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Studio Ponoc’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower gets a UK trailer

Studio Ponoc has released a UK trailer for the upcoming animated feature Mary and the Witch’s Flower. Directed by former Studio Ghibli veteran Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the film is based upon British author Mary Stewart’s book The Little Broomstick and features a voice cast that includes Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent, Ewen Bremner, Lynda Baron, Louis Ashbourne Serkis, and Morwenna Banks; take a look at the trailer here…

See Also: Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro working on new CG anime feature at Studio Ghibli

While spending the summer with her great aunt, Mary follows a cat into the nearby woods to get away from a neighbourhood boy who likes to poke fun at her. Once there, she stumbles across some strange flowers that, unbeknownst to her, contain a magic juice that transforms her little broomstick into one that flies. The broomstick takes her to a secret location known
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Review: Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter (2014)

Studio Ghibli’s first ever television series, Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter, dropped on Amazon Prime in January of this year. The studio is known worldwide for its beautifully animated stories of friendship, family and regard for the natural world, but pacing issues and mishandled digital rendering mean that Ronja fails to live up to the high expectations that come with the Ghibli name.

Directed by Gorō Miyazaki, the son of Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki, the 26-episode series is based on a book of the same name by Pippi Longstocking creator Astrid Lindgren. Ronja (Teresa Gallagher) is the daughter of Lovis (Morwenna Banks) and Mattis (Rufus Hound), chief of a robber clan occupying a fort deep in the Scandinavian forest. Venturing alone into the forest, Ronja meets Birk (Kelly Adams), son of a rival clan chief. As the two learn to navigate their dangerous forest home, they slowly develop a
See full article at The Cultural Post »

Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet to Lead English Language Cast of ‘Witch’s Flower’

The Bfg’s” Ruby Barnhill and Oscar-winner Kate Winslet are set to lead the English language voice cast of Studio Ponoc’s animated film “Mary and the Witch’s Flower.” The film is the first feature from the Japanese animation company, which was founded in 2015 by former Studio Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura.

Rising star, Barnhill saw her breakout role last year in Steven Spielberg’s “The Bfg,” opposite Mark Rylance. The actress will take the title role in “Mary and the Witch’s Flower,” which follows the adventure of a young girl who discovers a mysterious flower that can give her the power to become a witch for one night and a school of magic that is not quite what it seems. It is based on a 1971 children’s novel, “The Little Broomstick,” by British author Mary Stewart.

Winslet will play Madam Mumblechook, the head of the school. Winslet’s Oscar-winning “Iris” co-star Jim Broadbent will also
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Loaded interview: Samuel Anderson, Nick Helm, Jim Howick, Jonny Sweet

Louisa Mellor May 5, 2017

New Channel 4 comedy Loaded is a very funny look at male friendship, money and success, with a strong cast and real depth…

When I meet the cast of Channel 4’s Loaded, it’s at the tail-end of a stretch of interviews during which Samuel Anderson, Nick Helm, Jim Howick and Jonny Sweet have been asked approximately four times an hour what, if they each suddenly received £15m as their app-designing characters do in the show, they’d spend it on. Before I even sit down, Sweet starts to reel off “I’d get a kettle, fill it with gold…”

See related American Gods episode 1 review: The Bone Orchard American Gods cast interview: Ian McShane, Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning American Gods: Bryan Fuller interview

Loaded, written by Fresh Meat and MisfitsJon Brown isn’t a celebration of wealth. “This show is about how not to enjoy being a millionaire,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Ronja, the Robber's Daughter: Amazon Prime to Launch New Kids Series

Amazon has announce the animated Ronja, the Robber's Daughter TV show will premiere on January 27, 2017 in the Us and UK. The series is based on the children's novel by Astrid Lindgren, the author of Pippi Longstocking.Gillian Anderson narrates the English-language version of Ronja, the Robber's Daughter. The voice cast includes: Teresa Gallagher, Rufus Hand, Morwenna Banks, and Kelly Adams. Gorō Miyazaki directs.Read More…
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

First Trailer And Art for Amazon’s Animated Series Ronja, The Robber’S Daughter

Amazon Prime Video will launch an anime-style kids series Ronja, The Robber’S Daughter later this month in the United States and United Kingdom.

The series is narrated by Gillian Anderson (X-Files) and directed by Goro Miyazaki (Up On Poppy Hill). It’s based off a wildly-popular children’s fantasy book of the same name by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking). The book has sold more than 10 million copies since 1981 and translated into 41 languages.

Ronja, The Robber’S Daughter will be an epic 26-part story of a 10-year-old girl Ronja, born on a stormy night in a mountain fort, surrounded by her father, mother and a loving band of robbers. She grows to be a strong girl and discovers that the forest is both a beautiful and frightening place inhabited by strange creatures. She befriends Birk, the son of her father’s rival, and so begins the drama of her friendship and family loyalties.
See full article at LRM Online »

Tuesday’s best TV: National Treasure; Damned

  • The Guardian - TV News
The Robbie Coltrane accused-celebrity drama continues, and a beautifully bleak new comedy from Jo Brand and Morwenna Banks. Plus: The Dog Rescuers With Alan Davies

Blanch as you might at the idea of battles being described as iconic, this show – part history, part scavenger hunt – gets into some extremely interesting places in its investigation of Vimy Ridge. Things things get completely compelling on-site in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, as David O’Keefe and Wayne Abbott discover human stories in the region’s ordnance-littered “deep fighting system”. Their guide has some extremely solid advice for them: “Stay off the grenades.” John Robinson

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Images: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Premiere

Cursed Child premiere: Red carpet opening for the West End’s most in-demand new theatre production.

The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child premiere took place on Saturday at the Palace Theatre in the heart of the West End.

On Saturday afternoon, the highly anticipated Harry Potter and the Cursed Child had its official gala opening in London’s West End at the Palace Theatre. Harry Potter creator and author J.K. Rowling attended the red carpet event, along with the other members of the creative team behind the new play and some other very familiar faces.

Due to phenomenal demand, producers last week announced that a further 250,000 tickets will be released for sale this week on Thursday 4 August 2016 at 11am BST, booking through to 10 December 2017. Tickets are priced from £15 and for every performance there will be 300 tickets at £20 or less per part.

Related: Meet the cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child…
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Lionsgate backs first British TV show

Company will co-produce and co-finance Channel 4 sitcom Damned.

Lionsgate International UK has made its first investment in a British TV show - jumping on board Damned, Channel 4’s social services sitcom.

The British arm of the Us-based producer and distributor is to co-produce and co-finance the series, written by and starring Jo Brand [pictured] through her indie What Larks Productions, and will sell the rights worldwide.

The deal marks Mad Men producer Lionsgate’s first investment in a UK-commissioned show and follows its move to acquire a 25% stake in Kindle Entertainment in December. The kids producer is responsible for shows including Cbbc’s Hank Zipzer.

Last month, Channel 4 ordered a 6 x 30-minute run of Damned, which began as a one-off as part of Sky Arts’ Playhouse Presents strand in 2014.

The show, created by Brand and Morwenna Banks, stars Brand and Alan Davies as social workers battling personal and professional battles as they fight to keep
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Miss You Already Blu-Ray Review

Catherine Hardwicke’s mixed bag of a dramedy, Miss You Already, about two friends dealing with a life-changing illness, eases its way onto Blu-ray this month. In the interests of full-disclosure, I will mention that I almost had to recuse myself from this review after watching the first half hour. My mother underwent treatment for breast cancer ten years ago and, while her case was different from the one presented on film for many reasons, it was occasionally difficult to separate my own emotions from the film’s emotions.

Miss You Already treats of the occasionally fraught friendship between Milly (Toni Collette) and Jess (Drew Barrymore), two close friends who have always been the most important person in each other’s lives. By far the wilder of the two, Milly is happily married to a rock-star husband Kit (Dominic Cooper), while Jess has settled down in a houseboat with her
See full article at We Got This Covered »

How to Assemble a Rough Cut Two Days After Shooting Wraps: Editor Phillip J. Bartell on Miss You Already

Catherine Hardwicke’s razor-sharp blend of comedy and tragedy, Miss You Already, arrives on Blu-ray, DVD, and a variety of VOD platforms March 1. The story of best friends (played by Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette) struggling to deal with the fact that one of them has terminal cancer, it’s a film that walks a tonal tightrope: silly, devastating, sexy, angering, and bittersweet, the movie’s diverse range of effects is a testament to Hardwicke, her actors, and an ambitious script by Morwenna Banks. Pulling all of the elements together is editor Phillip J. Bartell, whose superb work on 2014’s Dear White […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

[Review] Miss You Already

Miss You Already is the rare cancer movie that’s uninterested in holding the audience hostage. Rather, it uses the context of a cancer story to show the totality of two women in their most difficult moments. With a warm and crowd-pleasing, but unusually sharp, script from Morwenna Banks and intimate and bracing direction from Catherine Hardwicke, Miss You Already recontextualizes beats of the cancer movie sub-genre into a story about the bulletproof power of female friendship.

Through a flurry of shared memories, the connection of leading ladies, Milly (Toni Collette) and Jess (Drew Barrymore), is established. They are ostensibly types, with Jess playing the sensitive humanitarian, and Milly playing the wild child, but those characteristics don’t predetermine their actions. It’s here and throughout that Hardwicke demonstrates a quietly subversive voice. Collette’s Milly isn’t demonized for being outwardly sexual or shacking up with a rockstar. In
See full article at The Film Stage »

Why Catherine Hardwicke Started to Fight Back Against Hollywood Sexism

Why Catherine Hardwicke Started to Fight Back Against Hollywood Sexism
Catherine Hardwicke recently stormed the red carpet of her latest indie, “Miss You Already,” at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. With her male publicist carrying her golden purse, Hardwicke’s hands were free to point and gesture in animated bursts. Every time she’d step up to a new reporter, she’d be asked a similar question: “What’s it like to be a woman director in Hollywood in 2015?” Rather than shrug off a non-response, like many of her female colleagues have in the past (think Kathryn Bigelow or Sam Taylor-Johnson), Hardwicke launched into a series of passionate speeches about gender inequality.

Here are some of the points that Hardwicke would address: That, in 2015, it’s still damn hard to get hired as a female director in the industry; that only 16 percent of the 3,900 episodes on television last season were directed by women; that on the big screen,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Miss You Already – The Review

By Cate Marquis

Miss You Already accomplishes a difficult feat: depicting a close friendship between two women without sinking into sentimentality and sappiness. It pulls this trick off mostly through the terrific performances of Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore, and thanks to a script by Morwenna Banks that is packed with humor as well as heart and firm, knowing direction by Catherine Hardwicke.

Collette and Barrymore create a completely believable friendship between gal pals Milly (Collette) and Jess (Barrymore), life-long best friends who have stayed close despite their different personalities and diverging lives in London. These friends tease and joke, which makes their relationship realistic and also makes them seem like people you would like to hang out with. Milly is the out-going one, a risk-taking Brit who is slightly older and definitely bolder. American Jess is more conventional and reserved than flamboyant Milly. Milly and her husband Kit (Dominic Cooper
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Miss You Already Review

When you enter a movie knowing that incessant sobbing is an inevitability, you hope the tears are worthwhile. It’s easy to make someone cry, but it’s much harder to make them feel each separate droplet. Miss You Already is such a movie that spells crushing depression in the logline alone, and needs to balance misery with tender love in order to successfully tackle its bleak, cancer-battling theme.

It’s not an easy pill to swallow, and such darkness can feel like a constant pummelling without some bright relief every now and then. We need some sort of human relief, like the lighter interludes that director Catherine Hardwicke permits in serviceable doses. There’s no answer provided for one of life’s biggest questions, but the film’s outlook represents a small step forward in understanding how humans cope – just be sure to bring a box of tissues.

Morwenna Banks
See full article at We Got This Covered »

How Catherine Hardwicke Shot 'Miss You Already' with Her iPhone 5 and Why She Might Say 'No' to Good Projects

How Catherine Hardwicke Shot 'Miss You Already' with Her iPhone 5 and Why She Might Say 'No' to Good Projects
Oscillating between big budget thrillers and down and dirty indies, Catherine Hardwicke's oeuvre is surprisingly diverse. On top of her directorial credits for films like "Lords of Dogtown," "Twilight" and "Thirteen," Hardwicke has also worked as a production designer on nearly 20 films, including "Vanilla Sky." Historically vocal about the gender biases in Hollywood, Hardwicke has built a reputation as a tough but big-hearted director who refuses to be defined or constrained by her gender. The filmmaker's newest is the part-buddy comedy, part-sentimental dramedy "Miss You Already," starring Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore as two best friends whose lives are thrown into a tailspin when their long-parallel paths are disrupted by a surprise pregnancy and a cancer diagnosis. Written by Morwenna Banks and also starring Dominic Cooper and Paddy Considine, the film is a surprisingly uncynical rumination on friendship and...
See full article at Indiewire »

Miss You Already | Review

Sisterhood of the Big C: Hardwicke and Case of the Dramatic Cancer Clause

Those who’ve been yearning for a remake of Garry Marshall’s beloved 1988 tearjerker Beaches but were afraid to admit it are in luck. Director Catherine Hardwicke has done just that with her latest film, Miss You Already, a contemporary documentation of two life-long girlfriends torn asunder by cancer. At times touching and not without a certain degree of emotional depth, there’s an odd tone of inauthenticity plaguing this melancholy friendship fantasy, enough to rob it of real dramatic integrity. It’s a rare portrait of sobering adulthood from Hardwicke, who tends to gravitate towards angsty portraits of rebellious teens, from her much loved debut Thirteen (2003) to the first chapter of the Twilight (2008) film series. But it’s another failed attempt at Hardwicke’s struggle to reinvent herself, following on the heels of fairy tale reboot
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Catherine Hardwicke's Cancer Tearjerker 'Miss You Already' Is a Heartfelt Mess

Catherine Hardwicke's Cancer Tearjerker 'Miss You Already' Is a Heartfelt Mess
When Milly (Toni Collette), a successful PR executive stricken with breast cancer, decides to shave off what remains of her hair, her vainglorious mother, Miranda (Jacqueline Bisset), and lifelong friend, Jess (Drew Barrymore), tense up ever so slightly, as if the Rubicon's finally been crossed. "It's often those watching who find it the hardest," Milly's wigmaker (Frances de la Tour) says, and director Catherine Hardwicke's "Miss You Already," with its long close-ups of needles and startling splashes of vomit, is highly attuned to this discomfort—so much so, in fact, that it loses the particulars of its characters in a thicket of procedures, becoming a strangely impersonal portrait of cancer's most intimate consequences. From the tiresome opening voiceover, in which Jess glosses the origins of her friendship with Milly, their inseparable adolescences, and their respective decisions to settle down, Morwenna Banks' labored script struggles to add texture to the.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

New Poster For Miss You Already Stars Toni Collette And Drew Barrymore

In Jada Yuan’s Tiff review of Miss You Already, she wrote: “While here in Toronto, I’ve seen movies that have left me numb and speechless, and ones I’m sure will win Oscars, but I’m not going to rewatch them years from now when I’m sick or sad or want to spend a couple of hours crying in the dark before grabbing a drink with my best friend. I will, however, be very glad Miss You Already exists for that very purpose, and there’s no shame in that.”

Read Vulture’s review here.

Roadside Attractions has released a brand new poster for director Catherine Hardwicke’s latest film.

Written by Morwenna Banks, Miss You Already stars Toni Collette, Drew Barrymore, Dominic Cooper and Paddy Considine.

Miss You Already is an honest and powerful story following two best friends, Milly (Toni Collette) and Jess (Drew Barrymore
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Morwenna Banks: tragic tales of loss that gave voice to quiet woman of British TV

The actor and writer’s acclaimed Radio4 play, Goodbye, about losing three friends to breast cancer is now a Hollywood film, writes Vanessa Thorpe

When Hollywood hosts the American premiere next month of this autumn’s hit weepie, Miss You Already, its stars Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette and Jacqueline Bisset will be at the centre of the usual whirlwind of flashing cameras and TV microphones.

But behind the film, and now with a fresh career as a Hollywood screenwriter, is a Cornish woman who has already created a series of hit comedy characters in Britain, is the partner of a well-known writer and comedian, has written an award-winning radio play, and also plays the mother of the most famous cartoon pig in Britain, Peppa. Yet somehow Morwenna Banks has carefully kept her private self out of the limelight during a long and successful career in the entertainment industry.

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See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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