Showing posts with label Hugh Grant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hugh Grant. Show all posts

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Warner Bros to Release "Paddington 2" in North America January 2018

Warner Bros. Pictures to Distribute “Paddington 2” in North America

- Sequel to the worldwide hit “Paddington,” directed by Paul King, opens January 12, 2018 -

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures will usher in the new year with the big-screen return of one of the world’s most beloved characters in a delightful new adventure. Following its overwhelmingly successful UK opening in November and #1 reign at the UK box office, “Paddington 2”—fully financed by STUDIOCANAL and produced by multi award-winning producer David Heyman (the “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” films, “Paddington,” “Gravity”)—is set to debut in theatres across North America on January 12, 2018. The Studio has acquired distribution rights for the film in the U.S. and Canada from STUDIOCANAL and TWC/Dimension Films, it was jointly announced today by STUDIOCANAL, Sue Kroll, President of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

“Paddington 2” continues the story of the enduringly popular little bear in the trademark blue coat and red hat that touched audiences worldwide. It opened November 10th in the UK to enthusiastic audiences and universally positive reviews, outpacing its predecessor’s opening weekend numbers by over 60%.

Based on the best-selling and internationally adored series of children’s stories by Michael Bond, the film is once again directed by BAFTA nominee Paul King, from a script by King and Simon Farnaby.

Golden Globe and BAFTA winner Hugh Grant and three-time Golden Globe nominee Brendan Gleeson join the all-star returning cast of Golden Globe nominee Hugh Bonneville, Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins, Oscar nominee Julie Walters, Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, Oscar winner Peter Capaldi, Madeleine Harris, and Samuel Joslin, with BAFTA winner Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington and Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton as the voice of Aunt Lucy.

The new story finds Paddington happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s hundredth birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Paramount Pictures Announces Special Showing of "Florence Foster Jenkins"



HOLLYWOOD, CA – To celebrate the release of “FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS,” Paramount Pictures is taking audiences behind the scenes of the film with a one-night-only CURTAIN CALL event, a special 10-minute theatrical experience offered to ticketholders on Thursday, August 11, 2016.

The event features a Q&A taped exclusively for the Curtain Call with the film’s stars Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg on the making of the film, along with bonus behind-the-scenes footage. The Curtain Call screenings are playing in theaters nationwide as part of the regular admission for all showings of the film that evening.

Tickets are on sale online and at theater box offices. Please check local listings for showtimes.

Set in 1940s New York, “FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS,” from Paramount Pictures, Pathé and BBC Films, is the true story of the legendary New York heiress and socialite (Meryl Streep) who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her “husband” and manager, St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge. The film stars Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson and Nina Arianda.

Produced by Michael Kuhn and Tracey Seaward. Written by Nicholas Martin. Directed by Stephen Frears. Executive Producers Cameron McCracken, Christine Langan and Malcolm Ritchie.

“FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS” is in theaters August 12, 2016.

About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from April 24th to 30th, 2016 - Updated #33

Support Leroy on Patreon.

COMICS - From CBR:   See Batman's costume redesign for the comic books.

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Director Seth Grahame-Smith has left Warner Bros.'s film, "The Flash," over "creative differences."

MOVIES - From DarkHorizons:  After nearly killing their lead in a stupid stunt, Fox puts the final "Maze Runner" film, "The Death Cure" on indefinite hold.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Will Ferrell backs out of playing Reagan.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  John Krasinski will play the lead in Amazon's "Jack Ryan" series.

ECO - From RSN:  Bianca Jagger asks, Will the Paris Climate agreement deliver?

ANIMATION - From Variety:  NBCUniversal to acquire DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion. Chris Meledandri, head of Universal’s Illumination Entertainment animation wing, will oversee operations, but the DreamWorks Animation brand will remain intact as an imprint.

From Variety:  Also, is Chris Meledandri the new John Lasseter (the co-founder of Pixar)?

MOVIES/BOOKS - From TheTrackingBoard:  People fight over publishing and film rights for a YA book , The Final Six, that hasn't even been written.

MOVIES - From Collider:  New images from "Alien: Covenant" (Alien 5), which has supposedly started filming.

COMICS - From TheWrap:  Stephen Merchant joins "Wolverine 3.

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) will replace Angelina Jolie as "Lara Croft" in the Tomb Raider film series reboot.

BLACK LIVES MATTER - From BuzzFlash:  The history of racism and slavery in Washington D.C.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Will Ferrell to play Ronald Reagan.

COMICS - From YahooMovies:  Marvel Studios releases a statement defending the casting of Tilda Swinton as "The Ancient One" in "Doctor Strange."  The character was originally a Tibetan-type.  The casting does not bother me.  I'm all for color-blind casting, especially when it's that fine-ass Tilda Swinton.

MUSIC - From YahooNews:  Laolu Senbanjo, the Nigerian artist who did the body art in Beyonce's new visual album, talks.

COMICS - From YahooMovies:  Spider-Man takes on The Winter Soldier in new "Captain America: Civil War" clip (#10).

COMICS - From BleedingCool:  The sexual harassment spotlight on DC Comics/Entertainment continues to grow.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Our Star wars heroine, Daisy Ridley, to star in a Holocaust drama, "The Lost Wife."

MOVIES - From CinemaBlend:  Some concept art from "Alien: Covenant" (or Alien 5) reveal the return of a fan favorite character.

MOVIES - From CinemaBlend:  This deleted scene from "A Nightmare on Elm Street" changes the story.

MOVIES - From CinemaBlend:  Wesley Snipes sighs a two-picture deal with WWE Studios.

TELEVISION - From TVLine:  See the 200+ crazy cast from the "Twin Peaks" revival.

MUSIC - From Vulture:  "Lemonade" shows Beyonce the "brilliant filmmaker."

COMICS - From Vulture:  Nathan Fillion has been cast as "Simon Williams" (sometimes known as "
Wonder Man") in "Guardians of the Galaxy 2."

BLACK LIVES MATTER - From YahooNews:  Cleveland settles a lawsuit brought against the city by the family of Tamir Rice, a minor killed by city police officers.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 4/22 to 4/24/2016 weekend box office is "Jungle Book" with an estimated take of $60.8 million.

LGBT - From NYTimes:  Finding love again, this time with a man - Former Senator Harris Wofford.

TELEVISION - From TheWrap:  A catch-up guide to "Game of Thrones."

MUSIC - From ABCNews:  Beyonce has released a new album, "Lemonade," available for streaming on Tidal.

COMICS - From BleedingCool:  Rich Johnston knew it - Marvel's proposed Inhumans movie was destined to be done away with.

ECO - From EcoWatch:  Leonardo DiCaprio on the Paris Agreement.



From YouTube:  The final trailer for "X-Men Apocalypse."

From YouTube:  A making of featurette concerning Stephen Frears upcoming "Florence Foster Jenkins" starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

"The Man From U.N.C.L.E." Soundtrack Now on Sale

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Soundtrack Due August 7, 2015

Features Music from Composer Daniel Pemberton

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WaterTower Music today announced the August 7, 2015 release of the soundtrack to director Guy Ritchie’s action adventure The Man From U.N.C.L.E. which opens in theatres Friday, August 14, 2015. It features original music composed by BAFTA-nominated composer Daniel Pemberton (LittleBigPlanet, The Movies), who took inspiration from Ritchie’s unique and inimitable style.

    “Writing a score set in the 1960s was a dream come true for me. There is a boldness to the way music was written and recorded in this era that allowed me to go all in, in a way that you can’t get away with in most contemporary films”

“One of the best things about working with Guy Ritchie is he is a director who, above all, understands the immense power music can bring to a film. A composer on one of his films has to give it everything,” Pemberton declared. “You have to step up and write music that is bold, surprising and strong. I can remember so many amazing music sequences from pretty much every film he has ever made - that marriage of music and visual is the essence for me of pure cinema. So to be part of that legacy has been an unbelievable thrill and one of the most crazy, exciting and unpredictable musical journeys I have ever been on.”

With the film being set during the Cold War, Pemberton was allowed to musically explore the period while adding contemporary elements from around the world. The composer describes the score as a “kaleidoscope of international color,” with the sounds of cimbaloms, flutes, guitars, bongos, and more incorporated into the music. “Writing a score set in the 1960s was a dream come true for me. There is a boldness to the way music was written and recorded in this era that allowed me to go all in, in a way that you can’t get away with in most contemporary films,” explains Pemberton.

The soundtrack, available to order at iTunes and Amazon also features music from iconic artists such as Roberta Flack, Louis Prima, and Nina Simone. The track list is below. All music by Daniel Pemberton, unless specified otherwise:

1. “Compared To What” – Roberta Flack
2. Out Of The Garage
3. His Name Is Napoleon Solo
4. Escape From East Berlin
5. “Jimmy, Renda se” – Tom Zé and Valdez
6. Mission: Rome
7. The Vinciguerra Affair
8. Bugs, Beats and Bowties
9. “Cry To Me” – Solomon Burke
10. “Five Months, Two Weeks, Two Days” – Louis Prima
11. Signori Toileto Italiano
12. Breaking In (Searching The Factory)
13. Breaking Out (The Cowboy Escapes)
14. “Che Vuole Questa Musica Stasera” – Peppino Gagliardi
15. Into The Lair (Betrayal Part I)
16. Laced Drinks (Betrayal Part II)
17. “Il Mio Regno” – Luigi Tenco
18. Circular Story
19. The Drums Of War
20. Take You Down
21. We Have Location
22. A Last Drink
23. “Take Care Of Business” – Nina Simone
24. The Unfinished Kiss

Henry Cavill stars as Napoleon Solo opposite Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin in director Guy Ritchie’s action adventure “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” a fresh take on the hugely popular 1960s television series. Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, it centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin who are forced to put aside longstanding hostilities and team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.

The film also stars Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Debicki, with Jared Harris and Hugh Grant. The screenplay is by Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, story by Jeff Kleeman & David Campbell Wilson, based on the television series “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” John Davis, Steve Clark-Hall, Wigram and Ritchie produced the film, with David Dobkin serving as executive producer.

A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation, a Ritchie/Wigram Production, a Davis Entertainment Production, a Guy Ritchie Film, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Guy Ritchie Helms "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." Film

Production to Begin on “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” for Warner Bros. Pictures

Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer Star Under the Direction of Guy Ritchie

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Principal photography will begin on September 9 on Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” The film is the first to be made under filmmaker Guy Ritchie’s and producer Lionel Wigram’s new production shingle, Ritchie/Wigram Productions, which has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Having successfully re-imagined the classic detective Sherlock Holmes in two hit films, the pair now bring their fresh take on the hugely popular 1960s television series by bringing super spies Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin to the big screen.

Henry Cavill (“Man of Steel”) stars as Napoleon Solo opposite Armie Hammer (“The Social Network”) as Illya Kuryakin, alongside stars Alicia Vikander (“Anna Karenina”), Elizabeth Debicki (“The Great Gatsby”), Jared Harris (“Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows”), and Hugh Grant (“Cloud Atlas”) as Waverly.

“Guy and I have long loved these characters, and wanted to start from scratch with our own take and create a film steeped in the 1960s for today’s audiences,” said Wigram. “We are particularly happy about our cast, who all bring something special to the film. Henry, Armie, Alicia and Elizabeth are among the best and most exciting actors of the next generation. In addition, we are thrilled to be working with Hugh Grant, who we have known and been fans of for many years, and Jared Harris, who did such a great job for us as Moriarty.”

Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin. Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.

The screenplay is written by Ritchie and Wigram, who also serve as producers. John Davis (“Chronicle”) and Steve Clark-Hall (“RocknRolla,” the “Sherlock Holmes” films) are also producing. David Dobkin is executive producer.

Ritchie’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes two-time Oscar®-nominated director of photography John Mathieson (“Gladiator”), production designer Oliver Scholl (“Jumper”), editor James Herbert (the “Sherlock Holmes” films), Oscar®-nominated costume designer Joanna Johnston (“Lincoln”) and Oscar®-winning key makeup and hair designer Sarah Monzani (“Quest for Fire,” upcoming “Edge of Tomorrow”).

Filming will take place in England, with location filming also in Italy, in Rome and Naples.

A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Cloud Atlas" Soundtrack CD Due November 6 2012

Cloud Atlas Soundtrack Due October 23rd From WaterTower Music

Featuring Original Music by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, and Reinhold Heil

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WaterTower Music will release the Cloud Atlas: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack at all digital retailers on October 23, with a physical CD release to follow on November 6. The original music was composed by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, and Reinhold Heil. Tykwer also shares screenwriting and directing credits with filmmakers Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski, in bringing David Mitchell’s best-selling novel to the big screen in the October 26th release Cloud Atlas.

Music is a central part of the Cloud Atlas story, particularly in one sequence of the film’s narrative involving a young composer who struggles to complete his life’s work, entitled The Cloud Atlas Sextet. This musical theme then recurs throughout the film and helps to connect multiple threads of action together as a single story moving through time.

“It’s an ever-present melody from a simple string line to a riff in a 1970s rock piece, to a jazz sextet playing in the background at the Cavendish party. We needed something beautiful and malleable enough to take us through five centuries,” said Tykwer. “There are lots of subjective voices in the story, and we were searching for one voice that could encompass them all, to form a beautiful choir.”

Because of this the three composers began working on the music before a single frame of film was shot.

“He prefers this to using temporary music by other composers,” Heil explained. “It allows him to use the temp score without worrying about what will take its place. As the film takes shape in post-production, we see what’s missing or needs changing and re-record the final.”

In the powerful and inspiring epic Cloud Atlas, drama, mystery, action and enduring love thread through a single story that unfolds in multiple timelines over the span of 500 years. Characters meet and reunite from one life to the next. Born and reborn. As the consequences of their actions and choices impact one another through the past, the present and the distant future, one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.

Everything is connected.

Academy Award® winners Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) and Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball) lead a stellar international cast that also includes Oscar® winner Jim Broadbent (Iris), Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Xun Zhou, Keith David and David Gyasi, with Oscar® winner Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking) and Hugh Grant. Each member of the ensemble appears in multiple roles as the story moves through time. Cloud Atlas is produced by Grant Hill, Stefan Arndt, Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski, with executive producers Philip Lee, Uwe Schott and Wilson Qui.

The Cloud Atlas: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on WaterTower Music will be available digitally on October 23, and as a physical CD November 6, 2012.

Tom Tykwer is one of Germany’s most exciting filmmakers and a triple threat (writer, director, composer). In 1999, he made his international breakthrough with the adrenaline-fueled Run Lola Run, which, as well as directing, he also wrote and co-composed with Klimek and Heil. The film was both a commercial and critical success, going on to become the most successful German film of that year. He followed this with The Princess and the Warrior, and then with his first English-language film, Heaven. In 2006, Tykwer co-wrote and directed Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. His next film was the sleek thriller The International. Most recently he completed the German language film 3 (Drei).

Reinhold Heil was born in a small town in West Germany and trained to become a classical pianist. While studying at the Berlin Music Academy, Heil became Nina Hagen’s keyboardist, co-writer, and co-producer and for the next few years honed his craft in what became the legendary Nina Hagen Band. After Hagen left the group, the remaining band members formed Spliff, one of Germany’s most successful rock bands of the 1980s.

Born in Australia, Johnny Klimek paid his dues in a series of gritty pub bands before migrating to Berlin to form the ’80s pop ensemble “The Other Ones” with his siblings. He segued into the club music scene on his own in the ’90s, and, out of the latter emerged his creative marriages to both Heil and Tykwer.

Among Klimek and Heil’s credits are Killer Elite, the TV series Awake, One Hour Photo, the acclaimed TV series Deadwood, and the theme song for Without a Trace. Up next for the duo is I, Frankenstein, starring Bill Nighy and Aaron Eckhart, slated for release in February.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Cloud Atlas" Set for October 2012 with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry

Warner Bros. Pictures Sets October 26, 2012 for Domestic Release of “Cloud Atlas”

Studio Also Acquires Distribution Rights for Major International Markets

Oscar® Winners Tom Hanks and Halle Berry Lead an International All-Star Cast

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures has officially slated the epic “Cloud Atlas,” from acclaimed filmmakers Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski, for domestic release on October 26, 2012. In addition, the Studio has acquired rights for the film in the major markets of the UK, France, Spain, Australia, and Japan, with plans to release it in those territories in early 2013. The joint announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Fellman stated, “Audiences who have seen an early screening of ‘Cloud Atlas’ have been elated by its powerful and inspiring story, as well as its breathtaking visuals. An October release in North America is the perfect window to showcase this epic film.”

Kwan Vandenberg said, “We are proud to be distributing this remarkable motion picture in a number of key markets. We look forward to working with these visionary filmmakers and the other international distribution partners to bring ‘Cloud Atlas’ to moviegoers around the world.”

Academy Award® winners Tom Hanks (“Philadelphia,” “Forrest Gump”) and Halle Berry (“Monster’s Ball”) lead a stellar international cast that includes Oscar® winner Jim Broadbent (“Iris”), Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Zhou Xun and Keith David, with Oscar® winner Susan Sarandon (“Dead Man Walking”) and Hugh Grant. Each member of the ensemble appears in multiple roles as the stories move through time.

“Cloud Atlas” explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future.

The film is written for the screen and directed by Lana Wachowski & Tom Tykwer & Andy Wachowski. The Wachowskis previously teamed as writers/directors of the groundbreaking “Matrix” trilogy, which earned more than $1.6 billion, combined, at the worldwide box office. Tom Tykwer won an Independent Spirit Award and earned a BAFTA Award nomination as the director/writer of “Run Lola Run,” and more recently directed the award-winning thriller “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.”

Based on the celebrated best-selling novel by David Mitchell, “Cloud Atlas” is produced by two-time Oscar® nominee Grant Hill (“The Thin Red Line,” “The Tree of Life”), three-time BAFTA Award nominee Stefan Arndt (“The White Ribbon,” “Goodbye Lenin!,” “Run Lola Run”), Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski. Philip Lee, Uwe Schott and Wilson Qiu serve as executive producers, with Peter Lam, Tony Teo and Alexander van Duelmen co-producing, and Gigi Oeri as associate producer.

“Cloud Atlas” will be released in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland by X-Filme-Verleih; in China by Dreams of the Dragon Pictures; in Hong Kong by Media Asia Group; in Singapore and Malaysia by Ascension Pictures; in Korea by Bloomage Company; in Taiwan by Long Shong Group; in Russia and Eastern Europe by A Company; and in other territories through Focus Features International.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" is Better Than the Original (Happy B'day, Renee Zellweger)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 237 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
Running time: 108 minutes (1 hour, 48 minutes)
MPAA – R for some language and some sexual content
DIRECTOR: Beeban Kidron
WRITERS: Andrew Davies, Richard Curtis, Adam Brooks, and Helen Fielding (based upon the novel of the same title by Helen Fielding)
PRODUCERS: Tim Bevan, Jonathan Cavendish, and Eric Fellner
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Adrian Biddle and Doug Propp
EDITOR: Greg Hayden
Golden Globe nominee

COMEDY/ROMANCE with elements of drama

Starring: Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent, and Jacinda Barrett

Bridget Jones’s Diary was a comic romance – a romantic film with a huge helping of humor. The 2004 sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, is a romantic comedy – a thoroughly comic film that deals with romance. Taking place several weeks after the end of the original film, The Edge of Reason should find Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) happy, right?

She found her Mr. Right in Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) by the end of Diary, but as Edge begins Bridget discovers that the couple has huge cultural, social, and personality conflicts. Mark is a conservative who has poor people-hating, rich Tory friends. Bridget is full of insecurities, although Mark is supportive and (almost) tolerant of Bridget’s tiny jealousies. However, the trouble comes to a head when Bridget meets Mark’s leggy new intern, Rebecca (Jacinda Barrett). Rebecca is thin, oh-so-young, drop-dead gorgeous, and she always says the right thing at the right time. Fed up with what she perceives as Mark’s cold lack of concern about their future together she dumps him. Just in time, her old flame, old boss, and eternal cad, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), sweeps in and to become Bridget’s new co-worker. Their television partnership eventually takes them to Thailand in what becomes the worst vacation Bridget ever had. Will Mark come to her rescue… and rescue of their relationship?

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is one of the funniest movies of the year, the funniest movie Ms. Zellweger has done to date, and funnier (though not as romantic) than the original. Ms. Zellweger gives one of the finest comic performances in recent years; it’s part slapstick and part physical comedy (lots of pratfalls). Not only did she have to give near perfect timing on the delivery of her dialogue, but also her facial ticks and mannerisms had to perfectly fit the moment, which they always do in this film.

Colin Firth didn’t bring anything new to the second film, but he didn’t need to change what he did in the original film. His film persona is endearing (even when he plays the bad guy, as he did in Shakespeare in Love); Firth makes Mark Darcy as he must be – perfectly so to explain Bridget’s craziness about their relationship. Hugh Grant is cut from the classic mold of old Hollywood. He’s a star known for “playing himself.” He is however, vastly underrated, because of his skill in slightly modifying the same character (he plays every time) to flawlessly fit each new film in which the character appears. Virtually every classic Hollywood film star from Humphrey Bogart to James Stewart did this, and Grant’s spin on his film persona is another reason Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is not only better than the original, but also a standout comedy.

8 of 10

2005 Golden Globes: 1 nomination: “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” (Renée Zellweger)


"Bridget Jones's Diary" Has Fun with Words

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 236 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Running time: 97 minutes (1 hour, 37 minutes)
MPAA – R for language and some strong sexuality
DIRECTOR: Sharon Maguire
WRITERS: Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies, and Richard Curtis (based upon the novel by Helen Fielding)
PRODUCERS: Tim Bevan, Jonathan Cavendish, and Eric Fellner
EDITOR: Martin Walsh
Academy Award nominee

COMEDY/ROMANCE with elements of drama

Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Gemma Jones, Celia Imrie, James Faulkner, Jim Broadbent, Felicity Montagu, Shirley Henderson, Sally Phillips, and James Callis, Salman Rushdie, Embeth Davidtz, and Honor Blackman with Julian Barnes

Renée Zellweger earned an Oscar® nomination in the category of “Best Actress in a Leading Role” for her performance in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Bridget Jones (Ms. Zellweger) is a 30-something, single British girl who decides to improve herself (i.e. lose weight) while seeking to find Mr. Right before she becomes an old maid (if she isn’t already that in her own estimation), so Bridget decides to keep a diary of her progress and her trials and travails. Her romantic endeavors eventually focuses on two men

There’s her boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), at a publishing firm, and Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), who was childhood neighbor. Cleaver is a cad who lays ‘em and leaves ‘em, and Darcy is a sharp-tongue, embittered divorcee, who claims to have bad memories of Bridget as a child. Who will finish the film as Bridget’s beau, and will she make an ass of herself before she finds her man?

Although the film story doesn’t amount to much, Bridget Jones’s Diary’s script is witty and bawdy enough to cause blushing. Ms. Zellweger expertly plays the fumbling Bridget Jones, who has a penchant for running off at the mouth and saying the worst things at the worst times. Like her co-stars (especially Grant and Firth), she makes the most of the film’s dialogue; ultimately, it’s what the actors say that defines their characters. If they’d delivered their lines badly, they would have ruined the film; luckily the cast verbally dances around each other like Olympic fencers.

7 of 10

2002 Academy Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Actress in a Leading Role” (Renée Zellweger)

2002 BAFTA Awards: 4 nominations: “Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film” (Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, and Jonathan Cavendish), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Colin Firth), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role” (Renée Zellweger), “Best Screenplay – Adapted” (Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies, and Richard Curtis)

2002 Golden Globes: 2 nominations: “Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” (Renée Zellweger)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Review: "Sense and Sensibility" is Still a Gem (Happy B'day, Emma Thompson)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 86 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Running time: 136 minutes (2 hour, 16 minutes)
MPAA – PG for mild thematic elements
WRITER: Emma Thompson (based upon the novel by Jane Austen)
PRODUCER: Lindsay Doran
EDITOR: Tim Squyres
Academy Award winner


Starring: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Gemma Jones, Greg Wise, Elizabeth Spriggs, Emilie François, Robert Hardy, James Fleet, Harriet Walter, Ian Brimble, Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton, Imogen Stubbs, and Tom Wilkinson

Elinor Dashwood (Emma Thompson) and her romantically inclined sister, Marianne (Kate Winslet), search for marriage amid 19th century etiquette, ethics, and class. Their troubles begin when their father, Mr. Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson), dies, but by law, their half-brother, John Dashwood (James Fleet), from Mr. Dashwood’s first marriage, inherits the country estate in which the sisters live with their mother, Mrs. Dashwood (Gemma Jones), and younger sister, Margaret (Emilie François). Although he has a home in London, John wants the estate for him and his wife, Fanny (Harriet Walter). Shortly after John and Fanny arrive, they get a visit from Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant), Fanny’s older brother. Elinor strikes up a intimate friendship with the aspiring clergyman, but they must part when Elinor and her family have to vacate the estate to John.

The Dashwoods find a small cottage belonging to a distant relative, Sir John Middleton (Robert Hardy), who lives nearby with his mother-in-law, the very friendly, but prying Mrs. Jennings (Elizabeth Spriggs). It is at their new home where Marianne charms two suitors – the staid Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman) and the lively and vigorous, John Willoughby (Greg Wise). Marianne prefers the dashing Willoughby over the older Col. Brandon. Meanwhile, Elinor braves the choppy straights of a circuitous courtship with Edward, whose heart has been promised many years prior to another young woman. However, the Dashwoods’ lack of a fortune affects Elinor and Marianne’s ability to find suitable husbands among their social set, so the sisters face heartbreak and triumphant as dark and old secrets are revealed.

Sense and Sensibility is an excellent and splendidly produced costume drama. It is better than most 19th century period dramas produced for film or television (British TV, in particular), although I wouldn’t put it up with the Merchant/Ivory production, Howard’s End. As usual, the technical aspects of the film are good, in particular the costumes and makeup. The sets and locations are a little more grounded in reality than is normal for a 19th century English period piece. This movie isn’t all pristine chambers and lavishly furnished estates. The characters deal with living in poorly heated homes, dirt and dust, and horse manure in the streets.

Critics and fans were shocked that a Chinese director, Ang Lee (up until that time not well known except to art house fans), could direct a British costume drama. However, he simply does, and brings fresh touches to the genre. The film is as natural and as passionate as it is refined and aloof. There is an emotional edge that makes the film engage the audience more than costume dramas normally do. The laughs are heartier; the snobbery is more savage and hurtful; the disappointment more bitter; and the romance more urgent – this is Ang’s touch. One can see that Elinor (expertly played by Emma Thompson, who won an Oscar for adapting Jane Austen’s novel) is as hearty and as resolute as she is reserved. The film’s best performance comes from Kate Winslet, who brings a raw insistence to her pursuit of her man; she’s like a real teenage girl.

The movie’s veracity is the cherry on top that makes Sense and Sensibility a memorable and exceptional costume drama.

9 of 10

1996 Academy Awards: 1 win” “Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium” (Emma Thompson); 6 nominations: “Best Actress in a Leading Role” (Emma Thompson), “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” (Kate Winslet), “Best Cinematography” (Michael Coulter), “Best Costume Design” (Jenny Beavan and John Bright), “Best Music, Original Dramatic Score” (Patrick Doyle), and “Best Picture” (Lindsay Doran)

1996 BAFTA Awards: 3 wins: “Best Film” (Lindsay Doran and Ang Lee), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role” (Emma Thompson), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Kate Winslet); 9 nominations: “Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music” (Patrick Doyle), “BAFTA Film Award Best Cinematography” (Michael Coulter), “Best Costume Design” (Jenny Beavan and John Bright), “Best Make Up/Hair” (Morag Ross and Jan Archibald), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Alan Rickman), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Elizabeth Spriggs), “Best Production Design” (Luciana Arrighi), “Best Screenplay – Adapted” (Emma Thompson), and “David Lean Award for Direction” (Ang Lee)

1996 Golden Globes: 2 wins: “Best Motion Picture – Drama,” and “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Emma Thompson); 4 nominations: “Best Director - Motion Picture” (Ang Lee), “Best Original Score - Motion Picture” (Patrick Doyle), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama” (Emma Thompson), and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Kate Winslet)

Friday, April 21, 2006


Monday, February 22, 2010

Review: "About a Boy" is Warm and Fuzzy

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 90 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux

About a Boy (2002)
Running time: 101 minutes (1 hour, 41 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for brief strong language and some thematic elements
DIRECTORS: Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz
WRITERS: Peter Hedges and Chris Weitz & Paul Weitz (from a novel by Nick Hornsby)
PRODUCERS: Robert De Niro, Brad Epstein, Eric Fellner, and Jane Rosenthal
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Remi Adefarasin (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Nick Moore
Academy Award nominee


Starring: Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, Nicholas Hoult, Rachel Weisz, and Sharon Small

Every now and then, Hugh Grant plays a role that is different from his usual role: the loveable, affable, and charming British man child thrown slightly off-balance by the aggressive woman. In About a Boy, Grant takes his boy child and turns him on his ear, not necessarily for the better.

Grant plays Will, a self-absorbed bachelor – a rich, single, child-free Londoner in his 30’s who suddenly discovers that all his friends have taken on the adult responsibilities of family life. First, he invents a toddler son in order to pass himself off as a single father so that he can date jilted mothers he meets in single parents club. He’s confident that he can leave the mums behind when he’s tired of them, but his machinations bring him into contact with Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), a 12-year old boy with massive problems at school and a suicidal mother (Toni Collette) at home. Though the boy is his opposite in many ways, Marcus becomes Will’s friend, of a sort. He teaches the boy how to be cool, and Marcus helps will grow up.

It’s hard to believe that Chris and Paul Weitz could go from being the masterminds behind American Pie to making a movie that is so at once painful, yet so heartwarming and life affirming as About a Boy. What the Weitz brothers show again is the ability to let the actors take the story, whatever it is, and perform. That was the key to American Pie – how well the actors worked through the hoops and gimmicks given them by the filmmakers. In this case, the Weitzs and co-writer Peter Hedges (who adapted their script from a novel by Nick Hornsby) give the characters plenty to chew, but the characters here aren’t nearly as endearing as they were in Pie.

Many movie critics and fans felt that the Academy had robbed Hugh Grant of an Oscar nomination for his performance in Boy. The truth of the matter is that the character is so shallow and empty that any actor with at least film acting experience, if not talent, could have played the role. Playing Will as he was written is not an artistic or professional achievement (save for the paycheck); it would not be too farfetched to say that Will is pretty much just a character name in a script. I know that the central conceit is that Will is supposed to be a shallow and empty character, but Will isn’t a character. He’s just an empty cipher or caricature. We get the idea that Will is shallow when we see how easily he casts off his lady friends. I guess we’re supposed to assume that Will sitting around his apartment all day is another sign of his shallowness and emptiness. I just took it as a sign that the script writers didn’t know how to make any of those scenes visually interesting. Will fills the film with tiresome narrations about his selfishness and self-centeredness, when, after his first two “character enriching” speeches, we got the point. For a brief moment in the film, Will thinks he sees his long dead father. Sadly the movie doesn’t focus on Will’s relationship with his own father, although the movie story spends so much time telling us that Will could be “a father/father figure.” Certainly, it’s no stretch of the imagination to suspect that Will’s personality comes from something to do with his father. Heck, Will lives off his father’s song royalties. That’s why he doesn’t work, so obviously that’s something to explore.

Nicholas Hoult’s Marcus is much more interesting, perhaps because the story is really about him and how he makes two grown ups grow up. I won’t call his a great child performance, but it’s quite good. Marcus is world weary and cynical. Even at his young age (12 years), he’s already accepted that pretty much everything is beyond his control. He takes his lumps as if his torment was not only preordained, but also divinely ordained. Young Mr. Hoult makes us invest ourselves in Marcus’s destiny, and that’s more than I can say about the rest of the cast. We want him to win, to succeed, because he’s done nothing to be in the position he’s been in, and he has so much wisdom that he sees the practical solutions that other characters need to make their lives a little better.

Despite my reservations, I liked About a Boy. If you can tolerate Will’s narration and instead focus on Marcus’s, you’ll find a hero in the character. I understand that the filmmakers had to give the spotlight to Grant’s (the movie star) Will, when the film’s most interesting notions come from Marcus: people need other people and sometimes they need lots of other people to catch them when they fall. Take the film’s plague of self-examining voiceovers with a grain of salt and instead focus on people connecting. You’ll like this movie enough to feel a little warm and fuzzy at the end.

6 of 10

2003 Academy Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay” (Peter Hedges, Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz)

2003 BAFTA Awards: 2 nominations: “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Toni Collette) and “Best Screenplay – Adapted”

2003 Golden Globe Awards: 2 nominations: “Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” and “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” (Hugh Grant)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Review: "Love Actually" is Christmas and "Valentine's Day"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 71 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Love Actually (2003)
Running time: 135 minutes
MPAA – R for sexuality, nudity, and language
PRODUCERS: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, and Duncan Kenworthy
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Michael Coulter (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Nick Moore

COMEDY/DRAMA with elements of romance

Starring: Bill Nighy, Gregory Fisher, Colin Firth, Sienna Guillory, Liam Neeson, Thomas Sangster, Emma Thompson, Kris Marshall, Heike Makatsch, Martin Freeman, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andrew Lincoln, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Nina Sosanya, Martine McCutcheon, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman, Rodrigo Santoro, Declan Donnelly, Lúcia Moniz, Billy Bob Thornton, Rowan Atkinson, and Colin Coull

A father deals with the recent death of his wife by focusing all his attention on his young stepson’s schoolboy crush on an American girl who may soon be leaving for home. A man is deeply smitten by his best friend’s new bride, so he deals with it by acting coldly towards her. An aging rock star attempts to briefly reclaim the spotlight by dueling with a popular boy “band” for the number one spot on the charts with a Christmas song, and he does it by being a vulgar buffoon, much to the chagrin of his manager. This is just a small taste of the delights in Richard Curtis’ Love Actually.

Who would think that the British could make a feel good film as sweet, life affirming, and romantic as anything a big Hollywood studio could? Who would think that that film, Love Actually, would end up being one of the five best films of 2003? This ensemble comedy/drama about eight couples and their love lives in the five weeks before Christmas is an absolute delight.

Although the multitude of movie stars and character actors would comprise a dream team for any ensemble film, the true star of the film is writer/director Richard Curtis. An accomplished writer of British TV (the “Blackadder” series) and film (Four Weddings and a Funeral and the adaptation of the novel for Bridget Jones), Curtis had a ready-made disaster on his hands, as Love Actually starts off a bit slow and there are so many subplots to follow. However, if the viewer is patient, he can watch as Curtis brilliantly and subtly weaves together a film of tremendous power. I was completely taken in by the poignancy, the comedy, and (what I describe as) light-hearted pathos of Love Actually.

Love Actually is so feel-good, but not too sentimental. It’s a love letter to love – love of lovers, spouses, friends, and family. And when it’s done this well, there’s nothing wrong with being sweet. Love Actually makes a bad day good and a good day really fun, and the soundtrack is slammin,’ too.

9 of 10


2004 BAFTA Awards: 1 win for “Best Performance for an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Bill Nighy) and 2 nominations for “Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film” (Richard Curtis, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, and Duncan Kenworthy) and best supporting actress (Emma Thompson)

2004 Golden Globes Awards: 2 nominations for best motion picture-musical or comedy and best screenplay-motion picture

Buy Love Actually (Widescreen Edition)