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Darlene Cates dies aged 69: ‘Best acting mom I ever had,’ says Leonardo DiCaprio

50 minutes ago

Oscar-winning actor pays tribute to ‘endearing personality and incredible talent’ of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape co-star

Leonardo DiCaprio has paid tribute to Darlene Cates as “the best acting mom I ever had” following her death at the age of 69.

The Oscar-winning actor worked with Cates on the 1993 film, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Cates died in her sleep at her home in Forney, Texas, on Sunday, her family confirmed.

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- Staff and agencies

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Beauty and the Beast magic helps UK box office survive the spring sunshine

15 hours ago

Not even the weather could stop the family-friendly fairytale, but the outlook was less bright for CHiPs, The Lost City of Z and Jake Gyllenhaal sci-fi Life

A sunny weekend and a dearth of strong new releases should have created a tough environment at UK cinemas. But business remained sturdy almost entirely thanks to Beauty and the Beast. Declining a gentle 37% from the opening frame, the Disney musical delivered £12.33m, for an awesome 10-day total of £39.9m. The Jungle Book had reached £21.7m at the same stage of its run last April.

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- Charles Gant

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Trump's treasury secretary accused of ethics violation after Lego Batman 'plug'

16 hours ago

Democrat senator calls for investigation of comments made during interview, but spokesman for Steven Mnuchin says alleged product promotion was a ‘lighthearted moment’

A senior Democrat has called for Us treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin to face an ethics violation investigation over comments he made plugging The Lego Batman Movie, a film financed by one of Mnuchin’s companies.

In a letter to Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub, Ron Wyden, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate finance committee, expressed concern over comments made by Mnuchin during a live Q&A with the political news website Axios, in which Mnuchin called on the public to “send all your kids to Lego Batman”.

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- Gwilym Mumford

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How David Storey's This Sporting Life created a great working-class film hero

20 hours ago

Storey delivered a blast of energy to the dull early 60s with the character of Frank Machin, a rugby player who capitalised on the new magic of celebrity

David Storey, author of This Sporting Life, dies at 83

David Storey, in an unforgettable partnership with the director Lindsay Anderson, provided one of the great energising shocks of the 1960s, a blast of energy, smashing at the dullness, the complacency and hypocrisy of class-ridden Britain. Storey adapted his own 1960 novel This Sporting Life for the screen: Lindsay Anderson directed it, and won from Richard Harris a performance to rival Brando. He is Frank Machin, a gifted sportsman who wants to make it as a professional rugby league player (like Storey himself), but is poignantly in love with his widowed landlady, played by Rachel Roberts. Frank is a superstar on the field; he has money, success with women and a cocksure sense of »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Zach's Ceremony review – an affecting portrait of growing up Indigenous in two worlds

27 March 2017 9:03 PM, PDT

Observant and low-key, Aaron Petersen’s coming-of-age documentary follows one boy’s journey through Indigenous and non-Indigenous rites of passage

When I spoke to renowned Australian choreographer Stephen Page in January last year about his sublime movie musical, Spear, our conversation broached a small but significant character in the film known only by the ominous moniker Suicide Man. Page described him as an urban Aboriginal, “probably similar to me”, driven to madness after failing to reconcile a torn culture: his ancient heritage on one hand and place in mainstream western culture on the other.

Just as we saw Spear explore that challenge in lush metaphysical detail, we see it play out in lower key in director Aaron Petersen’s touching documentary Zach’s Ceremony. The film was shot over six years and captures the coming of age of subject Zach Doomadgee, who is 10 years old at the beginning and 16 at the end. »

- Luke Buckmaster

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Pharrell Williams' early life to be made into movie musical

27 March 2017 9:52 AM, PDT

The star’s childhood will be the basis for Atlantis, a project that’s being characterized as a music version of Romeo and Juliet

Pharrell Williams’ life is set to inspire a big-screen musical called Atlantis.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the project will be based on the singer’s younger years in Virginia Beach. Initial reports suggest it will be similar to Romeo and Juliet, but with songs.

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- Guardian staff

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What, no Superman? Six things we learned from the Justice League trailer

27 March 2017 9:21 AM, PDT

The first full trailer for DC’s forthcoming superhero film has wisecracks, ultraviolence and a new baddie. But the Man of Steel is nowhere to be seen

The bad news for Warner Bros is that the first two films in the DC “expanded universe” (Dceu), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, directed by Zack Snyder, and Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer, are two of the most critically reviled comic-book movies in Hollywood history. The good news is that huge numbers of people still turned out to see them, resulting in a combined box-office return of more than $1.6bn worldwide. This November comes another Dceu effort, Justice League, which the studio hopes will be its answer to Marvel’s The Avengers. Can it capitalise on the enduring fascination for DC’s big hitters, while also winning over the critics? Here are six takeaways from the first full-length trailer.

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- Ben Child

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Gary Barlow confirms Star Wars: The Last Jedi cameo appearance

27 March 2017 6:58 AM, PDT

The singer joins a list of people, including Tom Hardy and princes William and Harry, expected to play cameo roles in Episode VIII of the sci-fi saga

Gary Barlow is set to visit a galaxy far, far away, with the singer announcing that he will appear in forthcoming Star Wars sequel The Last Jedi.

In an interview on ITV’s Lorraine, the Take That member confirmed his involvement in the film – also referred to as Episode VIII – but said he would not be playing a stormtrooper, as had previously been suggested.

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- Gwilym Mumford

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Netflix can't get enough Adam Sandler as new four-film deal signed

27 March 2017 4:39 AM, PDT

The streaming giant, which financed and released Sandler’s recent films The Ridiculous 6 and The Do-Over, has commissioned more of the same

For Netflix, at least, it seems there is no such thing as too much Adam Sandler. The streaming service has signed up the much maligned comic for a further quartet of films, to go with the four it has already financed. According to Deadline, Netflix will finance and produce the films, which will be available exclusively on the platform.

“Love working with Netflix and collaborating with them,” Sandler said in a statement. “I love how passionate they are about making movies and getting them out there for the whole world to see. They’ve made me feel like family and I can’t thank them enough for their support.”

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- Gwilym Mumford

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Snake's alive! Escape from New York remake on the way, with Robert Rodriguez directing

27 March 2017 2:43 AM, PDT

The From Dusk Till Dawn director will take the helm of a reboot of John Carpenter’s cult 80s action film, with Luther creator Neil Cross to write the script

A remake of cult 80s action film Escape from New York is coming to cinemas, with Robert Rodriguez lined up to direct it.

Deadline reports that 20th Century Fox, the studio that owns the rights for the reboot, have chosen the Mexican-American film-maker to direct, while Neil Cross, creator of the British crime series Luther, will write the film’s script.

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- Guardian film

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The Matrix: who wants a remake of the Wachowskis’ spoon-bending classic?

27 March 2017 2:34 AM, PDT

The cult cyber sci-fi is rumoured for a reboot that no one asked for. Is it just another excuse to give a dead franchise the comic-book treatment?

Related: Carrie-Anne Moss: ‘Being Trinity in The Matrix was a highlight’

The first question about a potential reboot, remake, or reupholstering of The Matrix is this: who was asking for it? And why? Keanu Reeves wasn’t asking, though he said recently he’d be up for it if it were written and directed by its original creators, the Wachowskis. Thing is, they’re not involved yet either. Only original producer Joel Silver is anywhere to be seen in the vicinity of this rumoured rehash, and he and the Wachowskis have been described as having a “strained” relationship. Silver also no longer owns rights to The Matrix, so there’s that, too.

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- John Patterson

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Beauty and the Beast still Belle of the box-office ball, while CHiPs lacks sauce

27 March 2017 2:30 AM, PDT

Disney’s remake takes $88.3m, beating Power Rangers into second place, while the update of the 70s cop series struggles with audiences and critics alike

Beauty and the Beast continued to enchant audiences in its second weekend in Us theatres. Disney’s live-action remake of its 1991 animation easily topped the charts with $88.3m, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The film was the highpoint of a weekend dominated by nostalgia-driven fare, with Power Rangers and CHiPs also released in cinemas.

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- Gwilym Mumford and agencies

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The muse and the monster: Fassbinder's favourite star on surviving his abuse

26 March 2017 11:00 PM, PDT

He tormented his actors, threw drinks at his cameraman, and died of an overdose at 37, leaving behind two dead lovers – and an extraordinary body of work. As a Fassbinder season begins at the BFI, Hanna Schygulla reveals how she survived

It is 35 years since the magnificent and monstrous director Rainer Werner Fassbinder died from a drugs overdose. His addiction to alcohol and cocaine was as widely known as his bisexuality, and his propensity for cruelly manipulating anyone who entered his orbit. Though he was just 37 years old at the time of his death, he had already made more than 40 features: most famously Fear Eats the Soul, a melodrama about a German widow who falls for an Arab immigrant more than 20 years her junior; Fox and His Friends, starring Fassbinder himself as a gauche carnival worker exploited by his boyfriend; and The Marriage of Maria Braun, in which a single-minded newlywed »

- Ryan Gilbey

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