8 items from 2015
It’s an institution, in the best possible sense of the word. And nowadays it’s impossible to think of “the Beeb” without thinking of its filmmaking arm. This week BBC Films celebrated its 25th birthday, a quarter of a century of British independent filmmaking during which it has developed and produced over 250 films. The anniversary comes just a month after it won the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award at the BAFTAs. From its first film, Anthony Minghella’s "Truly Madly Deeply" in 1990, just a smattering of the back catalogue reflects the quality of its output, much by directors nurtured at the start of their filmmaking careers: "Jude" (Michael Winterbottom), "Twenty Four Seven" (Shane Meadows), "Billy Elliot" (Stephen Daldry), "Last Resort" and "My Summer of Love" (Pawel Pawlikowski), "Eastern Promises" (David Cronenberg), "The Duchess" (Saul Dibb), "An Education" (Lone »
- Demetrios Matheou
Cast your minds back to 2002 - a time when Pop Idols didn't need to have The X Factor, Fifty Shades of Grey were just colours on a paint sampler chart and David Beckham was a mere international superstar rather than global megastar.
Bend It Like Beckham, with a modest estimated budget of £3.7 million, opened that same year and became a critical and commercial success - breaking box office records and scoring BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations, as well as making household names of many of its stars.
As the cast continues preparing for the West End stage adaptation of Gurinder Chadha's screen hit ahead of previews on May 15, find out what the movie's ensemble cast went on to achieve - including who is coming back for the musical...
Parminder Nagra (Jess Bhamra)
Nominated for Best Newcomer at the Empire Awards on the back of the movie's success, Parminder went »
The title is the most authentically French thing about “Suite francaise,” a fusty but enjoyably old-fashioned WWII soap that, notwithstanding its Gallic locale, is otherwise characterized by a distinctly British brand of plumminess. Based on the bestselling unfinished novel by Irene Nemirovsky, this lightly perfumed tale of the tentative romance between a married Frenchwoman and an urbane Nazi soldier during the 1940 German occupation covers no new ground historically or stylistically, and is hampered by gauche narration that undermines the expressive delicacy of Michelle Williams’s headlining performance. Still, attractive mounting and casting — with the inspired choice of Matthias Schoenaerts as Williams’s co-lead paying off handsomely — could see this Weinstein Co. property make moderately “Suite” music in limited release.
In Blighty, where Entertainment One releases the pic on March 13, “Suite francaise” is likely to entice the older audience that failed to turn out for the comparable but superior wartime weepie »
- Guy Lodge
Michelle Williams stars as a bourgeois Frenchwoman who falls in love with a Nazi officer (Matthias Schoenaerts) during the Occupation in the long-awaited but soapy and numbingly flat Suite Francaise. Based on the second part of Holocaust victim Irene Nemirovsky's unfinished novel, which became an acclaimed worldwide bestseller in 2004, this filleting by writer-director Saul Dibb (The Duchess, TV series The Line of Beauty), co-written by Matt Charman and completed in 2014, has sturdy production values, a tony cast and middlebrow tastefulness up the wazoo, but barely any soul, bite or genuine passion. Fans of the book will
- Leslie Felperin
Sometimes ideas that are good on paper just don't work out in execution. Case in point: "Suite Française." A World War II drama/romance starring Michelle Williams and Matthias Schoenaerts sounds awesome, but the movie from director Saul Dibb ("The Duchess") quietly premiered for industry types at the American Film Market and is now being released internationally while it still awaits a stateside date from The Weinstein Company. Call it what you like, but it looks like the studio is feeling less hopeful about the film's prospects. A new dubbed, French trailer (via Michelle Williams Online) has arrived for the film, offering a glimpse at some new scenes along with UK TV spot. Co-starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Sam Riley, Ruth Wilson, Margot Robbie ("The Wolf of Wall Street"), Alexandra Maria Lara, Tom Schilling, Eileen Atkins, Lambert Wilson, and featuring a score by Alexandre »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The Weinstein Company's World War II film The Imitation Game managed to pick up an Oscar for adapted screenplay at last night's ceremony. This year, they have Woman in Gold coming out in May, which has WW2 elements, and Suite Fran?aise coming out at some point later this year. My guess is they are going to vying for a late release, hoping to be apart of next year's award season. For those in the UK, the film opens on March 13th. I am not terribly excited to see yet another World War II-set film, but when a cast includes Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas, Matthias Schoenaerts, Margot Robbie, and Ruth Wilson, it is hard not to get my expectations high. The film is directed by Saul Dibb, whose last film was The Duchess. I know a lot of people thought it was just a rote costume drama, but I enjoyed it quite a lot, »
- Mike Shutt
Willie Nelson's "Luck, Texas" — the Old West film set that sits on a corner of his sprawling Hill Country ranch — is opening its saloon doors to Hollywood once again. Waiting for the Miracle to Come, a fantasy adventure flick starring the country icon in one of its lead roles, will be filmed in the same Lone Star spot built for 1986's Red Headed Stranger, with production set to begin in March.
Written and directed by Australian filmmaker Lian Lunson, Waiting for the Miracle to Come is about a young girl, »
We've seen a single image of Ian McKellen in his Sherlock Holmes garb for Bill Condon's Mr. Holmes. Now here's the first still from the actual shoot, showing the once-great detective turned beekeeping Sussex retiree in conversation with his housekeeper's son Roger, played by Milo Parker. Once again, there's not a deerstalker in sight. It's not that sort of Holmes film...Mr. Holmes is based on Mitch Cullin's 2006 novel A Slight Trick Of The Mind and has been adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher (The Duchess). The book takes place in 1947 when Holmes is 93, long retired to Sussex and his bees and frustrated by his diminishing power of recollection. He believes his bees' royal jelly is part of the secret of his longevity, and his further researches into the subject have recently taken him to post-war Japan. There he encounters the son of a former British diplomat who knew Holmes »
8 items from 2015
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