Veteran actress Dame Angela Lansbury is taking her award-winning role in Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit on the road. The Murder, She Wrote star has played medium Madame Arcati in the beloved comedy both on Broadway in 2009 and in London's West End earlier this year (14) to critical acclaim.
Now she's set to go on a North American tour beginning on 9 December (14) in Los Angeles, with additional stops in San Francisco, California, and Toronto, Canada, ending the run in Washington, D.C. next March (15).
The 88 year old, who won her fifth Tony Award for her performance in the 2009 Broadway revival, will be joined by her West End co-stars Charles Edwards and Jemima Rooper, as well as her former New York castmates, Susan Louise O'Connor and Sandra Shipley.
The production will be directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Michael Blakemore.
Harry Potter star Brendan Gleeson is set to play a crime-solving paraplegic in writer/director John Michael Mcdonaugh's next movie. The Irish star will reteam with his Calvary director for The Lame Shall Enter First.
McDonaugh tells WENN, "It's about a spectacularly abusive paraplegic. Brendan will be in a wheelchair going around in South London. He hates anyone who's able bodied, so he basically hates the entirety of society.
"I've been thinking about (Calvary actress) Kelly Reilly for the psychiatrist who tries to get the guy's life back on track and fails. It will be a dark comedy with a kind of crime element to it, because he tries to get his life in order by solving the murder of one of his disabled friends because he believes the police aren't investigating it properly because the guy was disabled.
"I stole the title from a Flannery O'Connor short story."
Somali Oscar nominee Barkhad Abdi, Paul Dano and Michael Fassbender are among the 271 artists and executives who have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Actors Ben Foster, Sally Hawkins, Josh Hutcherson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mads Mikkelsen, Lupita Nyong'o and Jason Statham and directors Gavin O'Connor, Paolo Sorrentino and Jean-Marc Vallee are also on the membership list with Hollywood's top casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, make-up artists, animators, producers, moguls and documentary makers.
Musicians Eddie Vedder and Pharrell Williams have also been invited to join the Academy.
New members will be welcomed into the Academy at an invitation-only reception in September (14).
Natalie Portman's problem-plagued western Jane Got A Gun will no longer hit cinemas this year (14) following a series of delays and casting changes. Filming on the project was scheduled to start last year (13), but director Lynne Ramsay dropped out of the movie, prompting producers to seek out a new filmmaker.
Gavin O'Connor stepped in to replace her and took on a cast that included Portman, Noah Emmerich, Joel Edgerton and Ewan McGregor.
The project has also undergone numerous cast changes - Michael Fassbender, Jude Law and Bradley Cooper have all bailed on the film. Edgerton took over the role vacated by Fassbender, while McGregor replaced both Law and Cooper.
Executives at Relativity Media and the Weinstein Co. were hoping to release the new film in August (14), but on Thursday (24Apr14), they moved the date the film will hit cinemas in America back to February, 2015.
Director Lynne Ramsay has reached a legal settlement with producers behind Natalie Portman's new western Jane Got A Gun after quitting the project on the eve of filming. Production was thrown into chaos last March (13) after the Scot abruptly walked away from the movie, forcing executives to delay the shoot.
Film bosses, led by Scott Steinfdorff, filed suit against Ramsay in November (13), accusing her of breach of contract and fraud, after taking a $750,000 (£468,750) payment for a job she didn't complete, but the two parties have since reached a deal to avoid going to court.
A joint statement obtained by ScreenDaily.com reads: "Jane Got a Gun Production LLC and Lynne Ramsay announce the pending civil action and all other disputes between the parties associated with Jane Got a Gun Motion Picture have been resolved privately and to their mutual satisfaction."
Details of the agreement have not been revealed.
The We Need to Talk About Kevin director was subsequently replaced by Gavin O'Connor.
Ramsay's exit wasn't the only drama surrounding the movie - Michael Fassbender was replaced by Jude Law, who was in turn replaced by Bradley Cooper, who exited the film last May (13).
Original stars Portman and Joel Edgerton were eventually joined by Ewan McGregor when filming got underway last summer (13).
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
Costume designer Michael O’Connor has been to the Oscars twice, winning for The Duchess in 2009, and again as a nominee for Jane Eyre in 2011. He was recently nominated a third time for his work in The Invisible Woman. In this look into the nominated costume design from the film, we feature four key sketches from O’Connor’s vision and asked him to take us through his process. To read the full story, check it out at Studio System News!
American Hustle, Gravity and 12 Years A Slave look set to dominate the 2014 Academy Awards. The movies will go head-to-head for Best Picture along with Captain Phillips, Nebraska, Philomena, Dallas Buyers Club, Her and The Wolf of Wall Street.
British stars Christian Bale (American Hustle) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) both scored a mention for Best Actor, while American Hustle's Amy Adams will go head-to-head with Gravity's Sandra Bullock for Best Actress.
Other actresses nominated in the category are Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Judi Dench (Philomena) and Meryl Streep (August: Osage County).
Last year's (13) winner of the Best Actress trophy, Jennifer Lawrence, will compete for Best Supporting Actress for her role in American Hustle, while Bradley Cooper landed a Best Supporting Actor nod for his role in the crime caper.
12 Years A Slave co-stars Lupita Nyong'o and Michael Fassbender also picked up nods for their supporting roles, while the film's director Steve McQueen and American Hustle's David. O. Russell both landed nominations for Best Director along with Gravity's Alfonso Cuaron.
Speaking shortly after the nominations were announced, British moviemaker McQueen told the BBC, "(I am) just very excited - nine nominations. A lot of them (the Oscar nominees are) British. I am just so excited. We worked very hard and are very privileged to receive these nominations."
While O. Russell admits he is thrilled that all four of his film's main actors picked up nods, adding, "It's all four actors... you always worry as sort of the captain... that one of your great performers is not going to get recognised... they all put so much into it and they did it together so it's nice that none of them got left out."
American Hustle and Gravity both scored 10 nominations, while 12 Years A Slave landed nine.
The nominations were announced by actor Chris Hemsworth and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs on Thursday (16Jan14), and the winners will be unveiled during the Los Angeles prizegiving on 2 March (14).
The full list of nominees is as follows:
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years A Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
David O. Russell - American Hustle
Alfonso Cuaron - Gravity
Alexander Payne - Nebraska
Steve McQueen - 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese - The Wolf of Wall Street
Actor in a Leading Role:
Christian Bale - American Hustle
Bruce Dern - Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor - 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club
Actress in a Leading Role:
Amy Adams - American Hustle
Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock - Gravity
Judi Dench - Philomena
Meryl Streep - August: Osage County
Actor in a Supporting Role:
Barkhad Abdi - Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper - American Hustle
Michael Fassbender - 12 Years A Slave
Jonah Hill - The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club
Actress in a Supporting Role:
Sally Hawkins - Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence - American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts - August: Osage County
June Squibb - Nebraska
Before Midnight - Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
Captain Phillips - Billy Ray
Philomena - Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope
12 Years A Slave - John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street - Terence Winter
American Hustle - Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine - Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club - Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack
Her - Spike Jonze
Nebraska - Bob Nelson
Animated Feature Film:
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
The Wind Rises
The Grandmaster - Philippe Le Sourd
Gravity - Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis - Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska - Phedon Papamichael
Prisoners - Roger A. Deakins
American Hustle - Michael Wilkinson
The Grandmaster - William Chang Suk Ping
The Great Gatsby - Catherine Martin
The Invisible Woman - Michael O'Connor
12 Years A Slave - Patricia Norris
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
20 Feet from Stardom
Documentary Short Subject:
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall
American Hustle - Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, Alan Baumgarten
Captain Phillips - Christopher Rouse
Dallas Buyers Club - John Mac McMurphy, Martin Pensa
Gravity - Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger
12 Years A Slave - Joe Walker
Foreign Language Film:
The Broken Circle Breakdown
The Great Beauty
The Missing Picture
Makeup And Hairstyling:
Dallas Buyers Club
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger
Music - Original Score:
The Book Thief
Saving Mr. Banks
Music - Original Song:
Alone Yet Not Alone by Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel, from Alone Yet Not Alone
Happy by Pharrell Williams, from Despicable Me 2
Let it Go by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, from Frozen
The Moon Song by Karen O, from Her
Ordinary Love by U2, from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
The Great Gatsby
12 Years A Slave
All Is Lost
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek Into Darkness.
Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
Unfortunately saddled with one of those titles that leaves itself open to pun-filled reviews , there's not much truth to be found in The Truth About Emanuel, a film that's sadly unaware with how utterly ridiculous it comes across to the viewer.
The story follows Emanuel (Katia Scodelario), a surly teenager who's closing in on 18, but still feels pangs of guilt due to the fact that her mother died while giving birth to her. She takes out her anger on her new stepmom (Frances O'Connor), and her doting father (Alfred Molina) struggles to understand the fire burning inside his daughter. Emanuel begins to connect with her mysterious new neighbor Linda (Jessica Biel), who Emanuel agrees to babysit for.
The film's twist, which is revealed within the first act of the movie, is that Linda's daughter isn't a real baby, but a doll that Linda thinks is real and is using as a coping mechanism. Not wanting to break the spell that Linda has cast on herself, Emanuel goes along with Linda's psychosis, and what follows is a ridiculous game of "keep away" (or, better put, "pretend the baby is alive") like some twisted, direct-to-DVD sequel of Weekend at Bernie's. Emanuel bends over backwards to prevent anyone to get a glimpse at the plastic baby, and the last hour of the movie feels like a rejected C-plot of the worst mid-'80s sitcom never created.
The film's two protagonists are flip sides of the same grief stricken coin. Emanuel is a daughter riddled with the guilt over killing her mother, while Linda's very being is swallowed up by the loss of her child. The film wants to say some very poignant things about loss and grief, but even without the fake baby plotline flinging the story down into the bowels of unintentional farce, the film's writing is still too blunt and sloppy to express its ideas well. The characters ring false and the script clunks and clatters its whole way through with groan inducing lines. Adding the baby plotline on top of all that ensures that almost nothing in this film that comes off as "true."
There is a film in here somewhere that could have carried the story about the coping mechanisms we build to escape our grief, but The Truth About Emanuel just isn’t self aware enough to know how ridiculous it comes across, and the cast just isn't up to task to sell a dramatic story that could have just as easily worked as the main gag in a backburner SNL skit.
Natalie Portman's embattled western Jane Got A Gun has finally locked down a summer, 2014 release date after a series of delays and casting changes. The film has been plagued by problems - director Lynne Ramsay quit a day before shooting was due to begin in March (13) and Michael Fassbender had to be replaced by Jude Law, who subsequently dropped out as Bradley Cooper stepped in. The Hangover star exited the project in May (13), and production finally got underway this summer (13) with Ewan McGregor onboard as the villain.
Now the movie, helmed by Gavin O'Connor, has officially secured a release date and will hit U.S. theatres at the end of August (14).
However, Jane Got a Gun's troubles are far from over - producers filed suit against Ramsay earlier this month (Nov13), accusing her of breach of contract and fraud for receiving a payment of $750,000 ($500,000) for a job she did not complete. They are seeking the return of her salary, in addition to punitive damages.