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30 December 2013 6:03 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
2013's movies were filled with stars who reunited with a former memorable counterpart for a new film, and often portrayed a new relationship. Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas went from burning up the screen as lovers in The English Patient to playing Charles Dickens and the mother of the young woman with whom he's having an affair in The Invisible Woman. Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney went from a potential rom-com couple in 1997's My Best Friend's Wedding to almost family in August: Osage County. Jim Carrey and Steve Carell and Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson tried to
- Hilary Lewis
Over the weekend, our own Christopher Campbell went to bat in a big way for The Wolf of Wall Street co-star Margot Robbie, campaigning to well, start a campaign to get some awards season love for the breakout star in a film laden with talent. Campbell’s claims that Robbie is deserving of recognition for her work in the film are spot-on, as the emerging actress really makes her role as Jordan Belfort’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) second wife her own, turning a bleached-out bimbo into a flinty, funny lady who is one of the few people to get out from underneath Belfort’s abusive thumb by her own agency. Robbie, however, isn’t the only supporting star to endure domestic abuse on the big screen this year in a highly memorable way – elsewhere, Welsh multi-hyphenate Joanna Scanlan worked similar magic in another period piece about a wildly out of control man who ruins lives left and right »
- Kate Erbland
Tales of infidelity make for easy drama on a quite general level, but when one of the parties involved is a huge celebrity, it tends to amplify the intrigue. Such is the case with “The Invisible Woman,” multi-hyphenate Ralph Fiennes’ second directorial effort, and the story of author Charles Dickens and his mistress, Ellen “Nelly” Ternan (Felicity Jones). Adapted from a meticulously researched 1991 book by Claire Tomalin, the film chronicles Dickens’ willful dissolution of his marriage to wife Catherine (Joanna Scanlan), the mother of his 10 children, even in the face of the impossibility of a public relationship with Nelly. For ShockYa, Brent Simon had a chance recently to [ Read More ]
The long holiday weekend is one of the best periods of the year for specialized, review-oriented films. But given the plethora of high profile art films and quality wide studio releases to catch up with, business is spread out among many films, decreasing the grosses of most to some degree. Three last minute releases opened in New York and Los Angeles to varying results, with Universal's "Lone Survivor" somewhat surprisingly earning the top per screen average in only two theaters. With a substantially higher profile and Meryl Streep in the mix, The Weinstein Co.'s "August: Osage County" saw more middling results. Meanwhile, director Ralph Fiennes' "The Invisible Woman" (Sony Pictures Classics) lagged significantly behind. With January full of awards and nominations -- including Oscar noms on January 16 -- many of these films have longer-term prospects that could send their grosses much higher. Opening "Lone Survivor" (Universal) - Criticwire: B-; Metacritic: 56; Festivals. »
- Tom Brueggemann
Winner Of The Week: Middle-earth. Over a Christmas weekend with five new wide-release movies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug remained on top for the third straight weekend. It earned an estimated $29.9 million, losing only a hair (5 percent) of last weekend's business. Frozen was close behind with an estimated $28.8 million. The only truly kid-friendly movie out there, it actually did 46 percent better than last weekend, even though it lost 205 screens.
The 10 Best Movies of 2013
'Tis the season for going to the movies as an extremely crowded marketplace battled it out for holiday box office dollars. Two notable specialty films made their debuts in the mix of that, with The Weinstein Company opening their star-studded "August: Osage County" on December 27th and Sony Pictures Classics' offering up Charles Dickens biopic "The Invisible Woman" two days earlier. "August" -- which was delayed twice by the Weinsteins -- grossed a $179,475 from 5 theaters for a per-theater-average of $35,895. The Tracy Letts adaptation features an ensemble that includes Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney and Ewan McGregor (Streep and Roberts have both received Golden Globe and SAG nominations for their parts). Given the pedigree, an even higher average certainly seemed possible, though its expansion in the coming weeks will be the film's true test, and a $35,000+ average is certainly »
- Peter Knegt
Ralph Fiennes tackled Shakespeare for his directorial debut, and for his second effort he approaches the latter years in the life of Charles Dickens with The Invisible Woman, telling a story I'd never heard and one almost too unbelievable to be true. Yet, taking into account dramatic license, it actually is. Adapted from Claire Tomalin's book by Abi Morgan (Shame), this is an elegantly told story with some wonderful performances. Yet, for everything that's right about the film Fiennes has a tendency to linger on a scene or moment until all the air is sucked out of it and his approach is so traditional, following what almost seems like the "Paint by Numbers" book on period pieces, the film doesn't really have an identity of its own. This doesn't make it bad per se, but it does prevent it from rising up and being something truly outstanding. Set in »
- Brad Brevet
Charles Dickens and his comely, considerably younger mistress have a dickens of a time getting their adulterous act together in “The Invisible Woman,” a directing, as well as starring, turn for Ralph Fiennes. He’s rarely been better than he is as the 19th century’s most celebrated novelist, with his chops on camera just about matched by what he’s done behind. The problem is that we’ve seen so many fictions about Victorians who can’t let the onset of real passion break up their stuffy marriages that even a true-life variation doesn’t have that much to add to the genre, much less that’s thematically worthy of Dickens. Fiennes embraces his hairline even as he’s grown out a mop of side-parted curls right behind it, a loose look that helps reinforce the film’s notion that Dickens might have been probably the most fun mega-celebrity of the 1800s, »
- Chris Willman
Continuing our look ahead to the big releases of 2014, we preview the 10 awards contenders released in the UK in the crucial first two months of the year
• 2014 preview: sci-fi
• 2014 preview: comedies
• 2014 preview: drama
• 2014 preview: romance
12 Years a Slave
When Steve McQueen's unflinching, unforgettable deep south slavery epic premiered at Telluride and Toronto in September, pundits identified it immediately as the likely big victor at March's Oscars. Despite young pretenders Gravity and plucky upstart American Hustle, that still looks likely to be the case. This is a film that's impossible to ignore, a challenge not to be moved by.
Out in the UK on 10 January
• First look review: 12 Years a Slave
The first surprise of Martin Scorsese's latest team-up with Leonardo DiCaprio is that it's an out-and-out comedy, full of smackhead slapstick and dwarf-chucking japery. The second is that it's really, really funny, even »
With holiday lights twinkling and the eggnog flowing, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street were neck and neck at the Christmas Day box office. In the end, Smaug had more presents under the tree, firing up $9.3 million to Wolf’s $9.15 million. But could Leonardo DiCaprio’s moral-free banker still come out on top this weekend?
Probably not. With a C CinemaScore, Wolf isn’t likely to get the word-of-mouth momentum it would need to overtake Smaug. Instead, the movie could end up taking in something like $23 million this weekend, bringing its 5-day total to around $37 million. »
- Adam Markovitz
With Christmas comes the big holiday movie weekend, and this year six awards contenders hit theaters. They include December 25 wide openers from Scorsese (the raucous comedy "The Wolf of Wall Street") Ben Stiller (the family fantasy adventure "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty") and Peter Berg (the men-at-war drama "Lone Survivor"), while director Ralph Fiennes' uncomfortable sophomore effort "The Invisible Woman" arrives in select cities. On Friday in limited release come two late arrivals from Tiff and Telluride, respectively: John Wells and Tracy Letts' screen adaptation of his acerbic Broadway play "August: Osage County," and Jason Reitman's melodrama "Labor Day." While "August" could pick up an Oscar acting nod or two, for Meryl Streep as a hard-swilling, pill-popping matriarch and Julia Roberts as her bitter oldest daughter, late-in-the-game "Labor Day" seems lost in the pack amid a crowded year. "The Wolf of Wall Street," Martin Scorsese's »
- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
Ralph Fiennes' quasi-modern adaptation of "Coriolanus," which marked the actor's directorial debut, was a sharply experimental take on the source material. For his second effort behind the camera, "The Invisible Woman," the director has taken a more classical approach. Adapting Claire Tomalin's book about Ellen Ternan, the actress most famous for her affair with Charles Dickens while nearly 30 years his junior, Fiennes takes on the Dickens role and coaxes a fantastic performance out of Felicity Jones as Ternan. Though suffering from dry patches and a fairly mannered approach, "The Invisible Woman" eventually makes its way to a powerful final third documenting an ultimately tragic romance in deeply felt terms. It's no Shakespeare, but Fiennes makes the story resonate all the same. Even when it drags, however, "The Invisible Woman" retains an impressive feel for its period. Cinematographer Rob Hardy ("Shadowdancer") captures the elegance of the period with warm colors that make. »
- Eric Kohn
As if we needed further proof of his prodigious talent, Ralph Fiennes delivers a magnificent performance as Charles Dickens while directing himself and a first-rate ensemble in The Invisible Woman. Working from a script by Abi Morgan (who explored a more contemporary figure in The Iron Lady), Fiennes brings 19th century England to vivid life. This is no ordinary period piece, as it casts a keen, modern eye on the mores (and hypocrisy) of the Victorian age. Felicity Jones gives a fierce yet subtle performance as Nelly Ternan, the odd-girl-out in a fatherless theatrical family headed by Kristin Scott Thomas. She is just 18 when Dickens meets her while staging a play he has authored...
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- Leonard Maltin
A tale of love complicated — if not thwarted — by prior responsibilities, intractable barriers, and the rigid high-society norms that frustrate its Victorian characters' attempts to live as they so desperately want, The Invisible Woman finds Ralph Fiennes proving as adept behind the camera as he is in front of it. Fiennes's film, his second as director, examines the secret love affair between Charles Dickens (Fiennes) and young actress Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones), with a script (by Abi Morgan) based on Claire Tomalin's nonfiction study of the affair. The story comes in flashbacks: Nelly — now married and with child — remembering the bond she shared with the great author when she was just 18, a relationship that began after she and her sisters, guided by »
Moviegoers will have plenty to unwrap in theaters Christmas Day, with a hefty eight films opening, including Martin Scorsese’s latest “The Wolf of Wall Street”, Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and the Keanu Reeves samurai tentpole “47 Ronin.” But auds still are likely to crown Warner Bros.’ third-frame holdover “The Hobbit” as the B.O. champ, with a projected five-day gross at north of $40 million.
“Wolf of Wall Street,” which Paramount is releasing at more than 2,500 Stateside locations, looks to have the edge among the new entries, tracking in the mid-$20 millions Friday-Sunday. Par expects the film to gross somewhere in the $30 million range in five days, with opening day expectations at around $7 million.
Meanwhile, Fox’s “Walter Mitty” and Warner Bros.’ older-skewing “Grudge Match,” starring Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone, are projected to land in the high-teens in three days. Both look to eclipse »
- Andrew Stewart
Directed by Ralph Fiennes and written by Abi Morgan (Shame), The Invisible Woman tells the story of Ellen “Nelly” Ternan (Felicity Jones), a happily married mother and schoolteacher with a secret past. Haunted by remorse and guilt, Nelly was a young actress who caught the eye of Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes), becoming both his muse and secret lover. At the film’s press day, actress Felicity Jones spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about what made you want to play Nelly, her audition process for the role, working with Ralph Fiennes as an actor and as a director, how the two of them were on the same wavelength during the shoot, how extensively she did research into the real woman, and her incredible wardrobe. She also talked about being a part of such a huge production as The Amazing Spider-Man 2, how the secrecy about the project was inferred, »
- Christina Radish
In Plain Sight: Great Expectations for Fiennes’ Sophomore Effort
After his brash, testosterone-fueled directorial debut Coriolanus, Ralph Fiennes fares far better with the quieter, chest-heaving illicit love story of The Invisible Woman. Based on Claire Tomalin’s biography of Nelly Ternan, (who may have been Charles Dickens’ muse for the novel Great Expectations), the film centers on Dickens’ (Ralph Fiennes) torrid extramarital affair with Ternan (Felicity Jones), the details of which are unfolded in flashbacks throughout the film. Exquisitely crafted and featuring a fierce standout performance by Jones, the film is a solid sophomore item from an actor accomplishing more than a will to flex his directing muscles or switch up genres, but demonstrate a strong knack for adapting classic fiction.
The film’s central narrative takes place in 1857, whereupon young actress Nelly Ternan captures the attention of married famous author and playwright Charles Dickens. Despite protestations from her mother »
- Leora Heilbronn
Opening this Christmas, Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the finance world in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," Keanu Reeves and a band of samurai warriors fight a ruthless shogun in "47 Ronin," Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro face off in "Grudge Match," and tensions grow between Meryl Streep and everyone else in "August: Osage County."
Based on Jordan Belfort's memoirs, "The Wolf of Wall Street" re-teams Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio in the story of a crooked stockbroker's meteoric rise, outlandish behavior, and sudden fall involving the federal government. Set in the '80s and early '90s, the comedy-drama is Scorsese at his most adult (don't bring the kids). The film's stellar cast is rounded out by Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Kyle Chandler, Jean Dujardin ('The Artist'), and more.
- Jonny Black
*Editor’s note: Our review of The Invisible Woman originally ran during this year’s Nyff, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens Christmas day in limited theatrical release.* It’s best to assume that when Ralph Fiennes took on the story of Charles Dickens (Fiennes) and his teen lover Ellen “Nelly” Ternan (Felicity Jones) for his The Invisible Woman, he didn’t intend for the film’s big takeaway to be that the beloved British author was basically a big jerk, at least when it came to matters of the heart. And yet, that’s the unexpected result of the apparently fact-based tale, a “romance” devoid of emotion that fails to capture any of the spirit or intelligence of Dickens’ own works. While the film has some very compelling source material, including a book by Claire Tomalin and a script from Abi Morgan (who penned the wonderful Shame and the laughably bad The Iron Lady »
- Kate Erbland
As if being one of the finest actors of our time weren’t enough, Ralph Fiennes has now become one of our most singular and talented directors as well, with last year’s tough, brilliant Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus and now this year’s devastating Charles Dickens biopic The Invisible Woman. Actually, “biopic” is the wrong word here. The Invisible Woman charts the scandalous love affair between the beloved author (played by Fiennes), then at the height of his fame, and Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones), a young actress who initially doesn’t know what to make of the married man’s advances. The filmmaking is nuanced and remarkably assured, and the performance is unforgettable. Fiennes recently sat down with Vulture to talk about the challenge of playing Dickens, his inner child, and the Fiennes film he wishes more people would see.The way you portray Charles Dickens in this film is »
- Bilge Ebiri
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