Feb 28, 2011

Oscar Winners 2011: Say what?

Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake (left and right) with Animated Short Film winners Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan. Photo © Kevin Sullivan/ZUMA Press/Corbis
We have to admit, we've kind of been down in the doldrums about the lack of originality forthcoming in the Oscar nominations for 2011, as you'll see here.

Before we get into the official winners, a few interesting links from the show:

- James Franco's Twitter photo page, live Tweeting from the awards. Dude looks high the entire time.  

- The Fug Girls do the red carpet rundown over at Vulture. The new Joan and Melissa Rivers? Well, better. 

We'll be updating the categories with video interviews and acceptance speeches as they become available. Don't forget to tune in to the Channel 9 replay at 9.40pm, EDST.

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in Biutiful
Jeff Bridges in True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network
Colin Firth in The King's Speech
James Franco in 127 Hours 
The Oscar goes to: Colin Firth in The King's Speech
Our bet was on veterans Colin Firth or Jeff Bridges.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale in The Fighter
John Hawkes in Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner in The Town
Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech 
The Oscar goes to: Christian Bale in The Fighter
In which Oscar decided, despite our pleadings for a Mark Ruffalo funfest, to choose the serious man: well deserved, nonetheless, by Christian Bale.

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman in Black Swan
Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine 
The Oscar goes to: Natalie Portman in Black Swan
Natalie Portman was stunning in Black Swan. Our earlier thoughts that perhaps underdog Michelle Williams should win have now faded, somewhat. 2010/11 may just be renamed 'Year of the Portman'.
Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams in The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech
Melissa Leo in The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit
Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom 
The Oscar goes to: Melissa Leo in The Fighter
We must say, we're a little disappointed Jacki Weaver didn't take home the statue. 

Animated Feature Film  
How to Train Your Dragon Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois 
The Illusionist Sylvain Chomet
Toy Story 3 Lee Unkrich 
The Oscar goes to: Toy Story 3 Lee Unkrich 
Possibly the biggest disappointment of the night. Sorry, Toothless. Don't be sad. 

Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
The King's Speech
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr 
True Grit
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh 
The Oscar goes to: Alice in Wonderland
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
This feels very much like scratching the back of the right people on the Hollywood circuit. Any of the nominated films were deserving of the accolade, and yet the four films that didn't win for this category are each far better films than Alice in Wonderland.

Black Swan Matthew Libatique
Inception Wally Pfister
The King's Speech Danny Cohen
The Social Network Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit Roger Deakins 
The Oscar goes to: Inception Wally Pfister
We'll repeat our nomination prediction: for a film that is unsurpassed in its visual beauty, there is little competition in 2010 for Inception.

Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland Colleen Atwood
I Am Love Antonella Cannarozzi
The King's Speech Jenny Beavan
The Tempest Sandy Powell
True Grit Mary Zophres  
The Oscar goes to: Alice in Wonderland Colleen Atwood
That blue dress was beautiful and this is truly the only category in which Alice in Wonderland doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. 

Black Swan Darren Aronofsky
The Fighter David O. Russell
The King's Speech Tom Hooper
The Social Network David Fincher
True Grit Joel Coen and Ethan Coen 
The Oscar goes to: The King's Speech Tom Hooper
An incredibly tough category this year. We thought The Social Network or Black Swan were liklier contenders, but you just never know.

Documentary (Feature)
Exit through the Gift Shop Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
Gasland Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
Inside Job Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs 
Restrepo Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
Waste Land Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley 
The Oscar goes to: Inside Job Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs 
Banksy still rules, but congratulations to all involved in this riveting documentary.

Documentary (Short Subject)
“Killing in the Name” Nominees to be determined
“Poster Girl” Nominees to be determined
“Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
“The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon
The Oscar goes to: “Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon

Film Editing  
Black Swan Andrew Weisblum
The Fighter Pamela Martin
The King's Speech Tariq Anwar
127 Hours Jon Harris
The Social Network Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter 
The Oscar goes to: The Social Network Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter 
If Robert Rodriguez has taught us anything, it's that the film is remade in the editing room. A big congratulations to Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, kings of awkward (alongside Eisenberg, that is).

Foreign Language Film
Biutiful Mexico
Dogtooth Greece
In a Better World Denmark
Incendies Canada
Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) Algeria  
The Oscar goes to: In a Better World Denmark
Barney's Version Adrien Morot
The Way Back Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
The Wolfman Rick Baker and Dave Elsey 
The Oscar goes to: The Wolfman Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
As far as we're concerned, the makeup was really great in The Wolfman, but Saoirse Ronan's sunburn in The Way Back was both a gruesome and expertly produced close second.

Music (Original Score)
How to Train Your Dragon John Powell
Inception Hans Zimmer
The King's Speech Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours A.R. Rahman
The Social Network Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross 
The Oscar goes to: The Social Network Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Prediction correct. Smile plastered. Go and pick up a copy today.

Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from Country Strong Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from Tangled Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from 127 Hours Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3 Music and Lyric by Randy Newman 
The Oscar goes to: “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3 Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Gosh we're bored. 

Best Picture
Black Swan Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
The Fighter David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
Inception Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
The Kids Are All Right Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
The King's Speech Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
127 Hours Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
The Social Network Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
Toy Story 3 Darla K. Anderson, Producer
True Grit Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
Winter's Bone Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers 
The Oscar goes to: The King's Speech Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
Was The King's Speech a good film? Yes, it was excellent. However, we still firmly believe Best Picture should be handed out for achievements on a grand scale. Black Swan and Inception were robbed in this category. 

Short Film (Animated)
“Day & Night” Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let's Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois 
The Oscar goes to: “The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
Aussie Aussie Aussie (and from the world of books, no less)!

Short Film (Live Action)
“The Confession” Tanel Toom
“The Crush” Michael Creagh
“God of Love” Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite
The Oscar goes to: “God of Love” Luke Matheny

Sound Editing
Inception Richard King 
Toy Story 3 Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
Tron: Legacy Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
True Grit Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
Unstoppable Mark P. Stoeckinger 
The Oscar goes to: Inception Richard King
Let us quote our prediction: 'Inception has to win here and not just for the spinning top at the end, either.' And how.

Sound Mixing
Inception Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
The King's Speech Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
Salt Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
The Social Network Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
True Grit Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland 
The Oscar goes to: Inception Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
Our carefully thought out prediction for The King's Speech? Dashed on the rocks. 

Visual Effects
Alice in Wonderland Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
Hereafter Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
Inception Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
Iron Man 2 Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick 
The Oscar goes to: Inception Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
As predicted, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I found its category nemesis in Inception. Way to make some frosty Brits cry, jerks. 

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
127 Hours Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
True Grit Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Winter's Bone Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini 
The Oscar goes to: The Social Network Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
In an interesting turn of events, Aaron Sorkin writes on Danny Boyle's Facebook page 'Oh SNAP'.

Writing (Original Screenplay)
Another Year Written by Mike Leigh
The Fighter Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson;
Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
Inception Written by Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King's Speech Screenplay by David Seidler  
The Oscar goes to: The King's Speech Screenplay by David Seidler  Gosh, really? What about sharing the love a little, or giving the award to a comedy piece? Oscar is a grumpy old bastard. 

Feb 24, 2011

Extra Extra!

Our dreams look like this. © Gideon Tsang.
In an exclusive round-up from IMDbPro, here's the news you should have caught but might have missed this week:

Deadpool (starring everyone's favourite Canuck, Ryan Reynolds), which is currently due out in 2014 is now at the script stage. Clap your hands say yeah! It's certainly a relief to see Marvel moving things along. 

Furthermore, the Arrested Development movie now has a treatment/outline. Now now, don't tease. If it all goes up in flames before it reaches the script stage, well; there's always money in the banana stand. 

You'll never believe it, but some honky over at DW Films is pitching Terminator 5. Who the bleep thought that was a good idea? Christian Bale completely agrees with us, you know (and he now has boxing training so look out). 

Feb 23, 2011

Review: The Way Back

The joke fell flat in the Siberian gulag.
Director: Peter Weir
Release Date: 24 February 2011
Rating: (M)
Runtime: 133 mins
From the very opening shots of the film and the emotional performance of lead, Jim Sturgess (Janusz), in prison and refusing to sign a confession for antigovernment activities in Poland, the audience gets the sense that this is only the beginning of big, big trouble. Yes, and then no. What could become another bleak film about the horrors that faced people during WWII emerges as something far more brilliant: a Peter Weir film.

During an extremely fraught period in European history, many people deemed to be of the 'wrong' race, political belief system, or nationality, were forced into gulags to work until they died of exhaustion. It's 1940: a small band of men escape from a prison in Siberia. The reason? Freedom, their loved ones, their dreams. Russell Boyd's (Master and Commander) eerie cinematography shows in detail that Siberia in winter is no joke--survival here is a tenuous thing and the odds minute by minute could go either way.

The cast balances each other out perfectly with Janusz (Sturgess), Valka (Colin Farrell, looking scruffier than usual), Mr. Smith (Ed Harris), and Irena (Saoirse Ronan in yet another brilliant role) taking the main stage; their dialogue as an ensemble jumps between the lighter everyday to the very real issues that rule their fate. Farrell's Valka is ever the petty crim, the first one in the group suggesting that cannibalism might be the only means of survival; being Farrell, you can so rarely tell if he's joking, but here, you must imagine he isn't (in his heart of hearts, as an extremely hungry man). 

It's difficult to pick a standout performance here, because the four leads are all so charming, so human. Saoirse Ronan proves once again why she's one of the best up-and-coming actresses of her generation, giving Irena a full heart, a rich backstory, and a mischievous grin. Sturgess is handsome, but not distractingly so, making a firm mark as the group's infallible leader who will never give up.

Almost as real as the actors on screen, the landscapes and terrain in this film are so integral to what happens that they take on animate characteristics: unforgiving and immovable, from the icy mountains and valleys of Siberia to the barren deserts they must cross to eventually reach India and freedom.

Photo courtesy of the official movie site.
There are some wonderful moments throughout that blatantly point out what accomplished filmmaking this is.The first real 'beat' sets up of a chilling motif; one of the escapees who is riddled with night-blindness wanders off into the wild to look for firewood after dark. He experiences a beautiful hallucination; he's made it home and the city lights are burning bright."We made it," he says. When the group discover him, he is sitting mere metres away from their campfire, legs tucked up under his chin, frozen completely solid. 

In times of severe hunger and stress, Janusz also experiences a recurring hallucination - he is walking up to his front door, reaching out for - a rock? No, for something we're not quite sure of until the end of the film, where Weir and cowriter Keith R. Clarke cleverly bookend this motif and add the last, salient detail. The score by Burhhard von Dallwitz, so masterfully delivered and emotionally riveting in all the right places (whose previous credits include mainly television work such as Underbelly), will surely set him up for a lot more feature film work in the future.

The Way Back is an astonishing film. We don't hold with the notion that art can only be produced over a very long period of time. The way the media (and Cameron) played up the fact that Avatar was ten years in the making only served to disappoint us all the more; people fell over themselves to see it because they felt they were supposed to. Peter Weir was quite the opposite; it took so long because he struggled to get studio support for this film. But oh boy, are we glad he did. 

Weir on the set: The Way Back. Photo courtesy of the official movie site.

Feb 20, 2011

Luhrmann's Gatsby Adaptation Comes Down Under

Blue steel, anyone? Photo © LAN/ Corbis
In breaking news, Encore Magazine have reported that Baz Luhrmann's upcoming adaptation of The Great Gatsby will start principal photography in Sydney this August. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and relative newcomer Carey Mulligan (soon to wow audiences further, we hope, in the adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go), Warner Bros. have evidently swayed to Luhrmann's wishes, agreeing to film in his home country. We're certainly not complaining, as this is a major coup for the Australian Film Industry; however, we don't yet see how Sydney will be transformed into the New York setting of the original novel.

If we have our way, we'll be stalking the sets come August to bring you the first exclusive pictures.

Festival Flash: Cannes 2011 Opener

Photo © Raffi Asdourian
Ever dreamed of swanning around the city of Cannes, basking in the atmosphere of the French Riveria and hundreds of the most talented filmmakers, actors, and directors from around the globe? It'll probably never happen, but for us, there's just something so fantastic about a festival that has Robert De Niro as its President. Oui? Oui oui!

Please excuse our 'slow on the uptake' post, but this is still most newsworthy if you haven't heard. Woody Allen's 41st feature, Midnight in Paris, will open Festival de Cannes 2011 on the 11th of May.  The romantic comedy (but as Allen fans will know, not your regular lurid piece of trash rom-com) starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Adrien Brody and many more looks as though it will far exceed his previous effort Whatever Works.

Keep your eyes peeled on And Cut! for the trailer when it arrives.

Feb 17, 2011

Trailer Trash Thoiss-day

What can we say? We're feeling very New Yaawk today and it is Thoiss-day, after all. 

First up, the new period drama Jane Eyre, starring Australian ingenue Mia Wasikowska. Currently set for release on 11 March this year in the U.S., it seems as though even 2011 and Dame Judi Dench can't make this more than moderately entertaining. Le sigh. 

Next up, we have something entirely different and immediately engaging: American Grindhouse. This documentary, directed by Elijah Drenner, looks at explotation in American films and gives rare insights from the filmmakers, showing that their aim was to make films with extreme entertainment and shock value. An official SXSW 2010 pick, watch for Quentin Tarantino blurb quotes by the time it hits Australia later this year. Bet you. If we're wrong, we owe you a Coke. 

Lastly, a notable mention must go to new Aus teen flick Wasted on the Young, which looks promising, if a little disturbing in the violence stakes. It seems as though the young cast can act convincingly enough; plus, no-one looks like they're 30. Out on 3 March nationwide and brought to life by first-time feature director Ben C. Hall, all that remains to be seen is if it will turn out to be more like The Social Network or Columbine, or both.

Feb 16, 2011

Review: Unknown

If only he had known.
Hereafter to be known as film #2 in which Liam Neeson means the business, Unknown follows Dr. Martin Harris, who arrives in Berlin with his wife, Liz (January Jones, she of the icy tones), to give a presentation at a conference (in some sort of genetic biology?).

On arrival, the viewer is treated to visuals of Berlin as a picturesque, snowy enclave--it's as if the actors have been placed in a snow globe and surrounded by its smooth, glassy exterior. If only this were a fitting description for the overall feel of the film. Alas, it feels as if the players in the snow globe have been shaken, vigorously, and are now set to stumbling about, bumping into the walls in confusion.

An errant suitcase triggers a confusing set of events; Dr. Harris is involved in a spectacular taxi crash off a bridge and wakes up in hospital four days later, unable to remember what happened. He finds his wife; she mysteriously can't remember who he is, or that she's married to him. It appears an impostor is seeking to take the place of Dr. Martin Harris; Liam Neeson ain't havin' none of that. He seeks help in the form of taxi driver and saviour, Gina (Diane Kruger as a Bosnian immigrant - oh brother) and someone who 'finds people' insert meaningful glance here.

At first, the film seems every bit the worthy, intellectual thriller. The emotional story, too, of an everyman getting shafted by some sort of top secret organisation, encourages a keen sense of empathy and allows the audience to feel what he's going through. It seems his mission, more clearly than anything, is to pick apart those things that are coicidence, chance--and those that are clearly malice--cunning, calculated trickery.
Unfortunately, the reveal leads us to an altogether unsavoury conclusion; you, audience, have been had. What's that? This brilliant scientist also has mad skills in stunt driving and enjoys a good eye gouge as much as the next psychopath? At a certain point, the viewer doesn't need to put these oh-so-shifty events into the 'extreme circumstances' category; major disappointment factor just leveled up to ten.
Unknown shall also be the first film committed to our memory where a major realisation came; Liam Neeson doesn't do accents, he does the Liam Neeson and pronounces words differently according to his nationality. All jokes aside though, he is master of the commanding brow and piercing gaze.We just wish in this case it were for the hardier, emotionally-charged scenarios in which he excels.

The usually interesting, talented cast of Unknown attempted to step into under-written roles in this two-bit actioner. Mission not accomplished. 


Feb 10, 2011

Bite Your Tongue: Potter will be honoured by BAFTA

The Glenfinnan Viaduct, featured in the films. Photo Copyright Ahisghett.
On occasion, we've been known to mouth off. For years, literally years, we've been whinging that no formal film body recognises the Potter films and their contribution to cinema. Sure, they're nothing like Amelie or even Oscar favourites such as The Hurt Locker or A Single Man, but they're funny, beautifully shot, emotionally resonant, and rarely over the top: a mean feat in films where most of the lead characters wear wizard robes 70% of the time. 

At last, Potter & Co are being honoured with a BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema. 

Click through to BBC news to see series Producer David Heyman express what can most accurately be described as heartfelt gratitude for the last 14 years of his life. 

Hear hear!

Films to See: This Valentine's Weekend

Allow us to quote from the fountain of knowledge that is Wikipedia: 

"Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine.[5] The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae).[6] Valentine of Rome[7] was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. His relics are at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome,[8] and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.

No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs. By the time a Saint Valentine became linked to romance in the 14th century, distinctions between Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni were utterly lost.[12]"

How very interesting. It seems that if romance was not originally linked to the martyrs, then someone has indeed, through the centuries, warped the tradition of worship to include a romantic element. What is the bet some guy in a toga wanted to ask out the pretty blonde in his village and tried to impress her with tales of romantic worship, an excuse if you will, in order to win her affections? Are our historical anachronisms accurate? Who cares! The whole thing is clearly sham-town anyhow. We think some toss-pot and Sienna Miller should star in the movie adaptation, Valentine's Day: one man's quest to score a date.

It's our duty to give the people what they want, so strap in for the lowdown on the traditional offerings in film this Valentine's Day weekend, as well as the downright unusual. 

Black Swan 
Aronofsky's latest offering showcases Natalie Portman in her best role to date as fragile, emotionally volatile prima ballerina, Nina. Finally, cast in both lead roles as the black swan and the white swan for her company's take on Swan Lake, this film is an examination of the performing psyche and the passion that drives art, emotion, and life. With outstanding performances from both Portman and Kunis (as rival ballerina, Lily), Black Swan is terrifyingly good. The dancing is exquisite and the way the camera moves in and out, almost as if following the very breath of each movement, will shock you with the skill involved if nothing else here appeals.
Romance Factor: 2 (but you'll love it anyway)

No Strings Attached  
Gosh, really? From Oscar-winning (we hope!) to downright cheesy, both the premise for this film and the stars (bar Portman) are just--well, we liken it to a beach full of garbage--fetid and unappealing? That seems right. From the trailer below, you'll see the Portman is ultimately likeable in anything (just as well, because she may be in just about every film out this year) and that the writers even throw poor doggy Ashton Kutcher some bacon, in the form of decent punchlines. If traditional, no-brainer rom-coms are your thing, please apply within (pun very much intended). 
Romance Factor: 3

Blue Valentine
The indie pairing of Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling here? It just works. So. Well. Both have graduated from sappier romantic fare (Williams from Dawson, uh, we mean, Dawson's Creek and Gosling from The Notebook). Watch this and we'll guarantee it provides a checklist of what NOT to do. Girls all over the damn country will be writing letters to their mothers saying 'please don't let me do any of these things' and enclosing a DVD of the film. That said, this brutally realistic take that edges onto the cusp of cinema verite will make you squirm. Enjoy two extremely strong performances and relish the fact that their lives probably bare little resemblance to your own. Then tap dance on the street.
Romance Factor: 1 (you'll know why when you see it)

Tamara Drewe
There's really nothing like a good British romp to get you chortling in the cinema and hashtagging obnoxiously on your iPhone (if we see you out this weekend, please refrain from doing so whilst the movie is actually running) #thosecrazybrits. We, for one, were categorically unimpressed with the overall feel of Aterton's performance in The Disappearance of Alice Creed last year, in which her whiny obnoxious rich-girl act got old fast. This, however, is a pleasant surprise. Based on the comic strip by Posy Simmonds (and later republished in graphic novel form), Tamara Drewe returns to her hometown of Dorset, a successful journalist with a new nose, a raging libido, and a tiny pair of denim shorts. In the hands of the Americans: uggh, tacky. In the hands of Director Stephen Frears (High Fidelity and The Queen, amongst other gems): bloody great fun. 
Romance Factor: 4

Feb 6, 2011

Review: Heartbreaker (L'arnacoeur)

Vanessa Paradis and Romain Duris in Heartbreaker.
Head over to The Brag to read our review of Heartbreaker (L'arnacoeur), starring Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis (that's Mrs Johnny Depp, to you). Out now in all good cinemas, we can promise both essential reading and viewing. We'll also mention this flick in our Valentine's Day special. Get to it, nerds!

Adaptations: The Woman in Black

Daniel Radcliffe on the set of The Woman in Black. Photo © NICK WALL / HO/epa/Corbis
Excited about the upcoming adaptation of Susan Hill's novel The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, and Janet McTeer? Not entirely sure why you should be? Head over to The Crime Files to read an excellent review of the novel and get more of a feel for what you should anticipate. Currently slated for release on October 28 this year in the U.K., The Woman in Black sees Radcliffe test the waters in his first major adult role since Harry Potter filming wrapped last year. Directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake) and written by Jane Goldman (who is now, by rights, an adaptation afficionado with Kick-Ass, Stardust, and X-Men: First Class credits to her name), this could be a film that serves to propel the careers of all involved, if all of the elements click into place.

Feb 2, 2011

Trailer News: Monogamy

The trailer for the new, well, what do we call it? Thriller? Drama? A mish mash of the two - dramler? Sure. Ahem, before we trailed off there, the new trailer for Monogamy starring Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation), Chris Messina (we see him as the next Jon Hamm - he's in everything, recently Greenberg). Part mystery, part relationship-teetering-on-the-brink, this looks like an interesting take on the way adults relate to each other and an original, fresh concept that throws in a lot of red herrings along the way. Monogamy releases on the 11th of March in the U.S.of A; let's hope an Australian release date is soon to follow.