conversations as they have a series of small adventures on the vertiginous cliffs. The question is whether their friendship can survive all of the things that are finally about to be said.

Continue reading: Third Star Review

Burke & Hare Review

You can see what Landis was trying to do here: recapture the funny-scary tone of one of his biggest hits, 1981's An American Werewolf in London. But the mix of comedy and grisliness in this comical take on a true story is off the mark.

In 1828 Edinburgh, friends William Burke (Pegg) and William Hare (Serkis) realise they can make good money supplying cadavers to world-class surgeon Dr Knox (Wilkinson). But when they can't find a dead body, they kill someone instead. Hare's wife (Hynes) finds out and wants in on it, but Burke can't tell his aspiring actress girlfriend (Fisher) how he makes his living. Meanwhile, Knox is battling a rival surgeon (Curry) for the King's seal. And the local militia captain (Corbett) is closing in.

Continue reading: Burke & Hare Review

Glorious 39 Review

Telling a story from a rarely examined period of British history, this pre-war drama is a bundle of suspense, mystery and personal emotion that's beautifully filmed and sharply played by a first-rate cast.

Anne (Garai) is the adopted eldest daughter of powerful politician Alexander Keyes (Nighy) and his wife (Agutter), who went on to have two of their own children (Redmayne and Temple). It's the glorious summer of 1939, when Britain felt like it had averted conflict with Hitler, so when Anne stumbles on hints of a government conspiracy, she turns to a fellow actor (Bonneville) and her boyfriend (Cox) for help. But the mystery only deepens, compounded by a sinister Home Office official (Northam) and the distracting presence of her Aunt Elizabeth (Christie).

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Tsunami: The Aftermath Review

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.

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Notting Hill Review

Julia Roberts is Julia Roberts - almost - in Notting Hill, a well-crafted romantic comedy from the geniuses behind Four Weddings and a Funeral.

The deceptively simple plot begins when uber-famous film star Anna Scott (Roberts) winds up in William's (Grant) book shop on Notting Hill, something of a British cross between a pre-Disney Times Square and a Moroccan street market. After William accidentally dumps orange juice down Anna's front, an on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again, on-again love affair blossoms.

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Iris Review

In the refined and sobering drama Iris, we witness a loving but unconventional relationship between a strangely elegant couple -- English critic John Bayley and his Alzheimer's-stricken, novelist wife Iris Murdoch. Writer-director Richard Eyre, who wrote the script with Charles Wood based on Bayley's memoirs Iris: A Memoir and Elegy for Iris, delivers an amazingly touching portrait of resilient and everlasting passion between two eccentric creative forces who have contributed to the literary world immensely. Iris is an enchanting and finely-acted personal drama that manages to absorb the pleasures and pain of an undying spirit of togetherness. Expressionistic and resoundingly involving, Eyre's thought-provoking film is perceptively engaging.

Eyre does a terrific job in showing us the deterioration of a brilliant-minded woman in Iris Murdoch. It is always frustrating to witness anybody's decline in health, but it must be particularly awful for a talented author with an impeccable series of written work to her name. The film shows us the two phases of Iris's life -- as a free-spirited young woman in 1950's Oxford, England and as an aged, sickly soul trying to survive her last days in the 1990s while her husband tends to her needs. Titanic heroine Kate Winslet plays the youngish and energetic Iris while Oscar-winning actress Judi Dench portrays her ailing years.

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Blow Dry Review

Hmmm, what's this movie with Josh Hartnett and Rachael Leigh Cook on the cover? Must be some nutty teen comedy, right?

Well, with one cancer diagnosis and one death in the first 15 minutes, Blow Dry is hardly the feel-good romance you'd expect. Strikingly similar to The Big Tease, Blow Dry tells the story of a haircutting competition that descends on a small town in Britain. Celebrities (well, celebrity stylists) from around England arrive to compete, and the local boys get into the act as well. But while the drama unfolds with models and shears, another drama takes place among the locals -- largely involving various romances and a singular cancer victim.

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Underclassman Review


Here we have a definite candidate for the year's worst picture, and it comes just a few weeks after director Marcos Siega's other failure, "Pretty Persuasion."

This time Siega shares the blame with star Nick Cannon, whose impressive breakout performance made 2002's "Drumline" such a surprise hit. Now Cannon co-produces and co-writes the "story" for "Underclassman," a kind of fifth-rate "Beverly Hills Cop" knock-off.

Cannon plays Tre Stokes, a smart aleck young black cop going undercover at a ritzy white high school to rout out a murderer. Of course, Tre's behavior gets him kicked off the force and so he must finish the job alone.

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Blow Dry Review


"Blow Dry" is a leaden British dramedy about an estranged family of hairdressers reconciling when a big coiffeur competition comes to their small town. Like "The Big Tease" -- a similarly themed English mockumentary that came out last year, delaying the release of this one -- its laughs come mostly from tired flamboyancy stereotypes.

Hairdressers with over-styled, out-of-date dos and David Copperfield-like showmanship bite each other's backs to win what is apparently a prestigious award for clever and speedy hair cutting. Meanwhile a sad-sack local barber (Alan Rickman) enters the competition with his son (Josh Hartnett, "The Virgin Suicides") to face down his former salon partner (Bill Nighy), now the nation's star hairdresser and the dirty-tricking front-runner in the contest.

Besides suffering from the same problems "The Big Tease" had -- basically that it's a cliché-riddled underdog sports movie with a dye job and a limp wrist -- "Blow Dry" is also saddled with a maudlin, comedy-antidote subplot about Rickman's estranged lesbian ex-wife (Natasha Richardson), who is bravely dying of cancer 10 years after leaving him for his hair model (a criminally under-used Rachel Griffiths). Brought together again by the competition, everybody gets busy forgiving.

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Hugh Bonneville

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Hugh Bonneville

Date of birth

10th November, 1963








Hugh Bonneville Movies

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