A badly under-developed script leaves a fine cast without much to do in this sequel to the 2012 hit. Reuniting in India, the actors find moments of comedy and emotion that help make the film watchable, and the big Bollywood-style finale leaves the audience with a smile on its face. But the simplistic plot-threads never amount to much at all, which leaves the project feeling like a missed opportunity to deepen the characters and push the premise in more interesting directions.
Business at the hotel in Jaipur is booming, so managers Sonny (Dev Patel) and Muriel (Maggie Smith) are looking for investors to expand into a second property. But this distracts Sonny from his upcoming wedding to Sunaina (Tena Desae), and she's not too happy about that. There are also two new guests (Richard Gere and Tamsin Grieg) who may be important. Meanwhile, Evelyn (Judi Dench) is offered a new job just as she realises she might like to pursue a relationship with Douglas (Bill Nighy), whose ex-wife (Penelope Wilton) turns up unexpectedly. Madge (Celia Imrie) is struggling to choose between her many suitors. And Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are having relationship issues due to their lack of communication.
All of these momentous plots, and a few more, swirl around over the course of about a week, which means that none ever has a chance to develop. It also means that the characters are all so busy with their own stories that they don't interact very much, and what contact they do have feels rather contrived. As a result, the film feels like an awkward mix of disconnected slapstick, farce and melodrama. That said, these high-powered actors can hold together even the flimsiest scene. Dench and Nighy generate some lovely emotional resonance in their contrived storyline, while Smith finds some quiet pathos in Muriel's own journey, even if the filmmakers seem to have forgotten to hire someone to do her costumes, hair and make-up.
Continue reading: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review
Richard Gere adds even more star power to the 'Marigold Hotel' sequel.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel had a tough act to follow. Its predecessor remains of the best loved British movies of recent times and its subtle casting, genuinely funny script and heart-warming narrative saw it gross over $130 million on a budget of just $10 million.
Richard Gere joined the cast for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The sequel - out in cinemas this week - follows the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel) who has his eye on a promising new property now that his Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a success. Judi Dench, Bill Nighty, Celia Imrie and Maggie Smith all return for Second Best, while Richard Gere and Tamsin Greig are among the new arrivals.
'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' star has no plans to give up work anytime soon.
Dame Judi Dench has described “retirement” as “the rudest word in the dictionary”, as she promotes her latest film, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Speaking to The Telegraph, the 80 year also revealed she doesn't allow the word “old” to be used in her house and as for “vintage”, well that’s on the banned list too.
Judi Dench in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
“I don't want any of those old words,” the actress told the newspaper. “I like 'enthusiastic' and I like the word 'cut' because that means you've finished the shot.”
Rich Cline talks us through some of the best films to look out for in 2015.
As always, there are far too many sequels, spin-offs, remakes and reboots clogging the cinemas, but some of them might actually be good. Of course, release dates are subject to change...
10) Shaun The Sheep Movie - The British TV hit becomes a charming stop-motion feature (Feb). Other anticipated animations: Pixar's Inside Out (Jul), Despicable Me spin-off The Minions Movie (Jun) and Snoopy & Charlie Brown (Dec). Watch the trailer for Shaun The Sheep Movie here.
Continue reading: Contactmusic.com’s 10 Most Anticipated Films Of 2015
Plot details for the two-hour special have been revealed by ITV and Carnival Films.
‘Downton Abbey’ will be back on our screens this festive season with a two hour Christmas special which will see the Crawley family travelling to Northumberland for a 'grouse shooting' party. The episode promises to deliver some festive high drama as a "scandalous secret" is uncovered and "drastic measures" are taken.
What will the Countess say? This year's 'Downton Abbey' Christmas special will feature the Crawley's grouse shooting
Set in the early fall of 1924, The Crawleys will be the special guests of Lord and Lady Sinderby, the parent’s of Rose’s husband Atticus Aldridge, at their home of Brancaster Castle for the opening of the grouse shooting season.
Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas are likely to prove a big draw for older movie-going audiences.
With films aimed at mature audiences gaining in popularity, 'My Old Lady' seems like a sure-fire formula for a hit. It stars the grand dame of theatre and cinema, Maggie Smith, in a lively role that makes the most of her expertise at delivering a withering look, honed to perfection over five series of 'Downton Abbey'.
Maggie Smith is due to star in the 2015 sequel to 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'
After her stints both in 'Downton' and the 'Harry Potter' movies, Dame Maggie has helped popularise the mature movie with films like 'Quartet' and 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel', which has a sequel is due in early 2015. With two Oscars and three Emmys on her mantelpiece, she shows no signs of slowing down.
Continue reading: 'My Old Lady' Appeals To Older Viewers Through Maggie Smith
Mockingjay Part 1 holds another starry premiere, while Cumberbatch turns out for two films in New York, and Unbroken premieres Down Under. Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy are spotted filming around England, and we get more detailed looks at Fifty Shades of Grey and Disney's live-action Cinderella...
After the world premiere in London last week, this week saw the cast of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 walking the red carpet in Los Angeles just before the film arrived in cinemas. Cast members in attendance included Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Wright, Natalie Dormer and Elden Henson.
Every threat of sentimentality and melodrama is averted by a seriously strong cast working from a snappy script. It may be warm and gentle, but the honest humour and twisty plot make sure the audience is entertained rather than manipulated. And there are some startlingly edgy scenes along the way that allow the actors to create spiky, fully formed characters while clearly having a great time in each other's company.
Based on writer-director Israel Horovitz's stage play, most of the action takes place within a vast old flat in central Paris that has just been inherited by Jim (Kevin Kline), who flies in from New York so he can sell it. He's at the end of his rope and needs the cash, so is unnerved to discover that the apartment is a "viager", a quirk in French property law that allows the past owner to remain in the home for the rest of their life. So Jim can't sell the flat as long as 92-year-old Mathilde (Maggie Smith) is alive, and her daughter Chloe (Kristin Scott Thomas) immediately locks horns with Jim, who has already been in touch with a despised developer (Stephane Freiss). As the days pass, Jim is so determined to figure out how to make some money off of this property that he ignores the much bigger things going on around him.
Kline actually manages to make the deeply bullheaded Jim surprisingly likeable, adding a generous charm to the character's overpowering inner misery. So while he dismisses both women out of hand, the audience can see that there might be some substance there. Smith and Scott Thomas are of course terrific as the put-upon women trying to defend their lifelong home. And all three characters must face some unexpected truths about their own pasts in order to plot a course forward. This messy, revelatory plotting is so much fun that the hint of romance between Jim and Chloe feels almost irrelevant.
Continue reading: My Old Lady Review
The London Film Festival closes with the Fury premiere, while Daniel Radcliffe's Horns also premiered in Leicester Square. Set pictures from Lady in the Van and Dad's Army, as well as new trailers for What We Do in the Shadows, The Hunger Games 3 and Avengers 2...
The London Film Festival wrapped up this week with Brad Pitt leading a charge through Leicester Square for the red carpet premiere of his World War II tank thriller Fury, accompanied by his crewmates Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal, plus writer-director David Ayer. See the full set of photos here.
Also in London, Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple hit the red carpet for the premiere of their new horror-comedy thriller Horns, which opens in both America and Britain next week. See the pictures of Daniel & Juno here.
Breaking Bad has won five of the nine categories in the Primetime Emmy Drama Awards. The series, which finished its run last year, dominated this section of the awards and won the award for Outstanding Drama Series amongst others. Here is a quick analysis of each drama category.
The Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Monday evening (25th August) in Los Angeles and there was stiff competition in every category although the results were ultimately highly predictable.
Breaking Bad dominated the drama awards at the Primetime Emmys.
Continue reading: Primetime Emmy Awards 2014 -Breaking Bad Predictably Dominates Drama
ITV have released a new promotional image for Downton Abbey's fifth season, but they've made a rather embarrassing mistake.
The picture, which depicts Lord Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville) and daughter Edith (Laura Carmichael) standing in one of their impressive stately rooms, features an unexpected decoation on the mantelpiece; a very modern plastic water bottle. Nestled between two ornate vases, the otherwise innocuous object sticks out like a sore thumb.
Spot the water bottle! Picture: @downtonabbey/PA
'Downton Abbey' is known for its meticulous attention to detail, and they even employ an expert, Alastair Bruce, to make sure the show is historically accurate. However it's not actually the first anachronism in the show, with previous episodes featuring television aerials, double-yellow lines and even a modern conservatory. As such, this gaffe didn't go unnoticed by leagions of eagle-eyed fans online when the picture was uploaded onto social media.
Continue reading: Downton Abbey Makes Amusing Mistake In New Promotional Images
The trailer for 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' has rolled out online.
Forget The Avengers, The Hunger Games and The Hobbit, for it was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel that ruled supreme as the true box-office success story of 2012. Fox were never expecting much when producers Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin pitched the idea of a movie about a group of British retirees travelling to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel - maybe a tidy little profit and a healthy top up in DVD sales.
Judi Dench in 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2'
Though Broadbent and Czernin acquired an extraordinary cast - Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Celie Imrie - and a clever, funny script. The movie took $136 million worldwide, on a budget of just $10 million. It was a hugely impressive comedy that paved the way for an immediate sequel.
Set eight months after the 2012 original film, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sees the majority of the cast return India for this sequel from director John Madden. In the run up to Sonny's (Dev Patel) wedding to Sunaina (Tena Desae), he is struggling to find the time to work at his hotel. With only one room left in the hotel, Sonny is confronted with an interesting situation when two new arrivals turn up - Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). With help from Murial (Maggie Smith) acting as the co-manager, will Sonny will be able to juggle his personal and working lives?
Mathias (Kevin Kline) is penniless and pretty down on his luck in New York despite having come from a wealthy family. In what seems like a fortunate turn of events, he inherits a sensational apartment in Paris which could land him a lot of money on selling. However, when he travels over to check the place out and set the selling in motion, he meets an elderly tenant named Mathilde (Maggie Smith) who explains that the apartment is 'viager' - a French real estate system which means Mathias must pay a monthly sum to Mathilde until her death before he can gain possession of the property. The pair make a deal allowing Mathias to stay with her at the property, and it's then he meets her daughter Chloe (Kristin Scott Thomas). Chloe's not happy about Mathias' plans to gain ownership of her home but the pair soon bond over their own childhood troubles - things get even more complicated for Mathias when he discovers some deep truths about his father's relationships.
Continue: My Old Lady - Trailer Trailer
Angelina Jolie and Daniel Day Lewis are honoured on the Queen's Birthday Honours List, alongside fellow actor Maggie Smith who has been named a Companion of Honour.
The Queen's Birthday Honours List consists of 1149 people including Angelina Jolie and Daniel Day-Lewis. Day- Lewis has received a knighthood and Jolie has been made an honorary dame. Whilst Maggie Smith has received another honour in addition to being a Dame, namely Companion of Honour.
Daniel Day-Lewis' three Oscars for Best Actor were mentioned in the List.
Day-Lewis has received a knighthood for his services to the performing arts and his long, successful and prolific career. In the statement, released alongside the list on Friday (13th June), Day-Lewis' three Oscars for Best Actor are mentioned in addition to his performances for which he received the awards: My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood and Lincoln. The statement also mentioned his role in My Beautiful Launderette which "began a reputation for fully exploring his characters, engaging himself physically, psychologically and emotionally."
The actress received a special honour from the Queen today.
Angela Lansbury has today been bestowed with the honour of being made a dame by Queen Elizabeth in a special ceremony. The 88 year-old actress, who had previously been known as Angela Lansbury CBE, will now be known as a Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire after having received the very special honour at Windsor Castle in recognition of her accomplishments and contributions.
Angela Lansbury Was Today Made A Dame At A Windsor Castle Ceremony.
Dame Angela was joined by her son, his wife and her niece as she collected the award for her services to drama as well as charitable work and philanthropy. "It is a very proud day for me to be recognised by the country of my birth, and to meet the Queen under these circumstances is a rare and lovely occasion," she commented, via Sky News.
Continue reading: Angela Lansbury "Very Proud" To Be Made A Dame
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.
Room for one more - Gere joins the party
Not only has The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel retained its all-star cast for the sequel, but another behemoth of the big screen has joined ranks. Richard Gere will star alongside Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton when the comedy returns, though it is currently unknown which new character Gere will play.
There isn’t much info, but the Radio Times report that the same production team will be on board, with the second film once again being written by Ol Parker. Another returnee is Penelope Wilton, who played Jean in the original film.
"We had a wonderful time shooting this film the first time and I am thrilled we will be going back in January to do another one. As far as I know everybdy will be returning," she said.
Continue reading: Richard Gere Joining Veteran Cast For 'Marigold Hotel' Sequel
Oscars Snubs: We unveil our Alternate Academy Awards winners
Imagine for a minute an alternate Academy Awards. An Oscars ceremony that decided against rewarding biopics, inaccurate thrillers and lightweight sort-of-indie flicks mainly directed by David O'Russell. This Sunday (February 24, 2013), a rather predictable bunch of nominees will take their seats at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.
Daniel Day-Lewis will take home Best Actor, Spielberg will probably add to his collection of Best Director gongs, hell, maybe grumps himself Tommy Lee Jones will snatch a prize. It begs the question: is this really a collection of the very best performances and movies of the year? We present to you our alternate Academy Awards - who missed out on a nomination, though wouldn't have looked out of place with the golden statuette in their hand?
This year's Golden Globes ceremony takes place tonight (Jan 13), and its categories - much like the categories in most of this years awards - look wide open.
At the Golden Globes in particular, it looks as though this year could see the bulk of the prizes going to British recipients, with the ladies in particular providing hope that a few gongs will be getting sent across the Atlantic. Dames Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench are all vying for awards, with Dame Smith up for two acting gongs - for The Quartet and Downton Abbey. Meanwhile Aussie-Brit Naomi Watts, Emily Blunt and Rachel Weisz are up for awards, whilst Daniel Day-Lewis is looking like the man to beat in the Best Actor category.
Still, Day-Lewis could be beat, meaning he will have to wait til his next film to take his tally of awards up a notch (he always gets nominated at the very least). Joaquin Phoenix and Denzel Washington are probably his biggest threats, but really the award is pretty much Lewis' already. If he doesn't win though, there's a pretty good chance that Damien Lewis could bring the gold home for the UK, being nominated in the television category for Best Actor for his role on Homeland.
Continue reading: A Year Of Surprises? Golden Globes Have No Clear Winner
Date of birth
28th December, 1934
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