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Shaun the Sheep the Movie review – Aardman have woolly mammoth hit

3 hours ago

The big screen version of Shaun the Sheep sees our four-legged hero going on the lamb in an intricate off-farm adventure that will further swell the Brit studio’s flock

Baa-hind the scenes on the Shaun the Sheep movie: ‘In a good week we can shoot two minutes’

In retrospect, turning their immensely successful TV series into a feature film seems like a no-brainer on the part of Aardman, the Bristol-based animation house who have steadily progressed into a major global force over the two-and-a-half decades since the appearance of their Oscar-winning short Creature Comforts in 1989.

Having pushed out 130 seven-minute episodes since 2007, and sold to dozens of territories all over the world, Shaun has astutely turned its non-language-specific articulation and predilection for slapstick and visual comedy into the kind of show that can entertain Moroccan toddlers as easily as metro passengers in Beijing. It’s what you might call the Mr Bean equation. »

- Andrew Pulver

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Sundance 2015 review: Z for Zachariah – Chiwetel Ejiofor circles post-apocalypse love triangle

3 hours ago

It’s the end of the world and Margot Robbie knows she has to choose between Ejiofor’s sexy yet mysterious government worker and Chris Pine’s super-handsome man of God

Turns out microclimates do more than aerate the grapes of your favourite Côtes de Rhône. They may just protect your family farm from a never-quite-explained radioactive event that killed off the rest of the world. Margot Robbie, the young Australian actor who came out of nowhere to make Leonardo DiCaprio crawl across the carpet in The Wolf of Wall Street, stars as Ann Burden (and that last name surely is no coincidence) bravely surviving on her own in a valley somewhere in the American south. One day a man in a seriously sci-fi-looking protective suit stumbles her way. It is John (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who was working in a government bunker during the time of the initial devastation.

He gets sick from radiation poisoning, »

- Jordan Hoffman

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Sundance 2015 review: Sleeping with Other People – no sex please, we're brutish

4 hours ago

This rom-com starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie as ex lovers who begin a chaste friendship is more shocking for its traditionalism than its potty mouth

Leslye Headland’s first feature, Bachelorette, debuted at Sundance in 2012. An adaptation of her own bleak, savage play about female friendship, it was duly toned down for the screen. Her followup, Sleeping with Other People, is the full Hollywood sell-out. One of the more interesting young voices in film has made a very, very traditional romantic comedy.

In Park City to present her film, Headland described it as: “When Harry met Sally for assholes” – and indeed the plot is very close to the Nora Ephron classic. Jake (Jason Sudeikis) and Lainey (Alison Brie) lose their virginity to each other in college and don’t meet again for a decade, when they’re both attending a sex addicts anonymous meeting. Ever since Lanie left him, »

- Jordan Hoffman

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Watch the world-exclusive trailer for the restored Powell and Pressburger classic Tales of Hoffmann - video

4 hours ago

Over the past decade, Thelma SchoonmakerMartin Scorsese's editor and Michael Powell's widow, has overseen the restoration of many of her husband's classic films. The latest is Powell and Pressburger's vibrant 1951 adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's opera of the same name, which can be seen in UK cinemas from 27 February

• The Tales of Hoffmann is being re-released by Park Circus and opens at the BFI Southbank and selected cinemas nationwide. It was restored by The Film Foundation and the BFI National Archive in association with Studiocanal Continue reading »

- Guardian Staff

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Sundance 2015 review: Going Clear – Scientology film preaches to converted

5 hours ago

Alex Gibney’s documentary about L Ron Hubbard’s religion – reportedly vetted by 160 lawyers – makes for entertaining and dismaying viewing, but new revelations are a little thin on the ground

Anyone who has seen Tom Cruise jump on Oprah Winfrey’s couch knows he can be a bit of a kook. That impression is amplified, to put it gently, by Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, a new documentary by Alex Gibney, who won an Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side.

Cruise is one of those who emerges from this the worst; Gibney’s film makes the claim that the actor’s reluctance to distance himself from the faith was the key factor in his split with Nicole Kidman. Footage of Cruise from official church events and video is chopped and spliced to put him in as dubious a light as possible; the film also accuses him »

- Brian Moylan

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Sundance 2015 review: I Smile Back – Sarah Silverman grins and bares all

5 hours ago

Silverman turns compellingly serious as a sex-and-drug addled housewife in the suburbs – it’s just a shame the film falls down when the stand-up isn’t on screen

It’s almost a cliché for a known comic actor to debut their dark “serious actor” film at Sundance. Sarah Silverman, the very sharp, foul-mouthed comedian has put her neck on the chopping block with I Smile Back and comes away more than intact.

She’s terrific as a self-destructive housewife addicted to drugs and bad behaviour, and it’s not just due to the shock of seeing her in a context other than being a fake-ditz talking about bodily functions (though of course she did tease this kind of departure in Sarah Polley’s Take this Waltz).

Continue reading »

- Jordan Hoffman

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After mortifying Mortdecai, is Johnny Depp's career decaying?

6 hours ago

Depp has added to a string of flops including Transcendence and The Rum Diary with his caper Mortdecai – so is it time for the once-bankable star to hang up the sunglasses?

Mortdecai: a one-star review from Mark Kermode

For a good long while, Johnny Depp had a firm grasp on the strange elixir that is Hollywood mojo. He was who you went to when you needed gothic cheekbones, zanily self-aware camp, and even leftfield hunkiness. And when he blended them all, as Captain Jack Sparrow, he was that most valuable asset of all – someone who could turn base studio metal into box-office gold.

But with the release of Mortdecai, that mojo is draining away fast. The comedy caper only made $4.1m over the weekend in the Us, the worst opening for a major Depp film in 15 years, and it follows a string of flops: Transcendence ($23m in the Us »

- Ben Beaumont-Thomas

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Inherent Vice: more marijuana misfire than stoner classic

10 hours ago

Critics are comparing Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice to the stoner noir of The Big Lebowski – but, even with Joaquin Phoenix in The Dude role, it’s not in the same league

Three viewings in and I’m still not at all sure how I feel about Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice. But this has been true for me of all his recent movies. I thought the first half of There Will Be Blood was masterly film-making, and the second half was bogus, meandering, poorly workshopped tripe that couldn’t find the way to its own exit. I think The Master is a cold, self-effacing masterpiece, but it took me more than 10 viewings to come around to that opinion.

With Vice, I find most of the comparisons that critics are making unhelpful. The Big Lebowski and The Long Goodbye, the two foremost stoner-noirs, seem to have been more »

- John Patterson

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The 2015 Screen Actors' Guild Awards – as it happened

13 hours ago

It was the final big American film and TV awards ceremony before the Oscars, and the one most likely to indicate who will be going home with Academy awards in a month’s time. Find out if Hollywood’s most celebrated actors perfect their speeches ... or losers’ faces

Screen Actors Guild awards 2015: the winners in pictures

10.09pm Et

A quick-fire night then with a couple of surprises thrown in, mostly in TV.

Uzo Aduba started the evening by winning best female actor in a comedy series for her work in Orange is the New Black, which follows the Globes giving their equivalent to Gina Rodriguez.

9.56pm Et

Costner is back and… well… that’s it.

9.55pm Et

Naomi Watts on the other hand is clearly very happy to be there. Zach Galifianakis takes the piss out of Julianne Moore’s “When I was on As the World Turns” moment, »

- Alex Needham and Lanre Bakare in New York

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