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Glenn Whipp says to "think again" if you believe the Oscar race for Best Actress is "thin" this year. He partially blames "the allure of the new, with some pundits flailing their arms each time an unseen movie debuts." A few days ago, Julianne Moore ("Stil Alice") jumped to the tops of prediction lists strictly because she came out of nowhere and was the most recent person to be screened. Along with Moore, Reese Witherspoon ("Wild") and Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything") are strong possible choices. He also adds in the lesser-viewed Gugu Mbatha-Raw ("Belle"), Marion Cotillard ("The Immigrant"), Lindsay Duncan ("Le Week-End"), and Jenny Slate ("Obvious Child") to consider. L.A. Times -Break- Join the lively film and TV discussions going on right now in the Gold Derby message boards Gregory Ellwood provides eight important revelations after Venice, Telluride, and »
Australian producers increasingly are looking to international co-productions as one solution to the difficulty of raising finance at home.
Producers say the .soft. money available for co-pros with Canada and Europe will help to compensate for the very low minimum guarantees offered by Australian distributors.
Another advantage, they say, is the improved chances of securing marquee cast for films shot in part or completely in Canada and Europe.
. With the collapse of distribution windows, online communication, and the competitiveness of getting soft money out of Australia, producers are becoming more savvy in financing their films with global partners especially as we are telling more global, universally themed stories,. says producer Raquelle David, who is developing the futuristic thriller Lucid as a co-pro.
- Don Groves
Now that it is likely to be set up as a UK/Australian co-production, prolific UK producer Kevin Loader (In the Loop, Hyde Park on Hudson, Le Week-End) has become part of the team behind the comedy drama B Model, to be directed by actor Rachel Griffiths.
Australian producer Louise Smith was reluctant to provide details of the project precisely because it is yet to be financed. The current draft of the script is being written by Samantha Stauss, co-creator of the series Dance Academy.
B Model is included in a list of 18 features that Screen Australia has injected a total of Us$500,000 worth of development money into in the last four months.
One of the »
- Sandy.George@me.com (Sandy George)
Screen Australia today announced nearly $535,000 in development funding for 18 features including projects set in Canada, inner-city Berlin, Mexico City, Vietnam, the Middle East and medieval England.
The genres range from family and musical to comedy, drama, thriller, sci-fi and action. The funding will support eight new projects as well as further assistance for 10 titles.
Through its Talent Escalator programs, the agency is placing three producers in professional posts to improve their direct industry experience and supporting short film director Nicholas Verso in the next stage of his professional development.
Screen Australia.s Head of Production Sally Caplan said, .In this round it is encouraging to see such a great range of Australian stories receive support from filmmakers at different levels, some with international creative partners and several with international focus.
"We are also pleased to be able to support emerging local talent with international placements that will increase our industry »
- Don Groves
The British film industry is to send its biggest ever delegation to the Bogota Audiovisual Market (Bam).
Producers, distributors and festival execs are among a 29-strong British delegation that will arrive in Colombia on Monday for the fifth Bogota Audiovisual Market (Bam) (July 14-18).
The UK is the guest country at this year’s Bam, attended by more than 1,000 delegates including 250 buyers from 20 countries, as Colombia aims to increase collaboration with the British film industry.
The ambition follows rapid growth within the Colombian film sector as a result of increased government support and incentives, with the country positioning itself as a production centre in the region that is keen to attract foreign shoots.
One of the delegation is Isabel Davis, head of international at the BFI, who said: “As Colombia steps up support for its local film industry, I’m looking forward to finding out what makes Colombian filmmakers and audiences tick, and what the »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
This is a rare jewel of a movie. Le Week-End follows Nick and Meg, enacted brilliantly by Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan, a British couple whose longtime marriage faces a turning point during a weekend in Paris. Directed judiciously by Roger Michell from an exquisite original screenplay by Hanif Kureishi, and photographed beautifully by Nathalie Durand, the film captures the nuances of a long-term relationship, the ups and downs, the easy asides and the sidelong glances, the heat of anger and the warmth of touch, the regrets and the resentments and the recriminations. It begins, comfortably enough, on a train but soon enough becomes awkward when Meg doesn't like the tiny hotel room Nick has secured for them. ("It's beige," she says, petulantly, and storms...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Our resident VOD expert tells you what's new to rent and own this week on the various streaming services such as cable Movies On Demand, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, and, of course, Netflix. Cable Movies On Demand: Same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pretheatrical exclusives for rent, priced from $3-$10, in 24- or 48-hour periods Bad Words (Jason Bateman-directed scabrous comedy; Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Rohan Chand, Allison Janney; rated R) Jodorowsky's Dune (documentary; Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux; rated PG-13) Le Week-End (romance; Lindsay Duncan, Jim Broadbent, Jeff Goldblum; rated R) The Raid 2 (highly stylized action sequel; Iko Uwais, Julie Estelle; rated R) Watermark (documentary about how water shapes humanity; rated PG...
- Robert B. DeSalvo
Updated 7/11: The giveaway has concluded, and the winner has been notified. Thanks to all who entered. As an antidote to blockbuster season in Hollywood, we have a Blu-ray copy of Le Week-End to give to one reader who is "in the know."The film, which is available today -- Tuesday, July 8 -- on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD from Music Box Films, stars Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan. Here's the official synopsis: Arriving in Paris for the first time since their honeymoon in an attempt to rekindle their 30-year marriage, British college philosophy professor Nick (Jim Broadbent) and schoolteacher Meg (Lindsay Duncan) get off to a rocky start in a cheap and depressing lodge. Moving into a swankier hotel with view of the Eiffel Tower sets them off...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
What's It About? Cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky's vision for a "Dune" movie was beyond remarkable; it was truly epic. Pink Floyd, H. R. Giger, and Mick Jagger were just a few of the names attached to the film - until it imploded. This is a documentary about a sci-fi film that was ahead of its time and the visionary behind it.
Why We're In: Tons of interviews, behind-the-scenes details, storyboards, and more make this a must-see for art house, midnight movie, and film history fiends.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
What's It About? Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson star in this cool crime drama about a thief who's out for revenge on the dude who double-crossed him. Mel Gibson's "Payback" was based on the same novel, "The Hunter" by Donald E. Westlake, but that shouldn't deter you. »
- Jenni Miller
Festival, whose lineup was unveiled Wednesday in Zagreb.
Among competish titles are Jessica Hausner’s “Amour Fou,” Tudor Cristian Jurgiu’s “Japanese Dog,” Ken Loach’s “Jimmy’s Hall,” Xavier Dolan’s “Tom at the Farm,” Anthony Chen’s “Ilo Ilo,” Ralph Fiennes’ “The Invisible Woman” and “Bridges of Sarajevo,” which has multiple directors.
The Croatian program includes Darko Lungulov’s “Monument to Michael Jackson,” Branko Istvancic’s “The Bridge at the End of the World,” Darko Suvak’s “Happy Endings,” Filip Peruzovic’s “Walk the Dog,” and Peter Kerekes, »
- Variety Staff
To say that our top three critics don’t always see eye-to-eye would be an understatement, but they can all agree on at least one thing: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is one of Wes Anderson’s best movies, and one of the strongest entries in a year that has so far offered no shortage of cinematic excellence. Also mentioned by at least one critic: a steamy gay-cruising thriller, a hotly debated biblical epic, and two staggeringly ambitious magnum opuses that clocked in at more than four hours apiece. There will be many more hours (and weeks, and months) of moviegoing to come before they have their final say on the year in movies, but at the moment, 2014 is off to an excellent start.
Here, listed in alphabetical order, are our critics’ picks for the best films released theatrically from January to June 2014:
Re-reading my Variety review of “Moonrise Kingdom,” I found the line, “While (Wes) Anderson is essentially a miniaturist, making dollhouse movies about meticulously appareled characters in perfectly appointed environments, each successive film finds him working on a more ambitious scale.” His latest is the apotheosis of that aesthetic — a nested series of stories as complex and intricately detailed as fine Swiss clockwork, given soul by the great Ralph Fiennes.
Between this and “The Lego Movie,” we’ve been spoiled by great animation this year. My expectations were sky-high for the follow-up to DreamWorks cartoon coming-of-ager, and writer-director Dean DeBlois exceeded them, delivering a sequel with integrity, one that respects and expands upon the original while aging the characters five years — a rarity in a medium where Bart Simpson has spent the last 25 years repeating Mrs. Krabappel’s fourth-grade class.
What an exhilarating experiment: Using just one actor (Tom Hardy), one location (a moving BMW) and a series of phone calls as his script, writer-director Steven Knight has crafted a gripping character-driven drama. It’s the polar opposite of all the comicbook movies hogging screens these days, not simply for its lack of visual effects and spandex suits, but because “Locke” recognizes that a flawed human being is infinitely more interesting than a superhero.
- Variety Staff
Part romantic caper-comedy, part brutal exploration of a 30-year marriage, Le Week-End uses an endearing sense of mischief to balance life's satisfying highs and crushing lows.
The film stars Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent as Meg and Nick, a British couple celebrating their anniversary in Paris, the site of their honeymoon decades earlier. Though their children are now adults and they should be approaching those golden years of retirement and relaxation, both are wrecked with uncertainty and worry about money, aging and who they are -- in their own eyes and in the eyes of the other.
Nick has grown clingy around Meg and fears being alone. He's also been keeping a secret from her about the state of his career and seems to be on the verge of a full-on existential crisis. Not too far off, Meg is filled with dissatisfaction but doesn't know what to do to make herself happy. »
- Caitlin Moore
A marvelous little unpacking of the meaning of happiness, precisely what constitutes it, and how to know whether you’ve found it. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Nick (Jim Broadbent: Closed Circuit) and Meg (Lindsay Duncan: About Time) have been married a long time. We’re not sure how long, as Le Week-end opens with them on the train from London to Paris for a getaway, but the practiced ease of their togetherness, all reflexive sniping and easy intimacy, is plain. You know these people… but you don’t see them in movies often. Apart from the simple pleasure of spending cinematic time with intriguing yet realistic people exploring the conundrums of life in an engaging and sympathetic way, we have here the pleasure of seeing a couple of fresh, funny 60somethings having little »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Film, television and theater director Roger Michell has signed with Wme, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. He previously was with CAA. Michell directed Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in the 1999 romantic classic Notting Hill. He began his career helming BBC series in his native Britain, winning a BAFTA for the 1995 telepic adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion. The filmmaker most recently directed the dramedy Le Week-End, which received its world premiere at Toronto last year and later earned acting wins for stars Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent, as well as a Best Film nomination for Michell at the
- Rebecca Sun
Review by Kathleen Kaiser
As we meet Meg (Lindsay Duncan) and Nick (Jim Broadbent), they are attempting to rekindle their relationship and save their marriage by returning to the ambiance and breathtaking beauty of gay Paris’. Having honeymooned there, they are both consumed by the notion that once back in Paris’, they can reconnect and their lives will return to the way they used to be…..
It seems that while incredibly excited about their travels, the idiosyncrasies that each have over-looked for many years, seem to be exacerbated in their new surroundings. Meg’s love of the “good life” is being tested, as Nick tries to stay on budget with their accommodations, sending her over the edge. As Meg »
- Movie Geeks
Roger Michell’s Le Week-End is a far darker and less conventional film than its twee, Notting Hill name-dropping advertisements suggest. Its depiction of a bickering older couple stuck together on a perfunctory second honeymoon is hardly another indie grab for the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel crowd to once again sightsee vicariously through British screen veterans. Rather, the couple’s failure to connect is presented as an existential crisis borne by their inability to overcome one another’s revisited insecurities and tics. Their disconnection is a reluctantly accepted marker of dwindling self worth in the face of a life run embarrassingly short of its rich potential. Jim Broadbent‘s Nick at one point dances alone to Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” around the lavish Parisian suite he can’t afford, earbud cords bopping atop his undershirt while he sips on minibar whiskey. Abruptly, he stops. A former ‘60s radical, Nick »
- Landon Palmer
If you have a proclivity for the smaller, indie films, then you won’t want to miss Le Week-end. This charming film opens at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema in St. Louis this Friday, March 28th.
Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent (Iris, Topsy-turvy, Another Year) and Lindsay Duncan (About Time, Alice In Wonderland, Mansfield Park) give exquisite performances as Nick and Meg, a long-married British couple revisiting Paris for the first time since their honeymoon in an attempt to rekindle their relationship.
During a two-day escapade, diffident, wistful Nick and demanding, take-charge Meg careen from harmony to disharmony to resignation and back again as they take stock of half a lifetime of deep tenderness – and even deeper regret. A surprise invitation from Nick’s old friend Morgan (Jeff Goldblum), an amusingly boorish American academic with a fancy Parisian address, soon leads them to an unexpectedly hopeful vision of what their love and marriage might still become. »
- Michelle McCue
Caught somewhere between the dialogue-rich, European snapshots of Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy and the deep humanism and leisurely beats of a Mike Leigh drama, Le Week-End is a splendid, albeit salty look at two septuagenarians spending a few days in Paris to mark their 30th anniversary. The man is Nick Burrows (Jim Broadbent), a weary college professor recently sacked from his teaching post. The woman is Meg (Lindsay Duncan), who wants to retreat from her dogged husband and find her own freedom. The couple ventures through the City of Love over three days of happiness and misery, as we wonder how their love will end up – faded away or reinvigorated?
Nick is still deeply in love with Meg, who has aged gracefully and has not lost the vigor or figure of a much younger woman. She knows that she controls him with an icy grip and that he will »
- Jordan Adler
For aging, married academics Nick (Jim Broadbent) and Meg (Lindsay Duncan), romance doesn’t come so easy anymore in Roger Michell’s wise and often very funny anti-rom-com Le Week-end. They jet off to Paris to recapture some of the spirit of their initial honeymoon 30 years before. But the trip is miserable from the start. She refuses to stay in the hotel from the honeymoon, sickened by its beige paint job. They check into a place far too expensive for their budget and enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower, but little magic is rekindled with Meg, who is especially uninterested […] »
- Brandon Harris
Le Week-End is a marital disintegration–reintegration drama that opens with a dose of frost and vinegar and turns believably sweet—and unbelievably marvelous, in light of what had seemed a depressing trajectory. Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan play an aging, not-affluent British couple grabbing a fast weekend in Paris. Their tatty hotel appalls her so much she impulsively checks into a luxury one—which appalls her husband, who has yet to reveal he was forced to resign his professorship over a run-in with a student. He would like to touch her, but she quivers with displeasure when he tries. (“I’m a phobic object,” he concludes.) The not-so-sub subtext is that love doesn’t last. She sees his weakness and inability to get out of himself and truly care for her; he sees a still-beautiful woman who’s moving beyond his grasp.Hanif Kureishi wrote it, Roger Michell directed »
- David Edelstein
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