13 items from 2007
- Today’s Top Ten looks at the best director/actor pairings of the year. More specifically, we are looking at directors and actors who have continued to foster their relationship over the years in the cinematic field - providing us viewers with examples of magical collaborations on screen. I could cite at least 250 other significant relationships of the sort from the past 9 decades of film history, everyone from Dietrich and von Sternberg, Fellini and wife Giulietta Masina, Hitchcock and his slew of muses aka leading ladies, Bergman and Ullmann, Antonioni and Monica Vitti and to Scorsese and DeNiro or Scorsese and DiCaprio. Note sequels and trilogies were not taken into consideration. Enjoy the list!10. Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen The first met in the late 90’s when Seth Rogen was one among many actors starring in the short-lived NBC television series called Freaks and Geeks. Flash forward to 2005, and »
- A dazzling screen adaptation by director Joe Wright based on the bestseller by Ian McEwan and scripted by Christopher Hampton, with career bests from leads James McAvoy and Keira Knightley, the best romantic film since the English Patient acts as a canvas that shows the unbearable consequences of how one lie can destroy the outcome of more than one. A lavish film and first rate in this production, this could be a major contender for the Oscars - because it's tailor made. I met at a press roundtable with James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, screenwriter Christopher Hampton and Vanessa Redgrave in Beverly Hills, CA.James McAvoyYama Rahimi: Your role is such iconic role and performance that will mark your career. Were you aware of that when you read the script? James McAvoy: No I didn't but it was a role that I wanted from the first reading. I knew it was a special film. »
- No surprises at this years' 10th British Independent Film Awards - Anton Corbijn's Ian Curtis biopic Control took home a total of five awards including Best film. The only surprise of the evening seems to be the acting awards - Sam Riley losing out to Viggo Mortensen took Best actor for his take on a Russian undercover agent posing as a mobster and Judi Dench won for a film role that feels like it came out ages ago (Notes on a Scandal). Below is the full list of winners and noms (winners in double **) Best British Independent Film * And When Did You Last See Your Father? ** Control * Eastern Promises * Hallam Foe * Notes on a ScandalBest Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film * Anne Hathaway for Becoming Jane * Tannishtha Chatterjee for Brick Lane * Sophia Myles for Hallam Foe * Kierston Wareing for It's a Free World... ** Judi Dench »
- Sam Riley and Anton Corbijn should pack lite on November 28th as Control, by far the best Brit indie film of the year, leads the way in terms of noms for the 10th at the British Independent Film Awards. And When Did You Last See Your Father? has also received a fair share of noms with 7, followed by Hallam Foe with six and Eastern Promises with five. Newcomer Sam Riley is a shoe-in for the acting and most promising newcomer awards, although it would be a treat to see Kierston Wareing take something home for her bit in Ken Loach's It's a Free World.... The jury comprises actors Hayley Atwell, Archie Panjabi, Kathy Burke, Tony Curran, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew Macfadyen; directors Annie Griffin, Menhaj Huda, Neil Marshall and Peter Webber; London Film Festival artistic director Sandra Hebron; producer Mark Herbert; cinematographer Brian Tufano; distributor Will Clarke; and musician Nitin Sawhney. »
LONDON -- The best actor category for the 10th annual British Independent Film Awards spans the generations, with newcomer Sam Riley, Jamie Bell, Cillian Murphy, Viggo Mortensen and Jim Broadbent slugging it out for the prize, organizers said Tuesday.
The actor nod is one of 17 plaudits that will be dished out at a Nov. 28 ceremony at the Roundhouse in London.
Anton Corbijn's Control leads the main award categories with nominations for best director, British independent film, screenplay and Riley's turn in the actor category. Both Samantha Morton and Toby Kebbell occupy a spot in the best supporting actor/actress category also.
But Morton and Kebbell will have to overcome each other and strong challenges from Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal); Armin Muehler Stahl, who joins Mortensen from the Eastern Promises cast; and Colin Firth, who stars opposite Broadbent in And When Did You Last See Your Father? to win that particular plaudit.
Cillian Murphy is stocking up on his paint brushes in order to star opposite Al Pacino in Dali & I: The Surreal Story for Room 9 Entertainment. Andrew Niccol is directing while Room 9 partners David O. Sacks, Daniel Brunt and Michael R. Newman produce.
The movie, which will span the 1960s-80s, follows the time in Dali's life when most of his great work was behind him and he became more flamboyant. Dali (Pacino) also developed a mentor-protege relationship with a young art dealer named Stan Lauryssens, who will be played by Murphy.
The part of Gala, Dali's wife, has yet to be cast.
Room 9 originally acquired the project as a spec written by John Salvati, based on Lauryssens' autobiographical book Dali and I. Niccol rewrote the script.
Dali is scheduled to begin shooting in early 2008 on location in Spain and New York.
Murphy most recently starred in Danny Boyle's Sunshine and Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes The Barley. He is currently shooting Beeban Kidron's Hippie Hippie Shake for Universal Pictures/Working Title. »
Peace Arch Entertainment Group
NEW YORK -- Paul Soter's directorial debut is an engagingly loopy screwball comedy that is great fun for a while but eventually becomes wearisome. Although it's refreshing to see Cillian Murphy -- playing a repressed video rental store owner who becomes besotted with a highly eccentric, modern-day femme fatale -- in a rare non-intense mode, Watching the Detectives feels too forced in its quirkiness. The film recently was showcased at New York's Tribeca Film Festival.
When Violet (Lucy Liu) walks into Neil's small, independent establishment, he immediately becomes intrigued by her beauty and, most especially, her oddball sense of humor and intense desire to live life to the fullest. This is immediately apparent on their first date, when they are nearly arrested for causing harmless mayhem at a rival megastore.
During the ensuing romance, Neil becomes increasingly caught up in the eccentric Violet's world, which includes a series of ever-escalating and dangerous practical jokes. Although at first he embraces his newfound spontaneity and adventurousness, he soon begins to seriously question his new girlfriend's mental stability.
Resembling a contemporary Harold and Maude minus the age factor, the film has plenty of fun moments, many of them provided by the crew of amusing supporting characters who hang out all hours in Neil's store. Murphy reveals a light comic touch as the aggrieved Neil, and Liu delivers a suitably intense turn that keeps the audience as well as Neil guessing about her true nature.
Despite the fine efforts of its lead performers, Detectives is ultimately undone by its repetitive plot machinations and the shopworn nature of its premise. »
LONDON -- Lionsgate U.K. has embraced U.K. and Australian rights to John Maybury's "The Edge of Love" from sales and finance house Capitol Films, the parties said Tuesday.
"(Lionsgate's) proven track record in releasing sophisticated yet commercial fare is second to none and their involvement at this early stage will be of great benefit as we continue to plan the worldwide distribution of the film," Hill said.
For his part, Kamasa said the acquisition represented "just the sort of project that is a perfect fit for our U.K. and Australian operations: a classic story of broken promises, passion and betrayal, featuring some of the hottest young talent worldwide today."
Billed as a romantic tale, "Love" tells the story of two feisty, free-spirited women and the brilliant, charismatic poet Dylan Thomas, who loves both women. »
Penned by Sharman Macdonald, the film chronicles the relationships between Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (Rhys), his wife Caitlin (Lohan), his childhood friend Vera Phillips (Knightley) and her eventual husband William Killick (Murphy).
Murphy's credits include Ken Loach's Palme d'Or winner The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Batman Begins, Red Eye and Breakfast on Pluto. He also leads the ensemble cast of Fox Searchlight's upcoming Sunshine, directed by Danny Boyle.
He is repped by UTA and attorney David Weber.
Rhys co-stars as Kevin Walker on ABC's Brother & Sisters. A graduate of London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, his credits also include Julie Taymor's adaptation of Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins, and David Leland's upcoming Virgin Territory.
He is represented by Management 360. »
This review was written for the Festival de Cannes screening of "The Wind That Shakes the Barley."CANNES -- A Ken Loach film about the British in Ireland always has the potential for controversy, but his historical drama "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" is unlikely to inflame passions on either side.
Atmospheric but pedestrian, it is a retelling of the classic tragedy of all civil wars, from the U.S. to Vietnam to England, where brother is pitched against brother.
The film looks handsomely authentic, and the familiar characters are engaging, but the story is predictable and the Irish accents are so thick that even English subtitles are required. Loach's humanity is always in evidence, however, and the lack of histrionics will please many, so the film's conventionality could help make it accessible to general audiences.
The British in the film are nameless cardboard villains used mainly to establish just how horribly occupying forces behave. It's such a common device to make audiences root for the rebels that Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty might have been cleverer about it. But it works, and Damien O'Sullivan (Cillian Murphy), who in 1920 is about to leave his Irish village to become a doctor in London, has his fate sealed by two incidents of British brutality that make it impossible for him to leave.
After centuries of domination, the Irish have voted for independence and so the British send in ruthless military squads, known as the Black and Tans, to intimidate the population. Mostly survivors of World War I trench fighting, the soldiers have been brutalized themselves, a point Loach allows to be made.
Damien's brother Teddy (Padraic Delaney) is a man of action, and he's devoted to the cause of Irish freedom. Led from afar by the political faction that became the Irish Republican Army, Teddy leads a group of village boys and men who call themselves a "flying column."
Training as guerilla fighters with pieces of wood shaped like rifles, the column spends most of its time trying to steal weapons. These raids bring reprisals that hit not only the rebels but also their womenfolk. Damien's sweetheart, Sinead (Orla Fitzgerald), has her hair crudely and bloodily sheared in one assault.
The story follows the group through the truce that was declared in 1921 and the Anglo-Irish Treaty signed in 1922 that created the Irish Free State out of 26 counties, with six other counties forming what became Northern Ireland remaining as part of the U.K.
As with all rulers that strive to divide the conquered, the British make sure the Irish Free State remains a part of its empire and require an oath of loyalty to the king. Those who view the treaty as a path to peace, like Teddy, don the British uniform. Those who insist that freedom will only come with complete republicanism, like Damien, continue the fight. Their tragedy becomes inevitable.
Loach provides plenty of time for arguments on all sides of the political issue, and while that is important, those scenes slow down the film badly. He stages the many action sequences with assurance, however, and draws persuasive performances from his cast.
With his poet's cheekbones and blue eyes, Murphy makes a fine romantic hero, and Delaney is a match as his duty-bound brother. Liam Cunningham, too, stands out as a thoughtful train driver-turned-rebel. Contributions from cinematographer Barry Ackroyd, production designer Fergus Clegg and composer George Fenton are all first-rate.THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY
Sixteen Films, Matador Pictures, Regent Capital
Director: Ken Loach
Screenwriter: Paul Laverty
Producer: Rebecca O'Brien
Executive producers: Ulrich Felsberg, Andrew Lowe, Nigel Thomas, Paul Trijbits
Director of photography: Barry Ackroyd
Production designer: Fergus Clegg
Editor: Jonathan Morris
Composer: George Fenton
Damien: Cillian Murphy
Teddy: Padraic Delaney
Dan: Liam Cunningham
Sinead: Orla Fitzgerald
Peggy: Mary Riordan
Bernadette: Mary Murphy
Micheail: Laurence Barry
Finbar: Damien Kearney
Leo: Frank Bourke
Rory: Myles Horgan
Chris: John Crean
Sir John Hamilton: Roger Allam
Priest: Denis Conway »
BRUSSELS -- Danny Boyle space drama Sunshine and Carrie-Anne Moss starrer Disturbia are among eight films that will have their European premieres next month at the 25th annual Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film.
The BIFFF, which runs April 5-17, includes 76 movies from 27 nations and will feature the world premieres of Lloyd Kaufman's Poultrygeist, Michael Winnick's Shadow Puppets and Uwe Boll's In the Name of the King along with the European premieres of Wisit Sasanatieng's The Unseeable, Byeong-ki Ahn's Apt and Keita Amemiya's Unholy Women.
Sunshine, which will open the festival, stars Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans and Michele Yeoh in an Alex Garland-scripted sci-fi tale about a mission to re-ignite the sun. Suspense thriller Disturbia -- a modern retelling of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window -- will close the fest.
The festival also is moving to Brussels' refurbished Tour and Taxis industrial heritage complex, which includes a specially built 1,200-seat movie theater, the biggest in Belgium.
BIFFF will include a Star Wars 30th anniversary convention, a retrospective of the early works of Japanese director Sogo Ishii, a Japanimation Day, body art galleries and the annual Ball of the Vampires. »
New Bond girl Eva Green has been nominated for the Orange Rising Star Award at this year's British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. The French beauty, who stars opposite Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, has been shortlisted for the coveted prize along with Ben Whishaw (Perfume), Cillian Murphy (The Wind That Shakes The Barley), Naomie Harris (Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest) and Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada). The award is given annually to a young actor or actress who has shown exceptional on-screen talent and the winner will be announced at the 2007 Bafta Awards, which takes place on February 11. Last year The Last King Of Scotland star James McAvoy picked up the prize. »
LONDON -- Ben Whishaw, Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Eva Green and Naomie Harris will battle it out for the British public's affection as they vie for this year's Orange Rising Star emerging talent award.
The nod, to be presented Feb. 11 at the 2007 British Academy Film Awards ceremony, is voted for by the public and sponsored by cellular operator Orange.
The award is designed to honor a young actor or actress of any nationality who has demonstrated exceptional talent and ambition and begun to capture the imagination of the British public as a film star in the making.
Nominees must have appeared in a pic that qualified for this year's BAFAs, dished out by BAFTA.
The shortlist was drawn up by a jury of industry professionals including Anthony Minghella and last year's inaugural winner, James McAvoy, from a long list of recommendations submitted by BAFTA members and industry players.
The award was created in honor of the late Mary Selway, the BAFTA-winning British casting director. »
13 items from 2007
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