The man who discovered Oasis is hoping to turn a tiny Welsh wedding chapel into a new live music venue after restoring the house of God with his wife. Former Creation Records boss Alan McGee and his wife Kate Holmes bought the Baptist chapel in Talgarth, Powys for $64,000 (£40,000) and now they have plans to turn it into a 100-capacity performance space.
McGee tells the BBC, "It's been brilliant, one of the best things I've been involved in. We saw the chapel and then Kate said it was for sale. I kind of went, 'Well, just buy it', not knowing what to do with it. But Kate had this idea to do it up and turn it into something good for the community. We both have this thing about regenerating rural areas."
Fashion designer and musician Holmes adds, "We used to drive past the chapel and remark what a beautiful old building it was... We will be holding the first of many acoustic nights soon but we want it to be used by the villagers - it is for them not us."
You don't arrive at the Grand Budapest Hotel without your share of Wes Anderson baggage. Odds are, if you've booked a visit to this film, you've enjoyed your past trips to the Wes Indies (I promise I'll stop this extended metaphor soon), delighting especially in Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and his most recent charmer Moonrise Kingdom. On the other hand, you could be the adventurous sort — a curious diplomat who never really got Anderson's uric-toned deadpan drudgings but can't resist browsing through the brochures of his latest European getaway. First off, neither community should worry about a bias in this review — I'm a Life Aquatic devotee, equally alienating to both sides. Second, neither community should be deterred by Andersonian expectations, be they sky high or subterranean, in planned Budapest excursions. No matter who you are, this movie will charm your dandy pants off and then some.
While GBH hangs tight to the filmmaker's recognizable style, the movie is a departure for Anderson in a number of ways. The first being plot: there is one. A doozy, too. We're accustomed to spending our Wes flicks peering into the stagnant souls of pensive man-children — or children-men (Moonrise) or fox-kits (guess) — whose journeys are confined primarily to the internal. But not long into Grand Budapest, we're on a bona fide adventure with one of the director's most attractive heroes to date: the didactic Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes mastering sympathetic comedy better than anyone could have imagined he might), who invests his heart and soul into the titular hotel, an oasis of nobility in a decaying 1930s Europe. Gustave is plucked from his sadomasochistic nirvana overseeing every cog and sprocket in the mountaintop institution and thrust into a madcap caper — reminiscent of, and not accidentally, the Hollywood comedies of the era — involving murder, framing, art theft, jailbreak, love, sex, envy, secret societies, high speed chases... believe me, I haven't given half of it away. Along the way, we rope in a courageous baker (Saoirse Ronan), a dutiful attorney (Jeff Goldblum), a hotheaded socialite (Adrien Brody) and his psychopathic henchman (Willem Dafoe), and no shortage of Anderson regulars. The director proves just as adept at the large scale as he is at the small, delivering would-be cartoon high jinks with the same tangible life that you'd find in a Billy Wilder romp or one of the better Hope/Crosby Road to movies.
Anchoring the monkey business down to a recognizable planet Earth (without sacrificing an ounce of comedy) is the throughline of Gustave's budding friendship with his lobby boy, Zero (newcomer Tony Revolori, whose performance is an unprecedented and thrilling mixture of Wes Anderson stoicism and tempered humility), the only living being who appreciates the significance of the Grand Budapest as much as Gustave does. In joining these two oddballs on their quest beyond the parameters of FDA-approved doses of zany, we appreciate it, too: the significance of holding fast to something you believe in, understand, trust, and love in a world that makes less and less sense everyday. Anderson's World War II might not be as ostensibly hard-hitting as that to which modern cinema is accustomed, but there's a chilling, somber horror story lurking beneath the surface of Grand Budapest. Behind every side-splitting laugh, cookie cutter backdrop, and otherworldly antic, there is a pulsating dread that makes it all mean something. As vivid as the worlds of Rushmore, Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise might well have been, none have had this much weight and soul.
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So it's astonishing that we're able to zip to and fro' every crevice of this haunting, misty Central Europe at top speeds, grins never waning as our hero Gustave delivers supernaturally articulate diatribes capped with physically startling profanity. So much of it is that delightfully odd, agonizingly devoted character, his unlikely camaraderie with the unflappably earnest young Zero, and his adherence to the magic that inhabits the Grand Budapest Hotel. There are few places like it on Earth, as we learn. There aren't many movies like it here either.
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The former aide to British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who sued comic Alan Davies over a libellous tweet, has died. Conservative politician Lord Robert McAlpine passed away at his home in Italy on Friday (17Jan14), aged 71.
McAlpine was a longtime adviser to Britain's only female leader during her time at Downing Street during the 1970s and '80s.
He was also a hugely successful fundraiser for the Conservative Party.
McAlpine hit headlines in 2012 when BBC editors ran a report on its Newsnight programme about allegations of sexual abuse at a Welsh children's home, and accused a "leading Conservative politician... of sexually abusing boys in care".
Jonathan Creek star Davies then asked his thousands of Twitter followers for "clues" to the alleged abuser's identity. He received a message mentioning the name of Lord McAlpine, which he then re-tweeted.
The political adviser launched legal action against the British actor and was awarded $24,000 (£15,000) in damages in October (13).
British actor Alan Davies has paid damages to a former politician after he re-tweeted a post falsely linking him to a child abuse scandal. Last year (12) the BBC ran a report on its Newsnight programme on alleged sexual abuse at a Welsh children's home, and accused a "leading Conservative politician... of sexually abusing boys in care".
The Jonathan Creek star then asked his thousands of Twitter followers for "clues" to the alleged abuser's identity. He received a message mentioning the name of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's advisor, Lord McAlpine, which he then re-tweeted.
The politician launched libel action against Davies, among others in the public arena, and on Thursday (24Oct13), the actor agreed to pay undisclosed damages to Lord McAlpine, while apologising for the "great damage and distress" his actions caused.
After the hearing at London's High Court, which neither party attended, Davies' lawyer Steve Hudson said the star hopes the case makes people think about how they operate on social media.
He said, "Mr Davies hopes that as a result of this matter other Twitter users will be more aware of the potential damaging consequences of tweeting and be more careful in how they use that platform."
The Wire star saw off Daniel Rigby and John Simm to land the Best Actor honour at the London ceremony after wowing judges with his turn as notorious British serial killer Fred West.
Watson, who played West's social care volunteer in the show, was named Best Actress, and was hailed by judges for her "subtle, nuanced and utterly compelling" performance. She beat This Is England star Vicky McClure and Ruth Negga, who played Shirley Bassey in the biopic of the superstar singer.
Sir David Attenborough's hit documentary series Frozen Planet lost out in the Science and Natural History category to Mummifying Alan: Egypt's Last Secret, while Luther, starring Idris Elba, was named best series.
The international award went to U.S. sitcom Modern Family, beating Australian series The Slap and Danish crime thriller The Killing.
The ceremony was hosted by Welsh funnyman Rob Brydon.
Wanted star James Mcavoy will play a drug addicted Scottish police officer in Jon Baird's movie adaptation of author Irvine Welsh's acclaimed book Filth. Fellow Brits Jamie Bell and Alan Cumming will also feature in the film. Welsh will co-write the screenplay with Baird and produce the project.
The actor began dating Welsh model Hayley Roberts earlier this year (11) after meeting her during the audition stages of reality show Britain's Got Talent.
Now Hasselhoff has opened up about the blossoming romance and revealed he fell for the 31 year old when she asked him who he played on his most famous show, because she had no knowledge of his career.
He tells British talk show host Alan Carr, "I asked her to dinner and she asked me an amazing question... and that question was what did you play on Baywatch? I love that. I love that...
"That was exactly the right question because I knew that maybe she liked me for me and not because I was on TV."
Stars including Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Jensen and Leona Lewis have all been honored for their contribution to girl power at a glitzy London awards ceremony.
Diaz scooped Ultimate Lady of Film prize for her career success, while Jolie was awarded the Ultimate Woman Who Made Us Care award for her humanitarian efforts.
Singer Lewis scooped the Ultimate Newcomer award at Cosmopolitan's Ultimate Women of the Year Awards on Tuesday night, following an exceptional year of winning British reality show The X Factor, signing to Simon Cowell's Syco record label and reaching No. 1 in the U.K. charts.
The "Bleeding Love" hitmaker told WENN, "It's so important--this awards ceremony is celebrating women who've achieved so many great things. There's so many deserving people here, so I'm so glad to be a part of it."
Other winners at the event, held at club Cirque, include Ugly Betty star Ashley Jensen (Top Woman On TV), Welsh opera star Charlotte Church (Ultimate 'Love the Skin You're In' Goddess), and singer Rihanna, who was named Ultimate Mistress of Music.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Ultimate Newcomer: Leona Lewis
Ultimate Mistress of Music: Rihanna
Ultimate Comeback Queen: Myleene Klass
Ultimate Be the Best You Can Be' Woman of the Year: Katie Price
Ultimate Couple: Tess Daly & Vernon Kay
Ultimate 'Love the Skin You're In' Goddess: Charlotte Church
Ultimate Celeb Men of the Year: Justin Lee Collins & Alan Carr
Ultimate Lady of Film: Cameron Diaz
Ultimate Top Woman on TV: Ashley Jensen
Ultimate Woman Who Made Us Care: Angelina Jolie
Ultimate Sports Superhero: Maria Sharapova
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Alex Hughes (Alan Rickman) is an emotionally closed-off British ex-con who heads to Canada to visit an old lover. When he misjudges the distances between Ontario and Winnipeg he rents a car and starts driving across the snowy winter landscape. He encounters a charming young woman named Vivienne Freeman (Emily Hampshire) who hitches a ride and begins to thaw out his frozen heart but then tragedy strikes as the pair has a terrible car accident and Vivienne is killed. Alex is left with terrible guilt and so drives to the little town of Wawa to offer condolences to Vivienne’s mother Linda (Sigourney Weaver). Surprisingly Alex discovers that Linda is a high-functioning autistic and as he agrees to help her plan the funeral an unlikely friendship develops. Meanwhile Alex also meets Maggie (Carrie-Anne Moss) Linda’s beautiful next-door neighbor; his relationships with those two very different women change him very unexpected ways. Forget Ripley from the Alien flicks! With Snow Cake Sigourney Weaver gives the performance of her life. She transforms completely into Linda Freeman a middle-aged woman whose life is framed – but not controlled – by her autism. From her slightly twitchy movements to the far-off look in her eyes Weaver masterfully captures the physical elements of the disorder; add in the completely believable dialogue that reveals Linda’s inner emotional state and the portrayal is one that just might bring Weaver an Academy Award for her work. Alan Rickman is equally affecting as a man whose personal anguish threatens to shut him down completely; his emotional reawakening is so real that we can’t help but empathize and root for him. Carrie-Anne Moss is quietly effective as the sexually restless neighbor and Emily Hampshire is a beam of sunshine in her short time on the screen as Linda’s daughter a real face to watch for the future. Welsh director Mark Evans cut his teeth on British television and small films like Trauma. With Snow Cake he proves that he’s got a talent for telling emotional stories without descending into sentimentality. That’s a fine line and one that makes this film sit head and shoulders above those Lifetime channel flicks that send a chill up the spine of every red-blooded male (and many of us females too). First-time screenwriter Angela Pell should get massive credit as well. She tapped into her personal experience as the parent of an autistic boy translating that knowledge into creating a portrait of a grown woman (and mother of a normal daughter) who has successfully made her way through life despite her disability. The potent combination of those two talents united with across-the-board fine acting make Snow Cake a supremely satisfying cinematic experience. Watch for this one during awards season later this year.