We have two episodes left to go in this season of Girls, which means everyone's story is beginning to wind down to a conclusive point. This week solidifies the immediate future for Hannah and Adam (and not in a particularly promising way), and tosses Jessa a little bit closer to rock bottom.
The Hannah and Adam Story
Two weeks back, we compared the Hannah-Adam arc of Season 3 to the romantic story of Spike Jonze's Her. Not a particularly insightful analogy, since Her is as all-encompassing as a movie about love and relationships can get, but our predictions are validated with the ultimate conclusion of the latest episode, "Role Play." Hannah goes out drinking (excessively) with work friends, returning up the next morning to the shock that Adam was too enveloped by his play to even worry about what might have happened to her. All this plus a dismissive morning attitude and his apparent embarrassment when she showed up to watch his rehearsal equates to Hannah deciding to try and "spice things up" between them, instituting an elaborate role play scenario in which she gets back into touch with the dark patterns a Hannah and Adam of yore used to enjoy.
But things run afoul when Adam is offended and put off by the attempt, perhaps using the ordeal as a vehicle to access feelings he seems to have been entertaining for a while: he wants out. At least temporarily. As such, validating not just our predictions but Hannah's worries from earlier this season, Adam says he needs time apart from her to devote himself to his art, opting to stay with Ray (Ray! That means he'll be back!) for a while.
We don't expect Hannah and Adam to make it to the end of the season, partially because of this new turn and partially because every season premiere sees her waking in bed with a different partner (first Marnie, then Elijah, then Adam... who's next?).
The Jessa Situation (with a bit of Shoshanna sprinkled in)
Jessa has not come very far from where we found her at the beginning of this season — although she cleaned up for a while, she never fully embraced the problematic nature of her addiction and her approach to life in general. This week, the unlikely voice of reason that Shoshanna has become confronts Jessa and Jasper (Richard E. Grant) by surprising the two with a visit from the latter's daughter Dot (an allergenic Felicity Jones).
Jasper all but breaks down, at first resisting his daughter's pleas for affection but gradually coming to her (and his own) defense when Jessa accosts the both of them. The conclusion of the union sees Jessa without even the man who fostered her voyage back into drugs, with her substance abuse presenting itself as less of a problem than her addiction to pushing people away.
And while we leave Jessa in a dark place at the end of the episode, it is perhaps the depths to which she needed to fall in order to climb back up. She finally accepts her aloneness — she has to — now that even her cousin, who once idolized her above all else, has seen her for her ugliness.
The Black Hole of Marnie
I'm a member of the very sparse Marnie camp, but her turn this week seems particularly void of interest. She might become Soojin's (Greta Lee) assistant at an art gallery, despite her feelings that such work is demeaning? More importantly, Marnie is clearly harboring feelings for Adam's pal and fellow actor, the spirit walker Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), but only as such that she really wants him to be attracted to her, as Marnie has identified herself as of value only when she is attracting men. Desi obviously cares for Marnie in his encouragement of her song-writing and creativity, but he is devoted to his girlfriend. Sadly, she takes this as a rejection and spirals deeper into her pit of despair.
So there we are. Everyone feeling happy?
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Gun to my head, I might be able to say something positive about 300: Rise of an Empire. In a vacuum, I suppose I'd call its aesthetic appealing, its production value impressive, or its giant rhinos kind of cool. But these elements cannot be taken alone, embroidered on a gigantic patch of joyless pain that infests your conscious mind from its inceptive moments on.
It's not so much that the 300 sequel fails at its desired conceit — it gives you exactly what it promises: gore, swordplay, angry sex, halfwit maxims about honor and manliness and the love of the fight. It's simply that its desired conceit is dehumanizing agony. Holding too hard and too long to its mission statement to top its Zack Snyder-helmed predecessor in scope, scale, and spilled pints of blood, Noam Murro's Rise of an Empire doesn't put any energy into filtering its spectacular mayhem through whatever semblance of a humanistic touch made the first one feel like a comprehensive movie.
Now, it's been a good eight years since I've seen 300, and I can't say that I was particularly fond of it. But beneath its own eye-widening layer of violence, there was a tangible idea of who King Leonidas was, what this war meant, and why Sparta mattered. No matter how much clumsy exposition is hurled our way, all we really know here is that there are two sides and they hate each other.
When Rise of an Empire asks us to engage on a more intimate level, which it does — the personal warfare between Sullivan Stapleton (whose name, I guess, is Themistokles) and Bad Guy Captain Eva Green (a.k.a. Artemisia) is founded on the idea that she likes him, and he kind of digs her (re: angry sex), and they want to rule together, but a rose by any other name and all that — we're effectively lost. With characters who don't matter in the slightest, material like this is just filler between the practically striking battle sequences.
But when the "in-between material" is as meaningless as it is in Rise of an Empire, the battles can't function as much more than filler themselves. Filler between the opening titles and closing credits. A game of Candy Crush you play on the subway. Contemptfully insubstantial and not particularly fun, but taking place nonetheless.
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Without even a remote layer of camp — too palpably absent as Rise of an Empire splashes its screen with so much human fluid that "The End" by The Doors will start to play in your head — there's no victory in a movie like this. No characters to latch onto, no story to follow, no joy to be derived. Yes, it might be aesthetically stunning (and really, that's where the one star comes in... well, half a star for that and half for the giant rhinos), but the marvel of its look shrinks under the shadow of the painful vacancy of anything tolerable.
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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!
British actors Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne arranged a special visit to legendary scientist Stephen Hawking's home in Cambridge, England to nail their performances in his upcoming biopic. The Like Crazy actress will star as Hawking's first wife Jane in the Theory of Everything, alongside the Les Miserables actor, who will be portraying the celebrated physicist.
The film will examine the relationship between Hawking and his wife and how they lived with his motor neurone disease, and the two stars were so determined to portray their characters convincingly they visited Hawking at home to learn more about him.
Jones tells Britain's You magazine, "Stephen is charming and incredibly charismatic; he has a very dry sense of humour. At one point we were talking about star signs: his birthday is on the same day as Galileo's and he wrote 'I'm an astronomer, not an astrologer', which I thought was very funny."
The visit also made Jones even more determined to get the role right: "They were so young when Stephen was diagnosed with motor neurone disease - she was 18, he was in his early 20s. They were told he was going to live for two years and he's now in his 70s - I think a lot of his survival comes from sheer personal drive and Jane is still an incredible support... I wanted to tell her story."
Hawking and Jane divorced in 1990 after 26 years of marriage. They have three children - Robert, Lucy and Timothy.
British actress Felicity Jones has confirmed she has split from her long-term boyfriend Ed Fornieles. The 30-year-old star was in a relationship with Fornieles throughout her 20s after meeting the artist while studying at Oxford University in England.
She has now confirmed that they have split, although she declined to provide details of the reasons behind the breakup.
Speaking to Britain's You magazine, Jones says, "It's over. We broke up last year (13). It's so unusual that it's over. It's tough when your relationship ends. I'm taking it day by day; so much of your identity is a part of the (other) person. I'm still processing it."
Despite this, Jones - who is set to appear in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - admits that she is enjoying being single.
She adds, "All of my friends seem to be single and in their 30s. I think we're lucky - this is the best time to be a young female. I definitely want a family sometime - if it's the right person and the right situation - but at the moment I'm enjoying my freedom."
British actress Felicity Jones has split from her longterm boyfriend, according to a U.K. report. The 30-year-old star, who is set to appear in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, is said to have ended her relationship with artist Ed Fornieles, whom she met while studying at university in Oxford, England.
A source tells Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "It is very sad, but they have drifted apart."
Jones has reportedly been spending more time in Los Angeles in recent months to focus on her Hollywood career.
Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson is set to go head to head with Dame Judi Dench for the Best Actress prize at the British Indie Film Awards. Johansson has been nominated for her role in sci-fi thriller Under The Skin, while Dench landed a nod for her film Philomena, and the two stars will go up against Lindsay Duncan (Le Week-end), Felicity Jones (The Invisible Woman) and Saoirse Ronan (How I Live Now).
James McAvoy is up for the Best Actor prize for his role in crime comedy Filth and will compete against Tom Hardy (Locke), Jack O'Connell (Starred Up), Jim Broadbent (Le Week-end) and Steve Coogan (Philomena).
Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine is in the running for Best International Film, along with Blue is the Warmest Color, Frances Ha, Italian movie The Great Beauty and Saudi Arabian/German picture Wadjda.
Nominations for Best British film include Metro Manila, Philomena, The Selfish Giant, Starred Up and Le Week-end.
The prizegiving will be hosted by Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt in London on 8 December (13).
The Impossible star Tom Holland and Scottish actor Paul Brannigan have landed on the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' inaugural list of Breakthrough Brits. The pair join actors James Floyd and Ade Oyefeso, comedienne Sharon Rooney, and writer/director Rowan Athale among the 17 newcomers selected for the BAFTA recognition, which is presented in partnership with fashion house Burberry.
Teenager Holland, who portrayed Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor's eldest son in the tsunami drama, says, "I'm honoured to have been recognised for my work by two very prestigious organisations such as BAFTA and Burberry. It's fantastic to be among this brand new talent and to meet some really inspirational people."
The talent was handpicked by a jury which included director Shane Meadows, Les Miserables' Eddie Redmayne and The Invisible Woman star Felicity Jones, the winners will be celebrated at a special ceremony in London on 21 October (13).
Les Miserables star Eddie Redmayne and actress Felicity Jones have joined a new BAFTA jury in search of emerging British talent in film, television and gaming. The actors will help consider nominations for the first BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Breakthrough Brits awards, along with 19 other industry experts.
BAFTA chairman John Willis says, "It's been wonderful to see the breadth of emerging talent in the U.K.
"We're looking forward to revealing BAFTA's first ever Breakthrough Brits and to supporting them as they advance their careers. The future of our moving image industries is in good hands."
The talent selected will attend a day of talks from industry leaders, as well as networking, mentoring and guidance sessions to help them navigate their careers.
The list of honourees will be announced later this month (Sep13) and feted at a showcase in October (13).
The question of who will play the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in the film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey has been plaguing fans for months. There have been countless rumors about which of Hollywood's leading actors and actresses will fill the role. It has become indiscernible who is actually in the running and who fans just want to see on screen. Already, Garrett Hedlund has rejected the part of Christian and apparently Ian Somerhalder is not even being considered (sigh). And now, according to The Wrap, the most recent name to be thrown in the hat is Dakota Johnson.
Johnson is likely best remembered for her romp with Justin Timberlake in The Social Network. But you might have missed her headlining spot on Fox's short-lived sitcom Ben and Kate. Johnson played a Kate, opposite Nat Faxton as Ben — a pair of siblings raising Kate's five-year-old daughter. The show was canceled before finishing its 18 episode run due to pretty low ratings. However, it's important to note that despite Johnson only being 23, she has some age to her. Ratings notwithstanding, the actress can play the role of a more world-worn woman quite successfully.
In comparison to the other women being considered for Anastasia, she may seem (not actually be, but seem) too old for the part. For example, Shailene Woodley is 21 years old, but can easily play the part of a young teenager, as demonstrated in her previous roles (like Secret Life of the American Teenager and The Spectacular Now). Lucy Hale is 24, though believable as her Pretty Little Liars character: a high school student who sleeps with her teacher. Felicity Jones is 29 and just recently played a student in the film Breathe In. Alexis Bledel is the oldest of the bunch, 31 years old, and a solid fan favorite as well. She is still playing the role of teenagers in her 30s. All of these facts are in important — even though the character of Anastasia is in her early 20s there is supposed to be a pure, childlike innocence to her. An innocence that Dakota Johnson doesn't possess. Though not necessarily a bad trait, it's one that might hinder her from nabbing this specific role.
More:Writer of '50 Shades of Grey' Trying To Write 'The Little Mermaid' Gus Van Sant Directing '50 Shades of Grey' '50 Shades of Grey': First Look At Anastasia Steele
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