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Funny Cow review – Maxine Peake blazes in the dark days of standup

Peake is hypnotically belligerent as an ambitious club performer trampling over prejudice and sticky carpets on the 1970s comedy circuit

Maxine Peake dominates the screen as producer and star of this painful, angry film written by Tony Pitts and directed by Adrian Shergold, about a fictional female club comedian fighting her way to the top, or at least the middle, in 1970s Britain.

Maybe without Peake this would have looked merely strident or chaotic; and to be frank, even with Peake, it does flirt with some age-old cliches. Comedians are traditionally given centre stage in a drama on condition that they reveal themselves to be unhappy or empty inside. But Peake gives it a fierce, blazing energy and holds everything together through the magnetic force of her performance. Jim Moir, John Bishop, Kevin Eldon and Diane Morgan provide cameos (perhaps to underline the project’s comedy credentials) and the excellent
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

What to Watch: Tonight's TV Picks - The Secrets, In The Club

In The Club: BBC One, 9pm

There's only one of the Parentcraft gang still pregnant in the series finale of this antenatal drama, and so naturally its the turn of Vicky (Christine Bottomley) to give birth tonight. But there are physical and emotional complications as the baby's father Chris decides to drop a poorly-timed bombshell.

Elsewhere Simon (Luke Thompson) throws a surprise party for Roanna (Hermione Norris), and Rick (Will Mellor) and Diane (Jill Halfpenny) prepare to take Hope home - in the shadow of Rick's impending court hearing.

Dave Gorman's Modern Life is Goodish: Dave, 10pm

The opinionated comedian returns to the channel of the same name for a second series of thoroughly modern dilemmas. This week he contemplates the absurdity of recycling pornographic magazines, and reveals what happened when he decided to develop pictures from an old-fashioned camera.

Ray Donovan: Sky Atlantic, 10pm

On UK
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

On my radar: Christine Bottomley's cultural highlights

The award-winning actress on Maxine Peake, Marina Abramovi and Alexander McQueen and why Ken Loach should be prime minister

Rochdale-born actor Christine Bottomley graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama before landing her first TV acting role in 2001. She has since appeared in several prominent BBC productions including the Emmy- and Bafta-winning drama The Street (2006), as well as Land Girls and Hope Springs (both in 2009). She has also starred in ITV's Great Night Out and appeared alongside Peter Firth in recent crime drama Undeniable. In 2010, Bottomley was nominated for best supporting actress at the London Critics' Circle awards for her role in Clio Barnard's The Arbor, which was followed by further film roles in Nigel Cole's All in Good Time and Frances Lea's Strawberry Fields. Bottomley is in Keeping Rosy, in cinemas now, and will return to the small screen for Kay Mellor's
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Film Review: 'Keeping Rosy'

  • CineVue
★★☆☆☆ The feature debut from commercials director Steve Reeves and produced by Isabelle Georgeaux and Richard Holmes - the pair behind Amit Gupta's Resistance (2011) -Keeping Rosy (2014) is a compact and modest low budget drama that nevertheless showcases the clear talent of its first-time helmer. Maxine Peake, last seen in cinemas with Steph Green's superior Run & Jump (2013), stars as a hard-nosed careerist forced to embrace her maternal side after a tragic altercation involving her Eastern European cleaner. Though largely unremarkable, solid performances from Peake and Christine Bottomley (The Arbor) as her straight-talking sister help to lift the occasionally uninspiring material.
See full article at CineVue »

Keeping Rosy Review

The debut feature from director Steve Reeves, is a film that’s hard to classify. Keeping Rosy is a sort of genre-hybrid, part thriller, part drama, part who actually knows?

Charlotte works in the city, and has just learnt that her less-qualified male colleague has been promoted above her. Less than happy, she takes redundancy and wonders how she’s going to fill the rest of her life. Childless, she’s devoted her whole life to her career, lives in a modern, characterless flat and is very alone. But what follows is far from a churned-out tale of the modern women, forced to choose between a family and her job, struggling against the vein of patriarchy that is still so apparent in modern society. It certainly challenges these issues, albeit in an almost surreal way.

The film works well as a study of the internal conflict within human beings, our ability to transform and adapt,
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Keeping Rosy review – a thriller with diminishing returns

This tale of a career woman who is made redundant gets less plausible with each succeeding disaster

Maxine Peake (Shameless) stars as a brittle career woman whose whole life changes in a matter of hours – starting from the point where she gets made redundant – in this thriller that offers diminishing returns. There's a massive, oh-my-God twist in the first 10 minutes that sets in motion a disastrous chain of events, which would be a shame to spoil because that first half hour is the best part. Suffice it to say, the character grows more likable as she become more desperate, and Peake, with her clenched jaw and sharp eyes, is outstanding in a movie not worthy of her talents. Blake Harrison and Christine Bottomley impress less as stereotyped working-class characters who get sucked into the mess and make matters worse. Other flaws include the trite, doom-laden score and plausibility problems, but the cinematography is elegant,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘Keeping Rosy’ Review

Stars: Maxine Peake, Blake Harrison, Elisa Lasowski, Christine Bottomley, Sam Hoare, Shina Shihoko Nagai, Tori Hart | Written by Mike Oughton, Steve Reeves | Directed by Steve Reeves

Independent films have a tough time getting exposure so when one turns up that really impresses you, it makes you want to shout from a mountaintop for people to take the time to see it. Keeping Rosy is an example of a film that deserves to be noticed, but did you know it is released starting tomorrow, June 27th? I’m sure the answer is no; and that is a real weakness in the film industry in the UK at the moment. Smaller movies tend to get lost in all the publicity for the “blockbusters.” Films like Keeping Rosy deserve to be seen and to be a success, in my review hopefully I’ll show why.

Charlotte (Peake) is a career driven women with eyes on a promotion.
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

The HeyUGuys Interview: Christine Bottomley on Keeping Rosy and In the Club

Having been fortunate enough to be invited on to the set of compelling drama Keeping Rosy, the one thing missing from the day, was Christine Bottomley, who wasn’t shooting on the day of our visit. However we then had the opportunity to speak to the talented actress on the phone a few months down the line – to discuss her work on the feature, which is released this coming Friday.

Bottomley discusses the delight in performing in a female-driven piece, telling us of her own experiences as a woman in cinema, and how the industry has changed across the past decade in that regard. She also talks about working alongside her close friend Maxine Peake, and tells us a little about her next project, In the Club.

Having been lucky enough to be on set for Keeping Rosy, I’ve spent the past few months desperately waiting to see how
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Movie Review – Keeping Rosy (2014)

Keeping Rosy, 2014.

Directed by Steve Reeves.

Starring Maxine Peake, Blake Harrison, Elisa Lasowski and Christine Bottomley.

Synopsis:

When Charlotte loses her job, it sparks off an unpredictable series of events that will change her life forever, for better or worse. Matters are further complicated when an innocent child becomes involved.

Independent British films usually tend to be one of two things: 1) a depressing, pretentious piece of film-making that takes it self far too seriously for the sake of neo-realism, 2) a solely narrative film with very little depth or compulsion, i.e anything with Danny Dyer starring. It suffices to say, Keeping Rosy is a pleasant break from those two categories. Keeping Rosy is grounded in its aims, it’s not too ambitious, as far as minimalist drama goes, Keeping Rosy hits the nail pretty much on the head, it’s gripping, unpredictable, powerful and very concise.

Maxine Peake stars as Charlotte,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

“We’re more interesting as we get older” – Maxine Peake talks to HeyUGuys on set of Keeping Rosy

Maxine Peake feels like one of Britain’s best kept secrets – as the immensely talented performer still remains in lower-budget, independent productions, shining in everything she’s in, be it comedy or drama. There is always the danger that as she gets older the roles will start drying up – but she’s been given the chance to show off her credentials in the forthcoming feature Keeping Rosy – and Peake told HeyUGuys on the set of the harrowing thriller, that she believes characters of this ilk are actually more interesting.

“Women and men are far more interesting as they get older,” she said. “All that wisdom and experience is fascinating, and I don’t know why we don’t tap in to that more in Britain. We get trapped in what is quite an American thing, where it all has to be about youth and beauty, which is fine to look at,
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Will Mellor, Tara Fitzgerald, Jill Halfpenny for BBC drama In the Club

Will Mellor and Jill Halfpenny have been cast in BBC One's upcoming drama In the Club.

Hermione Norris, Tara Fitzgerald and Katherine Parkinson are also among the cast members of the six-part series from The Syndicate's Kay Mellor.

In the Club will be centred around the birth of a new baby in a modern family, following six different couples who connect at the local Parent Craft class.

Jonathan Kerrigan, Christine Bottomley, Luke Thompson, Taj Atwal, Sacha Dhawan and Hannah Midgley have also been cast.

Kay Mellor said: "I'm really excited by the calibre of cast we've attracted; the level of talent is staggering. I feel flattered and honoured to have such amazing actors bringing my characters to life."

Norris will play businesswoman Roanna, who has two adult children and finds herself pregnant again with her young artist lover Simon (Thompson).

Diana (Halfpenny) and Rick (Mellor) are expecting a 'miracle'
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Peter Bradshaw picks his favourite films of 2012

At the end of a bumper year for film-making, Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw unveils the contenders for his very own – imaginary – film awards

Most critics compile year-end roundups in a mood of shrugging acceptance that not every year can be great. But actually 2012 has been vintage, with some really brilliant films from the biggest names doing their best work – and some fascinating documentaries. So once again, I have created my imaginary awards nominations in the following categories: best film, best director, best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best documentary and best screenplay. You will have to imagine me, in full tuxedo-style evening wear announcing the Braddies at the Dorchester. (I have put Seth MacFarlane, Michael Haneke and Kylie Minogue on my table.)

So, the nominations are …

Best film

Amour (dir. Michael Haneke)

The Master (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)

Holy Motors (dir. Leos Carax)

Killing Them Softly (dir.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

British Independent Film Awards nominations announced in London

The nominations for the 15th annual Moët British Independent Film Awards have been unveiled in London.

They were announced by patron Adrian Lester (above), the Birmingham-born actor whose credits include The Day After Tomorrow and TV series Being Human, Bonekickers, Merlin and Hustle.

In a statement, joint directors of the awards Johanna von Fischer & Tessa Collinson said: "In this our 15th year, we are delighted to welcome back six-time former host James Nesbitt.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated Pre-Selection Committee who watched over 200 films in order to produce the 2012 nominations, which once again reflect the diverse range of British film talent, and also welcome this year's appointed independent jury who will now spend the next month considering the nominated films."

The highest number of nominations this year goes to Broken with 9 nominations including Best Film, Best Director and Best Debut Director for Rufus Norris,
See full article at The Geek Files »

British Independent Film Awards Nominations Announced

  • HeyUGuys
Celebrating its fifteenth year, The Moët British Independent Film Awards have now been announced, honouring some of the finest independent films released in Britain this year.

This year’s awards will be held on 9th December, and you can be sure we’ll be bringing you the results on the night as they come in. It’s been another excellent year for British cinema, and it’s always nice to see films like these get the recognition they deserve.

Last year, Paddy Considine’s powerful directorial debut, Tyrannosaur, swept the top awards, taking Best Film, Best Directorial Debut, and Best Actress; Lynne Ramsay took home the Best Director award for We Need to Talk About Kevin; and Michael Fassbender’s remarkable performance in Steve McQueen’s Shame was rightfully honoured with Best Actor (whereas the film was sadly absent from the Oscars at the start of the year).

James Nesbitt
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Nominations, Host & Jury Revealed For 15th Annual Moet British Independent Film Awards

Nominations, Host & Jury Revealed For 15th Annual Moet British Independent Film Awards
Well, it appears the major awards season is about to get underway and we have the announcement surrounding the 15th Annual Moet British Independent Film Awards. It gives us a first-look into who will be vying for those top honours, as well as the host and jury who’ll present those accolades. The press release below gives us all those details:

Nominations, Host And Jury Revealed For The 15th Annual MOËT British Independent Film Awards

The nominations for the 15th annual Moët British Independent Film Awards were announced today, at St Martins Lane, London by actor and Bifa Patron, Adrian Lester.

Joint Directors, The Moët British Independent Film AwardsJohanna von Fischer & Tessa Collinson said: “In this our 15th year, we are delighted to welcome back six-time former host James Nesbitt. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated Pre-Selection Committee who watched over 200 films in order to produce the 2012 Nominations,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Thn Meets Writer And Director Frances Lea

A bustling café on Redchurch Street in East London is the setting for our interview with Frances Lea; the only female film-maker named as one of the UK Stars Of Tomorrow in 2011. Last week saw the release of her latest film and so, after ordering our obligatory coffees, we begin to discuss Strawberry Fields.

‘It’s a story partly inspired by A Streetcar Named Desire,’ she explains, ‘primarily about the intricate workings of a relationship between two sisters. The protagonist, Gillian, has run away from Emily, and gets a job at a strawberry picking farm, where she starts a burgeoning romance with Kev. She changes her name and re-invents herself, before Emily, who is demanding, devious and spoilt, unexpectedly shows up. In addition to these traits, we also begin to realise she is disturbed, unstable and that she’s keeping Gillian in the role of her carer. Kev gets caught
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Frances Lea: a film-maker who puts women centre-stage

Frances Lea's first full-length film, Strawberry Fields, is a study of sexuality and mental health – and has won her a place as the only woman in a list of Stars of Tomorrow

Frances Lea is something of a rare breed: last year she was the only woman film-maker in a list of Stars of Tomorrow in an industry known from Cannes to Hollywood for its all-male shortlists.

The recognition from Screen International was given for Lea's first full-length feature, Strawberry Fields, which went on general release last week. Happy to put women's issues centre-stage, the film, which Lea directed and co-wrote, explores the complexities of sororal relationships between Anna Madeley's character, Gillian, and her troubled sibling Emily, played by Christine Bottomley. Set on a fruit-picking farm in Kent, it poses questions about sisterhood, female sexuality and mental health.

Lea initially struggled to find funding for a film about
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Strawberry Fields – review

A woozy, summer of love film set among the itinerant fruit picking community of a Kent farm, Frances Lea's micro-budget story tells of two sisters, Gillian (Anna Madeley) and Emily (Christine Bottomley, from The Arbor), in a destructively suffocating relationship.They both seek refuge in the transitory world of strawberry pickers where a love rivalry brings out the worst in them. I liked this modest film, its unusual setting, its new-folk music (by Troubadour Rose) and its conscious echoes of A Streetcar Named Desire.

DramaJason Solomons

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See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

This week's new films

The Amazing Spider-Man (12A)

(Marc Webb, 2012, Us) James Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Denis Leary. 136 mins

New, improved-formula Spider-Man: does whatever last decade's Spider-Man couldn't! The world was hardly screaming out for a rejigged "origins" story, but this at least gives you less comic-book primary colour and more teen-drama shading. Plus better special effects, although the rooftop monster-battle climax feels same-old. Yes, it's a brazenly commercial exercise, but Garfield's limber geekiness tips the balance.

God Bless America (15)

(Bobcat Goldthwait, 2011, Us) Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr, Mackenzie Brooke Smith. 105 mins

American media idiocy literally comes under fire in this outlandish Falling Down-meets-Natural Born Killers shooting spree.

The Hunter (15)

(Daniel Nettheim, 2011, Aus) Willem Dafoe, Frances O'Connor, Sam Neill. 102 mins

Dafoe's craggy gravitas dominates this scenic tale of a hunt for the extinct (or is it?) Tasmanian Tiger.

Strawberry Fields (15)

(Frances Lea, 2012, UK) Anna Madeley, Christine Bottomley.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Strawberry Fields – review

Fascinating ideas aren't fully harvested in this drama about a Kent strawberry-picker

There are intriguing moments in this movie from former television director Frances Lea, and it looks tremendous. Despite the film's sometimes overcooked feel, it has watchability and self-possession and this is down to the performances of its two leads. Anna Madeley plays Gillian, a troubled young woman escaping from a painful family situation who gets a job as a strawberry-picker in Kent and immediately strikes a romantic spark with fellow worker Kev (Emun Elliott). Gillian's precarious bliss is shattered when her sister Emily (Christine Bottomley) arrives, apparently in flight from the same emotional problem that drove Gillian away. Emily is a narcissist and a needy, jealous emotional parasite who intends to wreck whatever happiness Gillian has found here. The movie isn't perfect and arguably doesn't quite come together at the end, but it works as an intense and bizarre psychological drama,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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