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‘Game of Thrones’ Casts ‘UnREAL’ Star Freddie Stroma for Season 6

20 hours ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Game of Thrones” has added Freddie Stroma, star of Lifetime’s “UnREAL,” for season six, Variety has confirmed.

Stroma will play Dickon Tarly, brother of Samwell (John Bradley), in the HBO series’ upcoming season. We’re expected to meet the rest of Sam’s family, including his father, the ruthless Randyll Tarly, in the new season.

In addition to his breakout role as Adam Cromwell on the Lifetime drama — which has already been renewed for a second season — Stroma is best known for playing Cormac McLaggen in the “Harry Potter” franchise.

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- Laura Prudom

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‘The Transporter Refueled’ Revs Up $365,000 at Thursday Night Box Office

20 hours ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

The Transporter Refueled” revved up a modest $365,000 at the Thursday night previews on 2,200 screens. The action thriller is expected to make between $8 and $9 million over the four-day Labor Day weekend. In the fourth film in the “Transporter” franchise, newcomer Ed Skrein takes over for Jason Statham as a European deliveryman with highly specialized action-hero skills. The film also stars Ray Stevenson, Yuri Kolokolnikov and Loan Chabanol. Also Read: Newbie 2-Punch vs. 'Compton': Can 'Transporter' Reboot, Redford Drama Break N.W.A Biopic's Streak? The $22 million production is the first wide release from Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution, a joint venture between the French company. »


- Beatrice Verhoeven

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Can ‘Black Mass’ Get Johnny Depp Back in the Awards Game?

21 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Venice — A decade ago, Johnny Depp appeared to be fast closing in on his first best actor Oscar. After having acquired a reputation through the 1990s as one of Hollywood’s most singularly creative leading men — giving award-caliber performances in the likes of “Ed Wood” and “Donnie Brasco” — his first nomination was a belated one. He was 40 in 2003: It was a testament to how much respect Depp had earned during his formative years that the Academy finally welcomed him to the club for his flamboyant gonzo turn in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” It was, needless to say, the polar opposite of an Oscar-chasing vehicle. You don’t get nominated for a jokey Disney summer blockbusters unless your peers really, really like you.

He lost to Sean Penn, of course, but it was a close-run thing; Depp had pulled off an upset win at the Screen Actors Guild awards, »


- Guy Lodge

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Review Roundup: Is Tom Hardy Bad or Brilliant As Twin Mobsters in 'Legend'?

22 hours ago | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Despite his intermittently superb turn as identical twins Ronald and Reggie Kray, larger-than-life gangsters who rose to infamy in 1960s London, Tom Hardy can't save writer/director Brian Helgeland's "Legend" from its unwieldy, strangely glossy construction. Critics are split on the actor's dual portrait, but most agree that the underlying problem is the clash between the overcooked direction and half-baked script. Helgeland ("L.A. Confidential," "Mystic River") plays up the Swinging Sixties vibe—the Kray brothers rubbed shoulders with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland via their West End nightclub—but the comic-book aesthetic struggles to bridge the divide between Reggie, the straight tough, and Ronnie, a psychotic, violent gay playboy. The film's narrator, Reggie's wife, Frances (Emily Browning), offers a side door into the story, but this is, as Variety critic Guy Lodge notes, a "compromised" strategy: "Legend" employs »


- Matt Brennan

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How Captain America’s Stuffed Cast Caused a Marvel Civil War

22 hours ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

As Marvel continues its quest to stuff everyone who's ever so much as glanced at a SAG card into next year's Captain America: Civil War — except Mark Ruffalo, sorry, Mark Ruffalo — THR reports that the film's growing cast was the impetus for a behind-the-scenes rift that culminated in a corporate reshuffling last month that put Marvel Studios under the aegis of Disney, rather than Marvel's own executive board. The move was supposedly to get Marvel studios head Kevin Feige out from under the hands of "famously frugal" Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter, who had attempted to slow down Civil War's ever-increasing budget. This is perhaps bad news for anyone who thought Marvel films were already too jam-packed with cross-promotional character appearances — but it's great news for the McU's middle class of actors, who, under Perlmutter, were held to cheap contracts that didn't pay them any merchandising royalties. »


- Nate Jones

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Telluride film festival: 'Suffragette' showcases Carey Mulligan as Oscar contender

52 minutes ago | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

Sarah Gavron's historical drama "Suffragette" had its world premiere at the Telluride film festival on Friday. That marked the only stateside showing for this film about the struggle of women to win the right to vote in early 20th century Britain before it opens the London filmfest on Oct. 7. This Focus Features release, which stars Carey Mulligan as a young firebrand, is due out here on Oct. 23.  -Break- While Mulligan's character, Maud Watts, is a composite of several women involved in the movement, others in the cast play key real-life figures. Meryl Streep makes the most of her few minutes on-screen as Emmeline Pankhurst, who inspired generations of women to fight for their right to vote. Could she reap her 20th Oscar nomination for such a short role? When it comes to Streep and the Oscars, anything is possible. Remember, Beatrice Straight ("Network") won the Supporting Actress award back »


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Venice Film Review: ‘The Danish Girl’

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

A year after Eddie Redmayne proved his incredible capacity for reinvention in “The Theory of Everything,” the freckle-faced Brit pulls off the ultimate identity overhaul as “The Danish Girl,” portraying gender-reassignment trailblazer Lili Elbe, nee Einar Wegener, who was one of the first to make a “sex change” via surgery. For an actor, there can be few more enticing — or challenging — roles than this, in which the nature of identity, performance and transformation are all wrapped up in the very fabric of the character itself, and Redmayne gives the greatest performance of his career so far, infinitely more intimate — and far less technical — than the already-stunning turn as Stephen Hawking that so recently won him the Oscar. Reuniting with “Les Miserables” director Tom Hooper in a return to the handsome, mostly-interior style of the helmer’s Oscar-winning “The King’s Speech,” Redmayne finds himself at the heart — one shared by Alicia Vikander, »


- Peter Debruge

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'The Danish Girl': Venice Review

1 hour ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The title seems almost a misnomer in The Danish Girl, director Tom Hooper's thoroughly English bio-drama of groundbreaking transgender figure Lili Elbe and the artist wife who stood by her husband Einar Wegener throughout his long and difficult transition to live as a woman. The correctness and careful sensitivity of the film's approach seem somehow a limitation in an age when countless indie and cable TV projects dealing with thematically related subject matter have led us to expect a little more edge. But if the movie remains safe, there's no questioning its integrity, or the balance of porcelain vulnerability

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- David Rooney

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Watch: French Auteur Agnes Varda’s Prada-Financed Short Unveiled At Venice Days

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Venice – Influential French auteur Agnes Varda has unveiled a ten-minute short at Venice titled “Les Tres Boutons” featuring non-professional actors and sponsored by Prada women’s-only label Miu Miu as part of its partnership with the fest’s independently run Venice Days section on “The Miu Miu Women’s Tales” initiative.

Varda latest work portrays a 12-year-old girl named Jasmine who lives and works on a farm where she raises goats and questions herself out loud about typical teen issues. Travelling from the country to the city her daydream continues as the she looses three buttons, each with its own significance.

At a press conference Varda, 87, described herself as “the grandmother of the Nouvelle Vague” and said that when she started out there were very few woman directors, while today their number in France has increased considerably. “But there are still plenty of women who need to find their voice in the world, »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Venice Film Review: ‘The Wait’

4 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Apart from the image of Jesus hanging from the cross — which, incidentally, is the first thing we see in Italian director Piero Messina’s “The Wait” — perhaps the most instantly recognizable scene in all Christian art is the Pietae, or the lamentation of Christ, in which the Virgin Mary cradles her lifeless son in her arms. While not a religious film per se, Messina’s profoundly dolorous debut — the sort that suits festivals just fine, but makes for depressing arthouse fare — could easily be seen as the visually gifted director’s reinterpretation of this iconic moment, casting Juliette Binoche (since “Blue,” cinema’s most gifted griever) as a mother awaiting the return (or resurrection?) of her absent son.

A clear disciple of Italian master Paolo Sorrentino, the film-school-trained Messina served as assistant director on “The Great Beauty,” and he adopts many of his mentor’s stylistic predilections on his first feature. »


- Peter Debruge

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Aretha kills 'Amazing Grace,' Malala charms and Meryl Streep rules at Telluride

4 hours ago | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Telluride, Co – What a first day at the 2015 Telluride Film Festival.  There was a lot going on, but let’s get to the story that made national news: Ms. Franklin had her day in court. At the last minute, lawyers for Aretha Franklin landed an injunction in Federal Court stopping the 7:30 world premiere of “Amazing Grace" at Telluride.  In fact, her lawyers cut it very close going before the judge around 3 Pm Mt.  Just a few hours before, the heads of the festival were convinced they would prevail with any potential court action.  Instead, Ms. Franklin (who reportedly testified by phone) was able to stop the documentary chronicling the live recording of her legendary 1972 album “Amazing Grace” from being seen.  It appears Franklin believes she’s not being properly compensated for the use off her likeness and performance although we’re wondering if she realizes how little music documentaries make these days. »


- Gregory Ellwood

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‘Malala,’ ‘Time to Choose’ Mark Doc-Heavy Start to Telluride

5 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Telluride, Colo. — While Sydney Pollack’s “Amazing Grace” was being muzzled by Aretha Franklin and a Denver judge in Telluride Friday, a number of other documentaries dotted the schedule. Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog,” Evgeny Afineevsky’s “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom,” Kent Jones’ “Hitchcock/Truffaut” and Jennifer Peedom’s “Sherpa,” among others, offered a wide range of topics for audiences to absorb, representing a certain on-going parity with the fest’s narrative selections, as longtime attendee Ken Burns put it.

I caught a pair of them: Davis Guggenheim’s “He Named Me Malala” (the annual press and patrons screening to kick off the fest) and Charles Ferguson’s “Time to Choose.” Both come from previous Oscar winners concerned with meaty zeitgeist issues, though they make for a stark contrast. Guggenheim’s portrait of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai feels unfocused, a missed opportunity to reconcile »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Venice Film Review: ‘In Jackson Heights’

5 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

When taken as a whole, Frederick Wiseman’s U.S.-set documentaries are a celebration of sorts of sloppy American democracy in action: The system may be flawed at the top, but its grassroots pugnacity is consistently admired from the director’s iconic, unobtrusive viewpoint. Jackson Heights is a multiethnic neighborhood in Queens, and “In Jackson Heights” is a classic example of Wiseman’s affinity for this type of subject, full of community organizers and advocacy meetings in which citizens and aspiring citizens learn to use their civic voices. In truth, the camera lingers longer than necessary in these gatherings, but the film has rewards on the macro and micro levels, sure to delight the helmer’s devoted fans.

In Jackson Heights” is the third of Wiseman’s community-based films, and at three hours, it runs a bit longer than “Aspen” and one hour shorter than “Belfast, Maine.” As with those two, »


- Jay Weissberg

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'Suffragette': Telluride Review

6 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

A lushly appointed period piece about the women’s suffrage movement in England in the early 20th century sounds like Masterpiece Theatre fodder, polite and tasteful and a bit pallid. The surprise of Suffragette is how much anger and urgency it contains, and how much new material it unearths. Many people may have forgotten that the fight for women’s rights once involved the same danger as other battles for equality, like the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. This eye-opening and fierce drama should attract awards attention and even healthy box office returns from older audiences who

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- Stephen Farber

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Telluride: Carey Mulligan Is the Main Asset in ‘Suffragette’

7 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Suffragette” has two key assets in its awards push: Carey Mulligan and plenty of goodwill. Focus Features should push those elements to bring attention to the film.

The period drama is a rarity for major studios because it is directed, written and produced by women. In any year, that would be notable, but the combo gains importance this year, due to renewed scrutiny of the industry’s gender imbalance. Some people will love this movie, but even the naysayers can’t help rooting for it, given the subject matter and the filmmaking team.

The 1912-set “Suffragette” had its world premiere at the Herzog Theater in Telluride Friday night. In her introductory remarks, director Sarah Gavron said it has taken 100 years for the story to reach the screen, and she’d been wanting to do it for a decade. She introduced scripter Abi Morgan, producers Alison Owen and Faye Ward, and Meryl Streep. »


- Tim Gray

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Telluride Film Review: ‘Taj Mahal’

7 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Imagine “Die Hard” as told from the point of view of one of the terrified office workers huddled under her desk while angry Germans hold Nakatomi Plaza hostage. That fundamental shift of perspective, which redirects the audience’s focus from a gung-ho action hero trying to save the day to a relatively unexceptional victim on the sidelines, drives “(Spy)ies” helmer Nicolas Saada’s sophomore feature, “Taj Mahal,” a genre-upending non-thriller inspired by the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which we spend the entire movie trapped in a hotel room with a panic-stricken teenager. Neither as psychological nor as cinematic as its ambitious concept suggests, the film could nevertheless stir up some reasonable arthouse interest following its Venice and Telluride festival launches.

Whether or not the exercise succeeds essentially boils down to how interesting audiences find 18-year-old Louise, a privileged Franco-English photography student played by “Nymphomaniac” star Stacy Martin. The actress, who »


- Peter Debruge

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‘Suffragette’ Telluride Review: Carey Mulligan Is the Reason to See This Masterwork

7 hours ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

It is an astonishing thing to imagine a time when women weren’t valued enough to be given government over their own rights. It took them so long, and it continues to take so long, because to fight takes sacrifices that are near impossible to make. Fighting and protesting means being exiled, alienated, hated. You see it today on the internet, where misogyny reigns supreme. You see it from both men and women, always with the same message: shut up and sit down. It would have been easy for director Sarah Gavron and screenwriter Abi Morgan to turn “Suffragette,” their film. »


- Sasha Stone

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Vaca Films, Atresmedia Cine Develop Next Dani de la Torre Title (Exclusive)

7 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Spain’s Vaca Films, and Atresmedia Cine, producers of Venice Days’ opener “Retribution” (El Desconocido) from director Dani de la Torre, are developing his potential followup picture, a true-event inspired thriller.

De la Torre is reteaming with “Retribution” writer Alberto Marini on the yet-to-be titled project’s screenplay, a character-driven thriller, with the aim of shooting in 2016, producer Emma Lustres told Variety.

The Spanish director’s second feature would very possibly be made in international co-production. Warner Bros. Pictures will release “Retribution” in Spain.

De la Torre’s project marks the latest cooperation between Vaca, whose credits include some of the country’s biggest hits of recent years such as Daniel Monzon’s “Cell 211” and “El Nino,” and Miguel Angel Vivas’ “Extinction,” with Matthew Fox and Jason Donovan.

The film arm of broadcast group Atresmedia, Atresmedia Cine has backed Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” Clive Owen-starrer “Intruders” and 2015 Goya winner “Marshland. »


- John Hopewell

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Latido Adds Ripstein, Recha to Slate (Exclusive)

8 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Positioning itself as one of the main vendors of Latino cinemas in general and Mexican and Spanish cinema in particular, Madrid-based Latido Films has acquired world sales rights to Arturo Ripstein’s “La calle de la amargura” (Bleak Street), which plays out of competition at the Venice Festival.

Latido has also swooped in on Marc Recha’s “A Perfect Day to Fly,” which world premieres in competition at the San Sebastian film fest.

Ripstein, one of the world’s most resilient auteurs, will be honored at the Venice festival with a Biennale Award to celebrate his career.

“Bleak Street” re-creates a real-life crime that occurred in 2009, when two prostitutes accidentally killed two wrestlers on the Mini Estrella circuit. Shot in black and white, “Bleak Street” is a “heartrending crime story, written with stark tenderness by Alicia Paz Garciadiego,” said Antonio Saura, Latido Films CEO.

“A beautiful fable,” Saura said, “Perfect Day »


- John Hopewell

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Kristen Stewart-Nicholas Hoult Drama ‘Equals’ Clinches Major Sales (Exclusive)

8 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Equals” has run up key major territory sales before it world premieres in competition Sept. 5 at the Venice Film Festival. Pic is being sold by Mister Smith Entertainment, and is directed by Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Drake Doremus (“Like Crazy”) and stars Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult.

Stewart and Hoult will be attendance for the pic’s bow Sept. 5 in what will be one of the Lido’s highest-wattage bows.

Produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free and New York’s Route One Films, “Equals” has closed U.K. with Icon Film Distribution, Svensk Filmindustri in Scandinavia, Selective Films/Orange in France and Italy’s Adler Entertainment. Lucky Red will handle distribution for Adler. Brought onto the international market at 2014’s Cannes, the forbidden love story was reported to have racked up 35 territory deals off a first flurry of pre-sales.

Set in a futuristic utopia where emotions have been eradicated, »


- John Hopewell

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