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Somewhere between this year’s “The Railway Man” and next year’s “Genius,” in a loose and unintended trilogy of Nicole Kidman-Colin Firth collaborations, comes “Before I Go to Sleep.” Breaking up the biopic trend of the other two films, their next collaboration is a full-blown thriller directed by Rowan Joffe (“Brighton Rock”). Kidman plays a woman whose short-term memory loss causes her to question her environment. A previous trailer shows her husband (Firth), trying to assuage her fears, who is undercut by a doctor (Mark Strong). Who's on her side? Surprise: shades of Hitchcock's "Suspicion," her beau is a little hard to trust. The preview sells a high class thriller of the sort where violence and sexual intrigue play a larger part than mere titillation. There is, of course, the chance that things could quickly go off the (ahem) rails, but Joffe earned points with 2010’s “Brighton Rock” — which, »
- Nick Newman
Academy Award Winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman star in the remarkable autobiography of Eric Lomax (Colin Firth), a British Army officer who is captured by the Japanese during WWII and sent to a Pow camp, where he is tormented and forced to work on the Thai-Burma Railway.
Decades later, still suffering the trauma of his wartime experiences, Lomax and his wife Patti (Nicole Kidman) discover that the Japanese interpreter responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and set out to confront him, in this powerful and inspiring tale of heroism, humanity and the redeeming power of love.
From The Weinstein Company, The Railway Man is rated R »
- Michelle McCue
The last time Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman shared a screen it was in a solid relationship in The Railway Man. Things are a little less calm this time. Before I Go To Sleep promises enough psychological shenanigans to send even the strongest couple into therapy, and its new poster, a Persona-like effort, gives a flavour of the turmoil beneath the surface. Rowan 'son of Roland' Joffé's second feature, the dark-hued thriller sees Kidman play the amnesiac Christine Lucas. Her burden is to solve a dark riddle, Memento-style, despite being stricken with total amnesia every 24 hours. She's understandably reliant on husband Ben's (Firth) help with her frustrating life. Could Mark Strong's doctor be the man to help them out of the maze?Before I Go To Sleep is based on the bestselling mystery potboiler by first-time author S.J. Watson and Joffé promises to mine golden-age Hollywood traditions in his interpretation. »
Are you getting restless about all these halfway posts? We're almost done. The Power of List compels me. There's one more halfway post to go that's basically 'The Oscar Charts are Updated!' as the coding problem I mentioned is fixed and the updates are happening behind the scenes as you read this. We must get all this halfway business behind us by Saturday morning so that we can ape out all weekend with Andy Serkis & Co and start this second half of the year off right.
The Greatest Performances Of 2014's First Half
Best Leading Actress: Keira Knightley does her most relaxed and fluid work ever in Begin Again as a musician at a crossroads, never letting any one aspect of the character's situation pigeonhole her emotional responses; Agata Kulesza is an abrasive and evasive presence in her first scenes in Ida as a cynical woman who is »
- NATHANIEL R
Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman are reuniting after The Railway Man for the psychological thriller Before I Go to Sleep. They star as a married couple, Ben and Christine Lucas — figures from S. J. Watson’s novel of the same name. The author wrote the best seller between shifts at the National Health Service while working as an audiologist. Check out the first trailer below. Kidman’s Christine suffers from anterograde amnesia, which means she wakes up every day with no knowledge of who she is, unable to recall events from the recent past. Mark Strong stars as the doctor who helps Kidman attempt to put the puzzle pieces of her life back together and uncover the identity of the person who attacked her, causing her devastating amnesia. 28 Weeks Later and...
- Alison Nastasi
All but one of the writing slots for Doctor Who series eight have already been announced, with Steven Moffat joined by Phil Ford, Mark Gatiss, Steve Thompson, Gareth Roberts, Peter Harness and Jamie Mathieson for the new run. It now looks as though the last remaining place - for episode ten in the series - has gone to a particularly interesting writer: Frank Cottrell Boyce.
The Liverpool Echo reports that native son Boyce (24 Hour Party People, Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story, The Railway Man) has provided a script for series eight. The screenwriter is quoted as saying "It’s like joining a family. It’s a great thing to be involved with. I grew up loving Doctor Who, and my teenage son was a big fan of it too. »
This weekend belongs to The Weinstein Company, which opened three films: John Carney's original musical "Begin Again," Radius's well-reviewed Bong Joon-ho actioner "Snowpiercer," and fashion biopic "Yves St. Laurent." With room in the market to play--other current films had expanded or were near the end of their runs--these three well-positioned new openers dominated the weekend. The Weinsteins have been quiet since the last award season. Thus far TWC's biggest 2014 grosser was Dimension's "Vampire Academy"($7 million), and with $4.4 million in the till, "The Railway Man" marks their only limited release to pass $2 million. Opening "Snowpiercer" (Radius/Weinstein) - Criticwire: A-; Metacritic: 84; Festivals include: Deauville 2013, Berlin 2014, Los Angeles 2014 $162,100 in 8 theaters; PSA: $20,263 The torturous history of the battle to get Korean director Bong Joon-Ho's first »
- Tom Brueggemann
The Academy has announced the new class of invited members for 2014 and, as is typical, many of which are among last year's nominees, which includes Barkhad Abdi, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Lupita Nyong'o and June Squibb in the Actors branch not to mention curious additions such as Josh Hutcherson, Rob Riggle and Jason Statham, but, okay. The Directors branch adds Jay and Mark Duplass along with Jean-Marc Vallee, Denis Villeneuve and Thomas Vinterberg. I didn't do an immediate tally of male to female additions or other demographics, but at first glance it seems to be a wide spread batch of new additions on all fronts. The Academy is also clearly attempting to aggressively bump up the demographics as this is the second year in a row where they have added a large number of new members, well over the average of 133 new members from 2004 to 2012. As far as »
- Brad Brevet
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.
Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2014.
“This year’s class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Their contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world, and we are proud to welcome them to the Academy.”
The 2014 invitees are:
- Michelle McCue
Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave were two of the 271 artists and industry leaders invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which determines nominations and winners at the annual Oscars. The entire list of Academy membership—which numbers about 6,000—isn’t public information so the annual invitation list is often the best indication of the artists involved in the prestigious awards process. It’s worth noting that invitations need to be accepted in order for artists to become members; some artists, like two-time Best Actor winner Sean Penn, have declined membership over the years. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Pop quiz: What do Chris Rock, Claire Denis, Eddie Vedder and Josh Hutcherson all have in common? Answer: They could all be Oscar voters very soon. The annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences invitation list always makes for interesting reading, shedding light on just how large and far-reaching the group's membership is -- or could be, depending on who accepts their invitations. This year, 271 individuals have been asked to join AMPAS, meaning every one of them could contribute to next year's Academy Awards balloting -- and it's as diverse a list as they've ever assembled. Think the Academy consists entirely of fusty retired white dudes? Not if recent Best Original Song nominee Pharrell Williams takes them up on their offer. Think it's all just a Hollywood insiders' game? Not if French arthouse titans Chantal Akerman and Olivier Assayas join the party. It's a list that subverts expectation at every turn. »
- Guy Lodge
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited 271 individuals to become members, with the list reflecting the org’s determination to bring more diversity to its ranks.
Every year, the list of invitations includes several recent Oscar nominees. That’s true this year as well, with letters going out Wednesday to a cross-section of people including 2013 contenders Barkhad Abdi, Lupita Nyong’o, Hayao Miyazaki, Pharrell Williams, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, plus such creatives as Megan Ellison, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Coogan, Jason Statham, William Chang Suk Ping, Joan Sobel, Tracey Seaward, Mads Mikkelsen and Chantal Akerman.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told Variety Thursday, “This is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. Filmmaking has gotten more diverse, and audiences have been responding. There are terrific filmmakers around the world at the top of their game and we want to recognize them and bring them into the Academy. »
- Tim Gray
June 30 marks the year’s midpoint — i.e., the halfway mark of Oscar eligibility. And so far, 2014 is in better shape than last year. The fests have offered some hot contenders that will open later in the year, as usual. But the difference this year is that several commercial releases in the first six months were knockouts. If voting were held next week, they’d be shoo-ins; the big question is whether they can go the distance.
That list includes “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Fox Searchlight) and “The Fault in Our Stars” (Fox/Fox 2000), both possible in multiple categories. Also contenders are “How to Train Your Dragon 2” (DreamWorks Animation, distribbed by Fox) and “The Lego Movie” (Warner Bros./Village Roadshow). Animated features have received Oscar best picture nominations (“Up,” “Toy Story 3”) but there have never been two in the same year, so it would be nice if 2014 broke some traditions. »
- Tim Gray
The Railway Man flew a little too under the radar, but hopefully we can make up for that when it comes home on August 12th. The Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman vehicle based on the memoir of Eric Lomax had a lot of critics talking, but wasn’t quite the sort of thing to become the number one water cooler subject.
Such is the way of dramas about prisoners of war, especially long after the fact, but this one has a lot to recommend, not least just any chance to see Colin Firth. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’re exactly overloaded with special features, but you probably can’t expect too much here. Get the full info below, and be sure to check out the trailer above.
- Marc Eastman
Wonderful true story about a mixed-race woman raised in an aristocratic British family in the late 18th century; like the best Jane Austen romance with an angry social conscience. I’m “biast” (pro): I’m hungry for stories about women
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Warning: I am about to get sweary about a genteel romantic costume drama.
To everyone who has ever said or believed that white men built the world on their own and bestowed civilization on the rest of us? Fuck you. To anyone who has ever said or believed that the stories of women and everyone not-white haven’t been told because they’re not worth telling because, obvs, they did nothing significant? Fuck you.
That the stories of women and nonwhite people — and nonwhite women! — have been erased from the history books does not »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Principal photography has commenced on director Roland Emmerich's Stonewall with Centropolis Entertainment today revealing that Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Match Point, "The Tudors"), Ron Perlman (Hellboy, "Sons of Anarchy") and Joey King (White House Down, The Conjuring) have joined the cast opposite the previously-announced Jeremy Irvine (War Horse, The Railway Man), Jonny Beauchamp ("How to Make It in America"), Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men: First Class), and up-and-comers Karl Glusman, Vlademir Alexis, and Alexandre Nachi. »
New research has indicated Australian producers are more and more looking overseas for opportunities to grow their businesses.
In the wake of recent developments such as Rake, The Dr. Blake Mysteries, Dance Academy and Miss Fisher.s Murder Mysteries all being picked up internationally, as well as recent successes of films such as The Rover, The Railway Man, The Great Gatsby, 52 Tuesdays and The Babadook; feedback from the production sector indicates fresh levels of optimism for business growth in international arenas.
The research, conducted by Screen Producers Australia, revealed 76 per cent of the businesses believed their business would grow over the coming year, with most businesses looking to the global market for production and distribution partners, for both their creative and financial objectives. Forty-eight percent are actively seeking international investment in their companies and a whopping 76 per cent are actively developing co-productions.
.The key for me is that businesses have »
- Emily Blatchford
Memorial Day weekend means big things at the box office, and what better movie to flex its muscles for such a high-profile debut than Fox’s star-studded X-Men: Days of Future Past?
The seventh movie in the long-running franchise brings the original characters together with their “younger” selves from 2011′s X-Men: First Class. Though it’s the third comic book film to open this year, behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it could prove the biggest opening yet. But, as far as Memorial Day records go, it may only crack the top five. The biggest is »
- Lindsey Bahr
Emma Stone can currently be seen on the big screen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, while Colin Firth’s latest film, The Railway Man, is showing primarily in arthouse theaters right now. However, if you’re interested in seeing both of these stars onscreen – in something that is neither a superhero movie nor a drama set largely during WWII – you may want to consider their upcoming shared vehicle, Magic in the Moonlight: this year’s helping of Woody Allen cinema, in keeping with the filmmaker’s decades-old practice of releasing a new movie every year (or so).
With Moonlight, Allen continues his jaunt around Europe, after having made a stop in the States for the Oscar-winning contemporary dramedy, Blue Jasmine. This new comedy – shot on location in the South of France – is set in the 1920s, where ...
- Sandy Schaefer
You're going to be seeing a lot of Colin Firth this year. So far, he's been in Devil's Knot and The Railway Man, with Kingsman: The Secret Service and Paddington closing out his year. Smack dab in the middle, during the heat of the summer movie season, is Magic In The Moonlight, a film that hopes to serve as a crossroads between high art prestige and summer entertainment. With Emma Stone as his co-star and Woody Allen serving as the film's writer/director, this isn't that far off of an aspiration. Yahoo revealed the trailer, which sees Firth playing a sham magician who's dead set on debunking a woman who is an alleged psychic medium. Naturally, this being a Woody Allen movie and all, the two will spar, scrap, and fall in love to a jazz age soundtrack and some witty repartee. Even as a fledgling Woody Allen fan, I »
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