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16 articles


Is Catch Me Daddy's street-casting an antidote to Britain's toff-actor problem?

6 hours ago

The stars of a gritty drama about a girl on the run from her father were spotted on the street. It’s a trail blazed by directors from Ken Loach to Shane Meadows, and has brought some of our most searing performances to the screen

Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar last week was the icing on the cake for what’s been a good spell for British acting. There was also recognition for the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Felicity Jones, Keira Knightley and Rosamund Pike at this year’s Oscars, and British actors have been routinely nabbing iconic American roles such as Martin Luther King (David Oyelowo), Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and even Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis). Not to mention Spider-Man, Superman and the last Batman.

But it’s a certain kind of British actor who has been celebrated of late, as evidenced by Vanity Fair’s recent Hollywood issue, which »

- Steve Rose

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It Follows review – sexual dread fuels a modern horror classic

9 hours ago

David Robert Mitchell’s tale of a fatal curse that can only be transmitted to an unwitting lover taps into primal anxieties so effectively you can’t help but be traumatised

A friend confessed to me recently that this was the only film to have given him, in adult life, a proper wake-up-sweating nightmare. I don’t think I have ever had a nightmare quite as scary as this film – a modern classic of fear to be compared to something by a young Carpenter or De Palma.

It Follows is from the American director David Robert Mitchell, whose 2010 debut movie, The Myth of the American Sleepover, was a gentle, unthreatening drama about teens and platonic crushes. That was Dr Jekyll to the snarling Mr Hyde of this new one. It genuinely is disturbing.

Related: It Follows: ‘Love and sex are ways we can push death away’

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- Peter Bradshaw

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Halle Berry: ‘If an Oscar winner tells you they can pick out hits, they’re lying!’

10 hours ago

Still the only black woman to have won the best actress Oscar, Berry talks about frankly about the difficulty of finding great characters to play and her feelings about the state of the film industry

Hi Halle. Your film Frankie and Alice, about a woman with a multiple personality disorder, is coming out after having been on the shelf since 2009 (1). Can you even remember making it?

Oh, absolutely. When something is that important to you, and you put your blood, sweat and tears into it, I doubt you’ll ever forget it. My first meeting with Alice (2), the day I got to work with Phylicia Rashad who I just absolutely adored, the day Stellan Skarsgård and I did our first scene together... When people say: ‘there’s no way you’re going to make a little movie about this subject no one cares about’, I think you remember every step of the way. »

- Ben Beaumont-Thomas

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Patricia Arquette and the Hollywood pay gap: who's to blame?

10 hours ago

Hillary Clinton has joined the actor’s call for equal pay, but in Hollywood there is confusion about the causes of the persistent gender disparity

When Patricia Arquette used her Oscar speech to condemn pay disparities between men and women everyone seemed to cheer.

Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez led the Dolby theatre audience’s applause, the media backstage greeted Arquette like a conquering hero and Hillary Clinton, among others, echoed her denunciation.

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- Rory Carroll

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The tyranny of Netflix: you must watch this movie. Now!

12 hours ago

Thanks to video-on-demand, films never go away any more – so when I tell you to watch a weird Austrian cowboy movie, I expect you do it. This week

Netflix and video-on-demand and Hulu have created immense new pressures on hardcore movie lovers. In the olden days you could tell a friend, “You just have to see House of Games; it’s the best scam movie of the year!” or “I will not stop badgering you until you see Nine Queens! It’s the best South American scam movie of the year!”

And back in the olden days people would reply: “Yeah, sure, I’ll get to it when I get to it.” But then the film would end its theatrical run, so your friends had a legitimate excuse to ignore you. They would assure you that they would get around to seeing that Argentine movie about the bank robber with »

- Joe Queenan

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The Lazarus Effect review – a dog's dinner of a yucky resurrection-horror

14 hours ago

There’s nothing remotely original or interesting about this poorly put-together, cliched tale of a team of scientists who invent a goo that brings dead people back to life

Is playing God a good idea? Well, every story since the ancient Greeks says “no,” but maybe this time will be different? That’s the hope of two scientists, Frank (Mark Duplass) and Zoe (Olivia Wilde), who have just concocted some milky-white goo that, when zapped with a nice James Whale-esque bolt of electricity, can resurrect the dead. Initially their study was meant merely to prolong a surgeon’s post-flatline window to “bring someone back,” but as so often happens in the lab (or in movies about labs) their discovery becomes so much more.

The pair and their student volunteers (they are at an unnamed religious university) find success when they bring a dog back to life. But the pooch soon starts acting funny. »

- Jordan Hoffman

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Liam Neeson's special set of skills has forced other ageing actors into training

14 hours ago

The 62-year-old is back with yet another running-about thriller, and hot on his heels is Sean Penn’s Taken-esque The Gunman, featuring topless surfing. Has Neeson’s success meant his peers must attend action star bootcamp?

You can’t really blame Liam Neeson. While male actors over 60 aren’t always shy of work, they’re rarely taking on lead roles in multiplex-dominating blockbusters, and they’re hardly ever getting paid up to $20m for it. So although reviews for Tak3n (pronounced Tak-threen?) might have been fairly brutal (it received a franchise-low of just 10% on Rotten Tomatoes), it proved that at an unlikely age, Neeson is still a major box office draw.

The film, which had a budget of just $48m, made around six times that amount internationally, and the performance of the Taken series has given hope to both Neeson and other actors in his age bracket about »

- Benjamin Lee

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The curse of Oscarbait: the films you didn't see last Sunday

25 February 2015 8:22 AM, PST

From that Grace Kelly biopic to The Artist director’s follow-up, here are the films that fell by the wayside before this year’s Oscars

As we predict the possible winners of next year’s Academy Awards, it’s worth remembering, to quote an Oscar-winning script, that sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine. Or something.

Which means that this time last year, no one had even heard of Still Alice, a film that eventually won Julianne Moore the Oscar for best actress. But other, more high-profile bets didn’t quite hit the mark. Here are the films that, last year, we all thought would be contenders.

Related: Oscars 2016: and next year's awards will go to …

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- Benjamin Lee

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Fifty Shades's 73% drop suggests box office one night stand, not commitment

25 February 2015 4:10 AM, PST

In this week’s instalment of our series tracking cinema’s worldwide winners …

Fifty Shades of Grey drops 73% in the Us, meaning Avatar’s record take is safe

Jackie Chan’s Dragon Blade opens big in China but can it breakthrough abroad?

• The Interview haemorrhages theatrical revenue

Fifty Shades still has the global scene trussed up, but dramatic plunges from its opening weekend – -73% in the Us (one of the largest falls on record) and -57% overseas – suggest that it has already exhausted its core audience, the El James faithful, let alone any casuals pulled in by the furore. Strong repeat business looks beyond Sam Taylor-Johnson’s adaptation, which was cautiously praised as an effective damage-limitation exercise given the shortcomings of the source material. Universal played a blinder on the publicity front, with blanket coverage everywhere contributing to the mammoth, and in many ways historic, opening. The only comparable international »

- Phil Hoad

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Bill Nighy on The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: 'I'm not famous for being a fox' - video interview

25 February 2015 4:04 AM, PST

Bill Nighy and Dev Patel, stars of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, tell Andrew Pulver how the continuation of the franchise deepens and extends the story. Nighy suggests that it 'unlocks something in the audience which allows you to briefly properly join the human race' and sings the praises of his co-stars, many of whom he has known for four decades Continue reading »

- Andrew Pulver and Jonross Swaby

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Oscars 2016: and next year's awards will go to …

24 February 2015 5:09 AM, PST

Forget Eddie, Alejandro and Julianne. Get your bets in early with our handy guide to who might be crying on stage next February

Even though there’s probably an Oscars party that’s still going as we type this, we’ve decided to take an incredibly early look at the race for next year’s awards. With this year’s films showing that an early release, or at least a Sundance push, can be beneficial in kicking off buzz, we can be assured that contenders will come thick and fast from now until the end of the year.

Check out the full list of winners from this year’s ceremony

Related: The 88 movies we're most excited about in 2015

Related: Oscars 2015: 10 things we learned

Related: My Oscars adventure: parties, film cliques and selfies with Eddie Redmayne

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- Benjamin Lee

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Fake Jim Carrey dupes Czech film awards - video

24 February 2015 1:26 AM, PST

Organisers of the Czech Republic's most prestigious film awards have apologised after giving VIP red carpet treatment to a conman who claimed to be Hollywood star Jim Carrey. Suited and booted and bearing only a passing resemblance to the Canadian actor, the hoaxer managed to fool officials into allowing him on stage at the Česky Lev (Czech Lion) awards in Prague, where he waved and was showered in golden confetti Continue reading »

- Guardian Staff

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Oscar winner Graham Moore reveals he tried to kill himself – video

23 February 2015 7:13 AM, PST

Oscar winner Graham Moore admits he tries to take his own life when he was a teenager. Standing on stage having been presented with his Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for The Imitation Game, he says when he was 16 years old he tried to kill himself because he felt he didn't belong. He dedicates his award to children who feel weird or different. ' Stay weird, stay different,' he says as the audience gets to its feet and applauds Continue reading »

- Guardian Staff

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Oscars 2015 critics' reaction: 'The Academy failed to recognise Boyhood, a modern classic' – video

23 February 2015 3:30 AM, PST

Sleep-deprived film critics Peter Bradshaw and Catherine Shoard join Henry Barnes to discuss the wins and snubs from the 2015 Oscars after a night of glamour and – on the whole – results as predicted. In a surprise turn, Birdman swooped in to claim the best picture and best director awards, while Eddie Redmayne won best actor for The Theory of Everything and Julianne Moore grabbed best actress for her portrayal of Alzheimer's in Still Alice

• Clips courtesy of Ampas Continue reading »

- Peter Bradshaw, Catherine Shoard, Henry Barnes and Paul Frankl

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This year's Oscars unmasked Hollywood's most dubious views

23 February 2015 1:12 AM, PST

Despite stirring support for the spirit of Selma, and big prizes for Hispanic film-makers, it was the unfortunate throwaway remarks which will linger longest after the 87th Academy Awards

“Who gave this sonofabitch his green card?” Sean Penn demanded before presenting Mexican film-maker Alejandro González Iñárritu the best picture Oscar for Birdman, giving a whole new political dimension to the racism of the 87th Annual Academy Awards.

Penn, who starred in Iñárritu’s 21 Grams all the way back in 2003, probably thought it was a funny joke with an old friend. But racism from friends assumed to be benign can be the worst kind, especially at an awards show: just ask black author Jackie Woodson, whose “friend” used presenting her with a National Book Award to make a watermelon joke.

"@johnlegend, tonight, gave us a one-person protest. And I'm all for it." - @Nettaaaaaaaa #Oscars2015

Octavia Spencer is going to rip »

- Steven W Thrasher

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Oscars menswear: the end of black tie?

23 February 2015 12:21 AM, PST

Remember Emma Watson’s speech about how men should be feminists too? I’m calling that as the numero uno influencer on men’s Oscar style this season. How else to explain that after 47 million years in which women wore colourful gowns on the red carpet, and the men rose above all that nonsense in identical black tuxedos, the 2015 Oscar red carpet was almost as multi-hued among the men as it was among the women? The message here: we’re all in this together. So modern!

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- Jess Cartner-Morley

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