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★★★☆☆ Euphemia 'Effie' Gray was just twelve years old when esteemed Victorian art critic and writer John Ruskin wrote a novel for her called The King of the Golden River. It was a fable and the fairy tale looked like having a happy ending when some seven years later, Ruskin and Effie married, but things were not to turn out well. Due to an intense aversion to his young wife's body – an infamous case of Victorian repression – the marriage was never consummated and began to slowly decay until Effie made the courageous step of seeking an annulment. Richard Laxton's Effie Gray (2014) is a straightforward and somewhat televisual retelling of the oft-told story from a script by co-star Emma Thompson.
- CineVue UK
★★★☆☆ For his second feature as director - following on from the Emma Thompson-starring The Winter Guest (1997) - Alan Rickman brings audiences the period folly A Little Chaos (2014), a film as mildly diverting and inoffensive as its title suggests. Based on a true story and adapted from ex-Casualty star Alison Deegan's debut screenplay, the film tells of a most ostensibly mundane period of King Louis Xiv's tenure at Versailles, doing so in an entirely lightweight and likable manner that, though befitting a casual ITV costume drama, is saved by a wealth of assured hands both on and off screen. Set in 1682, Academy Award winner Kate Winslet plays widowed, green-fingered landscape designer Sabine De Barra.
- CineVue UK
Director: Richard Laxton
Running time: 108 minutes
The film is based on a true story, a marriage and its consequences that shocked Victorian society. For a woman to consider herself unhappy enough to leave her husband, and not just leave but fight to have their marriage annulled on legal terms, was simply unheard of in that era and yet the film doesn’t seem to be interested in pursuing this angle. Rather than delve into the social and personal reverberations of such a decision, Laxton instead plants his film largely in the growing distance between this husband and wife pairing. Unfortunately, the telling is nothing we haven’t »
- Victoria Bull
It would be fair to say that the new Ghostbusters movie is still a project that's got to win a lot of people over.
Paul Feig's reboot is set for release in July 2016, and the key concerns surrounding the project are that it's daring to be a Ghostbusters film in the first place, and the casting. Feig and Katie Dippold's screenplay has some work to do to convince some that having the film headlined by a quartet of women isn't a reactionary gimmick of sorts (which has been a recurring criticism). Furthermore, the names attached to the project thus far have remained divisive.
“Victoria” was shot by Norwegian-born cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen in one continuous 134-minute take, bridging 20 locations. It stars Spanish actor Laia Costa and German thespians Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, Burak Yigit, and Max Mauff.
It was produced by Jan Dressler. Although the movie is subtitled in English, most of the film’s dialog is in English, in deference to the common language spoken in the film.
Variety‘s Guy Lodge called the film “exhilarating” in his Berlin review.
- Dave McNary
Bill Condon’s live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast is sticking to the structure of the Disney animated movie, right down to the same characters and same songs. Emma Watson was the first to be cast, taking the role of Belle. It’s actually the second time somebody gave her this role – Guillermo Del Toro was working on a non-musical, non-Disney version and Emma was his pick too.
There’s been a rumour circulating around Hollywood’s tracking boards and private forums that Ryan Gosling has been asked to play The Beast. I know that this started because an agency source referred to Gosling as being a preferred choice for the role, but I don’t know that it ever went any further. I’m certainly not holding my breath – some Hemsworth or another seems much more likely.
As for Mrs. Potts, the housemaid turned teapot, Condon seems »
- Brendon Connelly
Emma Thompson is in talks to star in the live action film version of Disney's 'Beauty And The Beast'. The 55-year-old star is wanted to play the role of Mrs Potts, the housekeeper who's turned into a teapot in the iconic story, the Daily Mail newspaper reports. Mrs Potts assists Belle - the heroine of the story, played by Emma Watson - to sort out her romantic stresses. The film's director Bill Condon has been working with composer Alan Menken to determine which songs from the 1991 animated movie will make the cut in the eagerly-awaited live action film. Last month, meanwhile, Emma Watson revealed she'd been cast in the role of Belle and had already started singing lessons in preparation for the musical role. Writing on her Facebook page, Emma said: ''I'm finally able to tell you... that I will be playing Belle in Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast! »
This one looks like it has the potential to be one of the best of the year, as Thompson takes a hard look at life when women barely had the right to exist, much less acknowledge and explore their sexuality.
Check out the trailer, and let me know what you think.
Effie Gray Trailer
In Theaters April 3rd, 2015
In her original screenplay Effie Gray, Emma Thompson takes a bold look at the real life story of the Effie Gray-John Ruskin marriage, while courageously exposing what was truly hiding behind the veil of their public life. Set in a time when neither divorce, nor gay marriage were an option, Effie Gray is the »
- Marc Eastman
The halls are starting to hum softly here in Berlin as the European Film Market swings into gear. The first deals were announced yesterday before the event officially opened, with The Weinstein Co notably boarding Im Global’s The Man Who Made It Snow. This morning, FilmNation unveiled a series of offshore output deals for titles from Open Road, which will kick off with the Jamie Foxx/Michelle Monaghan-starrer Sleepless Nights.
Though it’s not likely to be a frenzy, and with currency concerns in the market internationally, Berlin should see more action in the coming days. Distributors are looking for product for 2016 and beyond, and some memorable buys have emerged here in recent years. In 2014, The Weinstein Company made a record-setting $7M deal for The Imitation Game which has now made about $140M worldwide and has an armful of Oscar nominations to boot.
Much of the pre-buy buzz »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Meryl Streep is definitely better than everyone, but sometimes she also rocks in addition to her sheer superiority. Did you see People's new still of Mary Louise Streep in "Ricki and the Flash," the new Jonathan Demme movie written by Diablo Cody? She's wielding a guitar and looking like the fiercest axwoman ever. Let's commemorate all the other times she rocked our worlds. 1. She checked out just fine in "Postcards from the Edge" 2. That time she basically announced she's sick of guys calling "The Deer Hunter" their favorite. Meryl has openly opined about how much she likes when male fans say they enjoy her performance in, say, "The Devil Wears Prada" and not "The Deer Hunter," the movie she's used to male fans approaching her about. Here's a comment she made about her role in the epic Michael Cimino film: "They needed a girl between the two guys, and I was it. »
- Louis Virtel
Sneak Peek more new footage from director Richard Laxton's period 'biopic', "Effie Gray", written by Emma Thompson ("Sense and Sensibility"), starring Thompson, Dakota Fanning, Robbie Coltrane, Claudia Cardinale, James Fox, Julie Walters, Derek Jacobi and David Suchet:
"Despite her beauty, Ruskin didn’t consummate the marriage and the devastated Gray eventually fell in love with Ruskin’s protégé, painter 'John Everett Milias' (Tom Sturridge)..."
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Effie Gray"...
- Michael Stevens
It wasn't only Princess Diana who doubted whether or not she should wed. Prince Charles was also struck with fears on the eve of his wedding in 1981, says a new biography of the heir to the British throne. When the time came, Charles, now 66, told a close friend, "I can't do it," reports the Daily Telegraph. As it was, Diana, only 20 on her wedding day, was long known to have been plagued by doubts, telling her sisters, "I can't marry him, I can't do this, this is absolutely unbelievable." She told her biographer Andrew Morton that the siblings convinced her otherwise, »
- Simon Perry, @SPerryPeoplemag
When Prince Charles struggled emotionally in the midst of his highly public 1996 divorce from Princess Diana - from whom he'd been separated since 1992 - the heir to the throne received help from one of the leading ladies of British drama. According to the new book Charles: Heart of a King, excerpted in The Times of the U.K., Emma Thompson says she sent the Prince of Wales missives about her adventures with a theater company to make him smile during his period of personal tumult. Charles, 66, is now happily married to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, but one source tells »
- Simon Perry, @SPerryPeoplemag
A new biography of Prince Charles paints a portrait of a man struggling with insecurities around his charity work, his business ventures and one day becoming King of England. Catherine Mayer's newest biography, Charles: The Heart of a King, which has been excerpted in The Times, depicts a not-so-friendly picture of working at Clarence House, where the Prince of Wales is based in London and from where he runs his charity work. The "tense" environment is described as "every bit as brutal as in the days when a twitching arras might signal a hidden assassin." One former householder likens working »
- Monique Jessen, @moniquejessen
The massive high-seven-figure deal is reportedly the second biggest P&A commitment at the fest, behind Dope’s $18 million deal.
The adventure pic, based on Bill Bryson’s 1998 bestselling memoir of the same name, follows an aging travel writer (Redford) as he sets out to hike the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail with his old pal (Nolte), starting from the state of Georgia in the south.
Scripted by Rick Kerb and Bill Holderman, the film has been in the works for more than a decade. Redford first acquired the movie rights in 2005, and Paul Newman was initially supposed to star alongside him. »
- Maane Khatchatourian
Directed by: Ang Lee
Ang Lee has gone in about eight different directions in terms of genre. His resume includes “The Ice Storm,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Hulk,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Life of Pi,” and this delightful Jane Austen adaptation, starring Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, and young Kate Winslet. “Sense and Sensibility” took home the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay for the story of the Dashwood family, a mother widowed and left in difficult circumstances after her husband has left his fortune to his first wife, instead of his current one. So Mrs. Dashwood (Gemma Jones) and her daughters Fanny, Marianne, and Elinor (Harriet Walter, Winslet, Thompson) have to find a way to survive in a world ruled by men and the rules that seem to create obstacle after obstacle for them. Unfortunately, given the era, they are viewed as “unmarryable,” since they have no fortune and no prospects. »
- Joshua Gaul
Texas is not just for cowboys anymore. The first Dallas-Fort Worth South Asian Film Festival (Dfw Saff) is coming next month. Described as the "first-ever festival of South Asian independent cinema in North Texas," the event will be held at the Angelika Film Center in Plano (Shops at Legacy) from Friday, February 27 to Sunday, March 1. The festival will present 14 shorts, documentaries, and narrative features, kicking off with Mahesh Pailoor's Brahmin Bulls, a father-son drama that stars Mary Steenburgen, Justin Bartha, Sendhil Ramamurthy (TV's Heroes) and Indian veteran actor Roshan Seth. The centerpiece presentation will be sex-traffic drama Sold, starring Gillian Anderson and David Arquette, produced by Emma Thompson and directed by Jeffrey D. Brown. Closing things out will be the world premiere...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
"RuPaul's Drag Race" is coming back March 2 with a judging panel consisting of veterans RuPaul and Michelle Visage and newcomers Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews. Exciting! Personally I will miss Santino Rice's snarly angst, but he's had a good run. More exciting: The announced guest judges this season are pretty thrilling. Kathy Griffin is back along with Olivia Newton-John, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, and John Waters. Pretty damn smashing. But before season seven gets under way, let's make sure to proclaim which celebrities Still need to join RuPaul and criticize the fabulous dames of his runway. 1. Tim Gunn Here's my problem with Tim Gunn on "Project Runway": I truly believe he is holding back. He comes from a distinguished academic background and taught at Parsons for years. He knows biting, incisive criticism. Not that he goes easy on "Project Runway" contestants, but he could certainly be grimmer and more subversive. »
- Louis Virtel
Based on Bill Bryson's 1998 memoir, "A Walk in the Woods," directed by Ken Kwapis from a script by Rick Kerb and Bill Holderman, failed to impress critics when it premiered at Sundance last Friday. The film stars festival founder Robert Redford as the aging Bryson, determined to shake things up by hiking the Appalachian Trail with his old friend, Katz (Nick Nolte). Other cast members include Emma Thompson, Nick Offerman, and Kristen Schaal. Despite echoes of "Wild" and Redford's celebrated man-versus-nature turn in "All Is Lost," however, "Woods" does not manage to spin the sparring between the grizzled leads into either comedy gold or a meditation on growing old. Most early reviews have pegged the film as a predictable -- if pleasant -- diversion, too insubstantial to have much impact beyond the name recognition of the cast. Daniel Fienberg, Hitfix: "Surely there's an audience out there in the world for 'Grumpy Old. »
- Matt Brennan
Park City, Utah – There are too many films and not enough time between shuttle shuffles and line waiting to cover the festival day by day. So, in pure improvised festival-going fashion, I’ll now be posting reviews for material that I see, but necessarily in viewing order. Enjoy!
Image credit: Sundance Institute
A human being who looks better at his current age than I ever will in my entire life, Robert Redford has a sprightly screen presence that has carried him through thick and thin, even brutal storms that live-or-die on his charisma (Aka “All is Lost,” one of the best films of 2013). For his next adventure, Redford goes softer than a survival story, but nonetheless into an amusing jaunt with “A Walk in the Woods.”
Based on the nonfictional accounts by New Hampshire writer Bill Bryson, Redford embodies the author as an amusing smart-ass, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
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