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Romantic and funny and smart and wise and just plain different. This is a historical costume dramedy romp about gardening. How cool is that? I’m “biast” (pro): love the cast
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Historical fantasy! Nope, there are no dragons or wizards or magic. But it’s fantasy nevertheless. And of a very welcome sort. Of a very necessary sort.
In Paris in 1682, King Louis Xiv is preparing to move his court from the Louvre in the city to the countryside palace at Versailles, and he wants gardens that he likens, not in any metaphorical way, to the divine: “Heaven shall be here,” he commands. No small task, then, for royal gardener and landscape architect André Le Notre. And Le Notre takes a real chance when he dares to hire, for one section of the gardens, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Director: Alan Rickman; Screenwriter: Alan Rickman, Jeremy Brock, Alison Deegan; Starring: Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci, Jennifer Ehle, Matthias Schoenaerts, Helen McCrory; Running time: 117 mins; Certificate: 12A
The famous gardens at Versailles provide the backdrop for this dewy-eyed period romance with Kate Winslet and Matthias Schoenaerts, although they have to wade through a lot of mud before the flowers come into bloom. Alan Rickman directs in a laissez-faire style as well as playing a supporting role as the French 'Sun King' Louis Xiv who presides over their efforts to create horticultural perfection. It's the stuff of Sunday night TV drama, for winding down with tea and cake. Very civilised.
The problem is that Rickman had obviously hoped to get pulses racing with 17th-century mores creating a pressure cooker environment for landscape architect Sabine De Barra (Winslet) and the King's master landscaper Andre Le Notre (Schoenaerts) as they get to »
The middle of Spring actually means a new selection of summer blockbusters to look forward to, and with a ton of big-budget films slated to come out within the next few months and beyond, the summer of 2015 looks like one to remember.
From the new Mad Max (which is already on our end-of -year top ten list event though we haven’t yet seen it) to Avengers, Poltergeists, male strippers, talking teddy bears, and a reboot of the Jurassic Park franchise, this summer’s trips to the theaters will be jam-packed with sequels and new tales. From May 1st right through to the end of August, some of the movies on our list could wind up on year-end “best of” lists or even receive some Oscar talk by December.
Grab your calendar, because Wamg has a rundown of this summer’s films we’re most excited about, so check them out below! »
- Movie Geeks
Episodes: Ongoing (hour)
TV show dates: January 29, 2015 -- Tbd
Series status: Has not been cancelled
Performers include: Stanley Tucci, Richard Dormer, Sofie Gråbøl, Darren Boyd, Verónica Echegui, Sienna Guillory, Jessica Gunning, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Johnny Harris, Mia Jexen, Aaron McCusker, Alexandra Moen, Phoebe Nicholls, Nicholas Pinnock, Jessica Raine, Luke Treadaway, Christopher Eccleston, and Michael Gambon.
TV show description:
This psychological thriller TV series takes place in Fortitude, an international community in the Arctic with inhabitants from many parts of the world. It's known as one of the safest towns on Earth and there's never been a violent crime there -- until now.
In such a close-knit community a gruesome murder touches everyone and the unsettling horror of this crime threatens the future of the town itself. As the »
Focus World, the alternative distribution arm of Focus Features, has released the official trailer and poster for Alan Rickman's romantic drama A Little Chaos, both of which you can check out below. The film, which debuted at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, marks Rickman's first time behind the camera since his 1997 debut The Winter Guest. There is hardly a consensus to be found among the reviews online for Rickman's latest, but many have at least praised Kate Winslet's turn as Sabine, a pioneering landscape designer who is building a garden at Versailles for King Louis Xiv. I'd also add that, based on the trailer, it's probably safe to assume Stanley Tucci's hat and wig play prominent supporting roles. From the synopsis, "Sabine struggles with class barriers as she becomes romantically entangled with the court's renowned landscape artist." In addition to Winslet and Tucci, Helen McCrory, Alan Rickman, »
- Jordan Benesh
This month Alan Rickman's A Little Chaos, Ryan Gosling's Lost River and Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner see these performers make the dizzying leap from actor to director. But in which of their colleagues' footsteps might they follow?
We take a look at six different categories of actor-turned-directors.
Too handsome to be a supporting actor, and lacking the gravitas of a major star, Ben Affleck looked to be heading towards Kilmer-ville before he released Gone Baby Gone, a dark Dennis Lehane thriller he co-wrote and directed, with brother Casey taking the lead. Follow-up The Town proved solid, but his next effort, Argo, was a surprise Best Picture winner. The fact Affleck didn't receive a Director nomination suggests he's not yet been forgiven for the likes of Gigli, but the forthcoming Lehane adaptation Live By Night should fix that.
As an actor, Clint Eastwood's flinty »
“From the first episode, audiences responded to the incredibly rich world Simon Donald created, where nature and civilization collide with catastrophic results,” said Pivot head honcho Kent Rees.
Fortitude hasn't been shy about offing its stars over the course of the first run, so much so that fans are already scratching their heads at who's left in that amazing cast (which featured, let's remember, Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Sofie Grabol, Richard Dormer and Christopher Eccleston) to return for the second series. Er, our best idea? Make it a prequel. About the mammoth.
Series creator Simon Donald will surely return to writing and executive producer duties, »
Director: Sam Miller
Writer: Simon Donald
Review: The quintessential finale is usually a combination of desires, disappointment and a different kind of connection and, having said that, Fortitude manages to loop a whole a host of things together to make it our collective while. The previous episode managed to answer a lot of questions and so I sense we were open to see if they tried to extend the series beyond this point. The conclusion? I think they managed to tie up loose ends while, all along, leaving us with opportunity floating out there within the glacier.
Opening with the aftermath of Vincent and his room of flies, he sits there being stung as Natalie and Dan try to formulate a plan. It comes together quickly, and reasonably logically, as they change the »
- Dan Bullock
Much like grief, there are five stages of losing your husband to a gay man. And Netflix’s Grace and Frankie is about to delve into every one of them.
The streaming giant has unveiled the trailer for its upcoming comedy, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as two women whose husbands (played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, respectively) leave their wives for each other.
RelatedGeoff Stults Books Recurring Role in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie
Press Play on the video below to see the titular pair experience shock, denial, confusion, rage and reflection in the face of »
There will be more mayhem up on that glacier, as "Fortitude" has been renewed for a second season. The thriller, co-produced by Pivot here and Sky in the UK, is set in a remote Norwegian community in the Arctic archipelago. Its first season finale airs tonight at 10 on Pivot, and we have an exclusive scene from the very beginning of that finale embedded above. That scene, involving an unexpected wasp attack (introduced at the end of last week's episode) speaks to how much the story of "Fortitude" has evolved over this season. What started out seeming like a familiar murder in a small town set-up, but enhanced by the spectacular and alien location, has evolved (or, if you prefer, pivoted) into something even stranger, darker and almost alien, as the unique environment of Fortitude has played a big role in the series of killings plaguing the town. I liked the show at the start, »
- Alan Sepinwall
Pivot and Sky Atlantic have ordered a second season of its Arctic crime drama "Fortitude". Simon Donald, who wrote all thirteen episodes for the critically praised first season, returns to write and executive produce season two.
The current first season is slated to close out its run this week.
Stanley Tucci stars as a British police detective who travels to the icy climes to investigate the brutal murder of a scientist. He becomes embroiled in intrigue as he teams with reluctant partner Sheriff Dan Anderssen (Richard Dormer) to find the killer. Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston and Sofie Grabol also star.
Source: THR »
- Garth Franklin
Vincent's investigation has dangerous consequences, and Dan (Richard Dormer) and Hildur (Sofie Gråbøl) try to locate Jason. Sheriff Anderssen must eventually make a decision that will affect the future of all of Fortitude's residents.
Inside No 9: BBC Two, 10pm
Two notorious witch hunters are summoned to the quaint English town of Little Happens to try an old lady, Elizabeth Gadge (Ruth Sheen), accused of consorting with the Devil.
Mathew Weiner's period advertising agency drama returns for its final run of episodes tonight.
The broadcaster has ordered ten new episodes of the arctic thriller following its international success.
"It's a privilege to return to Fortitude," said writer Simon Donald. "It's a place where the real and the feared live side by side, where old dark secrets thaw out into the chill light of the arctic day.
"I'd never been anywhere like Fortitude before and I can't wait to go back".
"I am absolutely delighted that we will be bringing Fortitude back next year with a story that promises to engage, challenge and enthral us all over again."
Fortitude has aired simultaneously across Italy, Germany, Austria, Ireland and the UK, and has also been sold to 100 other broadcasters including France's Canal+ and ABC Australia. »
Participant Media's Pivot and Sky Atlantic have picked up Fortitude for a second season ahead of the drama’s first season finale tonight. "From the first episode, audiences responded to the incredibly rich world Simon Donald created, where nature and civilization collide with catastrophic results," said Kent Rees, Pivot’s General Manager. The first season of Fortitude, starring Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Sofie Grabol, Richard Dormer and Christopher Eccleston, told the… »
Just in time for its freshman finale, “Fortitude” has been picked up for a second season.
Pivot and Sky Atlantic announced the Season 2 renewal Thursday.
The first season told the story of a small-town rocked by a violent clime. Set in the Arctic town of Fortitude, the series follows the community, as suspicion grows after a brutal and shocking murder, and warmer-than-average temperatures cause the ice to melt, revealing secrets, which have long been hidden under the frozen ground.
“From the first episode, audiences responded to the incredibly rich world Simon Donald created, where nature and civilization collide with catastrophic results,” said Kent Rees, general manager of Pivot. “We’re excited to announce that ‘Fortitude’ will be back for another season of suspense and chaos.”
Zai Bennett, channel director of Sky Atlantic, »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Kk: Hi Clive, how are you doing today?
Cs: I’m doing really well, it’s really nice to be promoting the show in the UK.
How’s it been – how’s the reception of the show so far in the UK?
It’s been fantastic, I mean, it’s very strange for me, like, when we go to Comic Con in San Diego – I think it’s the 6th biggest watched show of the year in America right now – so we get get people dressed up as Vikings, and reciting old Norse back to us… it’s fantastic. But people still don’t know where to watch the show in the UK, so I get back here and people go “I’ve heard about Vikings but I don’t know where »
- Kat Kourbeti
The stakes have been changed but the mystery remains in Fortitude. Here's Michael's review...
This review contains spoilers.
When Professor Stoddart was bumped off way back at the beginning of this series, it seemed a fairly transparent ploy. In a cast list of recognisable names and faces, Christopher Eccleston still stood out as one of the leading performers, as well known for the high profile of his roles as for the intensity of his characterisations. Killing him off so soon suggested that his sole purpose here was to shock and to underline the point that while no one can die in Fortitude the town, in Fortitude the series no one is truly safe. Michael Gambon’s name looms even larger than that of his co-star, but the death of Henry Tyson, whatever its means, felt rather more natural. The Grim Reaper has shadowed Tyson from the very beginning, tempting him »
Fortitude, Season One, “Episode Eleven”
Written by Simon Donald
Directed by Sam Miller
Airs Thursdays at 10 pm (Et) on Pivot
Dci Morton’s investigation into two murders brought him into Fortitude; that of Professor Stoddart’s, and that of Billy Pettigrew’s. With the resolution of the former, Morton turned his attention to the latter with full energy, ultimately ending up shot by Henry on an isolated glacier for his efforts. This week’s episode sees the truth surrounding Pettigrew’s death come to light, while Vincent and Natalie make a breakthrough in their scientific investigation and Yuri and Max make a play for the mammoth graveyard, in a compelling episode.
Watching the circumstances surrounding Billy Pettigrew’s death puts Sheriff Anderssen’s actions over the past few episodes in a new light. While his actions against Frank seemed excessive at the time when he arrested Sutter for Stoddart’s murder, »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Director: Sam Miller
Writer: Simon Donald
Review: One down, one to go and what a stunningly intense, enlightening and revealing penultimate episode! We join Sheriff Dan, as he has flown out to see if he can save Dci Morton -Told You – but things aren’t what we expect because just as he’s offering to take him, Morton asks for ‘Truth’ and we start to see flashbacks of that night with Pettigrew, Yuri, Eric, the bar and…Elena.
With a recap of reality, long gone are the days of worrying whether Billy Pettigrew was maliciously murdered and whether we should feel sorry for what happened. We quickly learn he was an appalling, vicious drunk and attempted rapist. There’s no other way to sum up. It’s not to say that anyone deserves »
- Dan Bullock
Fortitude, Season One, “Episode Ten”
Directed by Nick Hurran
Airs Thursdays at 10 pm (Et) on Pivot
With the town of Fortitude continuing to descend into chaos, a glimmer of hope was provided by the scientists last week as they seemed to have found a chemical that points to a reason behind the violent behaviour exhibited by Shirley. This week’s episode delves further into the research behind what’s causing the aberrant behaviour, while also exploring what happened to Ronnie and how Frank continues to cope, and how the interaction between Eugene Morton and Henry goes. The result is another compelling episode, despite a couple of weak points, as things continue to build to a head in the town.
Frank Sutter’s downward spiral continues to be fascinating to watch. His torture of Markus over the past two episodes showed the »
- Deepayan Sengupta
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