Tagged: Judi Dench

Simon Curtis has extensive experience as a theatre director and directed the popular television dramas David Copperfield and Cranford. His feature films include My Week with Marilyn, Woman in Gold and Goodbye Christopher Robin. He directs the second Downton film, Downton Abbey: A New Era…

Was it a challenge to maintain the emotional balance in the film, with so many moments of happiness and sadness, and with such a big cast?

As a director, your job is to make every scene work as well as possible, to find the emotion or the comedy. I think that’s what I do as a director so I seized on this material and this fantastic ensemble of actors and hoped for the best. Obviously, large ensembles are always a challenge. There would be a little one-line scene, like when they came to cut the wedding cake, and I would tell the AD that I am ready and half of British equity would come over the hill ready for their scene and ready for their close up. So that was intimidating.

It must have helped immensely to have worked with many of these cast members previously, and to have worked in this genre…

I have been very lucky to have worked with so many great actors and many of this cast. I think it is the fifth time I had worked with Imelda [Staunton, Lady Bagshaw] and the third time I had worked with Maggie [Smith, Countess of Grantham]. In the past I had done Cranford, with Judi Dench and Imelda and Jim [Carter, Mr. Carson], and David Copperfield with Maggie and Imelda, so I’d had a chance to do these big British ensembles. I was practised at that. And all the cast are wonderful. Many of them have literally grown up with these characters. This is the third decade they have worked in these parts.

Did producer Gareth Neame share with you many details about his connection to the Hitchcock film Blackmail, which was one of the inspirations for the film in A New Era?

That is exactly right. Gareth’s grandfather, the late, great Ronald Neame was a production assistant on Blackmail, which was Hitchcock’s film in the 1920s where this story line actually happened. Blackmail started as a silent film and ended up shooting as a talkie. I would say that Gareth was obsessed by that storyline but it actually happened. In the Hitchcock film they cast an East European actress who was brilliant in the silent film but challenged in the talkie so they did live-dub it in the way that we demonstrate in this film. One of my favourite moments in the film is the pleasure and joy Mary [Crawley, Michelle Dockery] gets when she participates in the film and does such a great job. You realise that in those days women were robbed of those opportunities a lot of the time and for her to be able to succeed in a work environment was so exciting.

How pleased were you with Laura Haddock’s performance as Myrna Dalgleish; it adds humour and pathos to the moviemaking scenes as Downton?

Laura delivered exactly what we hoped and empathised with an actress coming into an established world, and with an actress afraid for her future.

Was it fun shooting the scene with the extras? The downstairs cast must have loved dressing up almost as much as their characters did…

That’s right. I think Mrs. Patmore [Lesley Nicol] only ever had two costumes in 12 years so to have had those wonderful gowns was thrilling for her character and also a bit scary, I imagine. They were all brilliant in it. That scene took many days because we had so many storylines, three or four proposals, and so much came to fruition in that scene. It was both a challenge and a joy to do.

Did you enjoy bringing some light to the lives of characters like Barrow, Molesley and Mrs. Patmore, who haven’t always had the best of luck?

I suppose I hadn’t thought about that but it is true and there is something about the uplifting nature of some of theses storylines that is very welcome in this awful time we’re living. It was wonderful to see that pleasure and to see that those storylines ended so happily.

How vital was the levity from the likes of Carson, especially when some storylines are very emotional?

I always think it is weird in television when they talk about whether something is a comedy or a drama because the best is both. Julian Fellowes is very brilliant at both. He writes great jokes and heart-breaking emotion.

Was it special to work with your wife, Elizabeth McGovern [Lady Grantham], again, especially in some of the quieter, more serious moments on screen?

It is special to work with her for all kinds of reasons but, as I say, I have got very deep connections to a lot of the cast so all of that feeds into it, and that all added to the sense of it of being a family within a family. There are some wonderful sequences in this film, particularly at the end, that are nothing to do with me but are due to the fact that these actors have been together for 12 years. Births and deaths have happened in all of their lives and they are all aware of that across the camera. It just makes it such a rich personal experience. It is hard to describe, actually.

Was it at all difficult for the new faces to come into such a well-established cast?

I think it is a bit intimidating for new people coming in but, equally, the established cast welcomed new energy and new faces. I think it is intimidating but they had a great time. I think seeing Dominic West sitting at that dinner table just felt perfect.

How important was it to shoot in France, to provide a freshness and contrast in colour, architecture and environment?

That’s exactly right. We wanted to find the least Highclere Downton house we could find in France and Donal [Woods, production designer] designed a family’s house with big windows and white walls and a walk down to the coast. I think seeing the characters outside of their comfort zone is a big part of it.

Downton Abbey: A New Era is now available on Digital, Blu-ray™ and DVD

With the final trailer for No Time To Die having been released, we’re finally on the cusp of Daniel Craig’s grand finale as James Bond. It’s been a long and mostly successful run for Craig, with the upcoming release set to be his fifth film in the franchise.

As the anticipation builds, now seems as good a time as any to look back on Craig’s work to date and rank his best films as 007.

4. SPECTRE (2015)

Spectre is a film that attempts to tied Craig’s previous three installments together and explain them in a way they perhaps don’t need to be explained. The plot is somewhat convoluted, but it essentially revolves around Bond discovering that his recent misfortunes and the villains that brought them to pass can all be traced back to the criminal organisation SPECTRE. SPECTRE is run by Ernst Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), and Bond ultimately teams up with one Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) to attempt to bring the organization down.

The film looks wonderful. The opening sequence in which Bond thwarts an attack at the Mexican Day Of The Dead festival (albeit with plenty of collateral damage) is breathtaking. Moreover, additional sets and action sequences meet that bar throughout the film. Unfortunately, plot cohesion and character development are lacking. SPECTRE’s involvement seems too convenient and its motivations are poorly explained. Waltz is more or less the same compelling eccentric he’s been in other films. And Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann is a pale imitation of Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd from Casino Royale. She’s built up as a deadly but alluring femme fatale, yet winds up neither as capable nor as sympathetic as Lynd.

The end result is a film that’s very easy on the eyes but is ultimately, as one review aptly labeled it, a forgettable journey, according to Movie Freak.

3. Quantum Of Solace (2008)

Quantum Of Solace is perhaps the strangest film from Craig’s run, in that it plays out almost like an add-on final act to Casino Royale. There’s a whole, bizarre plot concerning Bond’s takedown of the mysterious Quantum organisation. This begins with Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), whom Bond captured at the end of Casino Royale. And along the way it involves fresh villain Dominic Greene (Matheiu Amalric), new “Bond girl” Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), and struggles over Bolivian leadership, water supplies, and oil stockpiling. But in the end, when all of that is taken care of, Bond goes off on a solo mission to find a criminal con artist who had been Vesper Lynd’s lover. At that point it feels as if the whole film existed to get Bond to a place of closure over Lynd’s demise.

It’s actually a fairly intricate film that’s better on a second or third watch. It’s certainly not bad. But it feels almost unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, and there’s something just a little stylistically off about it that’s always difficult to pinpoint.

2. Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale was Craig’s debut, and it’s a masterful one at that. The film depicts a new beginning for Bond as 007, and — after a few early detours in the form of stunning action sequences — sees him tracking a terrorist financier named Le Chiffre (Madds Mikkelsen) across the globe. Along the way, for what seems like possibly the first time in the whole franchise, Bond legitimately falls in love with one Vesper Lynd, who accompanies him on his missions. And delightfully, Bond’s pursuit of Le Chiffre largely boils down to an ultra-high-stakes poker game.

Said poker game takes place at the titular Casino Royale in Montenegro, and it’s really what sets the film apart. The game is organised by Le Chiffre, and Bond is staked by M16 (and eventually the CIA) in order to enter with other high rollers — the idea being to defeat Le Chiffre and force him to seek refuge from the powers to which he is indebted. The scene, however, draws out for a fairly large portion of the film and makes for some of the best poker action we’ve seen on screen. The game itself is sophisticated enough that an understanding of Texas Hold’em is legitimately useful. The film shows Hold’em as it’s really played, trusting audiences’ knowledge, whereas many poker movies take a less sophisticated approach. And the staging of the game (from the layout of the table to the attire of the characters) is oozing with the richness that makes us want to live in Bond films.

Surround a scene and plot point like this with terrific action, a shockingly compelling debut by Craig, and a real romance, and you have one of the truly great Bond films.

1. Skyfall (2012)

Finally we have Skyfall — Craig’s third effort, and more or less an undisputed masterpiece. This film focuses on the idea that Bond is slipping, framing him as an agent in decline, only for MI6 to be targeted by another former 00 in Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem). In what feels like the most personal conflict yet in the franchise, an ongoing duel between Silva and Bond (as well as Judi Dench’s M) plays out all the way to Bond’s remote childhood home.

The only real negative thing that can be said about Skyfall is that it borrows heavily from a few other films — namely, The Dark Knight and Heat. But given that these are terrific films (and that director Sam Mendes has been open about the connections to The Dark Knight), it’s hard to be bothered! In its performances, action sequences, and sense of story, as well as its ability to make Bond something deeper than we’ve been before, Skyfall is a triumph.

Article by Janisa Blaken.

 

Summary: A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.

Year: 2019

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December 2019

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 3rd January 2019

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States, United Kingdom

Director: Tom Hooper

Screenwriter: Les Hall, Tom Hooper, T.S. Eliot (poetry), Andrew Lloyd Webber (musical)

Cast: Jaih Betote (Coricopat), Larry Bourgeois (Socrates), Jonadette Carpio (Syllabub), Danny Collins (Mungojerrie), James Corden (Bustopher Jones), Laurie Davidson (Mr. Mistoffelees), Judi Dench (Old Deuteronomy), Jason Derulo (Rum Rum Tugger), Idris Elba (Macavity), Robbie Fairchild (Mukustrap), Francesca Hayward (Victoria), Jennifer Hudson (Grizabella), Melissa Madden-Gray (Griddlebone), Ian McKellan (Gus The Theatre Cat), Steven McRam (Shimbleshanks the Railway Cat), Naoimh Morgan (Rumpleteazer), Daniela Norman (Demeter), Bluey Robinson (Alonzo), Freya Rowley (Jellylorum), Ida Saki (Electra), Zizi Strallen (Tantomile), Taylor Swift (Bombalurina), Mette Towley (Cassandra), Eric Underwood (Admetus), Rebel Wilson (Jennyanydots), Ray Winstone (Growltiger)

Running Time: 110 mins

Classification: G (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR CATS REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Cats Review:

When you look back of 2019 and think of what films made the biggest impact in cinema there were perhaps none quite talked about the way Cats was. When the trailer dropped for director Tom Hooper’s (Les Miserables, The King’s Speech) version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical it made the nightly news for all the wrong reasons. For some Hooper’s cats looked strange, not-quite-human not-quite-cat, but others  (like myself) found themselves erring on the side caution wondering or not if this was going to turn out to be some kind of visual spectacular.

To be honest Cats sits somewhere in the middle. While it is not the musical masterpiece that Hooper created with Les Miserables it is also not as terrible as some would have you think. Perhaps the best way to approach Cats is to think you are about to enter a cinema to watch a theatre musical being projected onto the big screen because this feels much more like a concert than it does a cinematic experience.

Originally based on a collection of poems from T.S. Eliot Cats is told through the eyes of Victoria (Francesca Hayward The Sun Is God, Extra) a young cat who finds herself dumped in a London alleyway one night. She soon finds herself making friends with a magical cat called Mr. Mistoffelees (Laurie Davidson – Will, The Good Liar) who soon introduces her to the world of the Jellicle Cats.

On the night she arrives she finds that the Jellicles are eagerly awaiting the arrival of one of their oldest members – their matriarch Old Deuteronomy (Judi Dench – Skyfall, Shakespeare In Love) who on this night every year choices which Jellicle will live the life they have always dreamed of. But not everything runs smoothly as the villainous Macavity (Idris Elba – The Losers, Star Trek Beyond) plans on eliminating all of his competition.

Surprisingly the plot of Cats does work on the big screen. It is extremely light on though and at times the film feels like an extra couple of songs have been added to pad it out to feature film length. Despite what many felt from when that first trailer surfaced you do also find yourself as an audience member connecting with the cats on screen. Each has their own persona and whether you want to admit to it or not you do find yourself barracking for a cat to win Old Deuteronmy’s approval.

The film’s biggest weakness though is the way it is put together. The stories and scenes are almost presented the way they would be if you were reading through the original collection of short stories. A certain cat will perform and point out their strengths and weaknesses and then they are spirited away by Macavity before they can have their time with Old Deuteronomy. The sequences though where Macavity and his right-hand cat Growltiger (Ray Winstone – The Departed, Beowulf) are keeping the other cats captive are more like you would expect from a pantomime though and never become as menacing as they perhaps should have been.

While the sequences of watching the Jellicles perform does at times seem magical there is none of the wow factor here that we got with other musicals like Les Miserables and Moulin Rouge. Les Miserables worked on the big screen because it was believable while Moulin Rouge was way over the top which suited the theatre world that it was set in. Cats has the disadvantage of not being believable and it feels like perhaps it would have worked a little better if Hooper had followed in the footsteps of Baz Luhrmann and made this film go more into the fantasy realm as well.

What does work for Cats though is the casting. Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellan (Gods And Monster, Lord Of The Rings) steal the show as they expertly lead their younger cast. James Corden (Trolls, Peter Rabbit) brings in just the right amount of comic relief while playing Bustopher Jones but it is Jennifer Hudson (Dream Girls, The Secret Life Of Bees) who shines the brightest with her amazing vocals in the role of Grizabella. The ballet skills of Francesca Hayward also allows her to gracefully float across the screen as she leads the audience through this strange new world.

Cats may not leave its audience in awe the way Les Miserables did but it does have its own special charm. The best way to approach the movie is to go into the cinema knowing you will be about to watch a theatre production rather than a big blockbuster film.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating: 
Cats (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Cats Reviews:

Our Cats review that appeared in ‘The Phuket News’ can be read at this link – https://www.thephuketnews.com/cats-gives-us-reason-to-paws-74164.php

 

Trailer:

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

 

 

Summary: When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.

Year: 2016

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th September 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK, Belgium, USA

Director: Tim Burton

Screenwriter: Jane Goldman, Ransom Riggs (novel)

Cast: Nicholas Amer (Oggie), Jack Brady (Mr. Clark), Asa Butterfield (Jake), Raffiella Chapman (Claire Densmore), Justin Davies (Worm), Pixie Davies (Bronwyn Bruntley), Louis Davison (Victor Bruntley), Helen Day (Miss Edwards), Judi Dench (Miss Avocet), Rupert Everett (Ornithologist), Aidan Flowers (10 Year Old Jacob), Eva Green (Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine), Scott Handy (Mr. Gleeson), Ioan Hefin (Kev), Samuel L. Jackson (Barron), Allison Janney (Dr. Golan), Jennifer Jarackas (Aunt Susie), O-Lan Jones (Shelley), Hayden Keeler-Stone (Horace Somnussion), Cameron King (Millard Nullings), Mary Leonard (Mary), Finlay MacMillan (Enoch O’Connor), Lauren McCrostie (Olive Abroholos Elphanta), Chris O’Dowd (Franklin Portman), Joseph Odwell (Masked Ballerina #1), Thomas Odwell (Maked Ballerina #2), Nicholas Oteri (6 Year Old Jacob), Milo Parker (Hugh Apiston), Georgia Pemberton (Fiona Fruanfeld), Philip Philmar (Mr Archer), Ella Purnell (Emma Bloom), Terence Stamp (Abraham Portman), Brooke Jaye Taylor (Aunt Judy), Shaun Thomas (Dylan), George Vricos (Uncle Bobby), Robert Milton Wallace (Malfous)

Runtime: 127 mins

Classification: PG

OUR MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Tim Burton fans it is time to rejoice because the man of creepiness is back with a film that once again sees him using his creative genius to full effect. The last few years has seen Burton serve up films like Big Eyes and Dark Shadows – films that to be honest have been a waste of his talents. With Miss Peregine’s Home For Peculiar Children though Burton once again lets his creativity come to the fore as he delivers a film that is visually appealing and brings some ‘older’ special effects back to life.

Based on a novel by Ransom Riggs Miss Peregine’s Home For Peculiar Children centres around Jake (Asa Butterfield Ender’s Game) an unpopular teenager who has been brought up listening to his ­Grandfather Abe’s (Terence Stamp Wanted) tales of a miraculous island that he once lived on. Jake’s father, Franklin (Chris O’Dowd The Sapphires) tells him these tales are part of his Grandfather’s dementia but Jake finds himself wondering whether or not they are true when he finds Abe brutally murdered and he witnesses a ‘monster’ at the scene.

Soon Jake finds himself discovering that Abe’s stories are true as he meets Miss Peregrine (Eva Green Dark Shadows) a mysterious shape shifter who looks after a school for children with peculiar abilities, such as Emma (Ella PurnellNever Let Me Go), and makes sure that the ‘loop’ they live in resets each day. While at first Jake believes their lifestyle is picturesque who soon becomes involved in their dangerous war with the psychotic Barron (Samuel L. Jackson Pulp Fiction).

On the surface it would be very easy to dismiss Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children as a mish-mash of Harry Potter and X-Men but with Burton at the helm this film becomes much more than that. Burton’s finger-prints are all over this film from start to finish. While the opening scenes of the stale white store where Jake works seems largely un-Burtonesque it gives way to a world where Burton can bring a steam punk feel to a World War II bombing raid, use ‘jumpy’ special effects during a scene of re-animated dolls fighting and use old-school CGI to bring skeletons to life for a large scale battle. To some younger cinema goers the use of the ‘older’ effects may seem a little strange it does fit the film’s storyline of flashing between time periods… and better still it’s Burton being his creative self.

Storywise the film does have a fair bit to get your head around. While the time-jumping sequences will be very quick to lose you Burton gets away with it by the fact that Jake himself doesn’t fully understand what is happening either. Generally though this is your typical good versus evil storyline with a touch of coming-of-age as the audience gets to experience Jake’s first romance as well.

Under the watchful eye of Tim Burton the cast here regularly get a chance to shine. While Butterfield’s performance is nowhere near as intense as his performance in Ender’s Game he still does a good job. Likewise Samuel L. Jackson is far from his best but seems to be having fun as he plays the menacing Barron. The real standouts here though are Eva Green and Ella Purnell. Purnell announces herself as a star of the future with a performance very similar to what Burton normally gets out of Mia Wasikowska. Green plays Miss Peregrine as a sultry character that we can only help returns to the screen soon.

Whether Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is meant to kick-start a franchise or simply be a one off movie the film holds its own as Burton delivers a film a little too dark for children but something that adults and young adults will certainly warm to. This surprisingly good film sees Burton return to do what he does best – produce a creepy yet truly creative film.

Stars(3.5)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3.5)

 

IMDB Rating:  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children Reviews: Nil

Trailer:

Robert Pattinson

You hear the term Hollywood royalty bandied around a lot by the tabloids. There are the Kings and Queens, those such as Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise who seem to rule over all those A-Listers. Then there are the older generation of royalty, those like Jack Nicholson and Dame Judi Dench who once had the throne but have since handed it on to those younger. Then there are jesters, the Adam Sandlers and Jim Carreys of this world who are always ready to make the ‘court’ laugh.

It may come as a complete surprise to film lovers but there are also those that we love to watch up on the big screen who can proudly boast that they do in fact have royal blood flowing their veins. Let’s take a look at some of the A-Listers who could replace the red carpet with the royal robes if they so wished.

There aren’t many out there that would argue that Brad Pitt isn’t Hollywood royalty. The dashing good looks make him look like Prince Charming and then there is the fact that this award winning actor is also the partner of one of the Queens of Hollywood – Angelina Jolie. The surprising news is though that Brad Pitt has actual royal blood flowing through his veins. Through his mother’s side of the family, Pitt is related to England’s King Henry II who ruled between 1154-1189. King Henry II also has another Hollywood descendent in the form of Paris Hilton who, when not attending the opening of an envelope, has been known to act in films including “House Of Wax” and “The Bling Ring.”

Not to be outdone by her partner, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie can also lay claim to some royal blood, thanks to the fact that her mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, was a descendent of France’s King Philip II. Yes Angelina and Brad are a ‘royal couple’ in every sense of the phrase. Also related to the French Royal Family is “The Blue Lagoon” actress Brooke Shields who recently discovered on an episode of “Who Do You Think You Are” that her family tree includes Henry IV of France. “Who Do You Think You Are” also discovered that Johnny Depp is the 20thcousin of Queen Elizabeth. Another French royal family member was the great Katherine Hepburn and Anthony Perkins who were both related to King Louis IV of France.

She may no longer be considered Hollywood royalty, and recently slummed it in “Movie 43,” but actress Uma Thurman has some royal bloodlines in the real world due to the fact that she is a relative of King Edward 1 of England (who ruled from 1272-1307). Actor Hugh Grant may have seen an incident with Divine Brown cause him to fall off his thrown, but he also has a double royal connection. Grant can trace his family lines back to both Henry VII and James IV The King Of Scotland (ruled from 1488-1513.)

Another Hollywood celebrity who may be wondering why she doesn’t receive any invites to Buckingham Palace is the Queen of Hollywood Chat Shows, Ellen DeGeneres, who was recently told by the New England Genealogical Society that she is the 15th cousin of Kate Middleton and is also related to King Edward III (who ruled from 1327-1377). Also related to King Edward III is brother and sister acting duo, Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hilary Duff, Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Laura Dern and Michael Douglas. Now that could be one talented family get-together.

If you were looking for another family get-together with both talent and royal lines you could do a search down the family tree of King John of England (ruled from 1199-1216), whose modern day ancestors include Academy Award winner Tom Hanks, Glenn Close and Sissy Spacek.

In what has to be one of the most ironic royal links of all time, Robert Pattinson recently found out that he can trace his family back to Vlad The Impaler. Yes that’s right; the actor who famously played vampire Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” franchise of films is, in fact, related to the ruler that inspired the Dracula mythology – the ruthless Vlad the Impaler. Just for good measure, Pattinson is also a cousin to Prince William and Prince Harry.

Just to wrap up this talented bunch of ‘celebrity royal relatives,’ you have Sigourney Weaver and Clint Eastwood who were both related to King Henry I (ruler of England from 1100-1135), as well as Ralph and Joseph Fiennes who have King James II of Scotland (1437-1460) in their family tree.

While it would seem unlikely that any of this talented bunch would ever swap Tinseltown for a crown, it is fascinating to learn just who can claim to be the true ‘Hollywood Royalty.’

Philomena

Summary: Philomena is the true story of an Irish Catholic woman (Judi Dench) who decides to find her son more than fifty years after she was forced, as an unmarried mother, to give him up for adoption. As scornful of ‘human interest’ journalism as he is distressed by the scandal that shortened his career as a political advisor, Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) reluctantly agrees to meet Philomena and hear her story . A true odd couple – the sheltered, elderly woman and the dry, world-weary ex-BBC journo – Philomena and Martin embark on a journey together that takes them from a convent in rural Ireland to the White House in Washington DC.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, UK, France

Director: Stephen Frears

Screenwriter: Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope, Martin Sixsmith (book)

Cast: Mai Arwas (Megan), Xavier Atkins (Michael Hess Aged 14), Amber Batty (Marge), Cathy Belton (Sister Claire), Saorise Bowen (Young Mary), Tadhg Bowen (Young Anthony), Sophie Kennedy Clark (Young Philomena), Steve Coogan (Martin Sixsmith), Harrison D”Ampney (Anthony 8-10 Years), Judi Dench (Philomena), Charles Edwards (David), Michelle Fairley (Sally Mitchell), Kate Fleetwood (Young Sister Hildegarde), Donal Haughey (Declan), Peter Hermann (Pete Olsson), Barbara Jefford (Sister Hildegarde), Nicholas Jones (Dr. Robert), Simone Lahbib (Kate Sixsmith), Elliot Levey (Alex), Sean Mahon (Michael), Anna Maxwell Martin (Jane), Amy McAllister (Sister Anunciata), Ruth McCabe (Mother Barbara), D.J. McGrath (John), Nika McGuigan (Bridie), Charlie Murphy (Kathleen),Ronald Reagan (himself), Charissa Shearer (Peg), Sara Stewart (Marcia Weller), Rachel Wilcock (Mamie), Mare Winningham (Mary)

Runtime: 98 mins

Classification:M

OUR PHILOMENA REVIEWS & RATINGS

Greg King: Stars(4)

Please check Greg’s review of ‘Philomena’ that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

David Griffiths:

If somebody had told me at the start of the year that British comedic actor Steve Coogan would have starred in two of the most heartfelt and emotional films of the year I would have told them they were dreaming. But cinema can be a weird thing and Coogan follows up his portrayal of the uncaring father in “What Maisie Knew” with another strong dramatic performance in one of the surprise hits of the year “Philomena.”

“Philomena” tells the true story of former BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) who after finding himself unfairly publicly disgraced decides to take on one of those dreaded ‘human interest stories.’ Soon he finds himself teaming up with the sweet-but-not-so-innocent elderly Philomena (Judi Dench) who harbors a secret she’s been holding onto for years.

Unknown to her family Philomena gave birth to a son 50 years earlier, however due to the fact that she was single at the time and brought disgrace to her family she was shipped off to a convent where she was placed through an unsafe labour and then told to work off her sin while her son was sold to a well-off American couple for $1,000. As the years go on not a day goes by where Philomena doesn’t think about her lost son or what became of him, so now with Martin in tow they go in search of the son that Philomena never really knew.

To his credit director Stephen Frears (mainly known for his work on “The Queen”) doesn’t just make this heartfelt Oscar bait. Furthermore he also doesn’t full into the same trap as “Closed Circuit” and make the audience feel that they are watching a British telemovie. Instead Frears has delivered a film that does indeed cause an emotional response from the audience but also goes into that ‘buddy’ film territory… a hell of a lot better than the film “The Guilt Trip” did earlier this year.

Yes Frears does tell a story that the world needs to see and exposes yet another crime against humanity committed by the Catholic Church, but at the same time he delivers two likable characters and injects a little humor into the film as the worldly Sixsmith plays tour guide to Philomena, someone who has never ventured out of the United Kingdom before. And while I won’t give away the ending Frears sticks to the true story which may not be what Hollywood would have wanted him to do… credit must be paid for sticking to his guns.

As most film fans already know this film has Judi Dench’s name being bandied around for Oscar contention. Rightfully so as she delivers a strong dramatic performance laced with moments of comedic brilliance, but it does seem a little unfair that Steve Coogan’s name also hasn’t been mentioned in this circles and he puts in one of the few perfect performances of the year. Coogan and Dench rebound their comedy together well, but Coogan doesn’t just rest on getting laughs, no he also has to deliver some dramatic moments and he does it surprisingly well.

“Philomena” is a heartfelt film so get ready to cry when you are watching it, but once again Frears gets the best out of his cast and once again makes a film that is will stand the test of time. “Philomena” is one of the Brits’ finest films for 2013.

Stars(4)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4)

IMDB Rating:  Philomena (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Philomena′: Please check our Philomena review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 63.

Trailer:

The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show

This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Nick, Adam, Dave and Greg take a look at new release films ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’, ‘Drinking Buddies’, ‘Frozen’, ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’, ‘Philomena’, ‘The Railway Man’, ‘The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty’ and ‘Walking With Dinosaurs’. This episode also features interviews with Ben Stiller, Judi Dench, Jonathan Groff, Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, Orlando Bloom and Ian McKellan. The boys also launch a new competition thanks to The Electric Shadow Open Air Cinema.

Please note that Part 1 of the show will be placed online after the embargo has been lifted on our review of ‘Saving Mr Banks’. All other reviews can be heard on Part 2,3,4,5 though.

To listen to the show you can download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here

SAG Awards

The 2013 SAG Awards nominations are now in. Here they are:

 

FEATURE FILMS

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role

  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave)
  • Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
  • Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Leading Role

  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
  • Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
  • Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)
  • James Gandolfini (Enough Said)
  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osange County)
  • June Squibb (Nebraska)
  • Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture

  • 12 Years A Slave – Bendict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garrett Dillahunt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Michael Kenneth Williams, Alfre Woodward
  • American Hustle – Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Louis C.K., Bradley Cooper, Paul Herman, Jack Huston, Jennifer Lawrence, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Pena, Jeremy Renner, Elisabeth Rohm, Shea Whigham
  • August: Osange County – Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Julia Roberts, Sam Shepard, Meryl Streep, Misty Upham
  • Dallas Buyers Club – Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Denis O’Hare, Dallas Roberts, Steve Zahn
  • Lee Daniels’ The Butler – Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jnr., Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, James Marsden, David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, Forest Whitaker, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey

 

TELEVISION PROGRAMS

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Television Movie or Mini-Series

  • Matt Damon (Behind The Candelabra)
  • Michael Douglas (Behind The Candelabra)
  • Jeremy Irons (The Hollow Crown)
  • Rob Lowe (Killing Kennedy)
  • Al Pacino (Phil Spector)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Television Movie or Mini-Series

  • Angela Bassett (Betty & Coretta)
  • Helena Bonham Carter (Burton And Taylor)
  • Holly Hunter (Top Of The Lake)
  • Helen Mirren (Phil Spector)
  • Elisabeth Moss (Top Of The Lake)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Drama Series

  • Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
  • Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
  • Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
  • Peter Dinklage (Game Of Thrones)
  • Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Drama Series

  • Claire Danes (Homeland)
  • Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
  • Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven)
  • Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
  • Kerrry Washington (Scandal)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Comedy Series

  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development)
  • Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
  • Don Cheadle (House Of Lies)
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Comedy Series

  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory)
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock)
  • Julia-Louis Dreyfus (Veep)

Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Drama Series

  • Boardwalk Empire – Patricia Arquette, Margot Bignham, Steve Buscemi, Brian Geraghty, Stephen Graham, Erik La Ray Harvey, Jack Huston, Ron Livingstone, Domenick Lombardozzi, Gretchen Mol, Ben Rosenfield, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jacob Ware, Shea Whigham, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jeffrey Wright
  • Breaking Bad – Michael Bowen, Betsy Brandt, Bryan Cranston, Lavell Crawford, Tait Fletcher, Laura Fraser, Anna Gunn, Matthew T. Metzler, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk, Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons, Steven Michael Quezada, Kevin Rankin, Patrick Sane
  • Downton Abbey – Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Jessica Brown Findlay, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, Rob James-Collier, Allen Leach, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Matt Milne, Lesley Nicol, Amy Nuttall, David Robb, Maggie Smith, Ed Speleers, Dan Stevens, Cara Theobold, Penelope Wilton
  • Game Of Thrones – Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Oona Chaplin, Gwendoline Christie, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Mackenzie Crook, Charles Dance, Joe Dempsie, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michelle Fairley, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glenn, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Kristofer Hivju, Paul Kaye, Sibel Kekilli, Rose Leslie, Richard Madden, Rory McCann, Michael McElhatton, Ian McElhinney, Philip McGinley, Hannah Murray, Iwan Rehon, Sophie Turner, Carice Van Houten, Maisie Williams
  • Homeland – F. Murray Abraham, Sarita Choudhury, Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, Tracy Letts, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, Morgan Saylor

Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Comedy Series

  • 30Rock – Scott Adsit, Alec Baldwin, Katrina Bowden, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, Tina Fey, Judah Friedlander, Jane Krakowski, John Lutz, James Marsden, Jack McBrayer, Tracey Morgan, Keith Powell
  • Arrested Development – Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, John Beard, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia De Rossi, Isla Fisher, Tony Hale, Ron Howard, Liza Minnelli, Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Henry Winkler
  • The Big Bang Theory – Mayim Bialik, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons, Melissa Rauch
  • Modern Family – Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Aubrey Anderson Emmons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nolan Gould, Sarah Hyland, Ed O’Neill, Rico Rodriguez, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, Ariel Winter
  • Veep – Sufe Bradshaw, Anna Chlumsky, Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn, Tony Hale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh

 

STUNT ENSEMBLE HONORS

Outstanding Action Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Motion Picture

  • All Is Lost
  • Fast & Furious 6
  • Lone Survivor
  • Rush
  • The Wolverine

Outstanding Action Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Comedy or Drama Series

  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Breaking Bad
  • Game Of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • The Walking Dead