6 items from 2016
Totally relaxed in his Ritz-Carleton suite on Central Park South, his arms spread wide on a rather tasteful couch, Stephen Frears held court not at all like the monarch in his biggest success, The Queen, (2006). His press conference for his latest effort, Florence Foster Jenkins, will take place one hour later with about 40 journalists in attendance. His stars -- Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, and The Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg -- would then be asked 95% of the questions. Not surprising. Directors, for the most, part do not drive traffic to web sites, sadly, even ones as near legendary as Frears.
Besides helming six of his past female leads to Academy-Award-nominated performances (Michelle Pfeiffer and Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons, Anjelica Huston and Annette Bening in The Grifters, plus Judi Dench in both Philomena and Mrs. Henderson Presents) and one Oscar win (Helen Mirren as the aforementioned queen), Frears has »
- Brandon Judell
Meryl Streep has a ball giving her all to the title role of Florence Foster Jenkins, the Ed Wood of delusional opera singers. Like Wood, whose talent for filmmaking fell hilariously short of his passion for the game (see Plan 9 From Outer Space), Jenkins lived in a pumpkin shell where she's kept very well by her protective common-law husband and manager St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant). In the social circles of 1940's Manhattan, Bayfield persuaded sympathetic socialites and bribable critics to indulge his wealthy wife's fantasies by lining up vocal coaches, »
British director’s latest film, Florence Foster Jenkins, to screen at the festival’s open air theatre.
Frears, who was previously the subject of the festival’s tribute programme in 2002, will have his latest film - Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant - screened as part of Sarajevo’s Open Air programme.
Frears breakthrough as a feature film director came with the low budget hit My Beautiful Laundrette in 1985 and made his Hollywood debut with Dangerous Liaisons in 1989, which received six Oscar nominations.
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
The award will be presented Sept, 29 at the festival’s Night of the Stars Tribute at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, California. The festival is in its 15th year, and will run from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2.
Bening will next be seen on screen in Mike Mills’ family drama “20th Century Women,” in Michael Mayer’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” and in Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes biopic “Rules Don’t Apply.”
- Dave McNary
London — Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Steve Coogan are among 290 actors, directors, writers, musicians and other leading lights of the world of entertainment, the arts and culture calling for the U.K. to remain part of the European Union in an open letter published on British news sites Friday.
Britons vote in a June 23 referendum on whether to withdraw from the E.U., and the letter is the latest effort by those against a “Brexit” to sway public opinion. Polls show the vote too close to call.
Among the other actors signing the letter, derided as “luvvies” by the right-wing Daily Mail, are Helena Bonham Carter, “12 Years a Slave” star Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patrick Stewart and “The Wire” star Dominic West.
The letter states: “From the smallest gallery to the biggest blockbuster, many of us have worked on projects that would never have happened without vital E. »
- Leo Barraclough
Stephen Frears is a directing chameleon.
In a career that’s spanned more than three decades, the English filmmaker has moved effortlessly from drawing room intrigue in “Dangerous Liaisons” to working class gay romance in”My Beautiful Laundrette” to noirish double crosses in “The Grifters.” In “The Program,” a look at disgraced Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, he tackles the world of competitive sports, exposing a competitive mentality that warps moral compasses and encourages people to do anything to get an edge.
Frears spoke with Variety about Armstrong’s use of performance enhancing drugs, what excites him as a filmmaker, and why he has yet to join the streaming generation.
Were you a fan of cycling? Did you watch Armstrong win all those tournaments?
I knew absolutely nothing about cycling or about Lance Armstrong or about drugs and doping.
What did you learn about the sport?
They’re crazy people. »
- Brent Lang
6 items from 2016
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