In the mid-1960s, The Beach Boys were at the top of their game. Having released ten classic albums, a young songwriter and leader of the band, Brian Wilson (Paul Dano), was preparing to create the greatest album in history. His aggressive pursuit of the perfect sound for the band's eleventh studio album, 'Pet Sounds', had a negative effect on his psychological well-being. Almost two decades later in the 1980s, Wilson (John Cusack) is trapped in his own mind, sedated by medication and a troubled psychiatrist. But a young woman, Melinda Ledbetter (Elizabeth Banks), believes that she can restore him to the great man he once was, through a mixture of Love and Mercy.
Continue: Love & Mercy - Teaser Trailer
An in-depth look at who could star in season 2 of HBO's intense crime drama 'True Detective'.
Nic Pizzolatto put the sincerity and quality of True Detective’s story over multiple seasons of the show, asserting that a strict 8-episode format would be condusive to a strong third act. And judging by the critical claim he’s received – his creation is being talked about in the same breath as The Wire – one is inclined to trust the man who risked everything to write the new HBO anthology series.
Woody Harrelson [L] and Matthew McConuaghey [R] as Hart and Cohle in 'True Detective'
“One of the reasons I wanted to do an anthology format is I like stories with endings. I like a good third act. And continuing serial dramas, they tend to have really good beginnings and really long middles and then sort of have to hustle to develop an ending. And I like the idea of telling a self-contained story,” explained Pizzolatto.
Continue reading: True Detective Season 2: Which Pairing Can Pick Up From Cohle And Hart?
The 2014 National Board Of Review Awards Gala in New York was chock-full of Hollywood's biggest stars of the moment including 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' star and director Leonardo Dicaprio and Martin Scorsese, as well as Meryl Streep who later shocked attendees with her speech against Disney's apparent bigotry and anti-Semitism.
The incredible cast of 12 Years a Slave open up on the experiences of making the film
If '12 Years a Slave' doesn’t win a single award from now until the Oscars, it will still go down in history as one of the 21st century’s most important, affecting films. The story of Solomon Northrup’s enslavement and the subsequent hell he faced is as brutal as any ever told, and to truly extract even a modicum of sincerity, the entire cast had to be both honest and befittingly talented.
But when you’re speaking of a cast that comprises Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Brad Pitt, Pual Giamatti, Quvenzhané Wallis and Michael K. Williams, honesty and talent is never in question.
Continue reading: Meet The Cast Of 12 Years A Slave [Video]
Much more than a film about 19th century slavery in America, this sharply well-told true story has a lot to say about the world we live in today. And as he did in Hunger and Shame, filmmaker Steve McQueen puts us right into the middle of the story so we live it ourselves. Watching this film is a riveting, unnerving and ultimately moving experience.
It's based on a firsthand account by Solomon Northrup (Ejiofor), a musician who is living with his family in 1841 Saratoga, New York, when two friendly men offer him a great gig. But they drug him and sell him to slave traders, who send him to New Orleans and strip him of his identity. He spends the next 12 years working for two masters. Ford (Cumberbatch) is a fair man who puts him under the watchful eye of the cruel Tibeats (Dano). Then he is sold to Epps (Fassbender), a harsh boss who sends him into cotton fields and angrily suspects that Solomon is more educated than he admits.
Made with an earthy, realistic style, there's a clear sense that McQueen and screenwriter Ridley stuck closely to the details of Northrup's memoir, which was published shortly after his release and became a bestseller at the time. By never indulging in Hollywood-style exaggeration, the events remain grounded in the characters, drawing on the spiky interaction between them. At the centre, Ejiofor is utterly magnetic, delivering a transparent performance that takes our breath away. In his terrified eyes, we experience this horror ourselves.
Continue reading: 12 Years A Slave Review
Director Steve McQueen joins the stars of '12 Years A Slave' to praise the immense level of acting skill that went into creating the movie. Among those actors were main star Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o.
Continue: 12 Years A Slave - Featurettes
The '12 Years A Slave' director was heckled by a critic who should have known better.
Steve McQueen was the subject of some pretty ugly heckling at last night; New York Film Critics Circle Awards where a critic shouted insults at the director. As a critic, whether you like someone's work or not should be confined to your review but one man decided to step out of line and make things personal.
Steve McQueen Was The Victim Of Some Petty Heckling At An Awards Show Last Night.
However, Armond White, a New York critic, hated McQueen's latest movie, 12 Years A Slave, so much that he couldn't resist spewing a little hatred as the director took to the stage to collect his 'Best Director' award. "You're an embarrassing doorman and garbage man. F*** you. Kiss my ass," yelled White, according to Variety.
DVD releases 2013: A comprehensive list for all your Christmas present-buying needs.
It’s been a pretty special year for cinema: we had Henry Cavill donning the big S and playing Superman in Man of Steel; Steve Carrell and his Minions sending everyone into raptures, and low budget horror, Insidious: Chapter 2 thrilling its way to the top of the box office. And with all these titles either just released, or coming out at some point in December, here’s your definitive Christmas DVD list, so you can be sure not to miss out on a single stocking filler. All release dates are American.
Kick Ass 2 - Released on December 17th
These super heroes might not have super powers, but they certainly kick ass
Continue reading: Christmas DVD Releases: From Superman To Minions - See What's Out, When
The overwhelming response to the Steve McQueen picture is that it is a deep, sometime difficult watch that prompts the best from the director and actors
12 Years A Slave is the film version of Solomon Northup's account of his kidnap and subsequent sale into slavery until his rescue twelve years later. The real-life account of the tragic fate of Northup and the appalling conditions he and millions of other slaves were forced to endure has been turned into a feature-length epic by British director Steve McQueen, who leads a largely British cast in the film that is being heralded by critics as a must-see film.
Chiwetel Ejiofor is spellbounding in 12 Years A Slave
Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon, McQueen adapted the memoirs of the main character along with John Ridley to chronicle Solomon's harrowing twelve years, where he went from being a freeman living in New York, to a plantation slave in New Orleans between 1841 and 1853. Ejiofor has been roundly praised for his exceptonal acting talents, as have the rest of the cast, who include Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alfre Woodard and Michael Fassbender, whose role as the heartless slave trader Edwin Epps has also been widely applauded for his unflinching brutality and realism.
The cast of '12 Years A Slave' arrive at the movie premiere at the New York Film Festival including lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor and director Steve McQueen. Ejiofor plays real life wronged man Solomon Northup in this story about one man's illegal enslavement despite his American citizenship and achievements, based on the autobiography of the same name.
What makes this thriller extraordinary is its willingness to make us scratch our heads and ask questions as the tense, fable-like story patiently unfolds. This creates an almost unbearably involving vibe, from the slow-burn pacing to the unusual character detail. And all of this allows the cast members to dig deep inside their characters.
It starts as two families in rural Pennsylvania get together to celebrate Thanksgiving, then discover that their two young daughters are missing. Keller and Grace Dover (Jackman and Bello) and Franklin and Nancy Birch (Howard and Davis) search the neighbourhood frantically, then try to help local detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) with his investigation. He settles on an oddball (Dano) who seems unable to provide any information at all. With no evidence against him, he's released. But Keller can't bear to think of this man being free while the girls are missing, so he hatches his own plan to sort things out.
There's a lot of symbolism in this screenplay, as everyone reacts to the situation in his or her own way (clearly echoing the world's response to the War on Terror). But it's also a riveting personal story of the desperate need for justice and revenge. Jackman is terrific as the deeply religious man whose love of guns informs his decision-making. He impulsively reacts like Liam Neeson in Taken, charging to the rescue. By contrast, Gyllenhaal's Loki is more measured and observant, while Howard's Franklin struggles with his own moral decisions. The women are a completely different story, and equally provocative: Davis is feisty but helpless, while Bello crawls into her shell.
Continue reading: Prisoners Review
The film is a hit with critics across the board and promises to be a challenging and engaging watch
Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal star in Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners, a film that might just be one of the best thrillers, if not one of the all-round best films, of the year. The film hits cinemas up and down the US this weekend (arriving in UK cinemas on 4 October) and whilst it may be lacking in the audience pull power of the latest superhero epic, it has all the substance a gritty thriller needs and promises to be one of the year's most thought-provoking watches.
Jackman (L) and Gyllenhaal (R) are being praised for their performances
Jackman stars as Keller Dover, who is put into a position no parent ever want to be in when his six-year-old daughter and her friend go missing at Thanksgiving. When Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) is called in to handle the case, he promises to bring back Keller's daughter, and when the creepy, RV-dwelling outsider Alex Jones (Paul Dano) is found near the scene, he immediately becomes the prime suspect. But with police unable to pin him for the crime he may have committed, he is released following a 48-hour hold, enraging Keller, who decided to take matters into his own hand. It is up to Loki to get to the bottom of the case before it's too late for the missing girls, and before Keller does something he might regret.
The Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal-starring crime thriller is being roundly praised by critics since it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival
Prisoners is by no means your average crime thriller, and maybe that's why critics are swooning over the latest project form Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies); a kidnapping-based movie that promises to leave viewers questioning their own morals as to how far they'd go to protect their child. Starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and the massively under-rated Paul Dano, the film has being widely praise since it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this month, with critics tipping their hats to the actors, director and everyone else involved for making one of the most memorable thrillers in years.
Jackman and Gyllenhaal star alongside each other in "an actor's duel"
The film is set in a rural American town and poses the question, 'how far would you go to protect your child?' When the unthinkable happens to Keller Dover (Jackman) when his 6-year-old daughter and her friend go missing, seemingly leaving no trail and no certain answers as to where they could be. There is one possibility as to where they could be though, and that's the dilapidated RV of neighbourhood creepy guy Alex Jones (Dano), which was seen only moments later in the same vicinity as where the two girls went missing. It's a test against time as Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) must get to the bottom of the crime before Dover gets to Jones and makes him pay for what he may have done.
The period slavery epic moves into pole position for an Academy Award.
Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave has secured a place as ‘Oscars favorite’ following its triumph at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. The Steve McQueen-directed epic – based on the memoir of Solomon Northrup – remains the odds on choice for Best Picture at 13/4.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave.
By winning the BlackBerry People's Choice award, 12 Years a Slave follows in the footsteps of previous Oscar winners, The Kings Speech and Slumdog Millionaire. What was once a the faint hum of Oscars buzz is now a powerful thud as McQueen’s latest effort leaves Mandela and Osage County in its wake.
The slavery epic is due for limited release on October 18th 2013.
Solomon Northup was a regular New York resident who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. He was rescued 12 years later. 172 years on, and Chiwetel Ejiofor is an early Oscar contender for his turn as Northup in Steve McQueen’s 12 Days a Slave, which has a new trailer.
Chiwetel Ejiofor looks excellent as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave
British actor Ejiofor is joined by an impressive cast, featuring Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Michael K. Williams, Quvenzhane Wallis, Alfre Woodard, Scoot McNairy, Taran Killam and Brad Pitt, while John Ridley adapted the script from Northup’s biography.
Solomon Northup was a well-educated man from a successful family living in upstate New York with his wife and three children. He was categorised as a free black man and made money through various jobs including as an entertainer playing the violin. In 1841, he was tricked into going to Washington DC with two white men for work where he was instead kidnapped and sold to slavery despite there being laws to protect free African-Americans. He spent twelve years on a plantation in Louisiana serving the brutal and abusive owner Edwin Epps. Determined to live his life again as a free man, he befriended a Canadian carpenter working for Epps by the name of Samuel Bass, whose high-morals turned Solomon's life around forever.
This poignant historical biopic is based on the 1853 autobiography 'Twelve Years a Slave' by the real Solomon Northup. It has been adapted to screen by writer John Ridley ('U Turn', 'Red Tails') and the BAFTA nominated director Steve McQueen ('Hunger', 'Shame'). With themes of freedom, racial inequality and the cruelty of mankind, '12 Years A Slave' could be one of the more heart-wrenching movies to kick of the year on its UK cinematic release on January 24th 2014.
This could be McQueen's finest work yet.
Films - or should we say writers and directors - that dare to tackle the issue of slavery come rarely, and when they due, they face an increased level of scrutiny due to the sensitive subject matter. They are necessary though; teaching the world of the horrors it has faced will ensure they never happen again, or so they say.
Chiwetel Ejiofor could be in for the biggest role of his life
Django Unchained came and went, as Quentin Tarantino’s ability to satirize and trivialize some of history’s most controversial times slowly turns into a trilogy of movies. Mixed reviews and a cavalier use of the ‘N’ word meant people saw it as less of a history lesson and more of a taboo comedy, which is exactly what it was.
Continue reading: 12 Years A Slave: The Slavery Movie We've All Been Waiting For
'12 Years a Slave' appears to be far more hard-hitting than many expected.
Also featuring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Paul Giamatti, the movie appears to be a far more hard-hitting than many were expecting with some writers suggesting it tells the real story of the pre-civil war period in the United States of America, as opposed to, say, Quentin Taratino's Django Unchained.
Ejiofor plays a free black New Yorker who is sold into slavery after being lured to Washington DC with the promise of a well-paid job playing fiddle in a circus.
Continue reading: Is '12 Years A Slave' The Movie Django Should Have Been? [Trailer]
Keller Dover is just a regular guy from Boston who goes with his wife Grace and six-year-old daughter Anna to their neighbours' house on what seems like a routine social occasion. No parent blinks an eye when Anna asks if she can take the neighbours' daughter Joy to their house to play, but when there's no sign of them back home later on, panic ensues as the families scour the nearby streets trying to find their precious children. The only clue as to what may have happened to them lies with a banged up RV that had been parked nearby. When young Detective Loki gets involved with the case, he manages to make an arrest on the driver - a seemingly timid and quiet young man called Alex Jones. However, with no solid evidence against him for the cops to keep him in custody in the case for the missing girls, they are forced to release him after 48 hours. Keller, angry with the verdict and fearing for the life of his daughter who he believes is still alive, decides to embark on his own investigation and kidnaps Alex at gunpoint in an attempt to extract information. Though through his panic and frustration in his quest to find his daughter, he may lose himself along the way.
Continue: Prisoners Trailer
One of those mopey independent dramas that drifts through a mere hint of a plot, this film is worth a look for its unusual setting and a superb central performance from Paul Dano (last seen in Looper). Filmmaker Kim focusses so closely on him that everything else on screen kind of fades into the background, turning the movie into a deeply personal odyssey. Although there isn't much more to it than that.
Dano plays an aimless rocker named Joby, who travels to a snowy town to settle his divorce from Claire (Levieva). She's so angry with him that she won't even see him for the sake of their young daughter Ellen (Mandigo), preferring to talk through lawyers. And since she knows Joby is deeply in debt, she makes a cruel offer: he can have half the value of their marital home if he signs over sole custody of Ellen, whom he barely knows anyway. But this isn't an easy decision, and Joby can only get so much help from his inexperienced lawyer (Heder). As part of the negotiations, Joby gets to spend two hours with his daughter. And then he has to make up his mind.
Dano is superb as the hapless Joby, who finds it so difficult to concentrate on his life that he's about to be thrown out of his own band. As a result, his life seems to be one mess after another, leading to this key moment when he needs to snap to attention. So it's especially intriguing that we can feel the internal pull toward his daughter: he wants to be a good dad, but is terrified of doing something wrong. And the film finds a lively counterpoint in Heder's comically clueless lawyer, another grown man who is painfully ill-equipped to face the real world.
Continue reading: For Ellen Review
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In the mid-1960s, The Beach Boys were at the top of their game. Having released...
Much more than a film about 19th century slavery in America, this sharply well-told true...
Director Steve McQueen joins the stars of '12 Years A Slave' to praise the immense...
What makes this thriller extraordinary is its willingness to make us scratch our heads and...
Solomon Northup was a well-educated man from a successful family living in upstate New York...