Dirty Snow: Espinosa’s Ungainly Yet Enjoyable Soviet Era Mystery
Grazing lightly over the Soviet era politics of the period and featuring a handsome, gussied up cast that features a tad too many problematic instances of accented English, Swedish helmer Daniel Espinosa still manages to make an utterly watchable film out of Child 44, his second studio picture since breaking into Hollywood with 2012’s Safe House. A cadre of diverse actors from Sweden, Poland, France, Denmark, the UK, the Us, Switzerland, and more, portray period Soviets, some to better effect than others.
Based on Tom Rob Smith’s novel, the first in a trilogy, Espinosa and screenwriter Richard Price have clearly tried to retain the source material’s sprawling scope, though the film sometimes gets tripped up in its own skirt layers. Considering the richness of the material, it’s too bad that our seemingly unwavering preference for shorter running »
- Nicholas Bell
The Russian accents in Daniel Espinosa's pitiless Soviet thriller adaptation Child 44 have already got more press than the film itself, which is both unfortunate and illustrative of a familiar problem with putting English dialogue in foreign characters' mouths. Adapted from the first novel in a trilogy by British writer Tom Rob Smith, the film is a pensive and bracingly brutal mystery which takes too long to become emotionally engaging.
Tom Hardy is characteristically compelling as Leo Demidov, a runaway orphan-turned-WW2 soldier transformed into a war hero by his role in the Battle of Berlin. Years after the war, Leo and his comrade-in-arms Alexei (Fares Fares) have taken jobs with the secret police in Moscow, under the command of Vincent Cassell's slippery Major Kuzmin.
"There is no murder in paradise, »
How does a state where 'there is no crime' handle an act like murder when it occurs not once but dozens of times? The answer is that the state – in this case, post-World War II Stalinist Russia – creates an 'official' story and buries the truth as capitalist propaganda.
That’s what happens in Child 44, the new political thriller based on the first in a trilogy of novels by Tom Rob Smith. Tom Hardy stars as Mgb agent Leo Demidov, who is busy at his job of routing out political dissidents when two major challenges come into his life: he is asked to denounce his own wife, Raisa (Noomi Rapace), as a traitor, and also stumbles upon a series of grisly child killings that seem to stretch across 20 years »
Having never read the novel by Tom Rob Smith, I can't really comment on "Child 44" as an adaptation. Often, even I feel like a movie doesn't work, as long as it resembles the book, fans seem placated, and that might be the case here. Coming to it cold, though, my reaction is one of bewilderment. I have no idea what movie they thought they were making or why people flipped out for the book, because there's nothing in this film that would suggest a compelling story compellingly told. Tom Hardy stars as Leo Demidov, who was orphaned and left in a miserable hellhole, eventually escaping and enlisting in the Russian army as a teen. When WWII came, he fought, and he eventually ended up in Berlin, where he become a propaganda icon thanks to his part in a pivotal battle and his posing for a famous photo. As the film gets going, »
- Drew McWeeny
With the new film Woman in Gold out this past weekend, it’s a wonder to think what factors casting agents take into account, especially when pairing a revered British actress with a (some would say) mediocre snarky comedic actor. Obviously Reynolds has lately been taking roles that require more dramatic skills than comedic ones. However, this trend of pairing Reynolds with actors above (or below) his caliber has been a thing for a while. Sure it’s something that’s done all the time with other actors, but this specific casting choice of Mirren/Reynolds sticks out in particular. So why not look at some past odd Ryan Reynolds’ pairings to see if this trend is a good or bad thing.
- Sarah Pearce
It's time for another Hollywood race to the finish line as two studios are developing two different projects focusing on the Boston Marathon bombing and the manhunt that followed to find the perpetrators responsible. One we've already heard at 20th Century Fox about called Boston Strong with Safe House director Daniel Espinosa at the helm (though once attached star Casey Affleck is no longer involved). And now Deadline reports Boston native Mark Wahlberg is looking to star in Patriots' Day situated at CBS Films, which would focus on the tragic event through the eyes of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. The film will be pieced together with research done by "60 Minutes" from this segment: Oddly enough, this would be the first time CBS Films worked with the CBS-owned news program "60 Minutes," and I'm surprised it hasn't happened before. The script for Patriots' Day comes from Matt Charman, fresh off writing »
- Ethan Anderton
There are now officially two competing movies about the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. 20th Century Fox already has "Boston Strong" in development with Daniel Espinosa ("Safe House") directing. Now, CBS Films has announced "Patriot's Day" is in the works from screenwriter Matt Chapman ("Bridge of Spies") and producers Scott Stuber, Mark Wahlberg, Dylan Clark, Stephen Levinson and Michael Radutzky. Based on the personal account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, "Patriot's Day" is the first collaboration between "60 Minutes" and CBS Films and will feature information revealed in a report by Radutzky. The studio has also secured Davis' life rights to tell the story and Mark Wahlberg is likely on board to play him. According to a release from CBS, "Commissioner Davis played an integral role in working with the FBI, Watertown Police Department, Boston Police Department, Massachusetts State Police and local first responders to track, identify and apprehend the suspected bombers. »
- Gregory Ellwood
Until now, Daniel Espinosa has generally been known for gritty genre fare ("Snabba Cash," "Safe House," the upcoming "Child 44"), but for his next jaunt he's boldly going to outer space. The director is in talks to helm "Morningstar" for Warner Bros. The plot details of the script by David Birke ("Gacy," "13 Sins") are being kept under wraps, but it is said to have the vibe of a Cold War thriller and involve "world building." So basically, it sounds like it's an opportunity for Espinosa to expand the wheelhouse he's already in. [The Wrap] While yet another take on "David Copperfield" hardly sounds exciting, our interest is certainly piqued with Armando Ianucci ("Veep," "The Thick Of It") behind the camera. He'll helm a new take on the Charles Dickens classic with BBC Films honcho Christine Langan saying Ianucci's “sensibility usually runs very clearly through all his work. This won’t »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Just days after the 39th anniversary of the conviction of Patty Hearst back on March 20, 1976, Deadline is reporting that Fox 2000 has acquired the rights to a new, untitled book being written by Jeffrey Toobin about the life and kidnapping of Hearst. The writers behind Big Eyes, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, will be adapting Toobin’s account.
Deadline is also speculating the role might also be in development for Jennifer Lawrence, but those talks are currently preliminary.
Hearst was 20 when she was kidnapped from her wealthy parents in the Hearst Publishing Family. She was later found to have changed her name to Tania and had joined up with her kidnappers, the Symbionese Liberation Army and eventually robbed a bank in San Francisco. Hearst’s story, based on her own novel, was first adapted into a film in 1988 by Paul Schrader, with Natasha Richardson in the role. Hearst is now 61.
- Brian Welk
Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa proved he had an eye for the thriller genre with 2012’s Safe House, and now the director has a meaty subject matter on his lap with the upcoming adaptation, Child 44.
Based on Tom Rob Smith’s eponymous novel, the story centers around Soviet Russia circa 1953, a time when the Cold War was beginning to spread its tentacles and corruption was rife. Playing the part of Leo Demidov is Mad Max: Fury Road star Tom Hardy, a secret police agent who soon finds himself in political hot war after he refuses to denounce his wife, Rasia (Noomi Rapace).
Thereafter, the pair find themselves exiled from the country and crossing paths with Gary Oldman’s General Mikhail Nesterov, who together must uncover the government conspiracy surrounding a number of child murders in the country.
- Michael Briers
Adapting the non-fiction book by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge called Boston Strong, the new film has been in pre-production since last November, with Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) set to direct. Zetumer will rewrite an existing draft from screenwriters Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy (The Fighter), and was picked by the studio as he has most recently been working with them on the script for Gambit, the spin-off X-Men movie starring Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher).
The story is primarily based around the hunt for the bombers, which culminated in a chase around Boston which left a MIT policeman dead, as well as one of the bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The second bomber,
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is currently undergoing his trial for the bombings »
- Scott J. Davis
After Safe House put him on the map, helmer Daniel Espinosa quickly became the go-to guy for mainstream crime dramas and action-thrillers, but now, as he finishes putting final touches on historical thriller Child 44, it seems the director is tackling something different for his next project. Espinosa is now in talks to direct Warner Bros.’ top-secret sci-fi project Morningstar.
Details are being kept under wraps, but the project is possibly being eyed as a series starter, involving “world-building” and being described as “in the tradition of a Cold War thriller.” David Birke (13 Sins, Paul Verhoeven’s upcoming stalker movie Elle) wrote the script, suggesting that Morningstar may involve at least some horror elements. Doug Davison (Oldboy) will produce.
Espinosa has had his pick of projects in recent months. With Child 44 attracting positive buzz in the weeks leading up to its April 17 bow, he’s been flirting with titles »
- Isaac Feldberg
Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Noomi Rapace are determined to seek justice against a depraved child serial killer in the newly released character posters for their upcoming crime thriller, ‘Child 44.’ The posters for the politically-charged drama were unveiled by the film’s distributor, Summit Entertainment, which is set to release the movie in theaters nationwide on April 17. The script for ‘Child 44,’ which is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Tom Rob Smith, was penned by ‘Freedomland’ scribe, Richard Price. The thriller was directed by ‘Safe House’ helmer, Daniel Espinosa, and produced by Ridley Scott. Besides Hardy, Oldman and Rapace, the drama also features Paddy [ Read More ]
- Karen Benardello
Lionsgate has released three new Child 44 posters. Based on the novel by Tom Rob Smith, the film takes place in 1953 Soviet Russia and stars Tom Hardy as Leo Demidov, a secret police agent who is exiled to a provincial outpost when he refuses to denounce his wife, Rasia (Noomi Rapace). While working at the outpost, he and Raisa team up with General Mikhail Nesterov (Gary Oldman), and must investigate a string of child murderers that are being covered up by the government. I’m not sure why this movie is flying so low under the radar. It’s got a great premise, the trailer looks solid, and it’s got an excellent cast. While I wasn’t a fan of director Daniel Espinosa’s previous movie, Safe House, I’ve got some hope for Child 44, and maybe it will be a nice bit of counterprogramming as we charge into blockbuster season. »
- Matt Goldberg
It’s Tom Hardy versus the Soviet Union circa 1953 in Child 44 – Bane versus Stalin, if you like - and it could go either way. Hardy’s Soviet police office find himself spun in a web that may have no obvious exit, bar the gulag or cemetery, as the movie’s new TV spot shows. It’s debuting here courtesy of Entertainment One.brightcove.createExperiences();Adapted from the first of a book trilogy by Tom Rob Smith, Child 44 finds Soviet police officer Leo Demidov (Hardy) investigating a serial killer who is targeting children. The twist? Stalinist Russia doesn’t recognise the existence of crime, so Demidov’s enquiries only arouse the suspicions of dangerous apparatchiks. And as he digs deeper into the case, his government begins to suspect him of treason when a colleague frames him.Noomi Rapace is playing his conflicted wife, Raisa, and Gary Oldman is the »
Liam Neeson's latest action flick, Run All Night, may have struggled at the box office, but earlier this year, Taken 3 proved that he still has pulling power. Never mind the fact that Taken 3 is a film best forgotten about. Quickly.
Neeson has now added another action film to his slate though, a submarine flick by the name of Narco Sub. This was a film that the late Tony Scott was once going to direct (Ridley Scott is one of the producers, alongside Simon Kinberg), and it's also a project that both Doug Liman and Antoine Fuqua came close to making.
Next month we'll see how Daniel Espinosa fares with his latest thriller Child 44 starring Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Noomi Rapace (watch the trailer right here). But the director of Safe House is already looking ahead to his next project, and it's going to take him into the realm of sci-fi. The Wrap reports that Espinosa is in talks to be at the helm of Morningstar, a secretive sci-fi flick set up at Warner Bros. Pictures. Details are being kept under tight wraps, but the script from David Birke is said to have the potential for some world-building (which means potential franchise) and has a story in "the tradition of a Cold War thriller." That doesn't give us much to go on, but original science fiction ideas at the studio level are hard to come by, so count us intrigued for the time being. Espinosa hasn't exactly blown me »
- Ethan Anderton
20th Century Fox has enlisted RoboCop writer Joshua Zetumer to adapt Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge’s nonfiction book Boston Strong, which chronicles the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. The studio picked up the project in November and attached Safe House helmer Daniel Espinosa to direct. The Fighter writers Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy wrote a draft of the screenplay that piqued Fox's interest enough to bite. The studio then turned to Zetumer, who is already working with Fox on X-Men spinoff Gambit as a star vehicle for Channing Tatum. The Boston Strong project is moving forward at
- Tatiana Siegel, Borys Kit
Game of Thrones director Brian Kirk has finalized a deal with 20th Century Fox to direct Narco Sub, with Liam Neeson being eyed to star. The project has been in development for several years, with filmmakers such as Tony Scott, Doug Liman and Antoine Fuqua attached to direct at one point. Now that the studio has a director in place, they will focus on securing a deal with Liam Neeson.
The story follows an Ecuadorian drug lord who forces a disgraced Naval officer (Liam Neeson) to navigate a Narco Sub filled with cocaine past the Coast Guard. These much smaller submersible crafts are typically used by drug cartels to ship their illegal drugs between Colombia and Mexico. The ships are so small they are unable to be detected by radar.
Liam Neeson is likely to star and "Game of Thrones" and "Luther" director Brian Kirk has closed a deal to direct the long in gestation action-thriller "Narco Sub" at 20th Century Fox, Scott Free and Genre Films.
The story follows a notorious Ecuadorian drug lord who forces a disgraced American naval officer to navigate a cocaine-packed submarine past the U.S. Coast Guard.
David Guggenheim ("Safe House") wrote the movie which Ridley Scott and Simon Kinberg are producing. Tony Scott, Doug Liman and Antoine Fuqua are among the filmmakers who have circled early incarnations of the project.
Source: The Wrap »
- Garth Franklin
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners