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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
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
The Toronto Film Festival is only half over, and though several promising festival films have already emerged as Oscar contenders—like Foxcatcher, The Theory of Everything, and Wild—there are still several curious and intriguing movies yet to debut. One of them is A Little Chaos, Alan Rickman’s period romantic-drama that will be Tiff’s closing-night film on Sept. 14. Kate Winslet stars as Sabine De Barra, a strong-willed 17th-century French gardener who challenges sexual and class barriers when she vies to design and build one of the main showcase attractions at King Louis’s Xiv’s new palace at Versailles. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Arrested Development: Glanz’s Debut an Affluent Vacuum
For the most part, it’s an ingenious trick to fabricate an aura of empathy around a pool of pretentious piranhas endlessly floundering about in the upper echelons of privilege and oblivion. To extend an invitation to witness purported romance amongst elitists garnished with nothing more than an immeasurable trust fund and the preened hue of an Ivy League education would seem nearly impossible to enjoy, and, thus, Peter Glanz’s directorial debut, The Longest Weekend is a generous case in point.
Despite a nicely chosen cast and a handful of flourishes borrowed from the works of cinematic masters, there’s little carbonation to this stale elixir that too often depends on cliché. Overreaching and stifled by its own unnegotiable parameters, this is a highly artificial portrait of all that it attempts to convey.
Now entering his fourth decade of life, »
- Nicholas Bell
Last year, 12 Years a Slave clinched the Academy Award for Best Picture at the Toronto Film Festival. Well, that’s not actually true. In fact, you could argue that the Best Picture winner almost lost the statue at the festival. Steve McQueen’s harrowing instant classic was so instantly and universally anointed in Toronto that seeds were planted for an inevitable backlash to flower in the six months before the Oscar winner was finally announced. Ultimately, 12 Years’ biggest Oscar competition came from another Toronto film, Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity. Though both films premiered at Telluride and Venice, respectively, the awards »
- Jeff Labrecque
You may know him as ever-so-nice Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey but hes turned into an all-American badass for new film The Guest. Dan Stevens will be joining us at 11.20am BST on Wednesday 3 September to answer your questions so what do you want to ask him?
No more Mr Nice Guy: Viv Groskops recent interview
As unlikely transformations go, its up there with Helen Mirren kicking ass in Red or Selena Gomez as a bikini-clad robber in Spring Breakers. Dan Stevens, best known for his turn as charming and gentle Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey, is now ripped, bearded, sexy and maybe a little bit evil in gritty new thriller The Guest. He plays a war veteran visiting the family of a fallen comrade but it quickly becomes unclear whether hes a benevolent friend or an unpredictable thug. Downtons world of sugar tongs and forelock-tugging has never been so far away. »
- Guardian film
It's two years since Dan Stevens took the plunge and left the lords and ladies of Downton. He tells us how Hollywood toughened him up
So, Downton Abbey. You're well out of it, right? "Well out of it? What do you mean?" Dan Stevens knows exactly what I mean, but he is too loyal to say. It's gone off the boil a bit, I say, since you left. Did he get out of the UK's most popular costume drama in recent history at just the right time? "I felt it was the right moment to leave and I went with that feeling," he says, earnestly. "It is what it is. It was a fun thing to be a part of. I like the way people enjoy the show with a mixture of affection and humour."
This is an excellent description of the peculiarly British phenomenon that made Stevens' name as Matthew Crawley, »
- Viv Groskop
One of the books that started the mash-up fad has been in development for quite some time. Based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic, the film sees an old fashioned romance blossom in a world populated with the undead. The books have received mixed reviews, with many saying the story doesn’t get past the joke title, but there’s still a lot to enjoy, although my personal favourite would have to be Sense And Sensibility And Sea-Monsters. Writer Grahame-Smith has already entered the world of film with a script for Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows and an adaptation of his own book Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.
Jack Huston has now been cast as George Wickham, joining the already cast Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy, and Lily James and Bella Heathcote as Elizabeth Bennet and one of her sisters. Igby Goes Down Director Burr Steers helms »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
These lectures, the first in the 2014 series, will take place between Sept 18-29.
Writer and actress Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Nanny McPhee) takes to the stage at BFI Southbank on Sept 20, while writer and director Knight (Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises, Peaky Blinders, Locke) will follow on Sept 29.
The season is programmed by screenwriter Jeremy Brock and funded by Jj Charitable Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
We’re received the wonderful news that Brit-legend Emma Thompson will be part of this years BAFTA Screenwriter Lecture Series.
The acclaimed writer and actress who’s given us an endless array of great performances and writing including Sense And Sensibility, Nanny McPhee, and the upcoming Effie Gray is among an all-star line-up that also includes James Schamus (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain) and director Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises), who between them boast seven BAFTA and Oscar nominations. The series, in collaboration with the BFI, is now in its fifth year and will take place between 18th and 29th September.
They’re a great opportunity to get into the heads and hearts of the people at the very top of the business. We highly recommend keeping an eye out for many of BAFTA’s Guru lectures and film-maker sessions as they’re wonderfully informative, but also well worth your time. »
- Dan Bullock
Emma Thompson's name conjures images of poise and grace, bringing to mind her sincere and moving performances in films like "Sense and Sensibility" and "The Remains of the Day." But, of course, the actress seems just as comfortable whipping off her spike heels at the Golden Globes or donning a fake nose and a snaggletooth for a role like "Nanny McPhee." Thompson is currently at work on "The Legend of Barney Thomson," actor Robert Carlyle's directorial debut based on a novel by Douglas Lindsay about a barber in Glasgow who lives a dull, pointless life until he crosses paths with an unstable serial killer. Carlyle plays the titular character, with Emma Thompson playing his dowdy mother. (Yet another actress plays far above her actual age.) Based on these on-set photos, all we can say is that it looks like she's going to knock this one out of the park. »
- Jacob Combs
On July 2, Eric Bana stars in Deliver Us From Evil as a New York City street cop who becomes entangled in a case that has ties to the paranormal. Also appearing in the film? Comedian Joel McHale (“Community”). Now, you might be a little hesitant, not knowing why Bana and McHale have been thrown together for a horror flick, but Bana and McHale have more in common than you’d think. For starters, both Bana and McHale have a well-developed funny bone.
- Rachel West and Sasha James
Kate Winslet stepped into the spotlight nearly two decades ago with films like Sense and Sensibility with Hugh Grant and Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio, and her impressive career has wowed us ever since. In addition to her big-screen fame, she's also made many glamorous appearances, and her most recent event prompted us to look back at her many glitzy red carpets through the years. Kate is a star who basically doesn't age; in fact, she's only gotten more stunning over time. Take a look at her red carpet rewind below, including some sweet snaps with Hugh Jackman and Johnny Depp and plenty of sexy moments. »
- Alyse Whitney
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