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Wolf Hall: controversy, adaptation and poetic licence

We consider the controversies surrounding BBC Two's sumptuous Wolf Hall adaptation, feat. Damian Lewis, Mark Rylance and Claire Foy...

2015’s roster of prestige dramas is particularly dense, but the BBC’s take on Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall might just have already claimed its crown as the most controversial. It arrived freighted with the baggage always attached to adaptations of acclaimed novels, and further burdened by some thorny controversies all of its own. Mantel’s spirited attack on philosopher-saint Thomas More and equally fervent defence of his nemesis and her hero, Thomas Cromwell, was always bound to ignite debate. That, of course, is before we even touch on the subject of that rogue c-word and the choice to film night-time scenes by candlelight. We want accuracy, but only on our terms; when it jars with our perceptions of the past, out it goes.

Despite its name, Wolf Hall is
See full article at Den of Geek »

'Schindler's List': 25 Things You Didn't Know About the Landmark Holocaust Drama

"Schindler's List" already looked like an instant classic the moment it was released 20 years ago this week (on December 15, 1993). Shot in timeless black-and-white, Steven Spielberg's based-in-fact account of Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who saved 1,200 Jews from the Polish city of Krakow during the Holocaust by putting them on his factory payroll, became a landmark film, becoming the definitive depiction of the Holocaust for many viewers around the world. It also made a star out of Ralph Fiennes, an A-lister out of Liam Neeson, and an Oscar-winner out of Spielberg, who proved once and for all that he was not just a director of kiddie fantasies.

Two decades have done nothing but burnish the film's reputation as an artistic masterpiece and educational tool. Still, even though everyone's seen it, there's plenty you probably don't know about how it got made, from the project's birth in a Beverly Hills luggage store,
See full article at Moviefone »

Mandela Makes Cameo Appearance in Spike Lee Movie; Played by Oscar Winner in TV Movie

Nelson Mandela on film and TV: From Sidney Poitier to Terrence Howard (photo: Sidney Poitier as Nelson Mandela in ‘Mandela and de Klerk’) (See previous post: "Nelson Mandela Movies: ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,’ ‘Invictus.’") As found on the IMDb, here are a handful of other narrative big-screen films featuring Nelson Mandela: Darrell Roodt’s Winnie Mandela (2011), with Jennifer Hudson in the title role and Terrence Howard as Nelson Mandela. Pete TravisEndgame (2009), with Clarke PetersMandela as less a martyred saint than a skillful realpolitik negotiator. This political drama also features Chiwetel Ejiofor, William Hurt, Jonny Lee Miller, Mark Strong, and Derek Jacobi. Zola Maseko’s 1950s-set Drum (2004), in which Mandela is played — for a change — by a South African actor, Lindani Nkosi. As reported by Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian, British filmmaker Peter Kosminsky (White Oleander, Wuthering Heights) "got into hot water a couple of years ago
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Grand Budapest Hotel: first look at Wes Anderson's new movie

The first trailer for Wes Anderson's latest film is released today, and the signs are that all those stylistic flourishes we know and love are present and correct

• Why I love ... Max Fischer's school plays in Rushmore

• Fantastic Mr Fox recap: Wes Anderson reworking well worth another look

Nothing gets us going more than the promise of a new Wes Anderson film. Will it be a funny as Rushmore? As inventive as Fantastic Mr Fox? As ambitious as The Royal Tenenbaums? Well, another one is on the way: The Grand Budapest Hotel, which despite its title seems to have less to do with Anderson's tenderly mysterious short film Hotel Chevalier than an amalgam of Anderson's predilection for jewel-box environments, giant major-name casts, and arch pseudo-professional patter.

That's not to say The Grand Budapest Hotel doesn't look great: we can safely say this is a return to the mentor
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Best Movie Trailers of 2012

An effective trailer can do wonders for a film. For every movie that is guaranteed to have an audience, there are many more that need to build their own buzz, and there’s no faster way to do that than with a good trailer. A well made trailer can turn a monster movie from a first-time director starring a bunch of then-unknowns into the most-buzzed about movie for weeks, while a poor trailer can doom a movie right from the start. Every year sees some trailers that, independent of the film they’re promoting, capture one’s attention, and make people keep returning to them. Here are the trailers of 2012 that were able to do that best.

30) The Avengers

The sheer impossibility of conceiving of a large screen movie about a team of Marvel superheroes even 15 years ago cannot be understated. While the technology needed to adequately show their true might may have been present,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

David Nicholls: Adapting Great Expectations for the screen

David Nicholls, author of the hit novel One Day, has always loved Dickens's novel. As the film version is about to be released, he reveals how he set about his adaptation

Read a book at the right age and it will stay with you for life. For some people it's Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights, but for me it is Great Expectations. I first read it at 14 or so and, apart from some infatuations with Orwell, Fitzgerald, Salinger and Hardy, it has remained my favourite novel ever since. By some miracle, a story written in the mid-1850s had captured much of how I felt in a small provincial town at the end of the 1970s.

Yet if I saw myself in the book, it wasn't a particularly flattering portrait. It's clear why a young reader might aspire to be Elizabeth Bennet, but who would want to be Pip Pirrip?
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

November Preview: ‘Flight,’ ‘Skyfall,’ and ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2′

Monthly Movie Preview – November 2012

In a very crude generalization, the last three or four months of the calendar year is like the summer movie season for “smart” movies. Instead of being overloaded with expensive “tentpole” wannabe blockbusters, we instead are bombarded with wannabe Oscar-winners, some of them demanding gold statues for their promising casting alone. In that regard, the month of November has such releases as Life of Pi, Flight, Hitchcock, The Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln, Anna Karenina, and more.

However, this is still the Hollywood we love, so there’s plenty of mainstream fare soon to be at our disposal. This month offers us the conclusion to a highly lucrative teen horror franchise (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2), a new James Bond movie (Skyfall), a remake of the ’80s masterpiece Red Dawn, and a Disney movie based on video game history (Wreck-It Ralph).

Take Our Poll November 2

Movie
See full article at Scorecard Review »

First Trailer For ‘Great Expectations’ With Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter & Jeremy Irvine

  • The Film Stage
From last year’s Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights to this year’s Les Miserables and Anna Karenina, we’re seeing a regular flux of classic European literature arrive on screens and perhaps one of the more overlooked features in a new update on Great Expectations. Mike Newell, going back to more safe territory after his big-budget blockbuster Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, has helmed the Charles Dickens adaptation and we’ve got the first trailer today.

Clocking in at about three minutes, this extended international look features a look at Jeremy Irvine’s first major role post-War Horse. When it comes to the stately production aspect, Newell can certainly pull it off after having a hand in the Harry Potter universe, as he re-teams with Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter. The trailer gives off a bit of a dry tone, but it looks like he
See full article at The Film Stage »

Simon Ward obituary

Stage and screen actor known for his roles in The Three Musketeers and Young Winston

In 1971 the actor Simon Ward, who has died after a long illness aged 70, was plucked from virtual obscurity by the director Richard Attenborough to play Winston Churchill in the film Young Winston, supported by actors of longstanding reputation including Robert Shaw, Anne Bancroft and John Mills. After the film's release a year later, Ward found himself a star on several continents. "That was a frightening role," he recalled. "You were playing someone whom everyone had very strong feelings about. As a movie, it had the most extraordinary mixture of adventure – the fighting, riding, running up and down mountains – and some wonderful dialogue scenes shot at Shepperton."

Swashbuckling and tongue-in-cheek slapstick were added to the mix when Ward, known for his aristocratic looks and high cheekbones, was cast as the Duke of Buckingham in Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Simon Ward obituary

Stage and screen actor known for his roles in The Three Musketeers and Young Winston

In 1971 the actor Simon Ward, who has died after a long illness aged 70, was plucked from virtual obscurity by the director Richard Attenborough to play Winston Churchill in the film Young Winston, supported by actors of longstanding reputation including Robert Shaw, Anne Bancroft and John Mills. After the film's release a year later, Ward found himself a star on several continents. "That was a frightening role," he recalled. "You were playing someone whom everyone had very strong feelings about. As a movie, it had the most extraordinary mixture of adventure – the fighting, riding, running up and down mountains – and some wonderful dialogue scenes shot at Shepperton."

Swashbuckling and tongue-in-cheek slapstick were added to the mix when Ward, known for his aristocratic looks and high cheekbones, was cast as the Duke of Buckingham in Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Ken Follett's World Without End Premiering on Reelz

We've got great news for fans of Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth — not to mention miniseries fans in general. Reelz is set to be the premiere home for the eight-part adaptation of the sequel, World Without End, which was on The New York Times bestseller list for 26 weeks.

Set in Kingsbridge 200 years after the events of Pillars, World Without End picks up with a new cast of characters. Caris, a feisty young woman played by Charlotte Riley (The Duchess, Wuthering Heights), inspires her medieval town to confront the most powerful forces of her time, the Church and the Crown, as Kingsbridge fights to save the town from ruin and, ultimately, usher in a new era of freedom, innovation, and enlightenment.

World Without End also stars Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City, The Big C) as the beautiful and deadly schemer Petranilla, Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,
See full article at ReelzChannel »

Cate Blanchett And Mia Wasikowska Confirmed For John Crowley.s Carol

Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen at Number 9 Films are delighted to confirm that Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska will star in the new adaptation of Patricia Highsmith.s novel Carol (aka .The Price of Salt.).

Directed by BAFTA winning John Crowley (Intermission, .Boy A.), the acclaimed Phyllis Nagy (Mrs Harris) has written the adaptation based on renowned suspense author Patricia Highsmith.s novella (.Strangers on a Train., .The Talented Mr Ripley.). The film will be produced by Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley from Number 9 Films, and co-developed and co-financed by Film4. Filming starts February 2013 in London and New York.

Carol is a love story about pursuit, betrayal and passion that follows the burgeoning relationship between two very different women in 1950s New York. One, a girl in her twenties working in a department store who dreams of a more fulfilling life, and the other, a wife trapped in a loveless,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Can Cannes keep on top?

Cannes, which has announced its 2012 line-up, has some serious competition. As Tribeca begins and ahead of Sundance London, our critics examine the big hitters on the film festival circuit

It has been a quiet few months on the film festival front. The last two biggies, Sundance and Berlin, were back in the depths of winter; but now things are suddenly getting interesting. Tribeca, the New York trendoid-magnet, has just started, and Cannes, the swanky Cote d'Azur schmoozathon, has reared its finely contoured head on the horizon. The UK is even getting in on the action, with the much-anticipated arrival next week of Sundance London, an offshoot of Robert Redford's indie-maven event in Park City, Utah.

Sundance London is an example of that industry buzzword "diffusion", whereby name events set up franchises overseas. Tribeca has been doing it since 2009 in Qatar, co-organising the Doha film festival. It's a byproduct of
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

An interview with Janet McTeer

Janet McTeer has been able to straddle the blurred lines of femininity and masculinity better than most throughout her career. She's donned riding pants and romanced women as bisexual writer Vita Sackville-West in Portrait of a Marriage, but she's also strolled around in gothic gowns in the 1992 film version of Wuthering Heights. She's won awards for her work on both the stage and screen, including a Golden Globe for Best Actress in Tumbleweeds and a Tony for A Doll's House.

Attention: Spoilers ahead.

There seems to be no role McTeer can't play — or hasn't played — up until Albert Nobbs. In the new film, opening in theaters January 27, McTeer plays Hubert, a woman who lives her life as a male painter and is married to a woman, Kathleen. It was announced today that McTeer is up for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the role.

If you haven't seen the film or read much about it,
See full article at AfterEllen.com »

War Horse wins at a canter

War Horse is top dog – J Edgar, W.E. and Coriolanus disappoint. Meanwhile, Haywire starts crazy and The Artist grows in stealth

The winner

With a modest decline of just 19%, Steven Spielberg's War Horse romped home to a second-leg victory at the UK box office with £3.19m, way ahead of the chasing pack. Despite not featuring prominently thus far in the various awards races – its five Bafta nominations are all in technical categories – the first world war-set film is convincingly dominating a release window that usually favours the major Oscar contenders. Total is £9.63m after just 10 days of play, which compares not unfavourably with The King's Speech (£10.76m) at the same stage of its run.

The awards-bait flops

In what is currently a highly competitive market, three films released on over 100 screens all landed outside the top 10. All had been dated in January to take advantage of possible awards nominations,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Ralph Fiennes: 'We were told there was no money and no presents for Christmas'

With six children, his parents struggled to make ends meet. Now Ralph Fiennes is the toast of Hollywood – and making his directorial debut with Coriolanus. He tells Xan Brooks his story

Ralph Fiennes's trailer sits on a patch of wasteland beside the river and near the airport, in a neck of east London that's barely London. The cabbie can't find it and keeps driving in circles, his irritation rising as the planes rumble overhead. Either the satnav is scrambled or the address does not exist. "It's meant to be here but there's nothing there," he grumbles. "It's not a place, it's off the map."

It's only later, safely arrived, that it strikes me that the non-place may well be the best place to meet Ralph Fiennes, an actor who does not so much inhabit his roles as hide out in them and a man who approaches press interviews with
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Top 5: Where Are They Now? Brits on TV

To celebrate ITV Studios Home Entertainment’s fantastic Christmas DVD box set collection, including classics such as Prime Suspect, Jeeves & Wooster, Darling Buds of May and The Catherine Cookson Collection, we’ve taken a look at stars past and present – unearthing some modern-day stars with very humble beginnings on the little square box that sits in the corner of the living room…

1) Catherine Zeta-Jones

Although Catherine Zeta Jones began acting in her local theatre, she found her breakthrough role in playing Mariette Larkin in The Darling Buds of May at the tender age of 22. Jones has seen gone on to become a Hollywood A-lister, married to A List resident Michael Douglas and acting with someone of the biggest film stars including Sean Connery, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Liam Neeson, Tom Hanks, and Billy Crystal, in such films as The Mask of Zorro, America’s Sweethearts, The Haunting, Intolerable Cruelty and Chicago,
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” picked to open the Plus Camerimage – Awards Alley

By Sean O’Connell

hollywoodnews.com: Organizers of the 19th Plus Camerimage film festival – held each year in Bydgoszcz, Poland – have selected Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” as their opening night film. The adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning stage play, will kick off the fest on Nov. 26.

Polanski’s uncomfortably comedic drama stars Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly as parents trying to smooth things out following a physical altercation between their adolescent sons. The Camerimage fest places its focus on cinematography, so expect Polanski’s cinematographer – the great Pawel Edelman (“The Pianist,” “Ray”) – to be recognized for his accomplishment in containing the “Carnage” action to one cramped, sun-drenched New York apartment.

In addition to “Carnage,” this year’s fest will screen Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life,” Steve McQueenShame,” Andrea Arnold’s “Wuthering Heights,” Ralph Fiennes’ “Coriolanus,” and the period rom-com “Hysteria” … all recognized for their striking visuals.
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Wuthering Heights – review

The Yorkshire landscape steals the show in Andrea Arnold's stark, uneasy adaptation of Emily Brontë's tragic romance

In the version of Cole Porter's "Let's Do It" that he used in his Las Vegas nightclub act in the 1950s, Noël Coward included a celebrated couplet that threw doubts on the much vaunted sexual prowess of America's most macho author while extolling the adventurousness of a 19th-century English country vicar's three daughters. "The Brontës felt that they must do it, Ernest Hemingway could just do it," he sang, and indeed the range of social, psychological and sexual experience Emily, Charlotte and Anne explored in their novels is remarkable. So much so that only one of the several film versions of Emily's Wuthering Heights made over the past 90 years has attempted to encompass the book's 30-odd years of pain, misery and ecstasy and its three generations of man handing on
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

British cinema's golden age is now

Few in the UK film industry want to shout about it but the evidence is clear. We are enjoying a renaissance in domestic cinema. Andrew Pulver reports on how audiences developed a taste for homegrown movies

Compared to theatre, cinema is an entirely portable medium – think what our view of film would be like if all we saw were British movies, with occasional touring productions of foreign work. No Hollywood blockbusters, no Korean ultra-violence, no Iranian minimalism. Nothing old, either – no Italian neorealism, or Czech new wave, or French poetic realism. Imagine what life for the British filmgoer would have been like, say, in 1978 – the highlight of your year would probably have been Death on the Nile, or Watership Down. And let's not forget the dark days of 1999 and 2000, when this paper felt compelled to trash the jaw-dropping wave of terrible British films in the wake of the lottery-fund bonanza.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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