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7 items from 2010

Boardwalk Empire Season Finale Review: Returning to Normalcy

6 December 2010 6:10 AM, PST | TVfanatic | See recent TVfanatic news »

A season filled with hills and valleys of action and excitement ended with rather tame Return to Normalcy in Atlantic City this week.

There were some dramatic reveals (nothing too unexpected, though), inklings of future trouble and even some brutal violence, but it was a little disappointing that things did wind down quite easily for Nucky in the season finale of Boardwalk Empire.

While some of the developments felt genuine, like Nucky and Margaret’s reunion, others felt a little forced. The season wrapped up with a lot of resolutions, but clearly there’s more than enough material for next season.

Nucky’s electoral and bootlegging problems were resolved a little too effortlessly.

With Torrio’s intervention, Nucky agrees to use his influence with the Chicago prosecutor to make Rothstein’s indictment for fixing the World Series disappear, and Rothstein will give him the locations of the remaiing D’Alessio brothers. »

- (Teresa L.)

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Books of the year

27 November 2010 4:24 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Jonathan Franzen's family epic, a new collection from Seamus Heaney, Philip Larkin's love letters, a memoir centred on tiny Japanese sculptures ... which books most excited our writers this year?

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

In Red Dust Road (Picador) Jackie Kay writes lucidly and honestly about being the adopted black daughter of white parents, about searching for her white birth mother and Nigerian birth father, and about the many layers of identity. She has a rare ability to portray sentiment with absolutely no sentimentality. Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns (Random House) is a fresh and wonderful history of African-American migration. Chang-rae Lee's The Surrendered (Little, Brown) is a grave, beautiful novel about people who experienced the Korean war and the war's legacy. And David Remnick's The Bridge (Picador) is a thorough and well-written biography of Barack Obama. The many Americans who believe invented biographical details about Obama would do well to read it. »

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Exclusive Preview Screening: Chico & Rita on Sunday 14 November 2010

8 November 2010 6:42 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Be among the first to see Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba's latest film at the Vue West End cinema in London's Leicester Square

Oscar®-winning director Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque) and Spain's most famous and successful designer Javier Mariscal create a passionate animated love story. Trueba and Mariscal celebrate their passion for the music and culture of Cuba with an epic story of love and heartbreak.

Cuba, 1948. Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unites them, but their journey – in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero – brings heartache

and torment. From Havana to New York, Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas, two passionate individuals battle impossible odds to unite in music and love. With an original soundtrack by legendary Cuban pianist, bandleader and composer Bebo Valdés, Chico & Rita captures a definitive moment in the evolution of jazz music. »

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New Poster, Trailer and Artwork for Chico & Rita

4 October 2010 8:10 AM, PDT | | See recent HeyUGuys news »

We’ve just been sent loads of brand new assets for new movie, Chico & Rita and every single one of them looks fabulous! It opens in the UK November 19th and is directed by Academy Award winning director, Fernando Trueba and animated by Javier Mariscal. If you like jazz, this one’s for you!

Read on to find out more and sroll down to watch the trailer.

Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque) and Spain’s most successful designer Javier Mariscal’s new animated film Chico & Rita will open across the UK on 19 November, released by CinemaNX.

Trueba and Mariscal, close collaborators and friends for many years, celebrate their passion for the music and culture of Cuba with an epic animated story of love and heartbreak, set against the colour and bustle of Havana, New York, Las Vegas, Hollywood and Paris in the late 1940s and early ’50s.

In Chico & Rita, »

- David Sztypuljak

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The big picture: Paris, 1956 – Audrey Hepburn on the set of Funny Face

24 July 2010 4:04 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Gritty realist photographer Bert Hardy captures Audrey Hepburn between takes in starkest black and white – but the elfin charm still shines through

Roland Barthes once remarked that the face of Greta Garbo was an idea, that of Audrey Hepburn an event. The idea, in Garbo's case, was Platonic, a severely abstract dream of perfection. The event or events were the thoughts and emotions that flickered like a magic lantern show across Hepburn's quizzical features. It's never clear whether she is laughing or about to cry, a vulnerable child or an alluring woman. She had, as the musical directed by Stanley Donen proclaims, a uniquely funny face.

Barthes was contrasting essence and existence, and Funny Face is about Hepburn as the embodiment of existentialism, the philosophical doctrine that emphasised our dangerous freedom to make ourselves up as we go along. She plays a sniffy intellectual, discovered by a fashion magazine »

- Peter Conrad

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Evelyn Dall obituary

23 May 2010 10:37 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

American-born singer and actor who spent the war years in Britain

For those people for whom the words Itma, "Big-Hearted Arthur" and Ambrose conjure up fond memories, and the blitz less fond ones, the name of the American-born singer and actor Evelyn Dall, who has died aged 92, might ring a few syncopated bells. Dall spent the war years in Britain, during which time she co-starred with Tommy "It's That Man Again" Handley and Arthur Askey in a few musical-comedy films, and was a featured soloist with Bert Ambrose's dance band, performing at the Holborn Empire and the Mayfair hotel.

Billed as "The Blonde Bombshell", having filched the sobriquet from Jean Harlow, who had died some years before, the petite Dall, who was cute rather than sexy, gave chirpy support to the two cheeky comedians who traded on their radio fame for their lingering appeal. Dall ("doll" when pronounced by »

- Ronald Bergan

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'Green Zone': The Bourne Insufficiency, By Kurt Loder

12 March 2010 7:47 AM, PST | MTV Movie News | See recent MTV Movie News news »

Matt Damon on patrol in a muddled war story.

Director Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon

Photo: Universal Pictures

It's only been seven years since the U.S. led a multinational invasion of Iraq that deposed the dictator Saddam Hussein (which was good), but then failed to find the weapons of mass destruction that had supposedly invited our visit (which was very bad). It was a period rich in intrigue and contending characters — the Western intelligence hotshots, the Republican Guards and Ba'ath loyalists, the scheming weasels like Ahmed Chalabi. Who could forget?

Well, anyone could. And so "Green Zone," the new movie by director Paul Greengrass, may be hard for some viewers to digest. Because not only does the picture re-stir that chunky political stew, it thickens it with fiction. And Greengrass, who forged a powerful action style out of hand-held camera work in the second and third "Bourne" movies (among »

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