Angelina Jolie and Daniel Day-Lewis have been recognised by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in her Birthday Honours List. The actress has been named an honorary dame, while fellow Oscar winner Day-Lewis will be knighted.
Jolie learned of the honour in London this week (beg09Jun14), while she was co-hosting an international summit on sexual violence.
She won't be entitled to use her new royal title because she is not a British or Commonwealth citizen, but she joins fellow Americans Steven Spielberg, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and former President Ronald Reagan, who have previously received honorary titles from the Queen.
Among the soldiers, charity heroes, civil servants and entrepreneurs to receive honours, Day-Lewis will be able to add 'Sir' to his name after becoming a knight for "services to drama".
The Lincoln star admits he was, "entirely amazed and utterly delighted in equal measure" to discover he had made the list.
There were also damehoods for Booker Prize-winning novelist Hilary Mantel and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, while beloved actress Dame Maggie Smith, who portrays the Dowager Countess of Grantham on TV's Downton Abbey, was made a Companion of Honor, and becomes one of only 65 people "of distinction" in the U.K., and Homeland star Damian Lewis has been named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
He says, "I decided to do the very un-British thing of accepting the compliment."
Author Hunter Davies, actress Phyllida Law and musician Talvin Singh also received OBEs, while physicist Thomas Kibble and pianist Andra Schiff have been honoured with knighthoods.
Also making the annual honours list is singer and DJ Cerys Matthews and actor John Barrowman, who have both been awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire medals (CBEs).
Angelina Jolie continued her campaign to end sexual violence in war zones by meeting British royal Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall in London on Thursday (12Jun14). Alongside Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague, the Hollywood actress launched the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in the British capital on Tuesday (10Jun14).
They have continued to promote the drive in the U.K. all week, and on Thursday they headed to royal residence Clarence House for a special meeting with the wife of Charles, Prince of Wales. The trio discussed the women's campaign, which is trending on social media with the slogan #timetoact, during the meeting.
A post on the official Twitter.com account for Clarence House reads, "The Duchess of Cornwall has met @WilliamJHague and @UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie to discuss their #TimetoAct work. "The Duchess has visited a number of projects over recent years working with victims of rape and sexual abuse, and is keen to raise awareness."
British royal Prince Harry has recruited big names including Daniel Craig, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy to make a video in support of his new sporting competition for war heroes. In September (14), more than 400 wounded service men and women will take part in the Invictus Games, a series of competitions in London organised by the British royal in the style of America's Warrior Games.
In the new promo clip, stars including Craig, Branagh and Hardy, as well as Joss Stone, Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley, all recite William Ernest Henley's Invictus, the poem which gave the games their name, with rapper will.i.am delivering the powerful final line, "I am Invictus."
The Black Eyed Peas star adds, "This is all about using the power of sport to inspire recovery and support rehabilitation. I want to wish all the competitors the very best of luck with this inspiring event."
Bond star Craig adds, "Our Armed Forces community have made huge sacrifices in recent years. Please give something back to those who give so much."
Actor Ryan Reynolds had to cut short his honeymoon with Blake Lively to start work on a new movie about the kidnapping of a young girl by a paedophile at the centre of a crime ring.
The Green Lantern star is promoting The Captive at the Cannes International Film Festival in France, and on Friday (16May14), he told reporters that he struggled to get into character for the film because he was on a marriage high - and his new wife joined him for the shoot in his native Canada. Reynolds explained, "I dragged my wife from our honeymoon in Africa and landed her in Sudbury, Ontario in Canada when it was minus 40 degrees, at a roadside motel where we stayed for a month. She coped with it much better than I did."
But the actor admits he found a way to get into character very quickly - by talking to his brother, who is a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. Director Atom Egoyan's film, which also stars Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson and Mireille Enos, is in competition at Cannes.
Meanwhile, in other news from the festival, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has hit headlines after it was revealed he is in talks to star in the movie adaptation of Dave Eggers' bestselling novel You Shall Know Our Velocity, which centres on two friends' global journey with their late pal's ashes.
Harrison Birtwistle has become the British Royal Philharmonic Society's most successful composer after picking up his fifth major award from the classical music organisation on Tuesday (13May14). The 80-year-old maestro took home the prize for Best Small Chamber Composition for his choral chamber work The Moth Requiem.
Other winners included fellow British composer George Benjamin (Best Large-scale Composition for opera Written on Skin), conductor Daniel Barenboim, American soprano Joyce DiDonato and Patricia Kopatchinskaja.
You don't arrive at the Grand Budapest Hotel without your share of Wes Anderson baggage. Odds are, if you've booked a visit to this film, you've enjoyed your past trips to the Wes Indies (I promise I'll stop this extended metaphor soon), delighting especially in Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and his most recent charmer Moonrise Kingdom. On the other hand, you could be the adventurous sort — a curious diplomat who never really got Anderson's uric-toned deadpan drudgings but can't resist browsing through the brochures of his latest European getaway. First off, neither community should worry about a bias in this review — I'm a Life Aquatic devotee, equally alienating to both sides. Second, neither community should be deterred by Andersonian expectations, be they sky high or subterranean, in planned Budapest excursions. No matter who you are, this movie will charm your dandy pants off and then some.
While GBH hangs tight to the filmmaker's recognizable style, the movie is a departure for Anderson in a number of ways. The first being plot: there is one. A doozy, too. We're accustomed to spending our Wes flicks peering into the stagnant souls of pensive man-children — or children-men (Moonrise) or fox-kits (guess) — whose journeys are confined primarily to the internal. But not long into Grand Budapest, we're on a bona fide adventure with one of the director's most attractive heroes to date: the didactic Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes mastering sympathetic comedy better than anyone could have imagined he might), who invests his heart and soul into the titular hotel, an oasis of nobility in a decaying 1930s Europe. Gustave is plucked from his sadomasochistic nirvana overseeing every cog and sprocket in the mountaintop institution and thrust into a madcap caper — reminiscent of, and not accidentally, the Hollywood comedies of the era — involving murder, framing, art theft, jailbreak, love, sex, envy, secret societies, high speed chases... believe me, I haven't given half of it away. Along the way, we rope in a courageous baker (Saoirse Ronan), a dutiful attorney (Jeff Goldblum), a hotheaded socialite (Adrien Brody) and his psychopathic henchman (Willem Dafoe), and no shortage of Anderson regulars. The director proves just as adept at the large scale as he is at the small, delivering would-be cartoon high jinks with the same tangible life that you'd find in a Billy Wilder romp or one of the better Hope/Crosby Road to movies.
Anchoring the monkey business down to a recognizable planet Earth (without sacrificing an ounce of comedy) is the throughline of Gustave's budding friendship with his lobby boy, Zero (newcomer Tony Revolori, whose performance is an unprecedented and thrilling mixture of Wes Anderson stoicism and tempered humility), the only living being who appreciates the significance of the Grand Budapest as much as Gustave does. In joining these two oddballs on their quest beyond the parameters of FDA-approved doses of zany, we appreciate it, too: the significance of holding fast to something you believe in, understand, trust, and love in a world that makes less and less sense everyday. Anderson's World War II might not be as ostensibly hard-hitting as that to which modern cinema is accustomed, but there's a chilling, somber horror story lurking beneath the surface of Grand Budapest. Behind every side-splitting laugh, cookie cutter backdrop, and otherworldly antic, there is a pulsating dread that makes it all mean something. As vivid as the worlds of Rushmore, Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise might well have been, none have had this much weight and soul.
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So it's astonishing that we're able to zip to and fro' every crevice of this haunting, misty Central Europe at top speeds, grins never waning as our hero Gustave delivers supernaturally articulate diatribes capped with physically startling profanity. So much of it is that delightfully odd, agonizingly devoted character, his unlikely camaraderie with the unflappably earnest young Zero, and his adherence to the magic that inhabits the Grand Budapest Hotel. There are few places like it on Earth, as we learn. There aren't many movies like it here either.
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For a film that involves a love triangle, mental illness, a Bohemian colony of free-spirits, an impending war and several important historical figures, the most exciting elements of Summer in February are the stunning shots of the English country and Cornish seaside. The rest of the film never quite lives up to the crashing waves and sun-dappled meadows that are used to bookend the scenes, as the entertaining opening never manages to coalesce into a story that lives up the the cinematography, let alone the lives of the people that inspired it.
Set in an Edwardian artist’s colony in Cornwall, Summer in February tells the story of A.J. Munnings (Dominic Cooper), who went on to become one of the most famous painters of his day and head of the Royal Academy of Art, his best friend, estate agent and part-time soldier Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens), and the woman whom they both loved, aspiring artist Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning). Her marriage to Munnings was an extremely unhappy one, and she attempted suicide on their honeymoon, before killing herself in 1914. According to his journals, Gilbert and Florence were madly in love, although her marriage and his service in the army kept them apart.
When the film begins, Munnings is the center of attention in the Lamorna Artist's Colony, dramatically reciting poetry at parties and charming his way out of his bar tab while everyone around him proclaims him to be a genius. When he’s not drinking or painting, he’s riding horses with Gilbert, who has the relatively thankless task of keeping this group of Bohemians in line. Their idyllic existence is disrupted by the arrival of Florence, who has run away from her overbearing father and the fiancé he had picked out for her in order to become a painter.
Stevens and Browning both start the film solidly, with enough chemistry between them to make their infatuation interesting. He manages to give Gilbert enough dependable charm to win over both Florence and the audience, and she presents Florence as someone with enough spunk and self-possession to go after what she wants. Browning’s scenes with Munnings are equally entertaining in the first third of the film, as she can clearly see straight through all of his bravado and he is intrigued by her and how difficult she is to impress. Unfortunately, while the basis of the love triangle is well-established and entertaining, it takes a sudden turn into nothing with a surprise proposal from Munnings.
Neither the film nor Browning ever make it clear why Florence accepts his proposal, especially when they have both taken great pains to establish that she doesn’t care much for him. But once she does, the films stalls, and both Stevens and Browning spend the rest of the film doing little more than staring moodily and longingly at the people around them. The real-life Florence was plagued by depression and mental instability, but neither the film nor Browning’s performance ever manage to do more than give the subtlest hint at that darkness. On a few occasions, Browning does manage to portray a genuine anguish, but rather than producing any sympathy from the audience, it simply conjures up images of a different film, one that focused more on Florence, and the difficulties of being a woman with a mental illness at a time when both were ignored or misunderstood.
Stevens is fine, and Gilbert starts out with the same kind of good-guy appeal the won the heart of Mary Crawley and Downton Abbey fans the world over. However, once the film stalls, so does his performance, and he quickly drops everything that made the character attractive or interesting in favor of longing looks and long stretches of inactivity. He does portray a convincing amount of adoration for Florence, although that's about the only real emotion that Gilbert expresses for the vast majority of the film, and even during his love scene, he never manages to give him any amount of passion.
Cooper does his best with what he’s given, and tries his hardest to imbue the film with some substance and drama. His Munnings is by turns charming, brash, and brooding, the kind of person who has been told all of their life that they are special, and believes it. He even manages to give the character some depth, and even though he and Browning have very little chemistry, he manages to convey a genuine affection for her. It’s a shame that Munnings becomes such a deeply unlikable character, because Cooper is the only thing giving Summer in February a jolt of life – even if it comes via bursts of thinly-explained hostility. It's hard to watch just how hard he's working to connect with his co-stars and add some excitement to a lifeless script and not wish that he had a better film to show off his talents in.
Unfortunately, by the time Florence and Gilbert are finally spurred into activity, the film has dragged on for so long that you’re no longer invested in the characters, their pain, or their love story, even if you want to be. Which is the real disappointment of Summer in February; underneath the stalled plot and the relatively one-note acting, there are glimmers of a fascinating and compelling story that’s never allowed to come to the forefront.
Oscar-winning German composer Hans Zimmer was the toast of the classical music crowd on Wednesday (02Oct13) when he walked away with two top trophies at the Classic BRIT awards. Zimmer, who has scored the music for films including Gladiator and The Lion King, was the winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Music award, as well as being named Composer of the Year.
Opera icon Luciano Pavarotti was honoured six years after his death in 2007 when he was named recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Pianist Daniel Barenboim was awarded the Male Artist of the Year honour, while Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti went home with the Female Artist of the Year prize.
Other winners included violinist Andre Rieu, whose record Magic of the Movies triumphed in the Album of the Year category.
The Classic BRIT Awards was hosted by British singer-turned-TV star Myleene Klass at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
There are three basic rules for a winning YA adaptation:
1) Modern English-speaking city hiding a fantastical underworld.2) Moody soundtrack.3) Jamie Campbell Bower.
While the first two are a given, you might find the third a bit perplexing — is it really necessary to cast The Mortal Instruments' perpetually shirtless Shadow Hunter in whatever tween-appeasing adventure flick you might be constructing? If you want it to sweep the box office, then sure. For those unaware, Campbell Bower has played supporting roles in the blockbuster film franchises of Harry Potter and The Twilight Saga, and has done quite a favor for both series.
It's true that Campbell Bower's newest release, in which he plays the male lead, has only taken in $14 million at the box office since opening last Wednesday. But perhaps it pays to be sneakier about utilizing the genre's secret weapon. After appearing in Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd, the action-thriller RocknRolla, and a Dutch film called Winter in Wartime, Campbell Bower broke into the YA world with New Moon — the second film in the series, which, with a $143 million opening weekend, more than doubled that of its predecessor Twilight, and stands as the best premiere for the five-film set on the whole.
Of course, Campbell Bower's contributions to the lives of Edward and Bella didn't cap there. While his absence from Eclipse resulted in the meager opening intake of $65 million, the actor's return for the two-part Breaking Dawn finale offered $138 and $141 million premieres, proving beyond a shadow hunter of a doubt that audiences are most excited to flock to a Saga installment that is chock full of the JCB.
And what of Hogwarts? You might recall the actor's turn as a young Gellert Grindelwald in the series' penultimate episode, The Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Once again, the glory takes form in the pioneer weekend: the film ranks as Potter's second highest opening gross with $125 million. So although we wouldn't dare challenge his majesty Daniel Radcliffe for his YA crown, nor Lord Robert Pattinson of his place in the royal family (you'll recall that not only was he one of The Twilight Saga's headliners, but was also Hogwarts student Cedric Diggory in Goblet of Fire), but we will at least bump Campbell Bower up to knighthood.
With only five YA titles to his name, JCB boasts a collective genre intake of $1.18 billion (to Pattinson's $1,654 for the Twilight Saga and Goblet and Radcliffe's $2,391 of Harry Potter money), and an even more impressively comparable collective opening gross of $561 million (to Pattinson's $660 and Radcliffe's $824). Up against the actors' lengthier résumés (Pattinson has six YA movies, Radcliffe has eight), it appears that Campbell Bower is moving along steadily to reach the level of stardom — or at least box office success — occupied by his whimsical brethren. And as sequel pull never hurts, maybe we'll be seeing a hefty upswing with the second (and third) Mortal Instruments movie. Make room in the palace, Radcliffe and Pattinson. With a budding franchise gearing up for potential grandeur, the days of wizards and vampires might be soon overshadowed.
More:'The Mortal Instruments' ReviewLily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower Talk 'Mortal Instruments'Jared Harris Talks 'Mortal Instruments'
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James Bond star Daniel Craig and his actress wife Rachel Weisz were among the Hollywood stars who were invited to an exclusive overnight event hosted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle this week (begs08Apr13). Helena Bonham-Carter and Tim Burton were also guests at the private dinner party thrown by the monarch and her husband Prince Philip at their royal residence in Berkshire, England.
According to Britain's Daily Mail, the Queen regaled the table with her fond memories of appearing in a 007 skit with Craig during the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony.
A source tells the publication, "She was on sparkling form. There was a very warm, jolly atmosphere."
Guests were allowed to stay overnight at the castle and leave after breakfast the following morning.