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Exclusive: Tim Grady and Jeff Lipsky’s New York-based Adopt Films has acquired Effie Gray, the period drama penned by Emma Thompson. Dakota Fanning stars as the eponymous character in the biopic of the 19th century Scotswoman who married critic and author John Ruskin as a teenager only to see their six-year relationship finally annulled with Gray still a virgin. She later wed celebrated pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais. For Millais, Gray bore eight children and became his muse (along with her younger sister Sophie).
The company plans an early spring 2015 release.
Julie Walters plays Ruskin’s baleful, controlling mother, and David Suchet is Ruskin’s feckless, enabling father. Thompson, Tom Sturridge, Greg Wise, Claudia Cardinale, James Fox, Derek Jacobi and Robbie Coltrane round out the cast.
- Nancy Tartaglione
Thompson, who is the only person to have received an Academy Award for both acting and screenwriting, commented: “It is a very special award, in name of an incredible actor who inspired so many people during his career. I am honored to follow in the footsteps of my peers who have received this award before me.”
Thompson’s portrayal of Margaret Schlegel in the Merchant Ivory adaptation of E.M. Forster’s “Howards End” in 1992 netted her a BAFTA Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Award, New York Film Critics Award, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. She earned »
- Leo Barraclough
Oscar-winning UK actress and writer to receive Richard Harris Award.
The award, introduced in 2002 in honour of actor Richard Harris, recognises outstanding contribution to British film by an actor. Previous winners have included, John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon and Julie Walters.
Thompson is known for both acting and screenwriting and is the only artist to date to have received an Oscar for both acting and screenwriting.
Speaking about the Richard Harris Award, Thompson said: “This is a very special award, in name of an incredible actor who inspired so many people during his career. I am honoured to follow in the footsteps of my peers who have received this award before me.”
Thompson received her first Oscar in 1993 for her leading role in Merchant Ivory adaptation Howard »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
We’ve just received word that Britain’s own national treasure Emma Thompson is to receive the prestigious Richard Harris Award at this year’s Moet British Independent Film Awards. The top gong recognises outstanding contribution to British film by an actor, and has previously been won by the likes of John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon and Julie Walters just last year.
The awards are dished out on Sunday 7th December at a ceremony in central London. You can see the full list of nominees for this year’s awards here.
Here’s the full release.
- Paul Heath
Rickman will present his latest film as a director and actor, “Little Chaos,” at the fest. The pic, which is set within the court of Louis Xiv, looks at the struggle of women in a patriarchal society. Its main protagonist is landscape architect Sabine de Barra, played by Kate Winslet. After the screening, Rickman will meet the audience for a Q&A session.
In a statement, the festival said: “Alan Rickman has always been a wonderful partner for all sorts of filmmakers, using his greatest actor’s attributes — voice, physicality, movement — to help them in creating brave new cinematic worlds.”
His thesping career has embraced the gamut of filmmaking.
- Leo Barraclough
Why bother going out to the multiplex when the movies you want to see are on Netflix? Whether it's a classic weepie like "An Affair to Remember," an Audrey Hepburn movie, a Jane Austen favorite or "Clueless" (again), here are some of the best chick flicks streaming on Netflix right now. (Availability subject to change.)
1. "13 Going on 30" (2004)
Who doesn't love a good time-traveling romantic comedy, especially one with a big "Thriller" dance showstopper?
2. "An Affair to Remember" (1957)
3. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961)
4. "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" (2004)
The sequel finds Bridget (Renee Zellweger) in Thailand, where she's tempted to stray with ex »
- Sharon Knolle
There’s presumably more heated drama behind the screen than there is upon it in “Effie Gray,” a literate, lovingly mounted and exceedingly well-behaved historical biopic that has sidled into British theaters after two years of less polite legal conflicts. Emma Thompson’s first adult-oriented film screenplay since her Oscar-winning work on “Sense and Sensibility” finds a fascinating human subject in the title character — the socially and sexually suppressed wife of leading Victorian art critic John Ruskin — but this admirable, watercolor-delicate tale of individual feminist emancipation never quite blooms into living color, hampered by spotty casting and Richard Laxton’s overly deliberate direction. Lush production values and name players — notably a conscientious Dakota Fanning in the lead — guarantee international exposure, but commercial prospects are as muted as the film itself.
The pic’s closing credits rather pointedly refer to the “original screenplay by Emma Thompson,” a still-piqued rejoinder to a »
- Guy Lodge
Though we won't know the Us distributor until next month, "Effie Gray" will bow in UK cinemas on October 10. This is the first original screenplay by Thompson, who won a 1996 Oscar for adapting Jane Austin's "Sense and Sensibility" and also penned the Nanny McPhee films. Fanning plays the titular bride -- of critic John Ruskin -- whose marriage was unconsummated and who left Ruskin for "Ophelia" painter John Everett Millais. Scandalous. The clip and moody trailer below hint at the Victorian salaciousness to come. Listen to Thompson's BAFTA talk on screenwriting here; read a Thompson interview from the 2013 award season here. The film is directed by Richard Laxton. Trailer and clip: »
- Ryan Lattanzio
After years of difficult development and a revolving door of directors and cast, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies has suddenly found its shuffling feet and is finally underway. Burr Steers is directing from his own draft of the screenplay, with Matt Smith, Lily James and Sam Riley already cast. Now joining that trio comes a Lannister injection from Game of Thrones. Charles Dance and Lena Headey have both signed on for some adventures with the sorry stricken.If it's passed you by so far, Seth Grahame-Smith's novel was at the vanguard of pastiche literary zom-com mash-ups that briefly crazed in bookshops a few years ago. P&P&Z sees Elizabeth Bennet (James) searching for love and independence as a zombie plague erupts around her and American wildlife inexplicably starts appearing in the Berkshire countryside. It was followed by the likes of Sense And Sensibility And Sea Monsters, and of course, »
Quirky is possibly the best word to describe Emma Thompson‘s BAFTA Screenwriters’ Lecture, hilariously delivered tonight in London. It included a physical demonstration of her writing process; pearls of wisdom shared with the filmmaker attendees; and an anecdote about how a period sketch she wrote featuring a Victorian-era virgin encountering a penis led to her penning Sense And Sensibility.
The event, a Thompson-directed variation on a regular series of screenwriter conversations, continued a mini-season of high-wattage names visiting the British Academy, which started with James Schamus on Thursday and David Fincher on Friday. And Thompson tapped her acting and sketch comedy background to give the sell-out crowd a good show.
She was already on stage as the audience started filing in, dressed down in denim overalls and a thick navy coat so that few noticed her at first. She sat barefoot at a tiny writing desk, and in between scribbling on a notepad, »
- Joe Utichi, Special To Deadline
Actor Dan Stevens is busy these days making a name for himself in the world of movies and television. In his ten years onscreen, he's already made an impact on audiences all across the world through commanding performances in British favorites like Downton Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, and The Turn of the Screw. He's also proved to be a force to reckon with in several genre projects such as Frankenstein, Dracula, Vamps, and The Tomorrow People. Stevens will soon be seen in the upcoming Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.
In the same weekend, Stevens has two features premiering that couldn't be further apart in the industry of filmmaking. He'll be seen opposite Liam Neeson in the mainstream action vehicle A Walk Among the Tombstones. In some theaters, he'll be right across the halls in another auditorium terrorizing moviegoers in Director Adam Wingard and Writer Simon Barrett's indie thriller The Guest. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Eric Shirey)
Tom Rothman’s TriStar Productions and Film4 announced today that the three-time Oscar-winner Ang Lee has chosen an adaptation of Ben Fountain’s acclaimed novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk as his next film, his first since winning the Academy Award for directing the groundbreaking Life of Pi.
The film will be produced by Lee, Ink Factory’s Stephen Cornwell, Rhodri Thomas and Simon Cornwell and by Film4, who originally optioned the book. Simon Beaufoy wrote the script. TriStar has been developing the project with Film4 and Ink Factory since opening its doors at the end of last year. Tessa Ross, who oversaw Film and Drama for Film4 until recently being named to run the UK’s National Theatre, was instrumental on behalf of that studio.
Making the movie for TriStar returns Lee to the Sony Pictures umbrella, where he enjoyed great success with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Sense and Sensibility. »
- Michelle McCue
Last week, a report surfaced that Ang Lee might possibly direct an adaptation of the Iraq War novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk as his next film instead of his 3D boxing movie that he’s been developing since last year. Today, that news has been confirmed, as Deadline reports that Lee will indeed be directing the Iraq War satire as his Life of Pi follow-up. This will be Lee’s first film after winning the Best Director Oscar, and it marks a fitting genre change for the versatile filmmaker. Lee has excelled at martial arts films (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), love stories (Brokeback Mountain), and even costume dramas (Sense and Sensibility), so why not tackle a satirical picture about Iraq war veterans? Based on the novel by Ben Fountain, the story takes place in Texas and follows the surviving members of a squad of soldiers as they embark »
- Adam Chitwood
Exclusive: Ang Lee will next direct an adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. It is Lee’s first film since he won the Best Director Oscar for Life Of Pi, and he’s reuniting with Tom Rothman at TriStar. Rothman, who continues to put together filmmaker-centric projects at his Sony-based label, ran Fox and worked closely with Lee on that difficult, groundbreaking, Oscar-winning 3D film that grossed $600 million worldwide. TriStar is teamed with Film4 on the picture, which will begin production in the spring.
It was expected Lee’s next film would be the Peter Morgan-scripted boxing pic about the Thrilla In Manila bout between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, shot in 3D at Universal. They are still working on a budget and the visual effects and look of that picture, but clearly Lee was eager to get back behind the camera.
- Mike Fleming Jr
Sneak Peek the first trailer revealing footage from director Richard Laxton's period 'biopic', "Effie Gray", written by Emma Thompson ("Sense and Sensibility"), starring Dakota Fanning, Robbie Coltrane, Claudia Cardinale, James Fox, Julie Walters, Derek Jacobi and David Suchet:
"Despite her beauty, Ruskin didn’t consummate the marriage and the devastated Gray eventually fell in love with Ruskin’s protégé, painter 'John Everett Milias' (Tom Sturridge)..."
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Effie Gray"...
- Michael Stevens
The first Effie Gray trailer for director Richard Laxton’s (Burton and Taylor) significantly delayed period drama has arrived. Written by Emma Thompson, the film is a biopic of Effie Gray (played by Dakota Fanning) that centers on her doomed marriage to art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise) in 1840s London. Despite her beauty, Ruskin didn’t consummate the marriage and the devastate Gray eventually fell in love with Ruskin’s protégé, painter John Everett Milias (Tom Sturridge). Thompson won an Oscar for starring in 1992’s Howards End and another for writing 1995’s Sense and Sensibility, and she returns to the “British Period Drama” genre with Effie Gray. The film looks to be considerably grim and feels slightly reminiscent of the drab and dull Therese, but there is certainly a strong pedigree behind it, so here’s hoping it’s worth the wait. Watch the Effie Gray trailer after the jump. »
- Adam Chitwood
Despite having been completed a year and a half ago, the period drama Effie Gray has been held back by silly legal entanglements from writers Even Pomerance and Gregory Murphy, both claiming that the film seemed to borrow too much from their existing plays and screenplays on the historical figure and Victorian-era love triangle. But all that's been solved, and the film is at least poised for release in the United Kingdom this fall with Dakota Fanning in the title role of Euphemia "Effie" Gray. The film follows her troubled marriage with art critic and social reformer John Ruskin (Greg Wise) and eventual relationship with painter John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge). It doesn't look half-bad for this kind of flick. Watch? Here's the first UK trailer for Richard Laxton's Effie Gray from The Telegraph (via The Playlist): Effie Gray is directed by Richard Laxton ("Burton & Taylor") and written »
- Ethan Anderton
Toronto — “Titanic” was a seminal moment in Kate Winslet’s career, but she made it clear even during the film's Oscar run and in the years following that it was a more grueling experience than she ever expected. In the years since she’s avoided anything that came close to those shooting conditions, when she spent weeks in water tanks and wading through water. That is until her new period drama, “A Little Chaos,” which screened for the press at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival Wednesday before its Saturday night premiere. In the film, Winslet and her stunt person are drenched when her character tries to manually close an aqueduct from flooding a massive garden she’s been building at Versailles (yes, that Versailles). The long and the short of it is that the sequence found Winslet in a ton of water. And for her to do that, she must simply adore her co-star and director, »
- Gregory Ellwood
Story trumps storytelling in A Little Chaos, which reunites Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman, two stars of Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility, only this time without the gossamer touch and infinite understanding of character that are hallmarks of Jane Austen. A period drama about the private and professional struggles of a nonconformist female landscape architect hired to work on King Louis Xiv’s gardens at Versailles, this decently acted film is agreeable entertainment, even if it works better on a scene by scene basis than in terms of overall flow. It’s been 17 years since Rickman’s first stab at directing with
- David Rooney
Alan Rickman is best known for playing scene-stealing villains in “Die Hard” and the Harry Potter movies, but the silver tongued charmer steps out of the spotlight and assumes the director’s chair for “A Little Chaos.”
It’s a period drama about a female landscape gardener who finds herself thrust into the court of Louis Xiv, one that reunites Rickman with his “Sense and Sensibility” co-star Kate Winslet. She stars as the green-thumbed pioneer, along with Matthias Schoenaerts as André Le Nôtre, the mastermind behind the gardens at Versailles, and Rickman, doing double duty as King Louis Xiv. The film debuts at the Toronto Film Festival on Saturday and is on the prowl for distribution.
Rickman spoke with Variety about the challenges of making a period film on a tight budget, his own gardening skills and tossing a pregnant Winslet into freezing water.
You direct as well as act in the film. »
- Brent Lang
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