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Count Natalie Portman’s turn in “Léon: The Professional” as one of the greatest young breakout performances in Hollywood history. Co-starring Jean Reno and Gary Oldman, the 1994 drama featured Portman in her feature film debut as Mathilda, a troubled girl who becomes the unlikely apprentice of a hitman (Reno) following the murder of her family. Intense and preternaturally focused, the actor gave the kind of wise-beyond-her-years performance that assured a prosperous film career; her Oscar win 16 years later for “Black Swan” was an inevitability. In her audition for writer-director Luc Besson, we catch glimpses of Portman’s budding skill. She can pull off nonchalance while maintaining naiveté, and something about the way she answers a question about seeing animals—a pause, then, “Dogs...all my life”—hints at some deeper mystery to her take on the character. Plus, is there anything more captivating than Portman’s sly smile? Child actors »
Her role isn’t specified, but Besson, the filmmaker behind “Lucy” and “The Professional,” made the announcement on his Instagram account and teased that the part was a big one. She joins a cast that includes Dane DeHaan (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), Clive Owen (“Closer”) and Cara Delevingne (“Paper Towns”). Filming begins in France next January and the movie is expected to hit theaters on July 21, 2017.
The film adapts a graphic novel Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres and unfolds in the 28th century when humanity discovered time-travel. The big-budget project has tapped three elite visual effects firms to help realize Besson’s vision of the future — Weta Digital, Industrial Light & Magic and Rodeo FX.
Although best known for creating infectious pop songs, Rihanna has been an active presence in films, »
- Brent Lang
She wasn't his four-leaf clover. Oscar-nominated actor Gary Oldman and his fourth wife, Alexandra Edenborough, have finalized their divorce after six years of marriage. Oldman's split was finalized on Tuesday, Sept. 29, and approved by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson. Oldman is the highest-grossing actor in film history, and has starred in films like Bram Stoker's Dracula, Beethoven, Leon: The Professional, and RoboCop. In the documents obtained by the Associated Press, the Dark Knight actor, 57, agreed to fork over $3.3 million to Edenborough. The papers [...] »
At some point in our lives - most often early on - we were all young. But when it comes to some actors, that's hard to believe... until you watch their fresh-faced audition tapes, that is.
Here, then, are 8 examples of joyfully awkward casting tapes where the now rich and famous were very young and eager to please. Resist the urge the hug the following, if you can...
1. Hugh Jackman
Film: X-Men (2002)
Role: Logan / Wolverine
Age at the time: 33
Did he get the part? Yes
Film: Dazed and Confused (1993)
Role: David Wooderson
Age at the time: 22
Did he get the part? Yes
MTV's heavy metal show Headbangers' Ball, incidentally, was "killed off" in 2012. Fortunately, thanks to this audition tape, it lives on! »
The Transporter franchise heads to the south of France in this weekend’s The Transporter Refueled. This time, Frank Martin’s “cargo,” if you will, is a femme fatale and her flunkies who are all up against the Russian mob.
Taking over the role of Frank, “The Transporter,” is Ed Skrein, an English rapper-turned-actor who you may recognize as “Game of Thrones”’ Daario Naharis (before season four when Skrein was mysteriously and unceremoniously replaced). Miss the O.G. Daario? Well, after Refueled, Skrein joins the Marvel Universe in February 2016 as the villain Ajax opposite Canada’s Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool!
The Transporter Refueled – in theatres now! – is again written and produced by Luc Besson (The Professional, Taken), and directed by Camille Delamarre (Brick Mansions). Delamarre also has history with the Transporterfranchise, as he was the editor on Transporter 2.
- Sasha James
French director Pascal Chaumeil has died aged 54 in Paris following a battle with cancer.
Chaumeil recently completed post-production on upcoming comedy drama “A Little Job,” which reteamed the director with Romain Duris, who starred in his biggest hit “Heartbreaker.” “A Little Job” sees Duris star as a factory worker who sees his life going rapidly downhill after the factory closes down and his girlfriend dumps him. One day a local bookmaker offers Duris’ Jacques a contract, to kill his wife for €20,000 ($22,500).
Romantic comedy “Heartbreaker” released in 2010 grossing over $47 million worldwide, including $31.9 million in France. It won five Cesar awards in 2011, including Best Film and Best First Film.
Chaumeil followed “Heartbreaker” with 2012 romantic comedy “A Perfect Plan,” which starred Diane Kruger and Dany Boon. His most recent film was the 2014 English-language adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel “A Long Way Down,” taking a humorous look at a group of suicidal strangers, »
- Robert Mitchell
French director Pascal Chaumeil died in Paris on Thursday. The filmmaker, who had been suffering from cancer, was 54.Chaumeil is perhaps best known to British audiences for his French-language romantic-comedy Heartbreaker, a huge hit in France, and more recently a Hollywood debut in A Long Way Down. In the former, he gave Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis a Mediterranean-side stage to flaunt their comedy chops, chemistry and Dirty Dancing skills; while the latter offered a first taste of directing in English. That Nick Hornby adaptation combined Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots and Aaron Paul as four suicidal strangers.Chaumeil’s long-standing passion for filmmaking was sharpened on the sets of Régis Wargnier - I'm The King Of The Castle in 1989 - and Luc Besson. He worked as assistant director on Léon before being promoted to second unit director on The Fifth Element.From there, he secured directorial gigs working »
French film-maker had just completed Odd Job (Un Petit Boulot).
“He died from on Thursday (August 27) from cancer,” his widow Camille Chaumeil told Agence France Presse on Monday.
“He really lived for cinema. He dreamt of being a director from the age of 15.”
Chaumeil was in the throes of completing post-production on his final film Odd Job (Un Petit Boulot) when he died, starring Romain Duris as an unemployed factory worker who takes on a hitman job to make ends meet.
Gaumont International, which launched sales on the film in Cannes, told ScreenDaily that first images would be available at the American Film Market (Afm) in November and that the feature was expected to released in France in January 2016.
Actress Natalie Portman is a veteran of the big screen, having already amassed two decades of experience since her feature film debut in Luc Besson’s 1994 film Léon: The Professional. Her subsequent career has seen her work with The Wachowskis, Mike Nichols, Wes Anderson, Michael Mann, Darren Aronofsky, and Anthony Minghella, and with Portman dipping her directorial toes in short films, many were curious to see if she’d make the jump to behind the camera for a feature film. Her latest feature will see her do just that.
Titled A Tale of Love and Darkness, Portman pulls triple duty on the film, as performer and director alongside writing the screenplay, adapted from the memoir by Amos Oz. The film’s synopsis is as follows.
A drama based on the memoir of Amos Oz, a writer, journalist, and advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The film is in Hebrew, »
- Deepayan Sengupta
These two latest editions join previously announced Bram Stoker's Dracula (now available for pre-order) to comprise the first three Supreme Cinema Series Blu-ray titles, each of which features new 4K restorations and Dolby Atmos 7.1 audio mixes, limited edition "clear case" packaging, and a 24-page booklet. Additional titles will be announced at a later date.
For Leon: The Professional starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman and Danny Aiello, the Supreme Cinema Series edition will include the theatrical and extended versions, each fully remastered. Bonus features include the following:
Cast and Crew Look Back
Original Theatrical Trailer
Throughout his long career, iconic French star Jean Reno's films have tended to fall into one of two camps. On the one side - the side that tends to export the most and be most seen by foreign audiences - there are his serious action pieces, films that capitalize on the success of Luc Besson's Leon: The Professional with Reno as an often violent antihero. And on the other side - the side that really pays the bills back in France - Reno is a highly sought after comedic lead. The two sides of Reno seldom meet but director Benjamin Rocher looks to be delivering the comedic and the action oriented Reno in equal measure with the upcoming Antigang.The formula here looks familiar enough with...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Luc Besson is the director of "The Professional" and "The Fifth Element," but is also the brains behind the "Taken" and "The Transporter" franchises, which he created through his EuropaCorp company. Today we have a list of upcoming EuropaCorp productions, which include sequels to female action films "Lucy" and "Colombiana." While the hope is to create new franchises, there's a good chance Besson will take a very different approach with the two properties. "Lucy" was released last year and starred Scarlet Johansson. The film was a surprising hit, grossing a whopping $458 million worldwide on a budget of only $40 million. The sequel will likely bring back Johansson and have a bigger budget. "Colombiana" wasn't as lucky. It hit theaters in 2011 and starred Zoe Saldana. The movie cost $40 million to make and was only about to earn $61 million worldwide. It was also hated by critics. So it's very likely that the sequel »
Natalie Portman turned 34 on Tuesday! The Oscar winner and Harvard grad has grown up in front of the camera; after getting her start at age 13 in The Professional, Natalie starred in films like Garden State, V For Vendetta, and the Star Wars saga. In 2011, she took home an Academy Award for her role in Black Swan, shortly before giving birth to her son, Aleph. A year later, she married French choreographer Benjamin Millepied, and the family of three now lives in Paris. In addition to her illustrious film career, Ivy League education, and glamorous style, Natalie is also a great role model, speaking out on important issues like depression, racism, and religion. In honor of Natalie's big day, we've rounded up her most memorable photos over the years. Scroll through to see Natalie evolve from smiley rising star to gorgeous wife and mother. »
This is another question that popped up as a search term to get to Boomtron. I’m going to be picking some of these out and answering them to the best of my ability, and as I noted the first time I did this, skipping the at the very least weird, and at worst, criminal search terms that somehow lead people here. Yes, some of the actions in Game of Thrones are actually PG in comparison to some of them, and some of the not so cleaner recent ones ones are the still actually really (and probably true) thoughts about Natalie Portman’s character in Leon: The Professional, that I think got an uptick because it was recently made available on netflix. Enough preamble though, today I field: What is the Queen’s Power in Game of Thrones?
I caught myself early because I realized I had skipped over figuring »
- Jay Tomio
The Criterion Collection has announced its new line-up for August, with some more classic films being added to the collection. On August 4th Jules Dassin’s Night and the City is released, followed on August 11th by Karel Reisz’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman starring Meryl Streep, and on August 18th Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill starring Michael Caine and François Truffaut’s Day for Night. Finally on August 25th the Dardenne Brothers superb Two Days, One Night starring Oscar Winner Marion Cotillard.
You can check out the full press release details below, as well as the artwork for each release.
Two-bit hustler Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) longs for a life of ease and plenty. Trailed by an inglorious history of go-nowhere schemes, he tries to hatch a lucrative plan with a famous wrestler. But there is no easy money in this underworld of shifting alliances, »
- Scott J. Davis
Anghus Houvouras on caring about box office…
What is your favorite film?
An easy question to ask and a difficult question to answer. If you’re anything like me you struggle with narrowing it down to your 10 favorite films, much less a single solitary choice. Last week a friend asked me to name my top 10 favorite movies from 2000-2010 and it felt like a Herculean task. Just 10? That’s difficult. Now, how about another question.
How much did your favorite film make at the box office?
On the surface it seems like such a stupid question. And yet, every day there are a ridiculous number of people engaged in conversations about the success or lack thereof with movies based on their eventual bottom line.
- Anghus Houvouras
Besson will adapt the French comic book series "Valérian And The City Of A Thousand Planets", based on the 1967 comic book series, starring Dane DeHaan ("Amazing Spider-Man 2") as 'Valerian', a space/time travelling agent from a futuristic Earth.
Also starring is model/actress Cara Delevigne ("Suicide Squad") as love interest 'Laureline'.
Click the images to enlarge »
- Michael Stevens
Luc Besson has officially started tweeting. The French director of such classics as The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional and Nikita, revealed his next project in his very first tweet on the social network.
My first tweet ever! Let’s share a real news! My next film is a big sci-fi: #Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
— Luc Besson (@lucbesson) May 12, 2015
Besson revealed that the two main roles in the movie have already been cast, and they go to Chronicle star Dane DeHaan and model/ actress Cara Delevingne, who will be seen in this summer’s Paper Towns and next year’s DC adaptation Suicide Squad. Besson also revealed the first logo for the movie, which will »
- Paul Heath
And Tarantino's still in charge, working with managers Torgan, Jules McLean and Brian Quinn, even as he continues shooting "The Hateful Eight," which just left Colorado to finish filming in L.A. The theater first opened back in 1978 with a double feature of "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Last Tango in Paris." 35mm-collector and passionate advocate Tarantino quickly lined up a slate including films from his own collection, the late Paul Mazursky ("Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice") and the late Robin Williams ("The Best of Times"), as well as a double bill of Luc Besson's "The Professional" and Tarantino's own "Pulp Fiction," both 20 years old last October. Back in August, Tarantino told La Weekly: "I want the New Beverly to be a bastion for 35 millimeter films. I want it to stand for something. When you see a film on the New Beverly calendar, you don’t have to ask whether it’s going to be. »
- Anne Thompson
The Taken franchise has worked at all thanks to two people: Luc Besson and Liam Neeson. Besson has seemingly been coasting since 1994’s The Professional and certainly has returned to familiar territory with this franchise. Neeson has stopped showing his considerable acting chops by going the action route pretty much since he picked up a lightsaber. Despite its utter predictability, the first Taken proved enormously popular, especially considering its early 2009 release date.
The inevitable sequel, Taken 2, mined much the same ground although it varied things just enough that the rescued daughter (Maggie Grace) now helps dad find their missing mom Lenore (Famke Janssen). Enough seemed to be enough and Neeson thought a third chapter was out of the question. 20th Century-Fox thought otherwise and asked Neeson and cowriter Robert Mark Kamen for one more. We were told things would go in another direction but I doubt anyone anticipated it going even lower, »
- Robert Greenberger
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