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5 items from 2002

Columbia lands trophy stars for 'Big Fish' story

15 November 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Danny DeVito, Helena Bonham Carter, Steve Buscemi and White Oleander star Alison Lohman are in final negotations to join the cast of Columbia Pictures' adventure feature Big Fish for director Tim Burton. The project goes into production in January in Alabama, with Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup and Jessica Lange also starring. Richard D. Zanuck, Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen are producing the project, which is based on Daniel Wallace's Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions. »

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Bonham Carter and Burton Planning To Wed?

16 September 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Helena Bonham Carter is so smitten with director lover Tim Burton even work commitments on different sides of the world can keep them apart. The actress - who counts Kenneth Branagh amongst her former flames - began dating the Batman movie maker after they met on the set of 2001 flick Planet Of The Apes. And - even though their busy schedules mean they are forced to spend time apart - Helena insists the romance is still going strong, and even hints of a wedding before long. Speaking before the premiere of her new movie, she says, "He's in America working at the moment so he can't here but we are still very much together." But the actress was adamant if she and Burton do plan to make their relationship legally binding - the press won't be the first to find out. Helena adds, "If anything is happening on that front, I'll tell my friends first." »

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Wind Eases Sex Scene For Helena And Paul

28 May 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Helena Bonham Carter eased the tension during a sex scene with co-star Paul Bettany on the set of Heart Of Me - by farting. Bettany admits he was horrified, not by Helena's wind, but by the fact she proudly announced it to everyone on set. He says, "She farted on me, announced the fact to the cast and crew, and of course I was the one who ended up feeling embarrassed." But the farting episode hasn't put Bettany off working with the actress again: "She's barking mad, keen as mustard and funny as f**k." »

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Helena's Corset Nightmares

16 April 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Helena Bonham Carter is terrified she'll never be able to escape her period drama image. Despite recent roles in Hollywood hits Fight Club and Planet Of The Apes, Tim Burton's current girlfriend is still more famous for her parts in classic English flicks like Howards End. She despairs, "I could play 5,000 drug addicts and I'd still be known as Mrs Corset Queen." »

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Women Talking Dirty

27 February 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

"Women Talking Dirty" is a nicely crafted, bittersweet comedy about the lasting friendship between two young women and the secret that threatens to separate them. It makes a welcome addition to a recent spate of British films with a strong friendship between two women at the core of the story -- films such as "Me Without You", "High Heels and Low Lifes" and "Beautiful Creatures". While at times its structure doesn't quite work, the strength of the central performances by Helena Bonham Carter and Gina McKee makes it enjoyable and amusing.

The film, the first production from Elton John's Rocket Pictures, was actually made in 1999. It is elegantly directed by talented British filmmaker Coky Giedroyc ("Stella Does Tricks"), who makes great use of the Edinburgh, Scotland, locations. The film could well strike a chord with audiences, especially those picking up on the talents of Bonham Carter and McKee.

The story traces the lives of two very different women. Feisty Cora (Bonham Carter) moves to Edinburgh from her coastal Scottish home to study but promptly falls in love with a Frenchman and ends up pregnant. Ellen (McKee) is a shy but successful cartoonist who falls in love with the charming but unreliable Daniel (an impressive James Purefoy). The two women meet in a pub and end up as the best of friends, trying to help each other through their various trials and tribulations. Cora ends up as a single mother, deeply in debt, while Daniel is a compulsive gambler who messes Ellen around.

But, a deep secret is at the core of their friendship. On a rare night out, Cora sleeps with Daniel, who doesn't reveal to her he was married to her friend Ellen. She ends up pregnant with his child but can't bring herself to tell Ellen. Daniel eventually abandons Ellen, but then one day he returns, and the truth comes out.

Bonham Carter and McKee both adopt creditable Scottish accents for their roles. Bonham Carter plays Cora as over-the-top and wild, though still gentle enough to be a fine mother. McKee has the more difficult job of handling a character who is soft and dreamy yet still quietly determined.

The cast is rounded out by an excellent band of actors playing their close friends -- James Nesbitt, Eileen Atkins, Richard Wilson and Kenneth Cranham. It's a shame that more is not made of this band of friends, who drift through two-thirds of the film, then must take on key roles in the final section.

The film's episodic structure can be a problem. Adapting her own novel, screenwriter Isla Dewar can't quite find the best way of moving the story along. An audience is left aware of things left out, rather than being allowed to focus on the things still there. The Edinburgh locations, though, add a great deal to the story and serve as the perfect backdrop.


A Jean Doumanian production

in association with Rocket Pictures

Producers: David Furnish, Polly Steele

Director: Coky Giedroyc

Executive producers: J.E. Beaucaire, Jean Doumanian, Elton John

Screenwriter: Isla Dewar

Based on the novel by: Isla Dewar

Director of photography: Brian Tufano

Production designer: Lynne Whiteread

Editors: Patrick Moore, Budge Tremlett

Costume designer: Michele Clapton

Music: Simon Boswell



Cora: Helena Bonham Carter

Ellen: Gina McKee

Daniel: James Purefoy

Stanley: James Nesbitt

Emily Boyle: Eileen Atkins

Ronald: Richard Wilson

George: Kenneth Cranham

Claude: Julien Lambroschini

Running time -- 97 minutes

No MPAA rating


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5 items from 2002

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