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Tech Support Interview: The ubiquitous Alexandre Desplat on living his dream

29 December 2011 10:52 AM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

When Tech Support first launched at In Contention five years ago, Alexandre Desplat had proven his talents with top-notch scores for “The Girl With a Pearl Earring,” “Birth” and “Syriana.” It was clear to those of us watching (and listening to) the film composing world that this talented Frenchman was going places. His Golden Globe win that year for “The Painted Veil,” and Oscar nomination for “The Queen,” kicked off his success with awards bodies. His record since then, in terms of quantity and quality of work, as well as awards recognition, has been nothing short of phenomenal. Oscar nominations for »

- Gerard Kennedy

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Helen Mirren wants to be Doctor Who

26 December 2011 7:49 PM, PST | Corona's Coming Attractions | See recent Corona's Coming Attractions news »

Six days ago one of England's tabloids got some attention fwhen they ran a quote attributed to Dame Helen Mirren, the 67-year-old actress of The Debt, Red, Prime Suspect and Best Actress Oscar-winner for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen. Why? Because she wants to be the main Time Lord in Doctor Who.

"I would like to play the new female Doctor Who. I don't want to just be his sidekick," Mirren is quoted as telling the gossip section of The Daily Star. Strangely enough even for a tabloid, there's no accompaning background story for the Mirren quote; it's just there, published by the paper, with no reason given as to why Mirren was talking about her interest in Doctor Who.

I had hoped that once the story was picked up and travelled around the Internet, someone would follow up with Mirren and find out more. Alas, »

- Patrick Sauriol

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Good news for Michelle Williams as Oscar shamelessly lusts after babes

22 December 2011 1:53 PM, PST | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

Older men may fare well in Oscars' acting categories, but voters treat the female acting races like a beauty pageant, frequently crowning such glamazons as Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, and Nicole Kidman. View Gallery There is a clear divide in how male and female actors are perceived by the Academy. In the last two decades, only Helen Mirren ("The Queen," 2006) was over 50 when she won for her lead performance. Meanwhile, three of the last four Best Actor champs -- Colin Firth ("The King's Speech," 2010), Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart," 2009), and Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood," 2007) -- had all reached the half century mark while Sean Penn ("Milk," 2008) was 48.  Compare that to recent Best Actress winners Portman ("Black Swan," 2010), Witherspoon ("Walk the Line," 2005), Charlize Theron ("Monster," 2003), Hilary Swank ( »

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Mirren To Join Glee

21 December 2011 5:31 PM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Dame Helen Mirren has signed up to lend her voice to an upcoming episode of Glee, according to a U.S. report.

The Queen star is slated to provide the "inner voice" of one of the characters, reports TVLine.com.

A source tells the website, "Helen came in and secretly recorded several long and hilarious monologues two weeks ago. Then she visited the kids on set, and they had no idea she was coming; they were stunned. Helen's a big fan of the show and the message it sends out about arts education."

The episode featuring Mirren is said to air in America next month.

The New Year will be a star-studded one for Glee - Gloria Estefan and Ricky Martin were recently confirmed to join the cast for a Latin-themed show. »

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Frears' The Hit Remake Dreams Realised

15 December 2011 2:01 PM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

The Queen director Stephen Frears' dreams have come true - he has been asked to direct the Hollywood remake of his cult 1984 movie The Hit.

The British moviemaker told WENN about plans to revamp the film, which starred John Hurt and Tim Roth as hitmen, last year - and now the project is all set to go before the cameras.

Whereas the original was set in Europe, the revamp will take place in America and Mexico.

In 2010, Frears told WENN, "We're going to try and do a remake of The Hit. Somebody bought the remake rights and we said, 'Why, was it that bad?' Then a producer came to me and said, 'What a good idea to do it with Americans'.

"He came to me a few months ago and said, 'Why don't we do a remake?' and I said, 'Terrific'. I'd like to be asked to direct it. I think it's a really good idea." »

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Stephen Frears Directing Remake Of His Own Brit Mob Thriller ‘The Hit’

14 December 2011 11:08 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

British director Stephen Frears, best known for The Queen, High Fidelity and The Grifters, is re-teaming with producer Jeremy Thomas and writer Peter Prince to remake their 1984 gangster road flick The Hit. [Variety]

The original starred John Hurt and Tim Roth as a pair of incompetent hitmen hired to track down an informer – Terence Stamp – at his Spanish hideout and haul him back to Paris to be executed. Everything goes completely wrong, of course. The remake is in its very early stages of development and, says Thomas, will relocate the action to Mexico and the United States.

“The idea is to make it as an American movie about an American gangster, to tell the story against the backdrop of the land of cinema,” Thomas said.

It’s not at all unusual for a filmmaker to remake his own film for an American audience; Alfred Hitchcock did it several times, Michael Haneke »

- jpraup@gmail.com (thefilmstage.com)

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Stephen Frears To Direct A Remake His Own ‘Hit’

14 December 2011 11:04 AM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Director Stephen Frears is to helm a remake of is own British crime thriller The Hit. The original released in 1984, featured a terrific cast of Terrence Stamp as disgraced gangster Willie Parker hiding out in Spain with John Hurt and Tim Roth playing a pair of hitmen hired to bring him to Paris to face his former bosses as well as execution. Frears is to re-team with the original’s producer Jeremy Thomas and scribe Peter Prince for this new take will according to Thomas says:-

The idea is to make it as an American movie about an American gangster, to tell the story against the backdrop of the land of cinema.

Frears has always been an accomplished and respected filmmaker with credits that include such hits as Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters and The Queen. The Hit remake is currently in its early stages so no word as yet on casting. »

- Craig Hunter

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Stephen Frears To Remake His "Hit"

14 December 2011 9:14 AM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Stephen Frears ("The Queen," "Tamara Drewe") is reportedly developing an American remake of his almost thirty year old British black comedy gangster cult feature "The Hit" says Variety.

The original 1984 film starred a young John Hurt and a very young (and blond) Tim Roth as hit men hired to kidnap a former London gangster turned informant (Terence Stamp) from his Spanish hideout and bring him to Paris where he'll be executed.

On the trip back things don't exactly go to plan, the gangster's acceptance of his inevitable death causing growing discomfort and discord between the characters.

In this version the action will be moved to the U.S. and Mexico. Both original producer Jeremy Thomas and scribe Peter Prince are involved in the remake which is still only in early development.

»

- Garth Franklin

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Stephen Frears To Remake His "Hit"

14 December 2011 9:14 AM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Stephen Frears ("The Queen," "Tamara Drewe") is reportedly developing an American remake of his almost thirty year old British black comedy gangster cult feature "The Hit" says Variety.

The original 1984 film starred a young John Hurt and a very young (and blond) Tim Roth as hit men hired to kidnap a former London gangster turned informant (Terence Stamp) from his Spanish hideout and bring him to Paris where he'll be executed.

On the trip back things don't exactly go to plan, the gangster's acceptance of his inevitable death causing growing discomfort and discord between the characters.

In this version the action will be moved to the U.S. and Mexico. Both original producer Jeremy Thomas and scribe Peter Prince are involved in the remake which is still only in early development.

»

- Garth Franklin

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Helen Mirren Teams With 'Daybreak' To Give Away Famous Red Bikini

6 December 2011 8:13 AM, PST | NextMovie | See recent NextMovie news »

Everybody knows that Dame Helen Mirren puts the "grrrrrrr" in "Gilf."

At 66-years-old the British Oscar-winner for "The Queen" is still as scalding hot as a freshly brewed teapot, and she knows it, which is why she's selling off a quintessential piece of her booborabilia.

Mmmhmm, you got it, that stunning red bikini she poured herself into for the world to enjoy back in 2008 is going to be given away to one lucky bird or bloke who enters the contest being put on by ITV's "Daybreak."

It's all to benefit Age UK’s "Spread the Warmth" campaign, which provides thousands of elderly people with information, advice and practical services to keep them warm and fed during the cold winter months.

As reported by Digital Spy, Mirren is still quite in shock about all the attention her exceptionally buoyant everlasting gobstoppers have brought her after posing candidly for husband Taylor Hackford »

- Max Evry

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[First Look] Bruce Willis In ‘Lay the Favorite,’ Elizabeth Olsen In Josh Radnor’s ‘Liberal Arts’ & Vera Farmiga In ‘Goats’

6 December 2011 7:32 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

With the premiere line-up announced for Sundance Film Festival 2012 yesterday, we get news that a batch of much-anticipated indies will be making their debut. With the announcement, we also have first look images at a number of high-profile features. First up is the next film from Josh Radnor, whose Happythankyoumoreplease grabbed the audience award at Sundance back in 2010. Liberal Arts stars Elizabeth Olsen, who lit up last year’s fest with Martha Marcy May Marlene and Silent House. She stars alongside Radnor, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, John Magaro, and Elizabeth Reaser. Check out a still above and one below.

Synopsis:

When 30-something Jesse is invited back to his alma mater, he falls for a 19-year-old college student and is faced with the powerful attraction that springs up between them.

We also have the first stills from the next film from The Queen, Tamara Drewe and High Fidelity director Stephen Frears. »

- jpraup@gmail.com (thefilmstage.com)

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Sundance 2012 to premiere Spike Lee, Stephen Frears and Julie Delpy films

6 December 2011 7:25 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Utah film festival lineup in January will include new Spike Lee drama and Julie Delpy's follow-up to 2 Days in Paris

The Sundance film festival has announced its lineup of premieres, this year featuring new movies from Spike Lee, Stephen Frears and Julie Delpy among others.

Lee will present Red Hook Summer, his drama about an Atlanta boy who spends a summer in Brooklyn with his grandfather, who he's never met before. It stars The Wire's Clarke Peters, Jules Brown, Toni Lysaith, James Ransone and Thomas Jefferson Byrd. Frears, the British director of The Queen and Dirty Pretty Things, will screen Lay the Favourite, described as a film about an adventurous young woman who gets involved with a group of geeky older men who work the Las Vegas sportsbook system to their advantage. The film stars Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

French actor-director Delpy arrives with comedy drama 2 Days in New York, »

- Ben Child

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Dame Helen Donates Red Bikini To Charity

6 December 2011 4:06 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Dame Helen Mirren is donating her iconic red bikini to raise money to keep Britain's elderly warm this winter.

The veteran British actress made a splash when she was photographed in the two-piece while on vacation in 2008 and the pictures were published around the world.

Now The Queen star has handed over her beloved swimsuit to raise cash for Age UK's Spread the Warmth campaign, which provides thousands of older people with food packages, blankets and heaters.

She tells U.K. morning show Daybreak, "I'm saying farewell to it a little bit regretfully but hopefully it will go to someone who will fill it with as much aplomb as maybe I did... It happens to be one of the best bikinis in the world because it fits! The minute I bought it I loved it because it's so hard to find a bikini that fits if you've got bosoms like I have.

"I would love it to raise money for an organisation that I support called Age UK. I love the idea of this little flimsy summer thing going towards helping old people stay warm and comfortable and toasty in the wintertime. Age UK is a wonderful organisation so I'm hoping that they can raise money with it."

Fans can enter a prize draw to win the bikini by making a donation to Age UK via ITV.com/Daybreak. »

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First Look At Bruce Willis, Vince Vaughn, Rebecca Hall & Catherine Zeta-Jones In 'Lay The Favorite'

5 December 2011 2:09 PM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

There are few directors that jump from genre to genre like Stephen Frears (the guy has done everything from "The Queen" to "High Fidelity" to "The Grifters") and he's once again shifted directions, the results of which he'll be bringing to Sundance next month. Based on the Beth Raymer gambling memoir, the story, adapted by D.V. DeVincentis (”High Fidelity,” “Grosse Pointe Blank”), follows the rise of Internet gambling and off-shore sports betting through the story of a woman in her 30s who becomes involved with a group of fifty-something math geeks in Queens who have worked out a way to rig the sports books in Vegas. If that story doesn't sound promising enough, how about this cast then? Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rebecca Hall, Vince Vaughn and Frank Grillo all feature. Not too bad at all, and those garish fashions are pretty amazing. The movie premieres up in Park City in January. »

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Lars von Trier's Melancholia takes top prize at European film awards

5 December 2011 1:05 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

A good night for Britons at ceremony with Colin Firth and Tilda Swinton, Terry Gilliam and Stephen Frears winning prizes

The apocalypse came with a happy ending at the 24th annual European film awards in Berlin, as Lars von Trier's Melancholia – an extravagant drama about the end of the world, took the crowning prize for best film. It marked a redemption of sorts for the Danish director, who was ejected from the Cannes film festival after joking he was a Nazi. Von Trier's wife, Bente Froge, collected the award on his behalf.

She said her husband had taken a vow of silence after the Nazi row. "I should say from Lars that he has no statement for you," she announced. "But he did ask that I should wave to you in a kind and gentle way."

Melancholia stars the American actor Kirsten Dunst as a brittle manic-depressive who rises »

- Xan Brooks

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News Shorts: December 4th 2011

4 December 2011 9:03 PM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

The first photos are out of Sam Worthington sporting new hair for the 'Clash' sequel Wrath of the Titans, the first photo of Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton shooting Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, and Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn comedy Neighborhood Watch.

Next comes set photos of Elijah Wood getting stab happy on the remake of Maniac, and a photo of Daniel Day Lewis taking a break on the set of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln.

Posters for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Cabin in the Woods, John Carter, All New People, Men in Black 3, The Lucky One, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and Haywire.

Check out this interactive map showing the various NYC locations Michael Fassbender's character visits in "Shame".

"Twilight" fans definitely need to listen to the eighth 'Team Jack' podcast at Smodcast. The two hosts worked on "Breaking Dawn Part 1" and now share stories about the »

- Garth Franklin

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Melancholia takes Best Film at the European Film Awards

4 December 2011 9:16 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

The 24th annual European Film Awards took place in Berlin last night, with Lars von Trier's Melancholia taking home the top honour, Best European Film, along with the Carlo di Palma European Cinematographer Award (Manuel Alberto Claro) and Best Production Design (Jette Lehmann).

However, von Trier lost out on the gong for Best Director to fellow Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier (In a Better World), while Melancholia stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg were also overlooked for Best Actress, with Tilda Swinton receiving the award for her work in Lynne Ramsay's hard-hitting drama We Need to Talk About Kevin. Further British success came in the form of Colin Firth, who added the Best European Actor gong to his impressive collection of accolades for The King's Speech, which of course includes Best Actor at the 83rd Academy Awards back in February of this year, while Stephen Frears was the recipient »

- flickeringmyth

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The Artist Wins Only One European Film Award; Michel Piccoli Gets Impromptu Lifetime Achievement Award

3 December 2011 6:12 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Melancholia Tops European Film Awards, Lars von Trier Bypassed, Colin Firth Beats Jean Dujardin [Photo: Stephen Frears.] The Artist, a favorite for the 2012 Oscar, won a single Efa Award: Best European Composer, Ludovic Bource, who thanked the film's perky dog, Uggie, for providing the necessary inspiration. Writer-director Michel Hazanavicius wasn't even nominated; star Jean Dujardin lost to Colin Firth. Other Efa 2011 winners include Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne's screenplay for The Kid with a Bike; Wim Wenders' documentary Pina, Germany's submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar; Tono Errando, Javier Mariscal, and Fernando Trueba's bolero-rhythmed animated feature and potential Oscar contender Chico & Rita; Terry Gilliam's short The Wholly Family, about an American family visiting Naples; and Hans Van Nuffel's Dutch-Belgian drama Oxygen, the European Discovery of 2011. Oxygen tells the story of two young men in love — and suffering from incurable illnesses. Efa winners of non-competitive awards were »

- Andre Soares

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The Queen's Peter Morgan Sells Heist Script To New Line

3 December 2011 1:54 PM, PST | cinemablend.com | See recent Cinema Blend news »

British writer Peter Morgan has made a name for himself penning awards-friendly, character-centric dramas such as The Last King of Scotland, The Queen, and Frost/Nixon. With the upcoming remake of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy he.s branching out into thriller territory, and now he.s tackling yet another time-honored genre: the heist flick. Variety reports that New Line has picked up Morgan.s untitled heist screenplay, to be produced by Simon Kinberg. Morgan and Kinberg developed the script together. The story doesn.t provide many details about the project . not surprising since it doesn.t even have a title listed . but it does say that it is a character-driven story revolving around two male leads, and it is set in America. Variety also says the film is .in the vein of. Michael Mann.s Heat and Martin Scorsese.s The Departed. Without knowing more about the film, that could »

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Peter Morgan Heist Film Lands at New Line

2 December 2011 11:49 AM, PST | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

Veteran screenwriter Peter Morgan added to his already busy workload as Variety confirmed today that New Line Cinema acquired his heist film script for Simon Kinberg to produce via his Genre Films shingle. New Line revealed little about the film’s plot except to say it would feature two main male characters and made comparisons to Heat and The Departed. Morgan recently wrote the Fernando Meirelles ensemble drama 360 in addition to The Queen, The Last King of Scotland, Frost/Nixon and Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter. Morgan remained busy writing the script for Rush, about Formula 1 racer Niki Lauda. »

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