Veteran British stars John Hurt, Joan Collins and Kristin Scott Thomas will have double the reason to celebrate on New Year's Eve (31Dec14) after landing on Queen Elizabeth II's New Year Honours list. Alien actor Hurt will be made a 'Sir' in 2015 in recognition of his services to drama throughout his 50-year stage and screen career, 11 years after he received a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) medal in 2004.
Actresses Collins and Scott Thomas will be among those feted as Dames, alongside poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, British TV presenter Esther Rantzen and fashion designer Mary Quant.
Gushing about the news, Dynasty icon Collins admits she is "delirious, thrilled, excited and very honoured" to be honoured for her charity work, adding, "There's nothing to compare to being a Dame and getting that kind of accolade from my country and my Queen.
"I am very patriotic and quite a Royalist, so it is extraordinary."
And Scott Thomas, who will ironically play The Queen in a new version of the play The Audience in 2015, says, "This is an immense honour that I could not believe was really for me."
Meanwhile, actresses Emily Watson, Sheridan Smith and comedian James Corden, who is set to embark on a new career as a top late night talk show host in America, will be made Officers of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), and writer/actress Meera Syal makes the cut as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).
As obsessive readers and fans of dismissing quality movies as inferior to their literary counterparts, it's important for us to know which books will head to the big screen ahead of time. How else will we know how Wild Reese will be, or what is going to happen to Peeta? Be reasonable. We've decided to use our research for the good of society and share the adaptations coming soon that we are most excited for.
1. The Spook's Apprentice - Joseph Delaney (Seventh Son)
Thomas Ward (Ben Barnes) is the seventh son of the seventh son, which gives him the ability to see things that others cannot: ghosts, ghasts, boggarts, and the like. He becomes an apprentice to John Gregory, the Spook (Jeff Bridges). Julianne Moore is set to play Mother Malkin, one of the most sinister witches who uses blood magic, luring young runaway women into care before sucking their blood to maintain her youth, who was then imprisoned by the Spook. Kit Harington and Djimon Hounsou also star.
2. Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, in case you somehow didn't know, are stepping into the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey for the adaptation of the incredibly successful erotic novel. Steele, a literature student, interviews Grey as a favor to her roommate, but quickly becomes entranced by this brilliant and handsome man who is unable to resist her. He admits his desire, but on his own terms; this is a man with a need to control everything. This is also probably going to be the movie with a bunch of heavy-breathing sweaty middle-aged women trying to control themselves in the theater. You've been warned.
3. In the Heart of the Sea - Nathaniel Philbrick
The last time Ron Howard and Chris Hemsworth teamed up, they brought us one of the best films of 2013, Rush. Now, they're at it again (along with Cillian Murphy and Benjamin Walker) with this story of a whaleship attacked by one angry whale, leaving the crew shipwrecked and stranded for 90 days, thousands of miles from land. The true story inspired a little book by Herman Melville (played in the movie by our favorite, Ben Whishaw) entitled Moby-Dick.
4. The Price of Salt - Patricia Highsmith (Carol)
W. W. Norton & Company
Patricia Highsmith, author of successful novels-turned-movies like Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley (we're choosing to ignore the recent The Two Faces of January here), wrote The Price of Salt, which will be released as 'Carol.' The novel itself, controversial for its lesbian content and unprecedented gay happy ending, is said to have inspired Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. The film stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson, with Far From Heaven and I'm Not There director Todd Haynes helming.
5. Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
Shaye Areheart Books
Gone Girl author brings us yet another chilling thriller. A young girl is the sole survivor of a massacre that leaves both of her sisters and her mother dead in an apparent Satanic cult ritual. She testifies against her brother, but 25 years later, she begins to investigate the actual events. Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Nicholas Hoult, and Christina Hendricks star.
6. A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants director Ken Kwapis is set to direct Bryson's memoir, starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. The hilarious book describes Bryson's attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail with his friend Stephen Katz. Emma Thompson and Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman will also star.
7. Insurgent - Veronica Roth
As conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows, a war looms for Divergent's post-apocalyptic Chicago. In this sequel, we're still following Shailene Woodley and Theo James' Tris and Four as they try to understand the reasons for Erudite's insurrection and obtain information the Abnegation are trying to protect. Kate Winslet, Zoë Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, and Miles Teller return in their supporting roles, and are joined by some all-star names: Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, and Suki Waterhouse.
8. Serena - Ron Rash
The dynamic duo of mega-nominated movies Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle are back at it! Bradley Cooper plays a man trying to maintain his timber empire during the Depression, while Jennifer Lawrence plays his wife who discovers she can't have children. For some reason, we're a little terrified of JLaw in this movie from the trailer.
9. Silence - Shusako Endo
Taplinger Publishing Company
This 1966 novel about a Jesuit missionary sent to 17th century Japan where he endures persecution is set to be adapted by Martin Scorsese. It will also have an all star cast of Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Ken Watanabe, and Adam Driver.
10. The Longest Ride - Nicholas Sparks
The producers of The Fault in Our Stars, the author of The Notebook, and the hottest Hollywood son around, this movie already has us in love with it. Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson play two lovers and there's a rodeo or something; we don't really know, we were just thinking about how much this movie will make us cry. Time to read the book.
11. Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
The Hunt director Thomas Vinterberg tackles Thomas Hardy's novel. Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene, a woman who has too many men in love with her and of course rejects them all until she falls for one. Three men, played by Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone), and Tom Sturridge (On The Road), all after this woman: who will she end up with? We actually just read the plot description and had everything spoiled and somehow still gasped and cried at those three paragraphs. Why didn't we know about this book before?!
12. Paper Towns - John Green
The Fault in Our Stars author John Green's next book to be adapted by the same team who adapted TFIOS (Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber). Margo and her adventures are legendary at her high school, and Quentin ("Q") has always loved her for it. Margo climbs through his window and demands he take an all night road trip of revenge, but when she goes missing the next day, Q realizes she's left clues for him and promptly hits the road again in search of her. Cara Delevingne will play Margo and TFIOS' Nat Wolff will play Q.
13. The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge - Michael Punke
Carroll & Graf Publishers
Academy Award-nominated Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, 21 Grams, Biutiful) is set to direct Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy in this adaptation. Partially based on the life of fur trapper Hugh Glass. Leo will play Glass, who is mauled by a bear, then later robbed and left for dead by his companions. He survives and sets out for revenge against those same men.
14. The Secret Scripture - Sebastian Barry
Faber and Faber
A one-hundred-year-old woman, Roseanne McNulty, in a mental hospital for about 50 years decides to retrace her history. As the hospital faces demolition and he must choose which of his patients should be transferred and which should rejoin the community, Dr. Grene also tries to discover her history. What they find is very different, though there are some consistencies. Vanessa Redgrave and Rooney Mara will play Roseanne McNulty, Eric Bana will play Grene, with Theo James also starring.
15. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
An oft-adapted novel, Mary Shelley's classic is to be turned into yet another film, this time directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin, Push). The updated version, titled Victor Frankenstein, will be told from the perspective of the doctor's assistant, Igor. The film will explain how the doctor became the man who created the legendary monster. Daniel Radcliffe will play Igor and James McAvoy will play Victor Frankenstein.
16. The Martian - Andy Weir
Crown Publishing Group
Described as Cast Away meets Apollo 13, the novel follows an astronaut stranded on Mars, fighting to survive (which also sounds mildly like Gravity to us, no?). Ridley Scott is set to direct a pretty stellar (no pun intended) cast here: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Donald Glover, Kate Mara, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. This sounds like a great movie already, but we'll have to wait until November to see it.
17. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
Walt Disney Pictures is working on this live-action/CGI mash-up of the classic book, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Chef), with a mind-bogglingly incredible cast. Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito will provide voices, while newcomer Neel Sethi will play Mowgli.
Jessica Chastain's new film A Most Violent Year has been named the National Board of Review's Best Film. Filmmaker J.C. Chandor's New York crime drama surprisingly beat out the likes of movies such as Boyhood and Birdman, which have emerged as early Oscars favourites.
In addition to landing the top honour on Tuesday (02Dec14), the movie's two stars, Oscar Isaac and Chastain, have claimed the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress prizes, respectively.
Birdman star Michael Keaton has tied with Isaac for the Best Actor accolade, and his co-star Edward Norton has been named Best Supporting Actor, while Clint Eastwood picks up the Best Director title for his upcoming military drama American Sniper.
Other winners at the American film awards include Julianne Moore (Best Actress prize for Still Alice) and British actor Jack O'Connell, who is recognised for his work in Starred Up and Unbroken with the Breakthrough Performance trophy.
The awards will be handed out at a ceremony in New York City on 6 January (14).
The full list of winners is:
Best Film: A Most Violent Year
Best Director: Clint Eastwood, American Sniper
Best Actor (tie): Oscar Isaac, A Most Violent Year; Michael Keaton, Birdman
Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Best Supporting Actor: Edward Norton, Birdman
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Best Original Screenplay: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, The Lego Movie
Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
Best Animated Feature: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Breakthrough Performance: Jack O’Connell, Starred Up & Unbroken
Best Directorial Debut: Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child
Best Foreign Language Film: Wild Tales
Best Documentary: Life Itself
William K. Everson Film History Award: Scott Eyman
Best Ensemble: Fury
Spotlight Award: Chris Rock, Top Five
Freedom of Expression Award: Rosewater & Selma
Gillian Anderson and Tom Hiddleston were the big winners at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards on Sunday (30Nov14), picking up the coveted acting trophies at the annual London prizegiving. Anderson fought off competition from Kristin Scott Thomas and Billie Piper to take home the Natasha Richardson Award for her performance in the Young Vic's A Streetcar Named Desire, while Thor star Hiddleston picked up the Best Actor award for Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse.
Director Jeremy Herrin was named the winner of the Milton Shulman Award for his productions of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, while Best Play went to The James Plays, Skylight won the prize for Revival of the Year and The Scottsboro Boys won Best Musical.
Among the night's special awards, playwright Tom Stoppard picked up the Lebedev Award and singer/songwriter Kate Bush was named the recipient of the 2014 Editor's Award.
The ceremony at the London Palladium was a star-studded event - David and Victoria Beckham, Naomi Campbell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Helen Mirren were in attendance.
Tom Hiddleston has been nominated for the best actor prize at Britain's Evening Standard Theatre Awards for his role in William Shakespeare's tragedy Coriolanus.
The Thor actor starred as the titular Roman leader in the production at the Donmar Warehouse in London in December (13) and he has now landed a top nod for the part. He will compete against Zero Dark Thirty actor Mark Strong, who is nominated for his role in Arthur Miller's play A View from the Bridge, and V for Vendetta actor Ben Miles, who starred in Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies - a double bill stage adaptation of Hilary Mantel's two novels.
Gillian Anderson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Harry Potter star Helen McCrory and singer-turned-actress Billie Piper will battle it out for the best actress prize.
Billy Elliott film maker Stephen Daldry is nominated for best direction for Skylight, and Sunny Afternoon, the new production telling the story of The Kinks, is in the running for best musical.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon at the London Palladium on 30 November (14).
Actresses Dame Helen Mirren and Kristin Scott Thomas will be sharing a throne as they portray Queen Elizabeth II on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Mirren took on the role of the British monarch in stage play The Audience when it debuted in London last year (13), and she is due to relocate to New York to continue the role when the Broadway version of the show launches next year (15).
Meanwhile, back in London, Scott Thomas will be slipping on the crown to take over from Mirren when the play re-starts in April (15).
The show's director Stephen Daldry tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "Kristin has this incredible magnetic power and astonishing charisma. We wouldn't have done it without her. We've got Helen in New York, but if Kristin hadn't wanted to do it in London, we wouldn't have gone ahead."
Uma Thurman's former fiance Arpad Busson has filed an emergency court order seeking custody of their two-year-old daughter. The Kill Bill star began dating French financier Busson in 2007 and gave birth to the couple's only child, little Rosalind, aka Luna, in July, 2012, months after reconciling with her boyfriend following a 2009 split.
The pair parted ways again earlier this year (14), calling off its engagement for a second time, and now multi-millionaire Busson is fighting for physical custody of his child.
His lawyer filed papers in Manhattan Supreme Court in New York on Tuesday (14Oct14).
The case has been sealed and representatives for both Busson and Thurman have yet to comment on the lawsuit.
Busson, who is reportedly now dating British actress Kristin Scott Thomas, is also father to two sons with supermodel Elle Macpherson, while Thurman shares a boy and a girl with her ex-husband, actor Ethan Hawke.
Actress Kristin Scott Thomas is reportedly dating Uma Thurman's ex-fiance Arpad Busson. The Kill Bill star and Busson ended their engagement for the second time in April (14), and the French financier has since found love with The English Patient star, according to the New York Post.
A source tells the newspaper, "They are madly in love, it is very serious."
The actress was previously linked to English actor Tobias Menzies, after ending her marriage to French doctor François Olivennes in 2005, while Busson dated Thurman on-and-off from 2007 to 2014. The couple has a daughter, who was born in 2012.
Busson also has two sons from a previous relationship with supermodel Elle Macpherson.
Guy Pearce is set to tackle the role of The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald opposite British actor Dominic West as Ernest Hemingway in new movie Genius. Theatre director Michael Grandage will make his feature film debut with the big screen adaptation of A. Scott Berg's award-wining biography Max Perkins: Editor of Genius, about the relationship between American novelist Thomas Wolfe, played by Jude Law, and his editor Max Perkins, who will be portrayed by Colin Firth.
Now Iron Man 3 star Pearce and The Wire actor West have joined the line-up for the movie as Perkins' other famous writers.
The film will also feature Nicole Kidman as costume designer and writer Aline Bernstein, who was romantically linked to Wolfe in the 1920s, and Laura Linney as Perkins' wife, Louise.
Production on the project is due to begin in the U.K. next month (Oct14).
The period movie will reunite Grandage with Law, who starred in the theatre mogul's West End production of Henry V last year (13), and Pearce with Kidman, who co-star in forthcoming thriller Strangerland.
James Mcavoy and Sally Hawkins are joining the jury for the 2014 London Film Festival in October (14). Veteran movie producer Jeremy Thomas will head the panel of judges who will decide the winners of the competition for Best Film. He will be joined by the X-Men: First Class actor, Oscar-nominated actress Hawkins, Egyptian director Ahmad Abdalla, producer Lorna Tee and film critic Scott Foundas.
The film festival runs from 8 to 19 October (14) and the awards ceremony will take place on 18 October (14).