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14 items from 2014

Lady in the Van first look

5 November 2014 2:21 AM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The first image from the Alan Bennett adaptation has been unveiled as well as the release date.

Sony Pictures has released the first official image from TriStar and BBC Films feature The Lady In The Van showing Dame Maggie Smith in character as the eccentric Miss Shepherd.

The big screen adaptation of writer Alan Bennett’s iconic memoir is directed by long-standing Bennett collaborator Nicholas Hytner.

The film tells the true story of the relationship between Bennett and Miss Shepherd, a woman of uncertain origins who ‘temporarily’ parked her van in Bennett’s London driveway and proceeded to live there for 15 years.

Sony Pictures has also announced that the film will release in cinemas across the UK on Nov 13, 2015.

The first official picture shows Dame Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey, Harry Potter), on location in London alongside co-star Alex Jennings (The Queen), who plays Bennett.  

The movie is being filmed on the very street, and in the »

- (Michael Rosser)

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TriStar Productions And BBC Films Greenlight The Lady In The Van Starring Maggie Smith

3 June 2014 5:50 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Tom Rothman’s TriStar Productions has joined with BBC Films to greenlight The Lady In The Van, Alan Bennett’s adaptation of his commercial and critical West End hit, based on his own bestselling memoir.

Dame Maggie Smith, the star of the Downton Abbey phenomenon, will reprise one of her most-loved stage roles for the big screen, under the direction of Nicholas Hytner.

The film tells the true story of Miss Shepherd, an eccentric woman of uncertain origins, who “temporarily” parked her broken down van in Bennett’s London driveway… and proceeded to live there for the next fifteen years. Smith, who will play the singular Miss Shepherd, will be joined by Alex Jennings (The Queen), who will play both Bennett and, with some movie magic, his alter ego, Ab.

The film will be Hytner’s first directorial outing after ending his massively successful decade at the head of the British National Theatre. »

- Michelle McCue

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Le Week-end review: la vie et le bonheur

2 April 2014 7:13 AM, PDT | | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

A marvelous little unpacking of the meaning of happiness, precisely what constitutes it, and how to know whether you’ve found it. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Nick (Jim Broadbent: Closed Circuit) and Meg (Lindsay Duncan: About Time) have been married a long time. We’re not sure how long, as Le Week-end opens with them on the train from London to Paris for a getaway, but the practiced ease of their togetherness, all reflexive sniping and easy intimacy, is plain. You know these people… but you don’t see them in movies often. Apart from the simple pleasure of spending cinematic time with intriguing yet realistic people exploring the conundrums of life in an engaging and sympathetic way, we have here the pleasure of seeing a couple of fresh, funny 60somethings having little »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Roger Michell’s Le Week-end Opens in St. Louis March 28

24 March 2014 7:07 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

If you have a proclivity for the smaller, indie films, then you won’t want to miss Le Week-end.  This charming film opens at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema in St. Louis this Friday, March 28th.

Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent (Iris, Topsy-turvy, Another Year) and Lindsay Duncan (About Time, Alice In Wonderland, Mansfield Park) give exquisite performances as Nick and Meg, a long-married British couple revisiting Paris for the first time since their honeymoon in an attempt to rekindle their relationship.

During a two-day escapade, diffident, wistful Nick and demanding, take-charge Meg careen from harmony to disharmony to resignation and back again as they take stock of half a lifetime of deep tenderness – and even deeper regret. A surprise invitation from Nick’s old friend Morgan (Jeff Goldblum), an amusingly boorish American academic with a fancy Parisian address, soon leads them to an unexpectedly hopeful vision of what their love and marriage might still become. »

- Michelle McCue

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Le Week-End | Review

12 March 2014 1:00 PM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Meant to Be Spent Alone: Michell’s Latest a Welcome Return to Quality Filmmaking

After a pair of mainstream Us misfires, South African born director Roger Michell returns to the UK for his latest film, Le Week-End, a portrait of a married heterosexual couple after thirty years of marriage that is as moving as it is engaging and astute. Enhanced by a pair of performances from a melancholy Jim Broadbent and an incredibly prickly yet gloriously acerbic Lindsay Duncan, Michell once again utilizes the strengths of screenwriter Hanif Kureishi and creates a visual journey out of what is, mostly, a sparring of contradictory wills through a series of well written dialogues. Though best known for his 1999 Julia Roberts/Hugh Grant starrer, Notting Hill, his latest ranks with his other top tier titles like The Mother and Venus.

Deciding to celebrate their 30th anniversary in Paris, university professor Nick (Broadbent) and »

- Nicholas Bell

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Peter O'Toole: Academy pays tribute at 2014 Oscars

2 March 2014 7:56 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Eight time Oscar nominee, best known for David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia, remembered at Oscar ceremony

• Xan Brooks liveblogs the ceremony

• Full list of winners as they're announced

The Oscars paid tribute to Peter O'Toole, the celebrated star of Lawrence of Arabia who died last year – devoting part of its traditional In Memoriam section to the actor.

O'Toole was nominated eight times for the best actor Oscar, but was unsuccessful in winning any, though he was partly compensated by being given an honorary Academy award in 2003. His Oscar-night losses included some of his best-known roles, among them Te Lawrence in 1962, the title role in Becket in 1964, and mentally ill aristocrat Jack Gurney in The Ruling Class in 1972, when he was defeated by Gregory Peck (To Kill a Mockingbird), Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady) and Marlon Brando (The Godfather) respectively. His final nomination came in 2006 for Venus, when he lost »

- Andrew Pulver

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DVD Review: 'Le Week-End'

24 February 2014 6:21 AM, PST | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★★☆☆ Upholding the current vogue of films both targeted at an older tier of cinemagoers and depicting the romantic ups and downs of characters in their autumn years, Le Week-End (2013) sees director Roger Michell teaming up once more with screenwriter Hanif Kureishi for another witty and jaggedly charming gander at identity and the processes of maturing somewhat gracefully. Two of their previous collaborations have focused on older characters reaching something of an impasse - from Anne Reid's impassioned grandmother in The Mother (2003) to the late Peter O'Toole's twinkly-eyed pensioner in Venus (2006).


- CineVue UK

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Interesting directors who dropped out of a blockbuster movie

3 February 2014 7:12 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Feature Simon Brew 5 Feb 2014 - 06:48

Directing a massive blockbuster is the dream, isn't it? Not always, it seems. Here are some directors who've dropped out of big projects...

The explosion of the DVD market, and of the current generation of American and international independent cinema, has sent movie bosses scouring the shelves and the planet for interesting directors. Said studios then try and pair those interesting directors with blockbuster movies (a trend that continues later this year with the rather excellent decision to give Gareth Edwards Godzilla to make). But things don't always work out, and ways are parted before a single frame of footage has been shot.

So then: what we've looked at here are examples of where interesting directors were hired for blockbuster movies, only for them to leave the project before the film in question was complete. We've avoided stories of directors not returning for sequels »

- sarahd

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Schell as Director: Three Academy Award Nominations for His Films

1 February 2014 7:47 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Maximilian Schell movie director (photo: Maximilian Schell and Maria Schell) (See previous post: “Maximilian Schell Dies: Best Actor Oscar Winner for ‘Judgment at Nuremberg.’”) Maximilian Schell’s first film as a director was the 1970 (dubbed) German-language release First Love / Erste Liebe, adapted from Igor Turgenev’s novella, and starring Englishman John Moulder-Brown, Frenchwoman Dominique Sanda, and Schell in this tale about a doomed love affair in Czarist Russia. Italian Valentina Cortese and British Marius Goring provided support. Directed by a former Best Actor Oscar winner, First Love, a movie that could just as easily have been dubbed into Swedish or Swahili (or English), ended up nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. Three years later, nominated in that same category was Schell’s second feature film as a director, The Pedestrian / Der Fußgänger, in which a car accident forces a German businessman to delve deep into his past. »

- Andre Soares

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Poster Premiere: 'Le Week-End,' the Newest Film from the Director of 'Notting Hill'

27 January 2014 2:00 PM, PST | | See recent news »

We seem to be experiencing a bit of a renaissance of delightful romantic comedies about old people finding a way to rekindle their magic. You won't find us complaining about it, either. We're a sucker for a good rom-com, and the age of the couple in question doesn't matter. If anything, the older the couple, the sweeter the romance (see Enough Said for last year's great example of this). Le Week-End is the latest in this lovely subgenre, and it stars Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas, Another Year) and Lindsay Duncan (Mansfield Park, About Time) as a British couple who decide to re-create their honeymoon in Paris. While there, an old friend (Jeff Goldblum) helps them discover new sides of themselves. It was written by Hanif Kureishi (Venus, The Mother), directed by...

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- Peter Hall

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First Image Released of Jim Broadbent in ‘Get Santa’

27 January 2014 1:37 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

London — The first image has been released of Jim Broadbent starring in “Get Santa,” which is shooting in London and Yorkshire, Northern England. Altitude Film Sales will be selling the pic at the European Film Market in Berlin.

When Santa (Broadbent) is arrested in London, it falls on 9-year-old Tom (Kit Connor) and his dad Steve (Rafe Spall) to go on a desperate quest to save Christmas.

Pic is penned and helmed by Christopher Smith (“Black Death,” “Severance”), and produced by Liza Marshall for Ridley Scott’s Scott Free London, alongside the BFI, Screen Yorkshire and Altitude Film Entertainment.

As well as Broadbent, newcomer Connor, and Spall (“Prometheus,” “I Give It a Year,” “Life of Pi”), the cast includes Stephen Graham (“This Is England,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Gangs of New York”), Ewen Bremner (“Trainspotting,” “Snatch,” “Black Hawk Down”), Jodie Whittaker (“Attack the Block,” “Venus”), Warwick Davis (“Harry Potter” franchise, »

- Leo Barraclough

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The top 25 underappreciated films of 2006

22 January 2014 6:26 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 23 Jan 2014 - 05:44

Our series of lists devoted to underappreciated films brings us to the year 2006, and a further 25 overlooked gems...

With all the major films that elbow their way into their cinemas every year, there's bound to be some casualties among the big hits. And just like any other year, 2006 was dominated by the likes of Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, The Da Vinci Code and Ice Age: The Meltdown. But in tandem, there were dozens of lesser-seen films which shuffled in and out of cinemas (or occasionally, didn't get a release in cinemas at all) without very many people noticing.

As we're sure you're aware by now, these lists aim to redress the balance a little, and hopefully introduce a few films from any given year that you may have missed. There are also one or two films that, although »

- ryanlambie

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'Sleepy Hollow's' Tom Mison: 'Ichabod Crane is the hardest part I've played'

6 January 2014 11:00 AM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

"Ichabod is the hardest part I've played," Tom Mison, star of the freshman fantasy-drama "Sleepy Hollow," airing Mondays on Fox, tells Zap2it. "There's so much that we need to balance with him. To slightly veer in any one direction a little too much, and it will collapse."

"Sleepy Hollow" can be described as a combination of author Washington Irving (in particular, his stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle"), the film "National Treasure" and the biblical book of Revelation.

Mison's Ichabod Crane was a spy for Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War, when he beheaded the Hessian Horseman and apparently perished. But, he survived and slumbered underground for over two centuries, only to emerge in present-day Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

Stalked by the now-Headless Horseman and facing a variety of deadly supernatural forces, Ichabod has partnered with local police Lt. Abby Mills (Nicole Beharie »


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Nebraska, Finely Aged and Potentially Oscar Record-Breaking

3 January 2014 10:02 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

I'm sure you've seen the melancholy yet uplifting new spot for Nebraska that points out the ages of its principal cast and how long they've been acting. It's inspiring, for sure, as longevity often is. Hollywood and the Oscars often favor the sprinters (note all the stars, particularly actresses, who won too soon and all the films that opened in the rush of awards season that were only hot for two months) but life is a marathon.

Assuming Bruce Dern and June Squibb are both nominated on January 16th (and smart money says they will be) they'll both be among the top three oldest performers ever nominated in their categories. It will break down like so...

Oldest Best Actor Nominees

01 Richard Farnsworth, The Straight Story (1999) who was 79

02 Bruce Dern, Nebraska (20) who is 77*

03 Henry Fonda, On Golden Pond (1981) who was 76

04 Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby (2004) who was 74

05 Peter O'Toole, Venus (2006) who was also 74

06 Morgan Freeman, »


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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

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