10 items from 2016
With a cast led by two 2016 Academy Award contenders—winner Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) and nominee Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”)—and supported by 2006 Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz (“The Constant Gardener”), it’s little wonder why “The Light Between Oceans” is shaping up to be a major awards contender this year. Based on the acclaimed 2012 novel of the same name by M.L. Stedman, it’s the story of an Australian lighthouse keeper and his wife who after losing their baby child in the years just after the First World War, happen upon a baby girl in an adrift rowboat and raise her as their own. Years later, they learn of their adopted daughter’s origins from her mourning mother, played by Weisz. Writer-director Derek Cianfrance has already proven he can assuredly—and heartbreakingly—navigate the nuances of a marriage on trial with “Blue Valentine,” making “The Light Between Oceans” a promising must-see. »
Ralph Fiennes exploded onto the movie scene with an Oscar-nominated performance in Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List” 23 years ago. Becoming a prestige mainstay in dramas like “Quiz Show,” “The English Patient,” “The End of the Affair” and “The Constant Gardener,” he established a bit of a brand for himself before his work as the villainous Voldemort in the “Harry Potter” series introduced him to a whole new genre and audience.
But with three recent films — Wes Anderson’s “Grand Budapest Hotel,” Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Hail, Caesar!” and Luca Guadagnino ‘s “A Bigger Splash,” which opens May 4 — Fiennes may have found a new calling in comedy.
In “Grand Budapest” and “Hail, Caesar!,” it was the opportunity to play the straight man amid humorous circumstances that shined a light on the actor’s untapped wit. Martin McDonagh’s 2008 dark comedy “In Bruges” hinted at the quality, but curiously, it »
- Kristopher Tapley
Although he cut his teeth as a successful playwright and theatre director, 46-year-old David Farr is forging an equally interesting career in film and television. After his teenage assassin story “Hanna” was turned into an action-packed fairytale by Joe Wright in 2011, Farr went behind the camera for last year’s word-of-mouth festival hit “The Ones Below,” a Hitchcockian thriller in which the lives of a young mother-to-be and her partner are turned upside down after a mysterious couple move into the apartment downstairs.
Almost immediately, Farr’s profile was raised by the airing of the BBC/AMC series “The Night Manager,” directed by Danish Oscar winner Susanne Bier and starring Tom Hiddleston in the title role. Based on the 1993 novel by John Le Carré, whose espionage stories have successfully been adapted in such award-winning productions as “The Constant Gardener” (2005) and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (2011), “The Night Manager” debuted in the U. »
- Damon Wise
Filming will commence in the UK, then move to Italy before wrapping in mid-June.
My Cousin Rachel tells the story of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she »
The Sunday night adaptation of Le Carré’s arms-trading spy thriller is a TV sensation – but how far does it blur the lines between fact and fiction?
Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, John le Carré has been looking for targets beyond the murky, mutual, spying of the cold war. He has directed his genuine and growing anger at more topical, straightforward, targets: a large pharmaceutical company (The Constant Gardener), extraordinary rendition (A Most Wanted Man), and Foreign Office/MI6 involvement in the work of private Us military contractors (A Delicate Truth).
Related: The Night Manager recap: episode five – 'nothing quite as pretty as napalm at night'
Related: John le Carré to reveal his 'secret world' in memoir
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- Richard Norton-Taylor
Fassbender’s and Vikander’s characters find happiness when they informally adopt a baby girl who has washed up in a lifeboat. But several years later, the girl’s mother (Weisz) appears, explaining that she lost her baby daughter and husband at sea around the same time.
“She does not belong to us,” Fassbender’s character tells his wife in the trailer. “We can’t keep her.”
- Dave McNary
Another John Le Carré adaptation is in the works
While on holiday in Marrakech, an ordinary English couple, Perry (Ewan McGregor) and Gail (Naomie Harris), befriend a flamboyant and charismatic Russian, Dima (Stellan Skarsgård), who unbeknownst to them is a kingpin money launderer for the Russian mafia.
When Dima asks for their help to deliver classified information to the British Secret Services, Perry and Gail get caught in a dangerous world of international espionage and dirty politics. The couple is propelled on a perilous journey through Paris and Bern, a safe house in the French Alps, to the murky corners of the City of London and an alliance with the British Government via a ruthless and determined MI6 agent (Damian Lewis).
“The Light Between Oceans” is based on the debut novel by M.L. Stedman, published in 2012, in which an Australian returns home after fighting in World War I and moves with his wife to an isolated lighthouse on the coast of western Australia. They informally adopt a baby girl who has washed up in a lifeboat.
DreamWorks acquired the movie rights to the novel in 2012, with “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford producing and Derek Cianfrance (“Beyond the Pines”) directing. Participant Media co-produced the film, which was shot in Australia in 2014.
“The Light Between Oceans” is the final DreamWorks title to be released by Disney under the five-year output agreement. DreamWorks titles are now handled through Universal under the new Amblin Partners deal announced in December. »
- Dave McNary
The lyrical reference slyly buried in the title of Joshua Marston’s “Complete Unknown” suggests the film might be a response to the question posed by Bob Dylan: How does it feel to be like a rolling stone? If so, this chic, cryptic identity drama has few clear answers, merely scratching the surface of its heroine’s cool-blooded existential restlessness. After a tantalizing pre-credit sequence teases the tumbling plethora of forms assumed by Rachel Weisz’s fascinating femme fatale, the compact puzzler that ensues scrutinizes only one of them, pitting her in an elegant but elusive dialogue with Michael Shannon’s bemused onlooker. A most surprising change of pace from Marston, following the international social realism of “Maria Full of Grace” and “The Forgiveness of Blood,” this Amazon Studios acquisition might find only a select audience, but could usher in a glossier phase of its helmer’s career.
- Guy Lodge
Odile Dicks-Mireaux. Image via Female FirstThe thing about Brooklyn is that everyone can relate to it. Stories of immigration touch almost everyone, or at least run through their family's DNA. Even the move from one state with a personality quite unlike your original home, can feel like a reinvention. Nearly a year after seeing Brooklyn for the first time it's strange to think that I worried that people wouldn't connect to it! Who needs sensationalistic drama when a story is this really. When it's power can sneak up on you?
I had the pleasure of discussing this universal resonance, and the job of defining Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) through her costume changes with the designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux, who herself related to the story. Her mother was French and her father British and they met, both immigrants, in Brooklyn in the 1940s, and built a life in a foreign country together. Odile »
- NATHANIEL R
10 items from 2016
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