Harry Potter co-stars Sir Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton are reuniting onscreen to help bring beloved children's character Paddington Bear to life in an upcoming movie. Gambon, who replaced the late Richard Harris as Professor Dumbledore in the boy wizard films, will provide the voice of Uncle Pastuzo, while Staunton will play Aunt Lucy.
Skyfall actor Ben Whishaw will take on the title role in Paddington after Colin Firth walked away from the project earlier this year (14).
Another Harry Potter star, Julie Walters, will also be part of the cast, alongside Nicole Kidman, Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville and new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi.
The film, based on the books by author Michael Bond, is scheduled for release at Christmas (14).
Patti Labelle's entourage has scored a legal victory against a man who alleged he was attacked at an airport in Texas. Richard King claimed he was attacked at the Bush Intercontinental Airport in 2011 and was forced to drop out of The United States Military Academy at West Point because of his traumatic brain injuries, caused by LaBelle's son and manager Zuri Edwards, bodyguard Efrem Holmes and hairdresser Norma Harris.
The Lady Marmalade hitmaker was also included, but her name was dropped from the suit.
A federal judge absolved the case against the defendants on Tuesday (23Sep14).
Focus Features via Everett Collection
Though we can’t fault Laika for returning time and time again to the “misfit children” well, we’re beginning to worry if the studio isn’t dipping its bucket deep enough. Though it turned in two past entries worth remembering — Coraline was good, but just shy of great; ParaNorman was great, but just shy of excellent — and repeats this achievement with The Boxtrolls, its latest is perhaps the boldest evidence of Laika’s limiting trepidation.
The film actually turns the “misfit” gambit on its head, introducing a character who fits in so perfectly with his friends and family — a race of friendly subterranean hoarder goblins — that years pass before he realizes he’s not actually one of them. Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), so named for the box that guards his unseemly torso, is a young boy raised by the sweet and creative (but ultimately cowardice) Boxtroll family that lives below the misguided aristocracy of Cheesebridge, a town decidedly phobic of its underground neighbors. Led by a comically menacing vagabond with aspirations for glory (played with flair by Ben Kingsley), the Cheesebridgers agree to rid their streets and lives of the vile little creatures forever.
A few steps beyond the average 101 Dalmations rip-off, The Boxtrolls actually puts a great deal of energy into exploring the blurry dichotomy of good vs. evil, turning would-be mindless henchmen Trout and Pickles (Nick Frost and Richard Ayoade) into well-meaning patriots led astray by propaganda. But it doesn’t get too heady — Frost and (especially) Ayoade provide the biggest and most consistent laughs of the film. To their credit, Boxtrolls might be the funniest thing Laika has produced yet. The film, whose cast also includes a plucky and petulant Elle Fanning, a snooty and oblivious Jared Harris, and a thickheaded and maniacal Tracy Morgan, is eager to get especially wacky when it plays with the weird worlds of Boxtrolls and cheese-obsessed noblemen. But it’s just too darn afraid to get emotional.
The Boxtrolls barely scratches the surface of its characters’ relationships, which is particularly destructive to a story about family, understanding, and bravery. Instead of watching young Eggs’ relationship with his surrogate father Fish (a babbling Dee Bradley Baker) evolve, we hear prototypical speeches about being yourself, standing up for what’s right, and a few more all-purpose themes. The Boxtrolls’ goofiness is grade A, but it cuts through the hints of biting emotional material, rendering the ordeal about half as affective as it might have been. Drop your bucket deeper next time, Laika. You're so close to that masterpiece...
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Actor Ed Harris is reuniting with his The Human Stain co-star Sir Anthony Hopkins to play the villain in upcoming TV series Westworld. The A Beautiful Mind star has been cast as The Man in Black, a character described by producers as "the distillation of pure villainy into one man", reports TheWrap.com.
X-Men actor James Marsden has also joined the line-up for the highly-anticipated show, which is inspired by director Michael Crichton's cult 1973 sci-fi thriller of the same name.
Harris, Hopkins and Marsden will co-star alongside Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright and Rodrigo Santoro, while J.J. Abrams and Jerry Weintraub will serve as executive producers.
The original film starred Richard Benjamin, James Brolin and Yul Bryner, who portrayed creepy robot cowboy Gunslinger.
Musical theatre composer Mary Rodgers has died, aged 83. The daughter of Broadway icon Richard Rodgers passed away on 26 June (14), according to Playbill.com.
Rodgers grew up with her father's enormous success in the theatre, and she wrote the music to Once Upon a Mattress, the musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson tale The Princess and the Pea, in her 20s.
The production, which debuted in 1959, gave lead actress Carol Burnett her big break and her first Tony Award nomination.
Once Upon a Mattress closed less than a year after opening, but found success with a TV special in 1964 and 1972, both starring Burnett, as well as a Broadway revival in 1996 starring Sarah Jessica Parker.
Rodgers also composed the music to such shows as A to Z, Hot Spot, and Working.
She later became a children's book author, and wrote A Billion for Boris, Summer Switch, The Rotten Book and Freaky Friday, which was adapted for the big screen in 1976, featuring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster, and again in 1995 and 2003, when it starred Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan.
Rodgers' son with her second husband Henry Guettel, Adam Guettel, is also a musical theatre composer. He earned two Tony Award wins for Best Score and Best Orchestrations for his 2003 musical The Light in the Piazza.
Rodgers is survived by her sister, Linda Rodgers Emory, five children, seven grandchildren and step-grandchildren.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
Sir Michael Gambon is reuniting with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling to bring her first adult fiction book, The Casual Vacancy, to life on the small screen.
The British acting icon, who replaced the late Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore in the boy wizard film franchise, will lead the cast in a BBC TV adaptation of the bestselling novel, about an unexpected death in a quaint English village. He will portray deli owner Howard Mollison, opposite Notes on a Scandal actress Julia McKenzie.
The miniseries will also feature Keeley Hawes, Rufus Jones, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan and newcomer Abigail Lawrie. Production on the three-hour series is due to begin on 7 July (14) in south west England. Rowling released The Casual Vacancy in 2012. It has sold more than six million copies worldwide.
Hit crime drama Broadchurch was a triple winner at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) TV Awards on Sunday (18May14). The detective series picked up the Leading Actress prize for Olivia Colman, Supporting Actor for David Bradley and the top honour of the night for Best Drama.
Colman's win marked the star's third TV BAFTA prize, after claiming two trophies last year (13) for her roles in Twenty Twelve and Accused.
Overwhelmed with emotion upon receiving the award, Colman said through tears, "Well, Broadchurch, I'm so pleased everyone likes it. Chris Chibnall is a f**king genius, thank you for writing it! And (co-star) David Tennant, standing opposite you is a joy and a treat."
Double winners also included veteran presenters Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, who were feted with both Entertainment Performance and Entertainment Programme for Ant And Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, while comedy The IT Crowd earned both Katherine Parkinson and Richard Ayoade the Female and Male Performance in a Comedy Programme, respectively.
Other awards were handed to Southcliffe star Sean Harris for Leading Actor, Sarah Lancashire for Supporting Actress in Last Tango in Halifax, U.S. drug drama Breaking Bad for the International prize and Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor earned the Radio Times Audience Award.
Veteran TV star Cilla Black was lauded for her decades of work with the Special Award, while Julie Walters was given BAFTA's highest honour, the BAFTA Fellowship, for her contribution to film and TV.
During her acceptance speech she said, "When I told my mother I wanted to be an an actress in 1969, she said: 'She'll be in the gutter before she's 20'. But what a gutter, and I shared that gutter with some of the most amazing and talented people without whom I would not have a career."
Talk show host Graham Norton hosted the event for the second year in a row at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Bryan Cranston, Neil Patrick Harris, Chris O'dowd and Stephen Fry are among the big-name TV stars nominated for top prizes at the 2014 Tony Awards. Breaking Bad star Cranston is up for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play trophy for his turn in All The Way, which is also nominated in the Best Play category at the awards, held to honour the year's best Broadway performances.
He will compete with Irish actor O'Dowd (Of Mice and Men), Brit Mark Rylance (Richard III), Tony Shalhoub (Act One), and Samuel Barnett (Twelfth Night), who are all nominated in the same category.
Samuel L. Jackson's wife LaTanya Richardson is nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play category for her part in A Raisin in the Sun, but she will have to fend off competition from Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons), Cherry Jones (The Glass Menagerie), Audra McDonald (Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill), and Estelle Parsons (The Velocity of Autumn).
How I Met Your Mother star Harris leads the nominations in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for his flamboyant turn in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, while singer Idina Menzel is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her part in If/Then.
Beloved British actor Stephen Fry scooped a nod in the Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play category for Twelfth Night, but his fellow Brits Daniel Radcliffe, Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart were all overlooked despite giving acclaimed performances on the Great White Way.
Fry took to his Twitter.com page on Tuesday (29Apr14) to share his excitement at being nominated, writing, "Oh my goodness, apparently I've been nominated for a Tony award. I can't believe it. How rippingly thrilling."
The winners will be revealed at the 68th annual Tony Awards on 8 June (14) at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
Mad Men might be at its best when it drives bleak, but there's something to be said for the cheeky side of the series too — the side willing, just a week after showcasing the visceral breakdown of its two main characters, to treat them both to the traditions of Three's Company. The second episode of Season 7 forces Don and Peggy deeper into the marshlands of misery, with one succumbing to the weight of the swamp after a decade of casual treading, the other flailing in panic and grabbing for any semblance of a stable root... like that of a rose, for example.
The first Jack-and-Crissyan wacky misunderstanding of that Mad Men borrows from sitcom lore this week is Peggy's identification of an unmarked bouquet of roses to be a gift to her from Ted. Although she responds with a delivery of hot bile to her undoubtedly confused colleague, Peggy is grasping desperately for the possibility that on this Valentine's Day in 1969 she has been considered. Unlucky Shirley, Peggy's secretary, is the secondary victim of this mixup, as the flowers were hers, sent from a loving fiancé — the primary victim, of course, is Peggy.
As confidently as Mad Men seems to be handling Peggy's ascension toward a Draper-level isolation, her sudden bout of insolence (notably when she explodes at Shirley for revealing the true origin of the roses) comes off a few leagues less interesting than the fashion in which we've seen the series handle emotional self-sabotage before. Granted we're expected to follow Peggy to, toward, or (hopefully) around a platform in just one season that took the show six to reach for Don... and, admittedly, maybe it's just the additional unpleasantness that comes with watching a favorite character like Ms. Olson decay. But we can hope that Peggy's turn this week is just a glimmer of a rock bottom that we can watch her work to avoid in the episodes to come. And if she must hit, then at least let the trigger not be a bouquet of roses.
Wacky mixup number 2 is of the "overheard phone call" variety, with Roger dismissing L.A.-based Pete over a wonky cross-country conference call as the troops led by Harry Hamlin (I'm not sure I'll ever be able to learn his character's name) determine that Campbell's latest account would be best laid in the hands of Bob Benson. Pete is up in arms, and the Roger/Hamlin dichotomy is fissuring violently as the latter takes the advantage of a Donless, Peteless office to seize control and rally all available parties (for instance, the long unappreciated Joan, who gets bumped up a league this week) to climb aboard his silver-tongued ship.
And the final trope ripped straight from the Regal Beagle: the Draper family's pyramid of secrecy. Sally, on a trip into the city to A) attend the funeral of her prep school roommate's mother, and B) ditch said sob-fest with her far out pals to go shopping in Manhattan, stops into her dad's office to get money for bus fare after misplacing her purse. Naturally, the sights of lovable ol' Lou Avery sitting pretty at the Draper desk rattles Sally, who (along with everyone else in his personal life) has no idea that Don has been saddled with a leave of absence from the company. Sally meets up with her father at his apartment, keeping it a secret that she knows of his unemployment status, while he keeps that very unemployment status a secret... until, after receiving a phone call from Dawn, he learns that she stopped by SC&P earlier in the day. Naturally, he keeps this new information a secret... until Sally gets a call from Joan alerting her to the call from Dawn but keeps it a secret from Don who gets a call from Roger telling him about the call from Joan which he too keeps a secret not knowing that Sally knows that he knows that she knows that he knows until it all erupts in a scene where Phoebe kisses Chandler. Sorry, now I'm mixing up my sitcom references. In truth, the mountain of secrets stops at Dawn's phone call.
Quick diversion — Shirley and Dawn are tossed into chaos this week when their bosses (a lunatic Peggy and an asshat Lou Avery) take issue with the ladies' inability to predict Peggy/Lou's own incompetence. As such, they are jostled around the office in a subplot that plays both like a screwball comedy of errors that warrants Benny Hill music, but also like an tearfully unfuriating window into the "everyday racism," as well as class and gender bigotry, of 1969... and on. Only Mad Men can do a tertiary story this good and dense.
After the unprecedently humane ending to Season 6, which saw Don connecting with Sally in a new way over the revelation of his life story (at least pieces of it), it's a little disconcerting to see father and daughter having reverted back to the status quo, instilling the fear that, even after all of the strides taken in this episode, the same might amount at the head of the next week that we see Don and Sally together. But this concern aside, Don and Sally's road trip back up to prep school is some of the show's most favorable material in years. Don can soften at the behest of his daughter in a way that he can't for anyone else — even his sullen admission of pride for Bobby in last season's "The Flood" arrived solely thanks to a few too many drinks and the assassination of Martin Luther King. Having craved a genuine all throughout his younger years, adhered his securities to his beloved Anna Draper (whose memory was evoked this week by a scene of Pete and his real estate agent ladyfriend canoodling in an unfurnished, mid-paint job L.A. house) as some kind of a maternal figure, and "cared over" every woman he has since dated more than actually caring for them, Don has only known how to love from a safe, manufactured distance. But his bond with Sally, which we see more vividly than ever in this episode, is something he can no longer divide from.
Truths surface, from all directions, as Don drives Sally back up to school. She learns that her dad has been given the boot, he learns that she skipped out after the funeral to go shopping with her callous friends, we learn that Sally already knows the colorful tale of Richard Whitman, she learns (thanks to Don) that she might not be as cold and cut-off as she might have thought — those Drapers, always priding themselves on unclaimed emotional distance! — and he learns, in the final seconds of the episode, that Sally loves him.
With all the work done between Don and Sally in the past few seasons, this episode marking a masterful climax to the arc, I'd be satisfied if Don's final chapter is based entirely in his relationship with his daughter. Hell, her evolution past the point of his grasp and into something that is far more frightening but potentially far more rewarding mirrors the Don/Peggy rapport, although promises (now) to branch off in a more positive direction, so we wouldn't even have to sacrifice the series' favorite relationship were we to devote the majority of Season 7 to the Drapers. Whatever we see of the pair from hereon out, "A Day's Work" does very well to access the brimming pains in each party through its unique counterpart. Nobody can possibly understand how Sally Draper feels all the time but her likewise rotting dad. And — as he now learns over a patty melt and a plate of cold fries, cracking dine-and-ditch jokes , out of the job to which he pinned himself at the expense of a series of bad marriages and meaningless affairs... all, in their own right, distractions from the family he never really learned how to love — he has this same unmatched opportunity in his daughter. Funny. But not Three's Company funny.
Episode grade: A-, with bonus points for Dawn and Shirley's lyrical lambasting of their blockhead superiors.
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Breaking Bad will go up against House Of Cards in the fight for the best international TV show prize at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) TV Awards. The drama shows will compete against French supernatural show The Returned and Danish political drama Borgen at the television awards ceremony in London on 18 May (14).
Breaking Bad, starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, is also up for the Radio Times Audience Award, which will be voted for by the British public. It will compete against U.K. shows including detective drama Broadchurch, Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor and reality shows Gogglebox, The Great British Bake Off and Educating Yorkshire.
Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan has been nominated in the Leading Actor category for his portrayal of a serial killer in The Fall, along with Dominic West for in his role as Richard Taylor in Burton and Taylor, Sean Harris for Southcliffe and Luke Newberry for In The Flesh.
West's co-star Helena Bonham Carter is up for Leading Actress for her portrayal of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. She will compete against Kerrie Hayes (The Mill), Maxine Peake (The Village) and Olivia Colman (Broadchurch).
Broadchurch is also nominated in the Drama Series category alongside The Village, detective thriller Top of the Lake and comedy My Mad Fat Diary, while Dornan's The Fall will compete in the Mini-Series group against Southcliffe, In The Flesh and The Great Train Robbery.
Other stars to have landed key nominations include Irish actor Chris O'Dowd, who is nominated for best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme for The IT Crowd, going head-to-head with his co-star Richard Ayoade. The sitcom is also nominated in the Situation Comedy category.