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6 items from 2008


How About You?

11 December 2008 10:00 PM, PST | The Scorecard Review | See recent Scorecard Review news »

How About You? Directed by: Anthony Byrne Cast: Brenda Fricker, Vanessa Redgrave, Hayley Atwell, Imelda Staunton, Joss Ackland Running Time: 1 hr 20 min Rating: R Opens: Dec. 12 in Portland at Hollywood Theatre Plot: A young, irresponsible woman (Hayley Atwell) is left in charge of her sister’s retirement home, where she has to deal with the antics of four damaged and irascible seniors. Who’s It For? Anyone who’s lost the will to continue looking for the remote control (it’s in the icebox—Doh!). Expectations: I had zero ideas about this movie and sometimes that’s a very good thing (The Full Monty, The Fall, Below), and sometimes it leaves you feeling blindfolded and disoriented. Obviously, I hoped for the former. Scorecard (0-10) Hayley Atwell as Ellie: She’s gorgeous and talented, but the character development feels like it didn’t even make it »

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How About You

13 November 2008 1:02 PM, PST | avclub.com | See recent The AV Club news »

Familiarity breeds contempt—albeit a mild strain—in How About You, a genteel UK serio-comedy about colorful-but-difficult old folks, in the vein of squishy crowd-pleasers like Calendar Girls and Venus. Hayley Atwell plays a headstrong but rootless young woman who asks her sister Orla Brady if she can crash at the family-owned retirement home for a while, then ends up in charge when Brady is called away over the Christmas holiday. Stuck babysitting four cantankerous residents—Vanessa Redgrave, Imelda Staunton, Brenda Fricker, and Joss Ackland—Atwell decides to ditch the detached professionalism her sister prizes and instead treat her charges as one big dysfunctional family, forcing everyone to engage with each other and appreciate the yuletide. Rowdiness, reconciliation, and renewal ensue. Director Anthony Byrne keeps the story moving apace, and he's helped considerably by a cast that knows how to invest clichés with real humanity. Still, nothing in How About You is the. »

- Noel Murray

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Opening This Week: Mumbai fairytales, Harry Potter fandom and Bond, James Bond

10 November 2008 7:16 AM, PST | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

By Neil Pedley

There is plenty of (semi)lighthearted fare at the art house this week with Danny Boyle tracking a "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" whiz kid in Mumbai, Arnaud Desplechin looking at a family reunion in France and a Bollywood musical playing out in Miami, followed by films that are distinctively more "hardcore," whether that refers to Harry Potter fans or elderly curmudgeons. Oh, and there's also some globetrotting carnage with our man Craig -- Daniel Craig.

"B.O.H.I.C.A."

If this debut effort from "Melvin Goes To Dinner" producer turned writer/director D.J. Paul is to be believed, the best way to support our brave boys serving overseas is to send them some sunscreen and a truckload of Sudoku books. Marooned in the middle of the Afghan desert guarding a radio tower, four army reservists (Adam Rodriguez, Nicholas Gonzalez, Kevin Weisman, Brendan Sexton III) do battle with the »

- Neil Pedley

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NBC's 'Crusoe' nabs Neill, Bean, Ackland

22 May 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Sam Neill, Sean Bean and Joss Ackland have joined the cast of NBC's action series Crusoe.

The project, based on Daniel Defoe's novel, chronicles the adventures of the dashing and resourceful castaway Crusoe (Philip Winchester) and his companion Friday on a desert island while looking in flashbacks at Crusoe's life before he embarked on the ill-fated voyage.

Among the flashbacks are Crusoe's tragic childhood with a widower father (James Bean), the relationship with the love of his life, Susannah (Anna Walton), and his efforts to launch a business under the watchful eye of family friend, Jeremiah Blackthorn (Neill).

Crusoe, written by Stephen Gallagher (Eleventh Hour) and directed by Duane Clark (CSI: NY), will be filmed in the U.K., South Africa and the Seychelles.

Power Entertainment is producing, with Justin Bodle, Michael Prupas and Genevieve Hofmeyr exec producing. »

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NBC's 'Crusoe' nabs Neill, Bean, Ackland

22 May 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Sam Neill, Sean Bean and Joss Ackland have joined the cast of NBC's action series "Crusoe".

The project, based on Daniel Defoe's novel, chronicles the adventures of the dashing and resourceful castaway Crusoe (Philip Winchester) and his companion Friday on a desert island while looking in flashbacks at Crusoe's life before he embarked on the ill-fated voyage.

Among the flashbacks are Crusoe's tragic childhood with widower father. James Bean), the relationship with the love of his life, Susannah (Anna Walton), and his efforts to launch a business under the watchful eye of family friend, Jeremiah Blackthorn (Neill).

"Crusoe", written by Stephen Gallagher ("Eleventh Hour") and directed by Duane Clark ("CSI: NY"), will be filmed in the U.K., South Africa and the Seychelles.

Power is producing, with Justin Bodle, Michael Prupas and Genevieve Hofmeyr exec producing. »

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How About You

7 March 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Palm Springs International Film Festival

PALM SPRINGS -- Four curmudgeonly residents of a retirement home learn lessons in kindness in this by-the-numbers audience-pleaser. Because the actors playing the quarrelsome quartet are Vanessa Redgrave, Imelda Staunton, Brenda Fricker and Joss Ackland, stateside distribution is a strong possibility for "How About You".

The narrative trajectory is apparent within the opening minutes of the Irish feature, but director Anthony Byrne orchestrates the predictable proceedings with a minimum of fuss. Bearing shades of "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont" but less delicacy, the comic drama could find a welcoming reception from older audiences seeking unchallenging fare.

The title refers to the Burton Lane/Ralph Freed standard "(I Like New York in Spring) How About You?" -- a fave of former chorus girl Georgia (Redgrave), a Brit with a predilection for turbans and martinis. She's one of the surly core group at Woodlane retirement home, an antique-bedecked mansion by a gurgling river. They don't like one another, but the collective antagonisms of Georgia, a misanthropic former judge (Ackland) and two frumpy, seemingly pathologically linked sisters (Fricker and Staunton), drive away staff and residents alike, threatening the business of young widow Kate (Orla Brady).

Kate's younger, free-spirited sister, Ellie (Hayley Atwell), shows up in need of a job to finance her next trip round the world -- and just in time to form a bond with wheelchair-bound Alice (Joan O'Hara), a quietly rebellious soul who knows that she's about to die. (O'Hara herself died not long after shooting wrapped.) When a family-crisis plot contrivance calls away Kate, Ellie must oversee Christmas week with the terrible four, the only residents who don't leave to spend the holidays with friends or family.

The inevitable bonding unfolds through the inevitable series of blowups and ostensibly hilarious mischief. Atwell ("Cassandra's Dream") holds her own with her formidable co-stars, who can do only so much with Jean Pasley's thin, repetitive script. While it's good to see Redgrave in a sizable role, it would have been better to see her and her colleagues in roles of more substance. She and Ackland bring a certain gravitas to their screen time, while Fricker, as bossy pill Heather, and especially Staunton, as scared-of-her-own-shadow Hazel, are required to play in a more comic key.

"How About You" is not without its moments of insight, but its emotional arc is a straight line from A to B, a path made all the more obvious by the heart-tugging score. Filmed at Mount Usher Gardens in Ashford, County Wicklow, and in Northern Island, the film looks good on a $9 million budget.

HOW ABOUT YOU

Ferndale Films in association with Bankside Films, Head Gear Films and Sarah Radclyffe Prods.

Credits:

Director: Anthony Byrne

Writer: Jean Pasley

Based on the short story by: Maeve Binchy

Producers: Noel Pearson, Sarah Radclyffe

Director of photography: Des Whelan

Music: Niall Byrne

Production designer: Tom McCullagh

Costume designer: Hazel Webb-Crozier

Editor: Emma E. Hilcox

Cast:

Georgia: Vanessa Redgrave

Hazel: Imelda Staunton

Heather: Brenda Fricker

Ellie: Hayley Atwell

Dan: Joss Ackland

Kate: Orla Brady

Alice: Joan O'Hara

Running time -- 90 minutes

No MPAA rating

»

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6 items from 2008


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