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2013 | 2012 | 2009

2 items from 2013

TV Reviews: HBO’s ‘Mary and Martha,’ Lifetime’s ‘Call Me Crazy’

15 April 2013 7:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The TV movie remains in relative decline, which makes a weekend in which two high-profile versions with big-name stars and overt messages playing directly opposite each other especially noteworthy. It’s also instructive, in a compare-and-contrast sort of way, to consider why “Mary and Martha” — a moving return to intimate form for HBO — represents an emotionally stirring triumph, while Lifetime’s “Call Me Crazy: A Five Film” feels like an empty gimmick, an all-star marketing hook/public-service campaign in search of a movie.

After a stretch in which HBO has relied almost exclusively on attention-getting fact-based films like “Game Change” and “Phil Spector,” “Mary and Martha” harks back to when the service was content to tell great little stories — often with an agenda — that might not have been commercial enough to find a home elsewhere. And if one’s first thought is the 2005 gem “The Girl in the Cafe,” it »

- Brian Lowry

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Trailer Watch: Phillip Noyce's Malaria Drama 'Mary and Martha,' Starring Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn Update

19 March 2013 11:30 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Update: A new teaser trailer has landed for Australian director Phillip Noyce's "Mary and Martha," starring Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn as mothers who form a bond over the loss of their sons to malaria. Watch below. The film premieres on HBO on April 20. Earlier: "Mary and Martha" has begun shooting in South Africa and North Carolina, with director Phillip Noyce and stars Hilary Swank ("Boys Don't Cry," "Million Dollar Baby") and Brenda Blethyn ("Secrets & Lies," "Pride & Prejudice"). Based on Richard Curtis' screenplay, the film is an HBO Films/Working Title production. A detailed synopsis is below. Joining Swank and Blethyn are James Woods, Frank Grillo, Ian Redford and Stephanie Faracy. HBO Films' Len Amato says they were "especially attracted to Richard Curtis’ approach to the story – bringing a human touch to this serious and often overlooked issue about a disease that is preventable and can be eradicated. »

- Sophia Savage and Beth Hanna

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2013 | 2012 | 2009

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