The stars of hit TV series Game Of Thrones met Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh when the royals visited the show's set on Tuesday (24Jun14). Actors including Lena Headey, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams lined up to speak to the monarch beside the series' famous Iron Throne during her tour of the Titanic Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The show's creators, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, escorted the royals through the large indoor studio and showed them a variety of props and costumes.
The monarch was given a souvenir version of the Iron Throne before she embarked on the rest of her three-day royal tour of the country.
Angelina Jolie's London summit to end rape in war zones has won the support of stars including Thandie Newton, Kathleen Turner, model Cara Delevingne, and even Catholic leader Pope Francis.
The Hollywood actress launched the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in the British capital on Tuesday (10Jun14) and the event's slogan #timetoact has sparked a social networking frenzy. The phrase has become a trending topic on Twitter.com as more and more stars post pictures of themselves holding a sign bearing the words.
Newton, Turner and Delevingne have all joined in, with the model backing Jolie in a tweet, writing, "Yes Angie! #timetoact #stoptorture". Others who have backed the drive include Harry Potter actress Bonnie Wright, fashion designers Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood, singers Paloma Faith, Mollie King and Eliza Doolittle, and Pope Francis.
The head of the Catholic Church writes on Twitter, "Let us pray for all victims of sexual violence in conflict, and those working to end this crime. #TimeToAct."
This post contains spoilers for season 4 of Game of Thrones, as well as the books A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons.
With the fourth season of Game of Thrones coming to an end on Sunday, there’s still one big question looming over the Seven Kingdoms. No, not the fate of Tyrion Lannister or whether Jon Snow will be able to hold off the second Wildling invasion. It’s the issue of whether or not the show will be able to maintain its current momentum as it runs out of source material to draw from. It’s a topic that both the showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and author George R.R. Martin have discussed many times in the past, but the fifth season is when the question becomes less hypothetical and much more real.
Thus far, Martin has published five out of the seven planned novels in the series, with Book 4 – A Feast For Crows – and Book 5 – A Dance with Dragons – covering the same period of time from different characters’ perspectives. The show, meanwhile, has just finished adapting the third book, having split the content of A Storm of Swords into two seasons. At the moment, the plan is for Benioff and Weiss to adapt books four and five together, so that the storylines run concurrently on screen. However, while they can easily get two or three more seasons out of those novels, the writers are still faced with the issue of pacing, seeing as they’ve already run through the source material for several characters already. Over the course of the last season, Sansa Stark has managed to escape from King’s Landing, been taken by Petyr Baelish to her aunt in the Vale, dealt with her aunt’s jealousy, witnessed her murder, helped cover up that murder, and is now fully disguised as Alayne Stone and set to accompany her cousin Robin and Lord Baelish on a tour of the Eyrie. While it’s been exciting to watch the way her character has changed and adapted over the course of the year, there’s one glaring issue with where the show left off with her: there’s no more plot to draw from the books for her.
Sansa’s story in A Storm of Swords ends with Lysa Arryn being sent through the moon door, but because the show moved that event to the middle of the fourth season, the writers needed to draw on A Feast For Crows in order to find enough material to resolve her plot. Most of her storyline in that novel covers the time after Lysa’s death and the reveal of Lord Baelish's plan to disguise her as Alayne Stone until she can claim Winterfell and ally her home with the Vale. While the events of Season 4 diverge slightly from the text, it still leaves us at the same place that we are now, with Sansa willing to play along in order to get back to Winterfell. Season 5 gives the writers the option to take Sansa’s story in any direction they wish, now that they’ve covered almost all of her source material. Though Benioff and Weiss have revealed that Martin has told them where the books are headed so that they can all write towards the same ending, they are free to interpret the major plot events however they choose. Using up all of Sansa’s material in A Feast For Crows early means that they now have to decide how closely her story on the show will align with the events of the novels.
It’s not just Sansa who is affected by the differing paces that the writers are taking with the various storylines; almost all of the main characters are at different points in the novels. There’s still a great deal left of Tyrion’s story from A Storm of Swords which hasn’t been covered yet, and depending on how much the writers decide to pack into the finale, they could soon find themselves at the end of his plot as well. It’s going to be difficult for the show to drag out Daenerys’ storyline into two seasons, let alone three, as A Dance with Dragons focuses on her rule of Mereen. Meanwhile, Bran’s still journeying to find the Three-Eyed Crow, and considering how infrequently he’s appeared in Season 4, the writers are going to have their work cut out for them attempting to get three seasons worth of material from his plot. And if the show is working towards on particular twist, as Lena Headey’s Instagram account has been hinting, they’re going to need to hurry Brienne along in her quest, because she’s still nowhere near where she needs to be in order for everything to fall into place.
Though this past season has seen the show diverge significantly from the novels, it’s really the fifth season that marks a significant turning point for Game of Thrones. With so many storylines matching up with various markers in the novels, Benioff and Weiss have more freedom to put their mark on Westeros than they ever have before, which means that even fans who have read the books may soon have no idea what’s coming for their favorite characters. The choices that they make in Season 5 will determine how closely the show will hew to the book for its last few years, or whether they will throw out the novels altogether, and create a universe of their own.
Until we see the finale on Sunday, it’s hard to predict which direction Denioff and Weiss will take, but there are a few things we can guess about the next few years of Game of Thrones. For one thing, there’s still tons of material for Stannis, Davos and Melisandre left to cover, and so we'll probably spend a lot more time with the King of Dragonstone next year. The Greyjoys are in a similar position, as is Ramsay Bolton and there’s an important journey for Arya to go on. All of those stories are likely going to play a major role in the next season or two in order for Benioff and Weiss to set the characters up for the sixth and seventh novels. Though the long period of time that Martin takes in between each novel has become a joke among fans, it’s going to have a major impact on the show very soon. The end of the fourth season will leave the writers with several important decisions to make, which will affect the show for the rest of its run, and while Sunday’s episode will no doubt end with a cliffhanger of some sort, next season will have to answer a lot more questions than one episode could possibly raise.
British actor Timothy Spall's expected march to a Best Actor Oscar has begun after the Harry Potter star picked up a top award at the Cannes International Film Festival on Saturday (24May14). Spall was feted with the Best Actor prize for his acclaimed performance as artist J.M.W Turner in director Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner.
Accepting his prize, the overcome star told the Cannes audience, "I've always been the bridesmaid, it's nice to be the bride."
Meanwhile, the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or for best film was awarded to Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Winter's Sleep.
The Turkish director has become a regular winner at Cannes; he has also picked up honours in past years for Uzak, Three Monkeys and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, but he becomes only the second Turk to pick up the Palme d'Or.
Julianne Moore was also a big winner on Saturday evening (24May14) - she claimed the festival's Best Actress award for her role in David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars; and Moneyball director Bennett Miller picked up the Best Director prize for his new film Foxcatcher, which is based on a real-life U.S. wrestling drama. The film is an early favourite for a Best Picture Oscar.
The full list of Cannes Film Festival main prize winners is:
Palme d'Or - Nuri Bilge Ceylan for (Winter's Sleep)
The Grand Prix - The Wonders
Best Director - Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
The Jury prize - Xavier Dolan's Mommy and Jean-Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language
Best Screenplay - Andrei Zvyagintsev (Leviathan)
Best Actress - Julianne Moore (Maps to the Stars)
Best Actor - Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner)
Camera d'Or - Party Girl
British actor Timothy Spall has been tipped as an early Oscars contender after wowing critics at the Cannes International Film Festival with his portrayal of 19th century painter J.m.w. Turner in director Mike Leigh's new biopic. Mr. Turner, which documents the British artist's rise to prominence from the mid-1820s, premiered at the annual French festival on Thursday (15May14) and it opened to rave reviews, with The Hollywood Reporter's Leslie Felperin feting the Harry Potter star for his "masterful performance", branding the role one he was "born to play".
Awarding the film five out of five stars, The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw writes, "Every scene in this film is expertly managed; every comic line and funny moment adroitly presented and every performance given with intelligence and love. It is another triumph for Mike Leigh and for Timothy Spall."
Time Out's Dave Calhoun also gave Mr. Turner top marks, declaring it "an extraordinary film, all at once strange, entertaining, thoughtful and exciting", while The Telegraph's Robbie Collin hailed Spall for giving what is probably "the finest performance of his career", and Variety's Scott Foundas predicts the "exquisitely detailed, brilliantly-acted biopic" is "a natural awards contender".
The high praise for Mr. Turner, Leigh's first feature film in four years, has made the movie a hot favourite to win Cannes' prestigious Palme d'Or award, which will be handed out later this month (May14). Other movies in competition include Ken Loache's Jimmy's Hall, David Cronenberg's Map to the Stars and The Homesman, directed by actor Tommy Lee Jones.
Sofia Coppola, Willem Dafoe and Mexican actor/director Gael Garcia Bernal will be among the all-star panel judging the competition at next month's (May14) Cannes Film Festival in France. The trio will join jury president, and former Palme d'Or winner, Jane Campion, actresses Carole Bouquet, Leila Hatami and Jeon Do-yeon and director Nicolas Winding Refn at the 67th annual movie spectacular, which begins on 14 May (14).
There are 18 films in competition this year, including Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner, Ken Loach's Jimmy's Hall, and films from acclaimed directors Jean-Luc Godard, David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan.
Men in Black star Tommy Lee Jones also has a film in contention - his new western The Homesman, in which he stars opposite Hilary Swank and mother and daughter Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer, is up for the 2014 Palme d'Or honour.
British directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach will go head-to-head in the competition at this year's (14) Cannes Film Festival in France. Leigh's film Mr. Turner and Loach's Jimmy's Hall will both compete, along with other movies including David Cronenberg's Map to the Stars, featuring Robert Pattinson, and The Homesman, directed by actor Tommy Lee Jones. The event runs from 14 May (14) to 25 May (14).
Rockers Arctic Monkeys fear they have "sold out" by breaking the vow they made against courting publicity when they started out. The British musicians were famously publicity-shy when they first hit the music scene and turned down numerous interviews and promotional opportunities around the release of debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not in 2006.
Since the release of their fifth album, AM, last year (13), the group has been making more public appearances, including a performance on U.S. talk show Late Show With David Letterman in January (14) and at the BRIT Awards in February (14).
The rockers' track Do I Wanna Know? reached number one on the U.S. Alternative Songs chart in January (14), and they now admit their previous attitude may have stunted their success.
Frontman Alex Turner tells British Esquire magazine, "We said no in the beginning because we didn't want to do it. I never liked the idea of being everywhere... our nonchalance was our USP (unique selling point), yes. I don't even know where that attitude came from. It was our world and we didn't want to let people into it in the beginning."
Bassist Nick O'Malley points out that they previously vowed never to perform at the BRIT Awards "ever" and they have also gone back on their promise to never make radio promo clips, with guitarist Jamie Cook adding, "We've sold out."
O'Malley says, "We never really wanted to do any of that stuff, but now we're like, number one. We never really realised the benefit before."
Soul singer Claudia Lennear has been given a big career boost following her appearance in Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom - David Bowie has offered to write her next project. Lennear joined the likes of Darlene Love and Judith Hill in Morgan Neville's 2013 film, which followed the lives of backing singers to the stars, after previously working with artists including Ike and Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, George Harrison and Leon Russell.
She was also said to have inspired the Rolling Stones' Brown Sugar hit in 1971 and Bowie's Lady Grinning Soul in 1973.
Lennear now reveals she recently reconnected with the legendary Space Oddity star days before Sunday's (02Mar14) Oscars ceremony and received a welcome proposal.
She tells the New York Post's Page Six column, "I got a call from David Bowie out of the blue... He told me he wanted to write my next project. I couldn't believe it when I first heard his voice. We haven't seen each other in 20 years."
She adds, "I am not sure what my next project will be... but I will definitely hold David to his promise."
20 Feet From Stardom was named Best Documentary, Feature at the Academy Awards.
Arctic Monkeys and One Direction were double winners at the 2014 BRIT Awards on Wednesday night (19Feb14). After opening the ceremony with a fiery performance of their hit RU Mine?, the British rockers took home the trophy for Best British Group, joking that they had lost money by betting on category rivals One Direction to win.
The band also took the stage to accept the coveted Best British Album award for AM, which beat off releases by Rudimental, David Bowie and Disclosure, and frontman Alex Turner delivered a poetic acceptance speech about the resurgence of rock music.
He told the audience at London's O2 Arena, "That rock and roll just won't go away. It might hibernate from time to time... but it's always waiting there, just around the corner, ready to make its way back through the sludge and smash back through the glass ceiling, looking better than ever. That rock and rock, it seems like it's faded away sometimes but it will never die. And there's nothing you can do about it."
The band has now won the British Group award three times.
One Direction also took a pair of honours, claiming the Global Success Award for the second year in a row, and picking up the Best Video trophy after winning a live Twitter.com fan vote by a landslide.
An emotional Ellie Goulding kicked off the prize list at the top of the show, when she was handed the award for Best British Female by pop superstar Prince. The win ended years of disappointment since her last BRIT - a Critics' Choice award in 2009.
David Bowie was handed the prize for Best British Male, a prize he last won in 1984, but he did not attend in person, and asked model pal Kate Moss to collect his award, dressed in one of his old stage costumes.
Bruno Mars was named Best International Male for the second time, having previously scooped the gong in 2012, while 17-year-old New Zealander Lorde continued her amazing 2014 by winning International Female, Daft Punk were handed the International Group award, and Bastille were shocked to take home the British Breakthrough Act prize, beating brotherly duo Disclosure, who went home empty handed despite being nominated for four awards.
Live performances came from Katy Perry, who strutted the stage as a day-glo Egyptian queen, Bruno Mars, who bounced around the stage while he performed Treasure, Ellie Goulding and Beyonce, who performed her track XO live on TV for the first time.
It was also a night for onstage collaborations as Lorde and AlunaGeorge singer Aluna Francis teamed up with Disclosure to play a mash-up of their respective hits Royals and White Noise, and Rudimental were joined on stage by Bastille.
Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers closed the show with a medley of Daft Punk's hit Get Lucky and Williams' No. 1 Happy.
The full list of winners is as follows:
British Female Solo Artist: Ellie Goulding
British Group: Arctic Monkeys
British Breakthrough Act: Bastille
British Male Solo Artist: David Bowie
International Female Solo Artist: Lorde
Best British Video: One Direction - Best Song Ever
British Single: Rudimental featuring Ella Eyre - Waiting All Night
International Group: Daft Punk
International Male Solo Artist: Bruno Mars
British Album: Arctic Monkeys - AM
Special Recognition Award: War Child UK
Critics' Choice Award: Sam Smith
Global Success Award: One Direction
British Producer Of The Year: Flood & Alan Moulder