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4 items from 2011

How Shameless stars came of age on West End stage

9 April 2011 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Maxine Peake and Anne-Marie Duff are among many stars whose careers began on the show. And a pair of casting directors were vital to its success, writes Vanessa Thorpe

There has been no shortage of good stories on the Chatsworth estate. The fictional council house development in Greater Manchester that forms the backdrop to Shameless, one of Britain's longest-running drama series, is packed with dodgy incident. Such as the end of series one when charming Steve, played by James McAvoy, hands Fiona, played by Anne-Marie Duff, the keys to her own house – but only after blowing it up.

Or the sombre scenes in the second series when Steve has to slip off to Amsterdam to avoid the law. Or perhaps the moment in the third series when lovable layabout Frank, played by David Threlfall, and Veronica, played by Maxine Peake, dig up a stash of fake gold. Oh, and a dead body. »

- Vanessa Thorpe

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Honeymooner - review

22 January 2011 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Part Marty, part Annie Hall, this low-budget movie about a sad, 25-year-old, Yorkshire singleton (Gerard Kearns) dumped in Kentish Town, north London, on the eve of his wedding is almost calculatedly ingenuous and not without its truthful moments.

It reminded me of Graham Fellows's 1978 novelty song celebrating self-pity, "Jilted John". Quite a pleasant memory.

ComedyRomancePhilip French © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds »

- Philip French

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This week's new films

21 January 2011 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Black Swan (15)

(Darren Aronofsky, 2010, Us) Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel. 108 mins

Another tale of driven professionalism to go with Aronofsky's The Wrestler, but this goes further and gets away with more, whipping a tale of theatrical ambition into a delirious, hallucinogenic melodrama. Portman is superb as the brittle ballerina facing up to her nightmares when she lands her dream role, and between the punishing routines, her monstrous mother (Barbara Hershey) and the fever of performance, we're swept away.

Neds (18)

(Peter Mullan, 2010, UK/Fra/Ita) Conor McCarron, Martin Bell, Linda Cuthbert. 134 mins

Mullan turns his memories of 1970s Glasgow into a muscular yet compassionate youth drama. McCarron is outstanding as a bright boy whose promise is warped by brutal conditions in and out of school.

Morning Glory (12A)

(Roger Michell, 2010, Us) Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton. 107 mins

McAdams delights and Ford grouches in a breakfast TV comedy that is »

- The guide

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Film Weekly takes a twirl with Mila Kunis

20 January 2011 4:39 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Jason Solomons meets Black Swan star Mila Kunis to discuss her award-winning role opposite alongside Golden Globe winner Natalie Portman.

Jason is also joined by the documentary-maker and banjo player Josh Fox, whose new film GasLand exposes the ecological and social damage caused by the mining of gas shale reserves across the Us.

Xan Brooks pops in to review some of this week's other releases, including Peter Mullan's Neds, Shameless star Gerard Kearns getting dumped in British indie Honeymooner and Bill Murray in Get Low.

Xan BrooksJason SolomonsJason Phipps »

- Xan Brooks, Jason Solomons, Jason Phipps

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