13 items from 2010
Besides pronouncing her name for us, Gemma Arterton—whose first name is voiced with a soft "G" and whose last name is Arterton, not Atherton—is having to explain herself to America. The British actor is here promoting "Tamara Drewe," in which she plays the title character, an ugly duckling–turned-swan who returns to her hometown after quite the nose job. Arterton is not only discussing her craft with the American press; she's being asked about her pert, real-life nose. But Tamara's comedic flashback scenes, before surgery, are the ones that best reflect Arterton's deep talents. Those who know the actor only as a Bond girl ("Quantum of Solace") or as Princess Tamina ("Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time") might be stunned to realize that inside Arterton beats the heart of a character actor. The fragile naiveté of Tess in television's "Tess of the D'Urbervilles," the raunchy grit of »
The story of the Russian spies undercover in suburbia is almost a film already. So just help us flesh out the casting details and we can send it over to Hollywood asap
Let's just cut to the chase here. This story about the Russian spy-ring living undetected in American suburbia will end up being turned into a film. It has to be. It's got everything - the long shadows and uncomfortable paranoia of a classic cold-war film, the hidden identities and dark secrets of an introspective Stephen Poliakoff piece and the zany, fish-out-of-water antics of, say, Uncle Buck. What more could anybody possibly want?
Sure, there'll be problems along the way, but they're nothing we need to worry about. With so many families spread out across so many Us states, the film runs the risk of becoming sprawling and disparate. While all the alleged spies will play a part, the film needs a focus. »
- Stuart Heritage
Craig here with the next Take Three.
This week: Miranda Richardson
Take One: Collateral marriage damage
If you want nearly two hours of Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche miserably humping each other in dull, anonymous locations (all frightfully well lit of course) then Damage is good to go. Louis Malle's, and scriptwriter David Hare's, adaptation of Josephine Hart's novel, about a member of Parliament's affair with his son's girlfriend, is rather too inert and tasteful for its own good, and was only partially praised but largely ignored perhaps for those reasons. Many liked it, but many more had issues with it (or so I've read). I had a hard time remembering much about the film, save for the sullen, cheerless sex scenes mentioned above... and one other aspect: Miranda Richardson, playing Irons' character's dutiful wife. Gosh, I love me some Binoche, but good grief Richardson owned this one. »
- Craig Bloomfield
Coded Pictures began production this week on the suspense drama Junkhearts in London, with a cast headed by Eddie Marsan (Happy-Go-Lucky), Tom Sturridge (Pirate Radio), Romola Garai (Atonement), and newcomer Candese Reid. The picture follows “a vulnerable ex-soldier haunted by his past, who finds himself manipulated by a young couple as they attempt to use his home as a drugs den.” This is director Tinge Krishnan’s feature debut with a script from Simon Frank (The Dry Cleaner). Hit the jump for the full press release.
Here’s the official press release:
London: 1 June 2010 – Award winning actor Eddie Marsan (Happy-Go-Lucky; Vera Drake, Sherlock Holmes) is joined by talented cast members: Tom Sturridge (The Boat That Rocked, Vanity Fair, Being Julia), Romola Garai (Vanity Fair, Atonement, I Capture the Castle) and newcomer Candese Reid in director »
- Brendan Bettinger
Having landed the lead in this summer's biggest blockbuster, the 24-year-old talks fame, family and why she'll always be a Gravesend girl
"I am in a silly mood today," says Gemma Arterton. As she's bouncing around a photo studio in a gigantic feather duster of a dress trying to do an impression of Sesame Street's Big Bird, it's hard to disagree. So far Arterton's entertained the room with her Alison Steadman in Abigail's Party ("I love Demis Roussos") and an accurately nasal Kenneth Williams: "Oooaaahheeeuuh, heee taaaalked wiiith aaaall theeeese voouuuoowels." She's explained her utterly useless test for drunkenness in which she'd ask herself to multiply 12 x 12. "Then after a few years I realised I'd just memorised the answer 144 and I was actually pissed! What an idiot!"
Every so often she'll have a breather to debate the merits of the new Christian Louboutin thigh-length pom-pom boots or recent »
- Alice Fisher
Deadline is now reporting that Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Dreamgirls) is the number one choice to sit in the director's chair and is in negotiations with studio heads at Summit Entertainment. Other contenders on the shortlist are Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Reader) and Fernando Meirelles.
- David Bentley
Every now and again, I receive an email from Nigeria. Not the kind asking for investment in a cow herd, which I like to reply to in the same tone of faux naivety I use for parking ticket appeals: "Thank you for your kind offer ..." It's from a friend who sends updates on his nation's resourceful ways with corruption. The last one detailed a much celebrated investigation into malfeasance in the oil industry. At the close of their inquiries, the investigators themselves were arrested for embezzling $100m.
It's that sort of flexible approach to trade that Blood and Oil(BBC 2), a two-part drama set in the Nigerian oil business, unflinchingly explored. The result was a long way from the happy, shiny Africa of The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. »
- Andrew Anthony
This is the Pure Movies review of Glorious 39 (starring Romola Garai, Bill Nighy, Julie Christie, David Tennant, Juno Temple and Eddie Redmayne, directed by Stephen Poliakoff). Stephen Poliakoff’s return to the big screen has not been a timid one. Predominantly a TV writer, Poliakoff has made his most recent step up to feature film one of the most dramatic, harrowing tales of the year. It is a shame then that what makes this film most enjoyable is also, when applied too heavily, what dampens its brilliance. Set around a wealthy, influential MP’s family as the country is on the cusp of entering a war with Germany for the second time, the story centres around the adopted daughter Anne (Romola Garai, Atonement) and her intuitive suspicions surrounding the death of family friend, and overly vocal advocator of the war on Hitler, Hector (David Tennant). »
- Richard Parkin
DVD & Blu-ray, Lionsgate
It's Heath Ledger's final film. There, that's got that out of the way. There's no way around mentioning this fact as, unlike Terry Gilliam's previous movie-making problems, the tragic and unexpected death of his lead actor greatly impacts on the movie itself here – and not in entirely detrimental ways. The aged Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) drags his mysterious sideshow act around London with the help of his daughter (a respectable turn from model Lily Cole), an apprentice, and a grumpy dwarf. His "act" involves sending volunteers through a magical mirror into the titular Imaginarium, a strange zone where dreams take flight, which is revealed to be part of a long-fought wager with Tom Waits's Devil, with the very concept of imagination is at stake. Ledger plays an amnesiac they find hanging from a bridge over the Thames, who's not the innocent he first appears. »
- Phelim O'Neill
Sometimes it's hard enough to make a list of favorite movies, let alone favorite scenes from favorite movies. But that's just what a handful of filmmakers have done for writer Philip French for a new article in The Guardian. French kicks things off with an appreciation of Psycho (the shower scene of course) and a few other favorites. Then we get down to business. Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson and Sugar) chooses the great chase sequence in The French Connection. "It was the kind of thing that you just would never get away with these days," he says.
Ken Loach (The Wind That Shakes the Barley) is next, and chooses the bicycle scene from Jules and Jim: "It evokes what you imagine to be the perfect French vacation." Oscar winning animator Nick Park ("Wallace & Gromit") chooses the skeleton scene in Jason and the Argonauts. "Disney films didn't make me want »
- Jeffrey M. Anderson
We all have film sequences that stick in our minds. Some are shared by many – such as the shower scene from Psycho – others are particular to us. Here our film critic and a panel of leading movie-makers reveal their favourites. What are yours?
Who will ever forget the first time they saw the 45-second shower-room murder in Hitchcock's Psycho? I remember 1959 and 1961 as the years when my first two children were born. But the first thing that comes to mind about the year in between was seeing Psycho, which I'd been looking forward to since a radio programme I'd produced the previous October, when Hitchcock had enticingly described Psycho as "my first real horror film". Entering the Plaza, Lower Regent Street, the day the film opened, I passed the cardboard cut-out of Hitchcock in the foyer, from which a tape recording of the Master's familiar Leytonstone undertaker's voice warned us »
- Philip French
Due to unavailability of cinema venue in India because of the success of My Name Is Khan , the ‘From Blighty with Love’ season will now start on 5 March, not 26 February as previously scheduled. The season will run from Monday 5 March until Thursday 18 March.
From Blighty with Love will be the first time that independent British films will be presented to the English speaking audience in India, and will feature the simultaneous screening of each film on multiple screens in 2K digital cinemas in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. It will also feature three live ‘in-conversation’ events with British directors.
The ‘in-conversation’ events will include Stephen Poliakoff, director of the season’s opening night film Glorious 39, and Armando Iannucci, the Oscar-nominated director behind In the Loop, who will take part in live webcast Q&A answering questions from Indian audiences from a studio in London. Sally Potter, the director of Rage, »
London -- India is awaiting a heavy dose of British movies with Julian Jarrold's "Brideshead Revisited," "In The Loop," directed by Armando Iannucci and Stephen Poliakoff's "Glorious 39" all landing on the subcontinent with U.K. Film Council backing.
The Council's "From Blighty With Love" is a startup project aiming to push British movies into Indian theaters.
Eight movies will debut in India through the program, which will unspool in theaters in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore from Feb. 26 through March 11.
The project is supported by partners including the Mumbai Film Festival, BBC Entertainment and Reliance.
- By Stuart Kemp
13 items from 2010
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