English actor Ben Barnes landed in hot water when he abruptly departed a London stage production of "The History Boys" in 2007 to take a role in a Disney film shooting in New Zealand. The decision may...
Let's hear it for the old guy who in this movie comes off sexier than his buff young accomplice (Dermot Mulroney). OK the old guy happens to be the gracefully aging icon Paul Newman -- as a feisty heistmeister who dodges a long prison sentence and then teams up with his equally conniving rest-home nurse (Linda Fiorentino) on a bank job gone wrong. "Where the Money Is" is breezy suspenseful and as much a love story as anything else -- if you call mentoring a new life in crime a kind of love. The mission-improbable caper is no more or less entertaining than a "Rockford Files" rerun but the film's swerving joyride takes its real thrills from the great escape that Fiorentino's Bonnie Parker makes from a dead-end life in the married lane.
Newman still hasn't lost it and as Henry Manning he doesn't miss any nuances in the edgy balance between streetwise wariness and amiable rapport with his sultry new colleague. The steam-powered Fiorentino has forged her career by making danger look casual and this is her most alluring work since "The Last Seduction" added another zero to her salary. Her chemistry with Newman a flirty twist on the idea of honor among thieves is really what makes this movie worth seeing. Mulroney is serviceable as the dim but lovable hubby a supporting role that's more foil than fully etched character.
We can all thank director Marek Kanievska for deciding not to have the May-December duo end up in the sack and leaving them simply professional cohorts. The director's admirable sense of comic timing works all the better by not letting the laughs get in the way of his leads' exploration of their characters -- although there's no denying the limits of this frothy genre. Perhaps Kanievska's greatest feat here is allowing Newman to retain his dignity in close-up.
Joined the West End production of "History Boys" as the manipulative Dakin; left production early to take title role in "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian"
Played the lead role in Stephan Elliott's film version of Noël Coward's play "Easy Virtue"
Cast alongside Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana in romantic drama "The Words"
Made feature film debut as Young Dunstan in Matthew Vaughn's fantasy feature "Stardust"
Reprised role for "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"
Starred in the title role in a film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's "Dorian Gray"
Played a Russian who falls in with bad company after arriving in London in "Bigga Than Ben"
Portrayed Caspian in the film adaption of "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian"
First TV role, a guest appearance on the U.K. series "Doctors"
Made theatrical debut at 15 as a member of the National Youth Music Theatre in "The Ballad of Solomon Peavy"
English actor Ben Barnes landed in hot water when he abruptly departed a London stage production of "The History Boys" in 2007 to take a role in a Disney film shooting in New Zealand. The decision may have not won him any accolades among the theater community, but it did wonders for his career - the role was that of Prince Caspian, the titular hero of the 2008 sequel to "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (2005), and the blizzard of publicity that preceded its early summer released virtually papered the globe with pictures of his face. The exposure catapulted the actor into worldwide attention, and generated more work in major motion pictures, including the third "Narnia" feature and an opportunity to romance Jessica Biel in a big-screen version of Noel Coward's "Easy Virtue" (2009).