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Yesterday afternoon, the Toronto International Film Festival announced their award winners. Notably, the Audience Award, which is the top prize at Tiff, went to Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The runner ups were, perhaps surprisingly, Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya, as well as Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name. The win for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was slightly surprising, though the word out of Toronto has been incredibly positive. After taking a prize recently at the Venice Film Festival for Screenplay, it’s currently the most awarded contender of the year so far. If nothing else, that’s a nice head start for a movie such as this one. Looking specifically at the Audience Award and thinking in terms of its history, this is a somewhat reliable indicator of prestige. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri now joins a group that has five prior Best Picture winners, »
- Joey Magidson
In addition, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will direct and executive produce the pilot. It was created by David Caspe and Jordan Cahan, who will serve as executive producers and showrunners. Production on the pilot is scheduled to begin in February. The project is a co-production between Showtime and Sony Pictures Television Studios.
The potential series will take viewers back to October 19, 1987, the day of the the worst stock market crash in the history of Wall Street, known today as “Black Monday.” It will tell the story of how a group of outsiders took on the blue-blood, old-boys club of Wall Street and ended up crashing the world’s largest financial system, a Lamborghini limousine, Don Henley’s birthday party, and the glass ceiling.
Cheadle will play Rod “The Jammer” Jaminski, a »
- Joe Otterson
Terry George in Deauville: 'it was like flying under the radar until we got this made' Photo: Richard Mowe It was never going to be an easy task to mount a film about the Amernian Genocide in which almost two million Armenians were systematically killed or relocated by the Ottoman authorities in 1915. The Turkish Government still denies that it ever happened.
Writer and director Terry George who came to prominence making films about the troubles in Ireland (such as In the Name of the Father and The Boxer as well as the Oscar nominated Hotel Rwanda about the Tutsi genocide) is used to subjects with a touch of controversy.
As his film The Promise bows on DVD in the UK this week and is about to be released in French cinemas later in the year, George reflected on the backlash the film has attracted during his visit to the Festival of American Cinema in Deauville. »
- Richard Mowe
With this deal, Stage 29 will exclusively develop programming for new scripted dramas and comedies for broadcast and streaming platforms. The McGraws currently serve as executive producers of the hit CBS drama series “Bull,” which is based on Dr. Phil’s earlier career as a world-renowned trial sciences expert.
“I’m pleased to extend our long-standing relationship with our CBS family even further with this development deal,” Dr. Phil said.
In addition, Julia Eisenman will be joining Stage 29 as head of scripted television. She most recently served as senior vice president of development for EveryWhere Studios, where she oversaw development for the Lifetime Television movie “Who Killed Jon Benet?” and the Up Network TV series “Date My Dad.”
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Phil and »
- Joe Otterson
London-based festival to open with Oh Lucy! with Josh Hartnett.
The 25th Raindance Film Festival (Sept 21 -Oct 2) has revealed the majority of its line-up and jury members.
The international premiere of Atsuko Hirayanagi’s Oh Lucy! (USA), starring Josh Hartnett, is the opening night film of the London-based event. The closing night film will be announced later this month.
The competition jury includes ex-bifa director Johanna Von Fischer, Spanish producer Rosa Bosch and actors Jamie Campbell Bower (Twilight), Jack O’Connell (Unbroken), Sean Bean (Game Of Thrones), Christopher Eccleston (Dr Who), Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting), Celia Imrie (Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Training Day), Nicholas Lyndhurst (Only Fools and Horses), Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Hotel Rwanda), Josh Whitehouse (Northern Soul), Neil Marshall (Game Of Thrones) and Rachel Portman (Chocolat).
They will preside over awards for a competition line-up that features the European premiere of Koichiro Miki’s Noise and the world premiere of Evald Johnson’s High & Outside: A Baseball »
- email@example.com (Orlando Parfitt)
Hakeem Kae-Kazim has joined “Troy: Fall Of A City” and will play Zeus in the upcoming BBC and Netflix mortals and gods epic. The siege of Troy drama is shooting in Cape Town, South Africa, and Kae-Kazim will star alongside Louis Hunter (“The Fosters”), Christian Schoombie (“Quarx”), David Gysai (“Containment”), Lex King (“Dominion”), and Bella Dayne (“Guerrilla”).
British Nigerian actor Kae-Kazim came to prominence in his role as George Rutugunda in the Oscar nominated film “Hotel Rwanda,” and went on to star as Colonel Ike Dubaku in “24.” His movie credits include “X-Men,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and on TV he has been in shows including “Criminal Minds,” and “Gotham.” On cable he is Mr. Scott in Starz’s pirate drama “Black Sails.”
As Zeus in “Troy: Fall Of A City” Kae Kazim will be in the bulk of the eight episodes. The series, in which the story is told from the perspective of the besieged Trojan »
- Stewart Clarke
Sophie Okonedo (“Hotel Rwanda”) and James Harkness (“Rogue One”) have joined the cast of “Country Music.” Principal photography has started on the British comedy drama, which also stars Julie Walters (“Harry Potter”).
The film follows a young Scottish singer, Rose-Lynn Harlan, played by Jessie Buckley (“Taboo”), who dreams of making it as a country artist in Nashville after being released from prison. Walters will play Rose-Lynn’s mother, and Okonedo the middle-class lady of the house where Rose-Lynn lands a cleaning job, and who champions the would-be country star.
U.K. folk musician Neill McColl will be in Rose-Lynn’s band in the film, and BBC Radio’s “Whispering Bob Harris” will appear. The soundtrack will also have a an original song written by platinum-selling singer songwriter Caitlyn Smith, Oscar-winning actress Mary Steenburgen and Kate York.
- Stewart Clarke
Few comic book movies come freighted with as much as expectation as Wonder Woman. For one, it’s being positioned as the saviour of the DC Movie Universe, which until now has flagged with the bloated likes of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. It’s the first superhero movie fronted by a female character (played by Gal Gadot) since 2005’s Elektra and the first ever to be directed by a woman (Monster filmmaker Patty Jenkins).
Most importantly, it’s a movie that has to honour one of the most celebrated icons in the DC canon, performing a tricky balancing act between the humour of the 1970s Lynda Carter TV series and the sort of grandiose dramatic spectacle demanded by a multiplex audience. »
- Sean Wilson
Sickly cinematography and romance add unnecessary schmaltz to this Oscar Isaac-led historical drama
The victim of an alleged IMDb vote-rigging scheme, this romantic drama set against the backdrop of the first world war Armenian genocide was controversial even before its release. Director Terry George (Hotel Rwanda) suggested that the numerous one-star votes that followed the film’s premiere last year were politically motivated, rather than appraisals of the film-making – likely, given that hardly anyone had seen the film at the time. That said, with its sugary soft-focus, treacle-toned cinematography, over-masticated fake Turkish accents and cloying love triangle device, this is film that delivers more empty calories than historical sustenance.
Continue reading »
- Wendy Ide
Author: Daniel Brightmore
More than 100 years may have passed since the outbreak of the First World War, but The Promise offers worrying parallels with today’s political landscape, highlighting the damage caused when intolerance rises un-checked. The film admirably tries to balance the plot demands of a love triangle with the weighty drama and real-life horror of a dark chapter in history: the Armenian genocide.
We follow apothecary Mikael (Oscar Isaac) when he leaves his hometown in Armenia, and his betrothed, behind to train as a doctor in Constantinople. But with Europe on the brink of meltdown, his hopes for his career, and a budding romance with French governess Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), are cut off before they can bloom when war breaks out. While vying for Ana’s affections Mikael meets American journalist Chris (a gruff and grandstanding Christian Bale) soon risking his life to bear witness to the »
- Daniel Brightmore
Author: Zehra Phelan
It comes as no surprise that some of our most heinous historical world events have become the subject of a cinematic depiction. As audiences wanting their thirst for great cinema and intrigue in world issues grow we have had, in the naughties alone, Roman Polanski deliver The Pianist in 2002 and more recently László Nemes’ Son of Saul to quench our desire. Even this week, we have the release of Terry George’s The Promise which tells the story of the Armenian Genocide in the final years of the Ottoman Empire with Oscar Isaac, Charlotte LeBon and Christian Bale hitting our cinemas.
Whether these events are genocides, horrific murders, acts of terrorism or even demonic paranormal activities, our quest for knowledge, understanding and feeling has inspired filmmakers for years. Their films set out to shine a light on the atrocities and suffering of man, and act to empower »
- Zehra Phelan
Author: Scott Davis
Writer/director Terry George’s new film, The Promise, arrives on UK shores this weekend amidst some resistance: the event it chronicles, the genocide of 1.5million Armenians from 1915, was one of the first modern genocides and has historically been surrounded in controversy. So much so that after the film was shown at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, IMDb registered over 57,000 one-star votes, which some commentators said was a campaign to downrate it by deniers of the genocide.
But none of that has derailed those involved in the film, particularly George, who says that the story was an important one that needed to be told, particularly as many modern audiences know little to nothing about the event. On the historical relevance, George told us:
“The fact that you don’t know much about the history speaks to the success of the Turkish governments who have repressed this »
- Scott Davis
The Promise, 2016.
Directed by Terry George
In the days just before World War I, Michael (Oscar Isaac) has become engaged to a girl in his home village and is studying to be a doctor in Constantinople. He falls in love with Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), but she is attached to American journalist Chris (Christian Bale). As the situation in the region escalates and the Armenians are increasingly persecuted, the three are repeatedly separated and re-united. And Ana has to choose between the two men.
Never a director to shy away from tough subjects – think Hotel Rwanda and In the Name of the Father – Terry George has returned to the subject of genocide in The Promise, but this time moving his theatre of war to the start of World War I. The Ottoman Empire was crumbling and »
- Freda Cooper
Universal’s eighth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise proved to be a global box office titan when it opened last weekend to a record-shattering $532.5 million. This time around looks to tell mostly the same story — while domestic grosses slipped 61% from its first to second weekend, the movie is still easily topping the box office with $38.7 million from 4,329 locations.
But slipping domestic earnings (and lower U.S. grosses than “Furious 7,” which pulled over $250 million in its first two weekends versus “Fate’s” current sum of $163.6 million) are majorly overshadowed by the movie’s international appeal. A bankable, diverse cast including Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel and Charlize Theron is leading the film, directed by F. Gary Gray, »
- Seth Kelley
The celebrated actor on her new play with Damian Lewis, why performing is an adventure, and leaving London for the country
Sophie Okonedo was born in 1968 in London and studied at Rada. She has worked extensively across theatre, film and TV and was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda. On Broadway, she won a Tony award in 2014 for A Raisin in the Sun and two years later was nominated for her performance in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Her TV credits include The Slap, Undercover and The Hollow Crown. She is currently performing alongside Damian Lewis in Edward Albee’s 2002 play The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?; she plays Stevie, a woman who discovers her husband is having an affair with an animal.
What was your first reaction on reading The Goat?
I thought I was due a break from theatre, because I’ve been doing a lot, »
- Holly Williams
This weekend marks the moment of truth for “The Promise,” when Open Road Films’ $100 million love story set against the Armenian genocide of World War I will open on 2,000 screens. Directed by Terry George, best known for directing 2004’s “Hotel Rwanda,” the film follows a romantic triangle between an Armenian medical student (Oscar Isaac), an Armenian artist (Charlotte Le Bon) and an American photojournalist (Christian Bale).
Read More: Gilbert Gottfried On Getting Fired and Feeling ‘Miserable’ About Life — Tribeca 2017
Early critics’ reviews of the film have been very mixed, and in the seven months since the movie’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, a campaign of Armenian genocide deniers have attacked the movie by voting down its scores on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. While online ratings can reflect honest opinion, more than 60,000 online accounts gave “The Promise” the lowest possible score on IMDb the day after its Toronto »
- Graham Winfrey
A hundred years on, many people still know little about this early 20th century genocide in the waning days of Turkey’s Ottoman Empire, an event the Turkish government still refuses to acknowledge. It has been said that the world has so thoroughly forgotten the Armenian genocide only a few years afterward, that it encouraged Hitler to undertake his own genocide. But some Armenians did survive and the genocide is getting renewed attention after a century.
- Cate Marquis
It’s been over a decade since director Terry George had a big hit with the three-time Oscar nominated “Hotel Rwanda,” and his career ever since has been in a steady downward tumble, culminating in his last feature film, 2011’s “Whole Lotta Sole” starring Brendan Fraser which almost nobody saw. So, the filmmaker has returned to war torn territory with “The Promise,” bringing with him some very big talent and subject matter – the Armenian Genocide – and that hasn’t been tackled very often at the movies.
- Kevin Jagernauth
In 1915, at the onset of World War I, the Ottoman Turks went on a government sponsored campaign to remove ethnic Armenians from the country. This forced relocation and slaughter of 1.5 million people would eventually be called the Armenian Genocide. To this day, Turkey refuses to acknowledge this event or take responsibility.
The Promise is a dramatization of the Armenian Genocide by Director Terry George. He was also the filmmaker behind Hotel Rwanda twelve years ago. Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale star as two men in love with the same woman, swept up in the bloody turmoil. Isaac plays Mikael, an apothecary studying to be a doctor. Bale co-stars as Chris Meyers, an American reporter for the Associated Press. Both men partake in an epic struggle to survive and escape the country.
Coming from Open Road, The Promise has had an interesting journey to the screen. Last year, after the premiere »
Welcome to this week’s “Preview Reel” column, where we look at the week’s upcoming wide release movies. The Fate of the Furious made history last weekend as it captured the biggest worldwide opening ever with a staggering $532 million. The film somewhat disappointed stateside with $98.8 million, but Universal is undoubtedly pleased with the worldwide result. Many studios saw this coming and decided to stay away from the Furious wake. As a result, we have a pretty slow week of moderate openers including Born in China, The Promise, and Unforgettable.
What we are excited about: Although not quite a yearly tradition, DisneyNature has released six nature documentaries over the Earth Day weekend since 2009. This year will bring us Born in China, which looks to be just what we have come to expect from the series. It looks to boast beautiful shots of cute animals and narrated by John Krasinski. »
- Scott Davis
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