Posts Tagged ‘Ewan McGregor’

Vanity and Virtue

Beauty and the Beast

Director: Bill Condon

Cast: Dan Stevens, Emma Watson, Kevin Kline, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Hattie Morahan, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nathan Mack

When Disney does a live action version of a classic animated film, audiences know they are going to do it brilliantly. Beauty and the Beast is absolutely superb and extremely enjoyable viewing.

If audiences are going to pay for one cinema ticket this year, buy a ticket for Beauty and the Beast.

Originally based on the French fairy tale La Belle et la Bête written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740, Beauty and the Beast is an extraordinary visual feast.

The first aspect Disney got right was the crucial casting of Beauty and the Beast. With a mostly British cast, Belle is played by Emma Watson (The Bling Ring) and the Beast played by Dan Stevens who rose to fame in Julian Fellowes BBC hit series Downton Abbey. For the real villain of the piece, Welsh actor Luke Evans (Dracula Untold) is cast as the arrogant Gaston and Josh Gad stars as his sidekick Lefou.

Oscar winner Kevin Kline (A Fish called Wanda) plays Belle’s hapless father Maurice who during a journey to the market is side tracked by vicious wolves and lands up as an unwitting guest of the Beast in his cavernous castle with only talking furniture for company.

The flamboyant candelabra Lumiere is played by Ewan McGregor (Our Kind of Traitor) and the mantel piece clock Cogsworth is wonderfully played by Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters, Mr Holmes) while the teapot Mrs Potts is voiced by Oscar winner Emma Thompson (Howard’s End). Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle, Concussion) plays Plumette and Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada) voices the maestro Cadenza.

What really makes Beauty and the Beast so lovely is the music, the music and the music. From the director of Dreamgirls and Gods and Monsters Bill Condon delivers a fantastic film retaining the story’s authentic fairy tale which deftly combines romance with action and music. Beauty and the Beast has gorgeous costumes designed by Oscar winner Jacqueline Durran (Anna Karenina) accompanying the film’s exceptional production design by Sarah Greenwood.

Both the headstrong Belle and the grumpy Beast form an unlikely romance overcoming vanity and retaining virtue while they have to compete against the duplicitous Gaston and break the immortal spell cast on the Beast and his lively accompaniments.

Highly recommended viewing for all age groups, Beauty and the Beast gets a film rating of 9 out of 10.

Although running at over two hours this Disney fantasy musical is worth watching and audiences should stay seated to watch the spectacular end credits.

 

Blood Money

Our Kind of Traitor

our_kind_of_traitor

 

Director: Susanna White

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgard, Damian Lewis, Naomie Harris, Jeremy Northam, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Pawel Szajda, Marek Oravec, Alicia von Rittberg, Jana Perez, Khalid Abdalla, Mark Stanley, Alec Utgoff

Based upon the bestselling novel by John le Carre, Iranian screenwriter Hossein Amini’s (Drive, The Two Faces of January) adaptation of Our Kind of Traitor to the big screen is spotless, peppering most of the dialogue with that dry British repartee.

British director Susanna White turns Our Kind of Traitor into a glossy cat and mouse game of international intrigue choosing to rather hint at bloodshed than actually portraying it.

Except for the opening sequence where a Russian money launderer, his wife and daughter are brutally murdered by the Blue Eyed killer played by Pawel Szajda (Under the Tuscan Sun), Our Kind of Traitor effortlessly shifts to a glamourous Moroccan resort in Marrakech where British couple Perry and Gail Makepeace expertly played by Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris (Skyfall, Spectre) are unwittingly drawn into a murky world of international intrigue when Perry befriends the exuberant Dima colourfully portrayed by Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard.

Dima gives Perry a flash drive containing names of the Russian mob who are planning on setting up a shady Cypriot bank in London and Dima as money launderer for the head of the Russian mob, Prince, played by Grigoriy Dobrygin (A Most Wanted Man), knows that his family are under imminent threat.

our_kind_of_traitor_ver2

As the action moves from Marrakech to London, Perry is detained at Heathrow by suave Mi6 agent Hector, elegantly played by Damian Lewis of Homeland fame.

In the shadowy world of international money laundering Hector uncovers that there are indeed links between corrupt British MP Aubrey Longrigg played by Jeremy Northam and Russian mobster the Prince. In order to prove these links exist, Hector uses Perry and Gail to get close to Dima so that they can prove that such dubious transactions exist between Russian organized crime and the London financial district. Blood money as Hector so bluntly puts it to a genteel British government committee.

The action moves swiftly to Paris and then onto Bern, Switzerland, where Perry and Gail under orders of Hector make contact with Dima in order to secure the safe passage of Dima and his family out of Europe safely to British custody.

Our Kind of Traitor is an engaging and evenly paced thriller with just the right dash of exotic intrigue, hinting at a broader criminal conspiracy involving the Russian mob and London’s financial district whilst underlining the strain this covert involvement takes on the marriage of a seemingly affluent British couple.

With stylish production design by Sarah Greenwood and a polished script by Amini, Our Kind of Traitor manages to deliver a sophisticated and suspenseful thriller which most John le Carre stories are known for.

Viewers that enjoyed A Most Wanted Man and The Constant Gardener will love Our Kind of Traitor especially in the wake of a revival of most of Le Carre’s recently published novels to glossy film and television productions which recently includes the excellent AMC series The Night Manager starring Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston.

Our Kind of Traitor is highly recommended viewing for a superbly adapted thriller to the big screen with a particularly brilliant performance by Stellan Skarsgard as the brave but vicious Dima who will go to any lengths to protect his family.

 

A Jazzy Jive

Miles Ahead

miles_ahead

Director: Don Cheadle

Cast: Don Cheadle, Ewan McGregor, Michael Stulbarg, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Austin Lyon, Keith Stanfield

Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) makes his directorial debut in the superb, frenetic portrait of legendary jazz musician Miles Davis and starring in the main role in the brilliant film Miles Ahead which premiered at the 37th Durban International Film Festival http://www.durbanfilmfest.co.za/ . If the 2017 Oscars are looking for more diversity they should look no further than Don Cheadle’s wonderful performance, so captivating, energetic and entrancing. Cheadle should definitely earn an Oscar nomination for this studied and embracing performance of a jazz icon, that he holds in high esteem.

miles_ahead_ver3

Set in New York at the end of the 1970’s Cheadle plays a reclusive Miles Davis who along with struggling a multitude of additions has not release a new album in years. In steps Ewan McGregor as the brash Rolling Stones journalist Dave Brill who coaxes Davis out of his liar to confront his own demons and a music business which is cut throat dangerous and down right greedy.

miles_ahead_ver2

Through a series of perfectly placed flashbacks audiences get a glimpse of an earlier version of Miles Davis as he begins courting the gorgeous dancer Frances Taylor wonderfully played by the beautiful Emayatzy Corinealdi who was last seen in the stunningly brutal mini-series Roots.

miles_ahead_ver4

As Miles and Dave embark on a frantic search for a recording of some his new music which was unfortunately stolen at a wild party at Davis’s New York apartment, they come across the shady and almost unrecognizable Michael Stulbarg last seen in Trumbo as  gangster Harper Hamilton who has vested interests in the music business. Watch the brilliant 1970’s series Vinyl for more substance on this topic.

At the heart of Miles Ahead, is Miles Davis’s passion for brilliant music and his understanding of how classical music informed the evolution of the jazz movement which many in the establishment regarded as risque.

Interestingly, Miles Ahead, also makes a strong point about racial integration as Davis was definitely a man who had been prejudiced against and he desperately wanted to smash any racial stereotypes. In one scene in the film, Miles Davis is even arrested by a bigoted cop outside the venue  where he is performing for loitering.

The dynamic scenes between Cheadle and McGregor make Miles Ahead so fascinating as they race around New York fuelled by drugs and alcohol to find the missing jazz score. More importantly, fans of Miles Davis will love the soundtrack as a jazzy jive which keeps the film fresh, funky and absolutely engaging.

Miles Ahead is highly recommended viewing, an entertaining portrait of the legendary Miles Davis who by his attitude and music was definitely way ahead of his time.

 

 

Oklahoma’s Malevolent Matriarch

august_osage_county_ver2

August: Osage County

Director: John Wells

Starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Julianne Nicholson, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Abigail Breslin, Sam Shepard

The Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tracy Letts, August: Osage County comes to the big screen with a stunning ensemble cast headed by the incomparable and superb Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady, Devil Wears Prada) as the pill popping matriarch of the Oklahoma based Weston family, who all gather together when Violet Weston, a malevolent matriarch played by Streep alerts her clan to the sudden and inexplicable disappearance of her heavy drinking poet husband, Bev Weston, a brief appearance by Sam Shepard. Oscar winner Julia Roberts plays the feisty eldest daughter Barbara who drags her straitlaced husband Bill Fordham played by Ewan McGregor and their teenage daughter Jean played by Little Miss Sunshine star Abigail Breslin.

Incidentally the playwright Tracy Letts is also an actor who recently appeared on the Award winning show Homeland. His take on an all female dysfunctional family in his award winning play is both perceptive and wonderfully written with Streep and Roberts savouring some of the best lines like – “Bitch, eat your Fish!”

August: Osage County takes themes of addiction, inter-generational communication along with family secrets and rivalry to new heights as the entire Weston clan gather, but the plot is really anchored by the fierce exchanges between a disorientated Violet and her outspoken daughter Barbara, in a career best performance by Julia Roberts. Streep earned her 18th Oscar nomination in 2014 for her almost tragic yet bitter performance of Violet Weston, a woman who clearly has not had an easy life on the mid-Western plans and has to cope with all the hardships including bringing up three daughters and an inebriated poet as a husband.

Julia Roberts (Erin Brokovich, Eat, Pray, Love) also earned a 2014 Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her brilliant performance as Barbara, a woman whose marriage is failing and is battling to cope with a rebellious teenage daughter, an uncooperative cheating husband and a matriarchal and incredibly demanding mother. The onscreen tension between Violet and Barbara is beautifully played out against the vast Oklahoma plains, with the landscape providing an emotional resonance to all the familial conflict that the Weston gathering produces where everyone’s own miserable secrets, faults and deceptions soon come to light amidst the hottest month of summer: August.

Director John Wells interweaves the chaotic scenes at the Weston mansion in rural Oklahoma with gorgeous shots of the mid-Western plains, giving a sense that these characters are grappling with not only their own turmoil but their unique identities apart from those prescribed by being part of a larger family group. And what a family it is.

Violet Weston’s two other daughters are the pacifying Ivy played by Julianne Nicholson and the free-spirited youngest Karen, played by Oscar nominee Juliette Lewis (Cape Fear) both of whom have to heed the dominance of their mother and eldest sister, along with the bitter rivalry which ensues.

As with all plays that are turned into film adaptation, much like the four character play Doubt, August: Osage County drives its narrative purely through an electrifying and barbed script, with Streep and Roberts delivering some vicious one-liners. The rest of the cast including Chris Cooper as Uncle Charlie and Margo Martindale, Benedict Cumberbatch (12 Years a Slave) and Dermot Mulroney provide a theatrical sounding board for the predominantly female driven story of rivalry, deception and loneliness.

postcards_from_the_edge

What elevates August: Ossage County out of pure melodrama, although some aspects of the plot are questionable, is the groundbreaking and utterly absorbing performance of Streep and Roberts as mother and daughter Violet and Barbara fighting each other and their own apparent faults significant in the touching scene when they are both wondering aimlessly through an Oklahoma hayfield. This onscreen rivalry ironically is a reversal of Streep’s performance opposite Shirley Maclaine as Hollywood daughter and mother in the 1990 film about drug addiction, Postcards from the Edge based upon the best selling novel by Carrie Fisher of Star Wars fame.

August: Osage County is a compelling family drama, at times hysterical, at times poignant but a wonderful and incisive examination of a complex family dynamic which forces each member to  come to grips with their own flaws whilst becoming aware of a collective sense of misery, loss and impending loneliness. This film is a master class in ensemble acting and highly recommended viewing.

Intimacy without Intricacy

Deception

deception Poster

The 2008 film Deception is a subtle psycho-sexual thriller, directed by Marcel Langenegger set in the corporate world of New York City, starring Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams interweaving themes of illicit anonymous dating, with identity theft and corporate money laundering.

It is by no means a particularly bold film, but will nevertheless keep the viewer entertained with a sinister love triangle that is hinted at between McGregor, Jackman and Williams’s characters as they enter into a series of deceptive encounters and sexual intrigues stretching from New York to Madrid surrounding a corporate dating agency called the List, which promises the hard-working corporate clients late-night hook-ups with anonymous respondents. No names, no conversations, just murky and unquestionable sexual desire being completely gratified.

swimming_pool

Charlotte Rampling, the queen of psycho-sexual thrillers, so disturbingly good in such movies as Swimming Pool and Basic Instinct 2, makes a far too brief appearance as one of Ewan McGregor’s first encounters, who tells his character Jonathan McQuarry, that anonymous dating provides the clients with intimacy without the intricacy.

As the film progresses first impressions are ultimately deceiving and the shadowy midnight world of corporate sexual encounters develops into a far more sinister tale of murder and international financial embezzlement. All the scenes in New York City are mostly shot at night, with locations in bleak office buildings, pale apartments, dingy subway stations or dimly lit hotel bars and bedrooms. McGregor’s character McQuarry transforms from a dull introverted external auditor to a cunning and resourceful anti-hero.

With hints of the 1980’s classic thriller Bad Influence and the more recent film with Jennifer Anniston and Clive Owen Derailed, Deception is certainly not an original story, but its fascinating film noir qualities combined with themes of sexual intrigue, and the undertones of corporate power and identity make the film a worthy cinematic visit. By the end, you won’t want to trust that casual acquaintance you have made at work or indulge in any seemingly anonymous sexual activities. Deception definitely and darkly reveals that in most cases intimacy without the intricacy is really an illusion.

 

Slaying Giants

Jack the Giant Slayer

jack_the_giant_killer_ver10

Fantasy tales make a fabulous bedtime story. That quiet half an hour when a parent reads to their anxious child the bedtime story involving a beautiful princess, some fairies and the occasional Giant is hugely significant in the passing down of a culture’s myths and legends. A recent Hollywood trend starting with the visually arresting Snow White and the Huntsman has seen many fairytales and fantasy films like Oz the Great and Powerful being re-imagined. The tale of Jack and the Bean stalk is vividly recreated by X-Men director Bryan Singer in the Feudal Fantasy Jack the Giant Slayer, featuring Nicholas Hoult (A Single Man) as the hapless commoner Jack who goes to town to sell his stallion and soon receives some magical beans in payment for the horse from a shady monk.

jack_the_giant_killer_ver13

Whilst the exchange occurs Jack meets the gorgeous Princess Isabelle played by Eleanor Tomlinson who is eager to escape the confines of her father’s kingdom. At King Brahmwell’s insistence Isabelle is destined to marry the scheming Roderick played with evil panache by Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada) and assisted by his sidekick Wicke played by Trainspotting star Ewen Bremner. The Kingdom’s protector  brave Elmont played by Ewan McGregor (The Impossible, Moulin Rouge) has a task on his hand trying to keep track of the illusive princess.

One stormy night upon her escape she comes across Jack in his humble abode and unbeknownst to them one of his magical beans has gotten wet and soon a gigantic beanstalk grows taking the princess up into the heavens and soon to become the mercy of a band of giants which inhabits the heavens and are merciless and forever hungry. Soon the adventure of Jack the Giant Slayer begins as Jack, Elmost and a band of the King’s men climb the treacherous bean stalk in a quest to save the proverbial princess. Bryan Singer brings all the visual dexterity that made the original X-Men trilogy and Valkyrie so dazzling to this cinematic recreation of Jack and the Beanstalk and firmly entrenches Jack the Giant Slayer in the long forgotten realm of British feudal patriarchal society whereby monarchy was supreme and power and royal continuity was enforced through myth and legend. Especially when the Kingdom of Cloisters is being threatened by a band of evil man-eating Giants.

“Be Quiet, I am talking to Giants”

Stanley Tucci is wonderful as slimy Roderick, the facilitator of evil and Giant dealer with his best line being “Be Quiet, I am talking to Giants”. Ewan McGregor is a great supporting actor to the little known Nicholas Hoult as the hero Jack who not only has to slay Giants but also prove his worth to the vain King Brahmwell in order to marry his illusive daughter, the ever resourceful princess. All narrative is tied up in fairytales of some sort and this plot is no different and while the script could have been expanded, Jack the Giant Slayer relies heavily on action and visual effects, which are spellbinding to say the least especially the final medieval battle between knights and Giants at the Cloisters Castle.

Like all battles fought, and all legends lived, many are entwined into narrative and myth to make a wonderful bedtime stories that can be passed down the generations, making it just as valuable as the gorgeous crown jewels which survive in the Tower of London. Jack the Giant Slayer, though thin on character development, relies heavily on the fabulous narrative of a simple farmer Jack slaying Giants to gain the hand of the princess and not much characterization is needed when such dazzling special effects are used to recreate another cinematic fairy tale. Recommended  for definitive and entertaining family viewing!

A Hauntingly Lavish Thriller…

The Ghost Writer

ghost_writer_ver3

Director: Roman Polanski

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Ewan McGregor, Timothy Hutton, Jim Belushi, Olivia Williams, Tom Wilkinson

Polanski’s dark and almost claustrophobic thriller The Ghost Writer adapted from the novel by Robert Harris author of Enigma and Pompeii is an absolute gem reminiscent of his earlier classics like Bitter Moon, Chinatown and the Oscar winning film The Pianist.

Dark and claustrophobic

Balancing a great script with tight directing and creepy use of  stark isolated locations, Polanski keeps the viewer of the Ghost Writer on the edge of their seat.

Highly versatile and underrated Ewan McGregor is wonderfully human as the title character and Olivia Williams shines as the ousted Prime Minister‘s Adam Lang’s wife Ruth with a witty, dark and altogether complex performance which gives tremendous weight to the concept of behind every powerful man lies an equally powerful woman. Pierce Brosnan takes the part of Adam Lang, the Prime Minister with a combination of his charm, ego and slight menace which brought him acclaim in his recent more memorable films Matador and Remember Me.

What is truly thrilling is Polanski’s homage to Alfred Hitchcock making a political and social thriller without compromising on the story and the intricacies of the characters, whilst retaining the claustrophobic atmosphere of a once powerful leader being forced into a lavish exile. Sounds Familiar? As I returned from watching this stunning thriller, Polanski was released from house arrest in Gstaad, Switzerland which is an absolute relief, as it would be a tragedy to keep a filmmaker of this calibre under confinement.

Polanski’s distinctly European perspective on the collusion of Britain and America in foreign wars in the Middle East is his greatest asset  highlighting how a Prime Minister can fall from grace and become a virtual outcast is brilliant in his brittle and subversive vision of how corrupting power and influence can become.

Visually The Ghost Writer is sleek, dark and elegant whilst reminding the viewer that decisions of great international magnitude are often made in secluded locations like Cape Cod or St Andrews far away from the distant nations which will be affected by those choices. For to give the story, location or plot away would be ludicrous, suffice to say… see The Ghost Writer and relish in a masterful director’s return to form with a cinematic homage to the political thriller crackling with suspense, wit and utterly thought-provoking down to the shattering final sequence.

The Grifters meets Brokeback Mountain?

I Love You Phillip Morris

i_love_you_phillip_morris

Initially I love you Phillip Morris came across as The Grifters meets Brokeback Mountain with elements of  the hit TV series Prison Break thrown in. An inventive film which clearly does not shy away from the truth of the picaresque tales of a con man and who gives a whole new slightly skewed definition of going off the straight and narrow. Jim Carrey plays Steve Russell who after a car accident dumps his religious Southern wife, a lovely performance by Leslie Mann and flings open the closet doors and moves to Key West, getting a boyfriend in tow. Discovering that gay lifestyles are expensive, Russell becomes a conman, whose childhood memories of identity are shattered by his parents breaking the news that he is adopted, hence not really knowing or worrying about his true identity or sense of self.

Russell lands up in prison due to a series of felonies and in Texas of all states. There he meets and falls in love with Phillip Morris a mild, naive and slightly muted performance by Ewan McGregor whose understated  role matches the flamboyance and colourful character of Russell played with panache and relish by Jim Carrey. The fact that they have met in a prison is indicative of the type of relationship which is both trapped by personal circumstances and the larger social system, filled with repression, occasional violence masking as homoeroticism. Fun is made of the relationships of male prisoners and sometimes of the issues of exchange and bartering within that confined environment, both sexual and physical.

What really makes I love you Philip Morris so compelling as a film is that it is a true story which took place entirely during the Bush administration, whilst also proving that Jim Carrey can take on more complex characters. The downside is that this remarkable piece of cinema is lacking in any uniformity of vision co-directed by John Requa and Glen Ficarara, who are certainly not the Coen brothers. So the visual style lacks in moments which could emphasize the dramatic and downplay the outrageous element of the narrative. To label this as a gay film would be incorrect for that would do injustice to such masterpieces as Tom Ford’s stylish A Single Man and Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain.

This is more a film about gay men who try to buck the system in a state as notoriously conservative as it is equally contradictory, Texas and the bizarre consequences that follow.

grifters

As the tagline suggests The Conman that wouldn’t go straight is apt and while this is no classic is it is definitely an entertaining if not slightly disturbing piece of cinema and not for those easily offended. It fills the gap between The Grifters and the possibility of there being a Gay sequel to that brilliant Stephen Frears film sans Annette Bening.

Coincidental Exhibitions

Strange Coincidences

So let me tell you a remarkably strange story about coincidences, clear and imagined. In October 2008, whilst returning from a break in the Drakensberg, I had a two day stay in Durban. The first night, I accompanied a family friend to an Exhibition opening at Kizo Gallery, Umhlanga. Being a Monday evening, it was a fairly sedate but definitely prolific crowd that gathered. The artist was Aparna Swarup and featured a beautiful collection of photographs of Allahabad, a place in India, where there is a confluence of three holy rivers. At the exhibition I met the artist’s husband, an Indian diplomat based in Pretoria, Vikas Swarup. The husband was cordial and polite. A chance encounter I thought nothing of at the time.

Golden Globes

Fours months later in January 2009, I am in Johannesburg, watching the Golden Globe awards and suddenly there is buzz about the new Danny Boyle film Slumdog Millionaire. Of course Slumdog wins countless Golden Globe awards and suddenly there is loads of media attention. Looking up the Golden Globe awards, I found that the film Slumdog Millionaire was based on a book Q & A by Vikas Swarup. I still didn’t make any connection until I returned to Durban and the family friend mentioned that the artist’s husband I met was Vikas Swarup and the book was an Indian version centering on a wonderful story of how a poverty-stricken boy comes to be on the Quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire set in Mumbai.

slumdog_millionaire

From Shallow Grave

shallow_grave_ver1

to Slumdog Millionaire

The film rights had been taken up and Q and A was filmed as Slumdog Millionaire tipped for Oscar glory. What better director than Danny Boyle the Manchester bred director who had brought British cinema into limelight again with such films as the Scottish thriller Shallow Grave and Trainspotting and launched the careers of Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston and Kerry Fox.

Trainspotting was an instant cult hit in the early 1990s and with a superb soundtrack and frenetic direction, filmgoers saw Edinburgh, crack addiction and trains in an entirely different light. Having met the author of Q and A, now suitably piqued by the curiosity of Danny Boyle’s film version, I purchased the novel and devoured it within a week relishing the wonderful way Swarup entwines the stories of his hero, Jamal with how he manages to reach the final and tantalizing finale of the Quiz show and shedding some light on the horrors and joys of contemporary India.

2009 Oscars come and go, Slumdog Millionaire sweeps the board, the soundtrack wins best original score, the film wins best director for Boyle and suddenly the stars Freda Pinto and Dev Patel are appearing on US talk shows, dancing Bollywood style with the likes of Ellen de Generes. The best part about seeing Slumdog Millionaire for me was watching it in the Supernova theatre at Suncoast Coast and experiencing the full brilliance of such a wonderful and frenetic film, a lush and hectic slant on modern day India. Nothing like watching a film on the big screen, the impact of which surely diminishes once a viewer sees it on DVD.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
  • Wong Kar-wai Honored in Lyon, Talks Early Influences, Bruce Lee, Hong Kong Handover and Bigger Canvas for ‘Grandmaster’
    LYON The Lumière Festival honored Wong Kar-wai with the Lumière Award on Friday following a wide-ranging discussion between the Chinese filmmaker and the festival director Thierry Frémaux about his life and career. Asked about his early influences during the master class, held in front of a packed house at the majestic Théâtre des Célestins ahead […]
    John Hopewell
  • Film Review: ‘Same Kind of Different as Me’
    In 1998, millionaire art dealer Ron Hall, a Fort Worth father of two and an adulterer, promised he’d do anything to win back his wife Debbie, a “girl with a heart so big that all of Texas couldn’t hold it.” Debbie gave him a challenge: help her feed the homeless at Fort Worth’s Union Gospel […]
    Peter Debruge
  • Busan: Korea’s ‘After My Death,’ Iran’s ‘Blockage’ Win Competition
    Films from South Korea and Iran were announced Saturday as joint winners of the Busan Film Festival’s main competition section. Kim Ui-seok’s “After My Death” and Mohsen Gharaei’s “Blockage” won the New Currents competition which focuses on first and second features by filmmakers from Asia. “My Death” is critique of the world where reason and […]
    Patrick Frater
  • Film Review: Pixar’s ‘Coco’
    Conceived as a vibrant celebration of Mexican culture, writer-director Lee Unkrich’s “Coco” is the 19th feature from Pixar Animation Studios and the first to seriously deal with the deficit of nonwhite characters in its films — so far limited to super-sidekick Frozone in “The Incredibles,” tagalong Russell in “Up” and Mindy Kaling’s green-skinned Disgust in “Inside […]
    Peter Debruge
  • Film News Roundup: Paul Allen’s Vulcan Productions Backs Oliver Sacks Documentary
    In today’s film news roundup, Paul Allen comes on board an Oliver Sacks documentary, the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival unveils its lineup, and animation veteran Teresa Cheng gets a USC post. DOCUMENTARY BACKING Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions is backing the documentary “Oliver Sacks: His Own Life” in partnership with Steeplechase Films, American […]
    Dave McNary