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).
Singer FERGIE and actress Sarah Jessica Parker were among the stars who turned out for the amfAR Inspiration Gala in New York City on Tuesday night (10Jun14) to raise money for AIDS research. The Black Eyed Peas singer attended the star-studded event, held at Manhattan's Plaza Hotel, with her actor husband Josh Duhamel, who was among the speakers, along with Parker.
The event featured a fashion show, which included a runway turn by model Tyson Beckford, and an auction to raise funds, as well as a performance by British music veterans New Order.
The charity was co-founded by Dame Elizabeth Taylor.
A lawyer representing Gregg Allman has criticised the decision to include the veteran musician in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the producers of The Allman Brothers biopic Midnight Rider. The parents of tragic camera assistant Sarah Jones have sued the moviemakers over her death in February (14). The 27 year old died after she was struck by a train on location in Georgia, and her relatives have now targeted the film's producers, as well as Allman himself, whose memoirs form the basis for the movie.
Richard and Elizabeth Jones claim the filmmakers selected "an unreasonably dangerous site for the filming location" and failed to get the proper permission to shoot there.
Allman's attorney David W. Long-Daniels has now moved to distance the star from the legal wrangling, insisting the singer should not have been named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "Mr. Allman and his representative did not have any knowledge that 'live people (would be) on a live train track.' My clients were not at the location when this tragedy occurred nor have they ever been to that location. In fact, they had no role in securing any location for the making of the movie or the actual physical production of the film. They provided creative input on the script and the rights about Mr. Allman's life, and consulted about casting and music. We are confident that the legal process will result in the ultimate dismissal of claims against Mr. Allman and his representative. It is unfortunate that plaintiffs' counsel has taken a shotgun approach to this very tragic event."
Allman recently sued the film's director Randall Miller and his production company in an effort to win back the movie rights to his life story after insisting the project should no longer go ahead. The rocker dropped the lawsuit earlier this month (May14) after reaching an undisclosed agreement with Miller.
Prince William welcomed a bevy of stars including Cate Blanchett, Kate Moss and Emma Watson to Windsor Castle for a charity gala on Tuesday night (13May14). The Duke of Cambridge invited over 200 notable figures into the royal residence in support of London's The Royal Marsden hospital, of which he is president.
Among the famous faces who filed into the benefit at Queen Elizabeth II's residence were Blanchett, Moss, Watson, Cara Delevingne, Benedict Cumberbatch, photographer Mario Testino, Helena Bonham Carter and singer Emeli Sande, who also performed at the event.
Fashion designer Ralph Lauren was the toast of the evening, with the prince revealing the style guru is funding a new state-of-the-art breast cancer research facility at the hospital.
The fashionable evening had one noticble absentee, however - Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge had stayed at home with their son, Prince George.
During the event, Bonham Carter admitted she was nervous about meeting Prince William again after a previous embarassing encounter.
She told reporters, "The Duke and I met before, along with the Duchess, before they were married, when I was staying on Mustique (island). I got very drunk at one point and I was determined to ask him to be a godfather to my daughter. He quite wisely said no. I admire him. He has got the same grace as both his parents."
Actress Nikki Reed is reportedly dating dancer Derek Hough just weeks after separating from her husband Paul Mcdonald. The Twilight star and the former American Idol contestant announced they were parting ways after two years of marriage last month (Apr14) and now sources tell Star magazine the actress is getting close to America's Dancing With the Stars regular Hough.
The couple was reportedly spotted kissing at Rock & Reilly's club in Los Angeles on 18 April (14), while one onlooker tells the publication, "There was a lot of public displays of affection. They were holding hands and then left together. They didn't seem to care if anyone was watching."
Reed and McDonald married in October, 2011.
Hough previously dated British actress India de Beaufort from 2000 to 2008 and his one-time TV dancing partner Shannon Elizabeth. He has also been linked romantically to singer Cheryl Cole and actress Nina Dobrev.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As grand as the themes of good and evil, needs and deservings, power and responsibility and such forth are, superhero movies are generally pretty straightforward in premise: hero stops villain from wreaking havoc. As off-putting as this kind of simplicity might sound, it's usually the right way to go. If you pack enough substance into your characters and adhere your plot to these linear margins, you can actually wind up saying a healthy amount (and having a lot of fun). The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets half of this formula down pat. Although Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker is still a moreover undistinguished identity, his emotional magnitude (re: his relationship with Gwen Stacy) is enough to keep him valid through the storm of lunacy that is his second feature. And it's not even that lunacy that holds him back. The problem isn't how wild his conquests are, how silly some of the action sequences feel, or how absolutely bonkers his villains turn out to be. It's all the other stuff (and yes, if you can believe it, there's a ton more going on in this movie than what I've already mentioned — that's the issue). All the plot twists, tertiary mysteries, ominous flashbacks, abject reveals, and weightlessly sinister pawns in this brooding game that, save for its fun with the baddies, takes itself way too seriously. All that stuff that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 thinks is necessary to make Peter Parker matter? It actually does just the opposite.
Peter is at his best when he's playing Tracy and Hepburn with the girlfriend he's perpetually disappointing (the eternally charming Emma Stone), or trying to win back the favor of the only remaining parental figure from whom he's rapidly slipping away (Sally Field, reminding us why she's a household name), or angling to connect with the mentally unstable engineer who just wants people to notice him (Jamie Foxx working his comic shtick with a frightening zest). We have the most fun with Peter when he's playing the simplest games, and we connect best with him on similar ground. But Peter and company, at the behest of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise's Sandman-sized aspirations, spend so much time exploring new avenues: the secrets surrounding the death and work of Richard Parker, the behind-the-curtains operations of OsCorp, the nefarious goings on in the waterside penitentiary Ravencroft.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As a result of the grand stab at world building, there is just so much stuff that Peter has to wade through in this movie, dragging the likes of Gwen and his boyhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan, mastering angst, menace, and upper-class privilege all at once) into the dark crevasses of narrative waste. With so many diversions into the emotionally vacant, deliberately joyless explorations of Parker family origin stories, secret brief cases, and underground subways — The Amazing Spider-Man 2 rivals Captain America: The Winter Soldier in complexity, but forgets the necessary ingredient of fun — we barely have enough energy left when the good stuff hits.
And in truth, the good stuff isn't really good enough to sustain us through all the duller periods. Garfield and Stone do have laudable chemistry. Foxx is a hoot as Peter's maniacal new foe, especially when paired with the grimacing DeHaan. And the action, while often straying from any aesthetic authenticity, is nothing shy of neat-o. It's all passable, occasionally worthy of a hearty smile, but rarely anything you'll be definitively pleased you took the time to see.
But beyond coming up short in the micro, the film's regal downfall is its scope. With so much to do, both in accomplishing its own necessary plot points and setting up for those to come in future films, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn't seem to take time to make sure it's having fun with its own premise. And if it isn't having fun, we won't be either.
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Pop star Kylie Minogue, Jason Derulo and British singers Ed Sheeran and John Newman were among the performers at Australia's top TV awards ceremony in Melbourne on Sunday night (27Apr14). The four stars all took to the stage during the 2014 Logie Awards, along with Australian singer Tina Arena and U.S. duo MKTO, with Derulo kicking off the show at the Crown Casino in Melbourne.
Minogue returned to the podium after her performance to present the night's top honour, the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on TV, to small screen veteran Scott Cam.
Other big winners on the night included Elizabeth Moss' crime drama Top of the Lake, which was named Most Outstanding Mini-series Or Telemovie, and Redfern Now, which landed Most Outstanding Drama Series.
Newlywed actress Asher Keddie topped off a sensational month by collecting two Silver Logies, for Most Outstanding Actress and Most Popular Actress, just weeks after she married her artist boyfriend in Fiji.
Following the show, Minogue faced a backlash on Twitter.com from fans who claimed the pop star had mimed her performance of her new single I Was Gonna Cancel, but the singer hit back at the criticism by insisting she was singing live.
She writes in a post on the social networking website, "Yes, we did something different and YES, I was singing live."
Ed Sheeran raised more than $1,600 (£1,000) for good causes over the weekend (05-06Apr14) as clothing he donated to a charity shop in his hometown sold out in just 30 minutes. The British singer cleared out his closet and donated his unwanted outfits to a number of charity shops in England, including the St Elizabeth Hospice store in his native Framlingham in Suffolk, England.
The haul went on sale at the shop on Saturday (05Apr14) and fans queued from early in the morning to get their hands on Sheeran's clothes. The lot sold out in less than an hour and raised around $1,600.
Shop manager Rachail Pollard says, "It has been an exciting week for all of us and I would like to thank all the volunteers, customers and shop staff and of course Ed and his family for all their support."
Glamorous stars including supermodel Naomi Campbell and singer Rita Ora descended on London on Tuesday night (01Apr14) to celebrate Italian fashion. The style crowd was out in force at London's Victoria & Albert Museum for the launch of The Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition, curated in honour of the country's iconic style.
Campbell attended the glitzy dinner alongside pop star Ora, model/actress Elizabeth Hurley, catwalk queen Eva Herzigova and socialite Poppy Delevingne. Italian fashion mogul Valentino also walked the red carpet with British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman.
The exhibition runs from 5 April (14) to 27 June (14).
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Here's a feat: taking what is likely the oldest, most well-known story in the world, and making a retelling feel inventive. Over the course of its two-and-a-half-hour runtime, Darren Aronofsky's Noah takes many forms — Tolkien-esque fantasy, trippy psychological thriller, merciless dissection of the dark points of abject faith — never feeling too rigidly confined to the parameters of the familiar tale that we've all experienced in the form of bedtime stories, religious education lessons, and vegetable-laden cartoons. As many forms as the parable has taken over the past few thousand years, Aronofsky manages to find a few new takes.
The director's thumbprint is branded boldly on Russell Crowe's Noah, a man who begins his journey as a simple pawn of God and evolves into a dimensional human as tortured as Natalie Portman's ballerina or Jared Leto's smack head. Noah's obsession and crisis: his faith. The peak of the righteous descendant of Seth (that's Adam and Eve's third son — the one who didn't die or bash his brother's head in with a rock), Noah is determined to carry out the heavenly mission imparted upon him via ambiguous, psychedelic visions. God wants him to do something — spoilers: build an ark — and he will do it. No matter what.
No matter what it means to his family, to his lineage, to his fellow man, to the world. He's going to do it. No matter what. The depths to which Aronofsky explores this simple concept — the nature of unmitigated devotion — makes what we all knew as a simplistic A-to-B children's story so gripping. While the throughline is not a far cry from the themes explored in his previous works, the application of his Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, and Black Swan ideas in this movie does not feel like a rehashing. Experiencing such modern, humane ideas in biblical epic is, in fact, a thrill-ride.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Although Aronofsky accesses some highly guttural stuff inside of his title character, he lets whimsy and imagination take hold of the world outside of him. Jumping headfirst into the fantastical, the director lines his magical realm with rock monsters — "Watcher" angels encased in Earth-anchored prisons as punishment for their betrayal of God — and a variety of fauna that range in innovation from your traditional white dove to some kind of horned, scaled dog bastardization.
But the most winning elements of Noah, and easily the most surprising, come when Aronofsky goes cosmic. He jumps beyond the literal to send us coursing through eons to watch the creation of God's universe, matter exploding from oblivion, a line of creatures evolving (in earnest) into one another as the planet progresses to the point at which we meet our tortured seafarer. Aronofsky's imagination, his aptitude as a cinematic magician, peak (not just in terms of the film, but in terms of his career) in these scenes.
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With all this propped against the stark humanity of his story — not just in terms of Crowe's existential spiral, but in character beats like grandfather Methuselah's relationship with the youngsters, in little Ham's playful teasing of his new rock monster pet — Aronofsky manages something we never could have anticipated from Noah. It's scientific, cathartic, humane. Impressively, this age-old tale, here, is new. And beyond that feat, it's a pretty winning spin.
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