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Sheridan Smith uncut: "I've played mainly slappers and chavs"

29 December 2012 4:38 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Sheridan Smith made her name with a girl next door turn in Gavin and Stacey. Now her star has risen in the West End – from Legally Blonde to Hedda Gabler. Dustin Hoffman sees her future in Hollywood. Here, she tells Megan Conner about the most incredible 12 months of her life

Exactly 12 hours before I'm due to meet Sheridan Smith, the actor takes to her Twitter page. "Oh I can't stop crying. Hate myself sometimes, just can't be myself. I can only play characters. Wish I had more confidence when I'm being me," she writes. Within minutes, a stream of her some 310,000 followers are tweeting furiously.

"Omg, don't beat yourself up!" they say. "Stop stop stop that now," another instructs. One user, @Londontheatre1, has some helpful advice: Smith should draw on the strength of her characters, Ronnie Biggs's long-suffering ex-wife in the ITV drama Mrs Biggs, or Elle Woods, the »

- Megan Conner

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Sheridan Smith uncut: "I've played mainly slappers and chavs"

29 December 2012 4:38 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Sheridan Smith made her name with a girl next door turn in Gavin and Stacey. Now her star has risen in the West End – from Legally Blonde to Hedda Gabler. Dustin Hoffman sees her future in Hollywood. Here, she tells Megan Conner about the most incredible 12 months of her life

Exactly 12 hours before I'm due to meet Sheridan Smith, the actor takes to her Twitter page. "Oh I can't stop crying. Hate myself sometimes, just can't be myself. I can only play characters. Wish I had more confidence when I'm being me," she writes. Within minutes, a stream of her some 310,000 followers are tweeting furiously.

"Omg, don't beat yourself up!" they say. "Stop stop stop that now," another instructs. One user, @Londontheatre1, has some helpful advice: Smith should draw on the strength of her characters, Ronnie Biggs's long-suffering ex-wife in the ITV drama Mrs Biggs, or Elle Woods, the »

- Megan Conner

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This week's new films

28 December 2012 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Safety Not Guaranteed | Jack Reacher | Midnight's Children | Grabbers | Zaytoun | Parental Guidance

Safety Not Guaranteed (15) (Colin Trevorrow, 2012, Us) Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni, Jenica Bergere. 86 mins

A man puts an ad in the local paper seeking a companion for his time-travel mission. Is this a prelude to a sci-fi adventure or an inventive lonelyhearts ad? We're strung along as to whether or not this guy's genuine for so long, there's room to smuggle in a relaxed indie romcom in the interim – Plaza is great company as she forges a connection with the paranoid inventor (Duplass). The sci-fi element isn't quite a red herring, but by the time it flowers, we've already learned plenty about living in the past.

Jack Reacher (12A) (Christopher McQuarrie, 2012, Us) Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins. 130 mins

After the atrocity of Rock Of Ages, Cruise is back in his comfort zone as Lee Child's lone-wolf military detective, »

- Steve Rose

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Review: Dustin Hoffman's 'Quartet' Is An Amiable, Harmless Showcase For Brit Acting Talent

28 December 2012 7:55 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Dustin Hoffman has taken 45 years as both one of our most acclaimed actors, and as a major box office draw, to step behind the camera. In fact, that's not strictly true; Hoffman was the original director of his terminally underrated 1978 crime picture "Straight Time," but struck by indecisiveness early in production, made way for Ulu Grosbard instead. But now, nearly 35 years on, the legendary star has finally completed his debut directorial effort, "Quartet," an adaptation of the play by Ronald Harwood ("The Pianist"). A modest little comedy about retired British opera singers, it's not immediately an intuitive choice for Hoffman, the man who starred in "The Graduate," "Midnight Cowboy" and "Straw Dogs," among others. But it's easy enough to see how it happened; the film's a love letter to retired performers of any kind, and particularly the British near-legends he's assembled for his cast, and the »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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Dustin Hoffman finds a new calling

28 December 2012 4:56 AM, PST | The Independent | See recent The Independent news »

It seems strange for an actor with a 45-year movie career and two Oscars on his shelf to be paralysed by fear of failure. Or, for that matter, to talk so openly about it. But Dustin Hoffman is different. "I didn't feel like a failure," he confides, leaning towards me. "I was a failure." Today, he looks anything but. Dressed in a pale blue shirt and dark trousers, his thick head of hair slicked-back and silver and his skin nut-brown, he radiates health. And no wonder. At 75, the star of The Graduate has finally graduated – making his directorial debut with Quartet. »

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The 10 Most Serious Oscar Contenders Over The Age Of 55

27 December 2012 10:33 PM, PST | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Joey Magidson

Film Contributor

***

Age is just a number, folks. When it comes to the film industry, especially this year, we’ve seen terrific work from actors, actresses and filmmakers, both young and old. Of course, seniority does bring respect, and there are a number of awards contenders who are on the older side. The business favors the young, though, but the good ones don’t vanish when they’re on the wrong side of 30 or 40.

There are a number of strong Oscar hopefuls this year who are over the age of 55, so the purpose of this week’s list is to highlight and honor them a bit. Not all of them will wind up with nominations, but at least some of them will hear their names called. Regardless, all have added at least one more terrific bit of work to their already stellar resumes.

Some of the people listed below appear as tandems, »

- Joey Magidson

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Review: Quartet, Dustin Hoffman's Affectionate Tribute To Great Artists Of The Stage, Screen, And Concert Hall

27 December 2012 4:00 PM, PST | Screen Anarchy | See recent Screen Anarchy news »

Dustin Hoffman, as an actor, has essayed some of the most iconic and edgy roles to hit the big screen: counterculture hero Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate, Ratso Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy, the nebbish turned avenger in Straw Dogs, Lenny Bruce, Marathon Man, Carl Bernstein, among many others. But for his first film as a director, he has chosen a subject matter and milieu far, far afield from this previous work: the genteel and very, very British comedy-drama Quartet, based on a 1999 play by Ronald Harwood, who also scripted. As a first-time filmmaker at the age of 75, Hoffman turns his camera lens on characters around his own age, who are similarly dealing with life in its latter stages, staring mortality squarely in the...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]

»

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Is Dustin Hoffman going to be nominated for director?

27 December 2012 10:25 AM, PST | Hollywoodnews.com | See recent Hollywoodnews.com news »

Last night, the 35th annual Kennedy Center Honored Dustin Hoffman among others. We are very proud of Dustin Hoffman. His new film and directorial debut,”Quartet,” is doing very well and it has been recognized by many organizations. Dustin Hoffman has long harbored a desire to direct a film, and having only ever done so on stage, he can officially call himself a Director this year with the release of his first feature film “Quartet.” Debuting at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, “Quartet” stars Dame Maggie Smith, Sir Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, Billy Connolly, and Sir Michael Gambon. Based on the play by Ronald Harwood, the film follows four retired opera singers as they attempt to put on a concert to save their beloved home — and celebrate Verdi’s birthday in the process. Of his experience with the first time director, Connolly explains, “Dustin’s a brilliant director because he’s such a brilliant actor, »

- jbblog@hollywoodnews.com (Joseph Braverman)

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Quartet New Posters

26 December 2012 2:51 PM, PST | Filmofilia | See recent Filmofilia news »

We have a bunch of posters for Quartet, an opera company filled with retired performers reunite once a year to stage a fundraiser for their theater in Dustin Hoffman’s directorial sophomore project.

Contrary to what we said before, this is not Hoffman’s directorial debut as he directed the little seen Straight Time back in 1978.

An all star cast of British luminaries including Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay and Billy Connolly star with a screenplay by celebrated British playwright Ronald Harwood, based on his play.

Quartet, which also stars Sheridan Smith (Hysteria), Luke Newbury (Anna Karenina), Trevor Peacock and Welsh soprano Dame Gwyneth Jones will be released in the Us on December 28th, 2012 before going in the UK on January 1st and wider on January 4th. The film debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Quartet is about Cecily (Pauline Collins), Reggie (Tom Courtenay »

- Nick Martin

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This week's new films

21 December 2012 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Life Of Pi | West Of Memphis | Pitch Perfect | Boxing Day | Dabangg 2

Life Of Pi (PG)

(Ang Lee, 2012, Us) Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Ayush Tandon, Rafe Spall, 127 mins

All that was missing from Yann Martel's 2001 novel was the visuals, and boy does this provide them. In Lee's hands the tall tale of an Indian boy stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger is credible, captivating and, above all, ravishing to behold. It's rare to see big special effects seriously applied to something so non-generic, and the result is a one-off story teeming with life, colour and action – from gripping shipwreck action to close-up tiger terror to hallucinogenic ocean wonders.

West Of Memphis (15)

(Amy Berg, 2012, Nz/Us) 147 mins

Viewers of the Paradise Lost trilogy will already be familiar with the case of the West Memphis Three: teens accused, then convicted, of killing three young boys in a supposed Satanic ritual in 1993 despite highly questionable evidence. »

- Steve Rose

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Holiday Harvey and Dustin Hoffman Bring 'Sandy' Spirit West

20 December 2012 10:38 AM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

A week after the 12/12/12 concert -- and one night after the canceled L.A. premiere of the Weinstein Company's "Django Unchained" in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy -- Harvey and Bob Weinstein. along with Samsung, rolled out a different party on Wednesday night. A west coast echo to the Madison Square Garden event. (At left: Two Weinstein collaborators of the season meet: Chris Tucker "Silver Linings Playbook's" Chris Tucker and new director, for "Quartet," Dustin Hoffman.) Unfortunately for the west coasters,  though, the only Rolling Stone, Kanye, or McCartney-Nirvana tunes »

- Mikey Glazer

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‘Quartet’ is too many notes out of tune

20 December 2012 9:32 AM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Quartet

Directed by Dustin Hoffman

Written by Ronald Harwood (play and screenplay)

U.K., 2012

In the directorial debut from legendary actor Dustin Hoffman, Quartet, there is a character named Cissy (Pauline Collins) who, in one of the film’s many moments of levity, quotes an old friend by saying that old age is not for sissies. The joke is not terribly good, but the intent of the line is well meaning and important. It hits home, in part at least, one of the central themes of Hoffman’s picture; that old age does not exclusively mean slowing down physically and sometimes mentally as well. The truth of the matter is that it means exactly those things and thus requires some courage to live through. With age comes wisdom and patience, not to mention that one’s particular skills do not necessarily evaporate, all depending of course on what those skills are. »

- Edgar Chaput

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'Quartet': Billy Connolly hits on Sheridan Smith in new clip - watch

20 December 2012 5:25 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Dustin Hoffman's Quartet has debuted a new clip exclusively on Digital Spy. The footage has Billy Connolly's former opera singer Wilfred Bond hitting on Sheridan Smith's character without success.

Quartet stars Dame Maggie Smith as famed opera singer Jean Horton, whose appearance at the Beecham House home for retired musicians is not entirely welcomed by her former singing partners and ex-husband Reginald Paget (Tom Courtenay). She insists on claiming all the attention by playing the diva, all (more) »

- By Mark Langshaw

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Pauline Collins on her latest role in Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut Quartet

19 December 2012 7:32 PM, PST | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

Pauline Collins and Maggie Smith in Quartet

Not everybody would enjoy getting whacked over the head with a bunch of flowers by a furious Maggie Smith.

But for Pauline Collins, it was her favourite part in filming Quartet, the directorial feature debut from Dustin Hoffman.

.She didn.t hit me hard enough to start off with. but I said, .you.ve got to really go for it Maggie,. and she did,. Collins says.

Also starring Billy Connolly and Tom Courtenay, Quartet delves into the joyful madness that is life in a home for retired opera singers. But existence in Beecham House is about to be turned on its head with the arrival of egotistical opera diva Jean Horton (Smith).

Collins, best known for her award winning performance in the 1989 feature Shirley Valentine, once again brings a lovable character to the silver screen with her portrayal of Cecily .Cissy. Robson, a »

- Emily Blatchford

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Dustin Hoffman

17 December 2012 1:10 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Dustin Hoffman on being difficult, the movies he didn't make and why he's finally directing

Dustin Hoffman is on the phone to his wife. I know I shouldn't eavesdrop, but I can't help it. It's the voice. "Where's your meeting? Good luck. Bye-bye." So slow and deep and rich, like whipped cream mixed with gravel. Even when he started out 45 years ago in The Graduate, as virginal Benjamin Braddock about to be educated in the ways of love and lust, he had the voice. Hoffman is an extraordinarily convincing actor – when he sweats crazily in Straw Dogs, the sweat's for real; you can almost smell him as crippled hobo Ratso in Midnight Cowboy; and when he steps into a frock and heels for Tootsie, you know he's really learned to walk a lady's walk – but in the end it's down to the voice.

And to the choices he has made. »

- Simon Hattenstone

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This week's new films

14 December 2012 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey | Smashed | Neil Young Journeys | Chasing Ice | Love Crime | Dead Europe | UFO | False Trail | Code Name: Geronimo | Tinkerbell And The Secret Of The Wings | Babette's Feast | Baraka | What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (12A)

(Peter Jackson, 2012, Us) Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis. 169 mins

So the three-movie idea is more likely down to financial demands than creative ones, and the now-notorious higher frame rate reduces cinematic spectacle to pin-sharp TV movie, but this is terrifically wrought escapism. Freeman is the perfect lead, too. But what could have, should have been a masterpiece ends up a fantasy epic with too much epic and not enough fantasy.

Smashed (15)

(James Ponsoldt, 2012, Us) Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul. 81 mins

Winstead shows impressive range as a young alcoholic teacher trying to get back on track. The familiar subject feels fresh applied to a new demographic. »

- Steve Rose

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Nominees for 2012 Golden Globes Announced!

13 December 2012 5:49 PM, PST | WorstPreviews.com | See recent Worst Previews news »

Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has announced the nominees in both film and television for the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Check out the full list of nominees below. "Argo," "Django Unchained," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty" will be competing for the Golden Globe in the Best Film category. The same films will be competing for the Best Director award. The Golden Globe Awards will be televised live on NBC from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on January 13th, 2013. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will co-host the show. Best Film . Drama: * Argo * Django Unchained * Life of Pi * Lincoln * Zero Dark Thirty Best Actress In A Film . Drama: * Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty * Marion Cotillard - Rust and Bone * Helen Mirren - Hitchcock * Naomi Watts - The Impossible * Rachel Weisz - The Deep Blue Sea Best Actor In A Film . Drama: * Daniel Day-Lewis - »

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And the nominations for the 70th Golden Globe Awards are...

13 December 2012 4:16 PM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Awards season stepped up a gear today as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominations for the 70th Golden Globe Awards, with Steven Spielberg's acclaimed Presidential biopic Lincoln leading the way with nods in seven categories, including Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Director (Spielberg) and Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis).

Lincoln will contest the Best Drama award against Argo and Django Unchained (both of which received five nominations apiece), along with Life of Pi and Zero Dark Thirty, while Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Miserables, Moonrise Kingdom, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Silving Linings Playbook will contest Bes Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. However, the Best Director award will come from the Drama field, with Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, Ang Lee and Quentin Tarantino all nominated alongside Spielberg.

Switching to the small screen and HBO's TV movie Game Change received the most nominations with five, while »

- flickeringmyth

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Lincoln riding high at Golden Globes

13 December 2012 4:01 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Steven Spielberg's presidential drama set for landslide Oscars victory, with Argo and Django Unchained not far behind

The phoney war is over: after early jockeying for position that saw Zero Dark Thirty, Les Misérables and Silver Linings Playbook positioned as viable Oscar contenders after a driblet of awards from film critics associations and the like, Steven Spielberg's heavyweight historical epic Lincoln emerged as the clear leader in the awards race after scoring seven nominations for the Golden Globes.

Lincoln, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th president of the Us, saw nominations for best drama, best actor in a drama for Day-Lewis, best supporting actor for Tommy Lee Jones, best supporting actress for Sally Field and best director for Spielberg, as well as nods for best script and best score. It represents something of a vindication for Spielberg whose last high-minded awards contender, the first-world-war drama War Horse, »

- Andrew Pulver

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And The Nominees For The 70th Annual Golden Globes Awards Are…

13 December 2012 3:36 PM, PST | Filmofilia | See recent Filmofilia news »

Megan Fox, Ed Helms and Jessica Alba announced the nominations (yes, yes, I’m talking about the 70 Annual Golden Globes Awards), and I was like – hey, there’s a movie titled Salmon Fishing in the Yemen! Salmon Fishing… Salmon Fishing… Oh, yeah, I remember Blunt and McGregor and their legs in some lake or something like that. But, three nominations for a fisheries expert, wtf? I mean – man, that’s what I call a surprise!

So, it was mostly good. Argo, Django, Pi, Zero, Argo, Django, Pi, Zero… If you ask me, I’m happy to see that Silver Linings Playbook received four nominations, although I guess we’re all confused with that comedy/musical thing part (Cooper is dealing with some serious mental problems, for God’s sake!).

Les Miserables is also doing fine with four nominations, as well as Lincoln, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty who have all scored big. »

- Jeanne Standal

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