British actor Timothy Spall has been tipped as an early Oscars contender after wowing critics at the Cannes International Film Festival with his portrayal of 19th century painter J.m.w. Turner in director Mike Leigh's new biopic. Mr. Turner, which documents the British artist's rise to prominence from the mid-1820s, premiered at the annual French festival on Thursday (15May14) and it opened to rave reviews, with The Hollywood Reporter's Leslie Felperin feting the Harry Potter star for his "masterful performance", branding the role one he was "born to play".
Awarding the film five out of five stars, The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw writes, "Every scene in this film is expertly managed; every comic line and funny moment adroitly presented and every performance given with intelligence and love. It is another triumph for Mike Leigh and for Timothy Spall."
Time Out's Dave Calhoun also gave Mr. Turner top marks, declaring it "an extraordinary film, all at once strange, entertaining, thoughtful and exciting", while The Telegraph's Robbie Collin hailed Spall for giving what is probably "the finest performance of his career", and Variety's Scott Foundas predicts the "exquisitely detailed, brilliantly-acted biopic" is "a natural awards contender".
The high praise for Mr. Turner, Leigh's first feature film in four years, has made the movie a hot favourite to win Cannes' prestigious Palme d'Or award, which will be handed out later this month (May14). Other movies in competition include Ken Loache's Jimmy's Hall, David Cronenberg's Map to the Stars and The Homesman, directed by actor Tommy Lee Jones.
British singer Robbie Williams has made U.K. pop history by scoring the albums chart's 1,000th number one with his new release, Swings Both Ways. The Angels hitmaker notched up his 11th solo chart-topper, equalling Elvis Presley, 57 years after Frank Sinatra earned the first ever U.K. number one.
The Beatles hold the record for the most releases to hit the top of the albums countdown with 15, although Williams also has four more accolades under his belt from his time as a member of boyband Take That.
Swings Both Ways left Eminem's Marshall Mathers LP 2 trailing in second place, while Jake Bugg entered at three with Shangri La.
In the singles chart, Lily Allen climbed to the top with her cover of Keane's Somewhere Only We Know, which features in Christmas TV advertisements for leading British retailer John Lewis. She also racked up another hit at nine with her new track Hard Out Here.
Meanwhile, rockers Bastille debuted at two with Of The Night, and Williams' ex-Take That bandmate Gary Barlow landed at three with solo release Let Me Go.
British pop star Robbie Williams has confessed he has undergone a drastic hair replacement procedure. The former Take That singer has a home in Los Angeles and often feels under pressure to fit in with other stars by having cosmetic surgery to keep him looking young.
Now he has admitted he once underwent a procedure to improve the thickness of his tresses - even though his hairline was not receding.
Williams tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "I've lived in L.A. for a long time and they say, 'If you sit in a barber's shop for long enough you will get a haircut'. Well, if you live in Los Angeles for long enough you're going to get some surgery. I've had a thatch done and I didn't even need it. That's the weirdest thing. I had three months off and got bored."
Pop star Robbie Williams has thanked editors of a British tabloid for shaming him into losing weight. The former Take That star has battled a fluctuating waistline since he was a teenager, and earlier this year (13), he began to pile on the pounds again.
An unkind article in the Daily Mail newspaper cruelly compared the star to Elvis Presley when his weight ballooned in the 1970s, but Williams is grateful for the insult as it forced him to cut back on the calories.
He tells the newspaper's Weekend magazine, "An article in the Daily Mail said I was starting to look like Elvis during a performance in Sweden. It did spur me on to a dramatic weight loss. Since then I've lost 23 or 24lb. So thank you Daily Mail!"
Victoria Beckham was the toast of the fashion world in Berlin, Germany on Thursday night (14Nov13) when she was honoured at the annual Bambi Awards. The stylish former Spice Girls star stunned in a figure-hugging black gown as she arrived at the Stage Theater, where she picked up a trophy from Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld for her fashion achievements.
Thrilled by her latest accolade, Beckham took to Twitter.com shortly after the ceremony and wrote, "Thank u (sic) Karl Lagerfeld for your beautiful words. This award means so much to me."
Beckham ended her big night by posting a snap of herself celebrating with the Bambi Award on a bed in her hotel suite, along with the words: "Good night Berlin, going to bed with Bambi."
During the ceremony, which recognises stars "with vision and creativity who have inspired the German public", controversial pop singer Miley Cyrus was handed the award in the International Pop category, while Brit Robbie Williams was feted with the Entertainment prize.
British singer Robbie Williams has reached out to his former fiancee Nicole Appleton following the reported breakdown of her marriage to Liam Gallagher, insisting she is a "sweetie" who deserves to be happy. The state of Appleton's relationship with the ex-Oasis frontman has been at the centre of speculation since July (13) when it emerged the rocker is embroiled in a legal battle with an American journalist over claims he fathered her young daughter.
Gallagher is rumoured to have moved out of the couple's marital home in September (13).
Williams, who has endured a long-running feud with his one-time friend Gallagher, has now spoken out to offer his sympathies to Appleton, who he was engaged to in the late 1990s.
The Angels hitmaker tells Britain's The Sun, "I have a very big soft spot for Nic because she's a very decent person.
"I feel sorry for her as she deserves to be in a good place, in a happy marriage, and I thought she was with Liam. But it would appear that they weren't.
"Nicole really doesn't deserve all that from Liam. I've very, very fond memories of her. She's a sweetie."
Appleton began dating Gallagher in 2000, two years after breaking off her engagement to Williams. She married the rocker in 2008 and they share a son, Gene.
Robbie Williams was left $750,000 (£500,000) in debt after breaking his contract with Take That. The singer walked away from the British boyband at the height of their fame in 1995 to focus on a solo career, but quitting the group turned out to be a costly endeavour after record executives demanded $2.2 million (£1.5 million) from him.
He tells BBC Radio 4, "For reasons I can't go into because certain people like suing me - and they like winning - there was a big need for me to get out of my contract and out of that record company.
"I think I made a million or something in Take That and then it cost me a million and a half to get out of the deal. So as a 20 year old I ended up coming out of Take That owing £500,000."
The Angels hitmaker bounced back in a big way by becoming one of the biggest selling artists in U.K. chart history and he is now estimated to be worth around $157 million (£105 million). He rejoined his bandmates in 2010 for an album and tour, but is now back working as a solo artist.
British pop star Robbie Williams fears Miley Cyrus is heading for a meltdown after enduring months of intense pressure as her career hit a high. The Angels hitmaker - who battled addiction issues after becoming a huge star as a member of British boyband Take That - admits he is concerned Cyrus will falter due to the public scrutiny she has suffered in recent months.
He says, "Miley's got the world talking and looking at her. And the spotlight that's now upon her is rehab-making. It has a detrimental effect on your psyche. I've had a similar light shine on my direction and it f**ks you up - for a long time.
"She's just a kid. She's a kid who looks as though she's rebelling against her father (Billy Ray Cyrus) and rebelling against the industry that put her in a Hannah Montana-shaped box."
Williams' comments come days after the former Hannah Montana star courted controversy once again at Sunday's (10Nov13) MTV European Music Awards in Amsterdam, Holland by smoking what appeared to be a marijuana joint as she collected a trophy on stage.
The 20 year old scored a big hit with her latest album, Bangerz, but has been a regular in the headlines for her saucy dance routines and provocative costumes..
Abba star Agnetha Faltskog stunned fans by hitting the stage for a surprise performance at a London charity concert on Tuesday (12Nov13), marking her first high-profile gig in 25 years. The Swedish singer, who has reportedly not performed in front of an audience for more than two decades, was the surprise guest at Gary Barlow's Children In Need Rocks concert, which was held at the city's Eventim Apollo venue.
Faltskog performed her duet with Barlow, I should've Followed You Home, to raise cash for the BBC's annual Children In Need charity event, which supports underprivileged kids around the world.
British girl band Little Mix and Barlow's former Take That co-star Robbie Williams also took to the stage to perform at the first of two charity concerts. The second gig will be held at the same venue on Wednesday (13Nov13) with performances from Ellie Goulding and Rizzle Kicks.
Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith put on a united front on Sunday night (10Nov13) to celebrate the 21st birthday of the actor's eldest son amid new reports of marriage trouble. Bloggers and gossips went crazy last week (ends08Nov13) when images of Smith and his Focus co-star Margot Robbie posing for cheeky pictures hit the Internet, prompting fresh speculation about the state of his 16-year marriage.
Robbie, who pulled up her top to reveal her bra in one of the silly shots, has since taken to Twitter.com to dismiss chatter about a romance with her co-star, and Smith and his wife were all smiles as they posed for family photos over dinner at Hakkasan in Las Vegas on Sunday.
The couple was joined by Will's 21-year-old son Trey and his mother Sheree Zampino, teenage siblings Jaden and Willow and a group of close to 50 family members and friends at the top restaurant.
A source tells Us Weekly that Will never left his wife's side and the pair was "in high spirits".
Reports suggest Trey showed off his DJ-ing skills at the party.