Breaking Bad will go up against House Of Cards in the fight for the best international TV show prize at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) TV Awards. The drama shows will compete against French supernatural show The Returned and Danish political drama Borgen at the television awards ceremony in London on 18 May (14).
Breaking Bad, starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, is also up for the Radio Times Audience Award, which will be voted for by the British public. It will compete against U.K. shows including detective drama Broadchurch, Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor and reality shows Gogglebox, The Great British Bake Off and Educating Yorkshire.
Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan has been nominated in the Leading Actor category for his portrayal of a serial killer in The Fall, along with Dominic West for in his role as Richard Taylor in Burton and Taylor, Sean Harris for Southcliffe and Luke Newberry for In The Flesh.
West's co-star Helena Bonham Carter is up for Leading Actress for her portrayal of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. She will compete against Kerrie Hayes (The Mill), Maxine Peake (The Village) and Olivia Colman (Broadchurch).
Broadchurch is also nominated in the Drama Series category alongside The Village, detective thriller Top of the Lake and comedy My Mad Fat Diary, while Dornan's The Fall will compete in the Mini-Series group against Southcliffe, In The Flesh and The Great Train Robbery.
Other stars to have landed key nominations include Irish actor Chris O'Dowd, who is nominated for best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme for The IT Crowd, going head-to-head with his co-star Richard Ayoade. The sitcom is also nominated in the Situation Comedy category.
British actress Maxine Peake joined thousands of attorneys at a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Friday (07Mar14) to protest against cuts to legal aid. The star, who has played a barrister in U.K. legal drama Silk since 2011, waved a placard at the event along with real life lawyers who turned out wearing their traditional robes and wigs.
The protest was organised to voice opposition to government plans to cut lawyers' fees in a bid to reduce state subsidies for those unable to pay for their own defence.
Peake says of the protest, which also involved mass walkouts at courts across the U.K., "We can't allow justice to become a luxury available only to the rich. We have to send a message to this Government that we will no longer stand for their ferocious bullying of the poor."
Blur drummer Dave Rowntree, who is also a trained solicitor, joined the protest and gave a speech to demonstrators, telling the crowd, "It's the foundation for the principle of equality under the law that we have taken for granted for generations in the U.K. Now (the government) plans to scrap it, and create a two-tier justice system - justice for the rich, McJustice for the poor. It's a shame it's had to come to this - lawyers having to protest rather than go to court to defend their clients."
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Celebrated TV screenwriter Peter Moffat was honoured with a top prize at the 2013 Writers' Guild Awards in London on Wednesday (13Nov13). Moffat picked up the Best TV Drama award for legal series Silk, starring Maxine Peake and Rupert Penry-Jones, seeing off competition from another of his shows, The Village, and hit crime drama Broadchurch.
Legendary playwright David Edgar was also feted at the ceremony, winning a prize for his "outstanding contribution to writing and writers".
The prizegiving is held annually by The Writers' Guild of Great Britain.
When Michael Bay saw What Richard Did for the first time, actor Jack Reynor wasn't on his radar. Now he's the star of the upcoming Transformers 4. Reynor isn't sure exactly what convinced Bay to take a chance on him.
"I'm not 100% certain. It's not something Michael and I really talked about. I'm a bit more, 'Yes, sir. No, sir,' with Michael. I just do what he says, take the job seriously, and get it done," Reynor says.
Having seen What Richard Did at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, we can clear the fog on why Reynor might be the perfect pick to star opposite Mark Wahlberg in the upcoming sci-fi sequel: he's absolutely brilliant in it. In the Irish film directed by Cannes vet Lenny Abrahamson, Reynor stars as Richard, a typical high school senior with a picture perfect life. He's got a lovely family, a great group of friends, a steady position as a soon-to-be-pro rugby player, and he's inching closer to a relationship with the object of his affection. Basically, Richard has it made — but he's modest about it. Abrahamson's film rolls along with tender care, naturalistic and familiar in all the right ways as his character invests deeper and deeper into his relationships.
"We spent a long time working on the movie before we shot it," Reynor says of the preparation. "We spent eight months workshopping and talking extensively about what kind of film we wanted to make. I think in those workshops, where we would talk about pretty much ever aspect of our lives, we came up with the most truthful story that we could."
Reynor describes Abrahamson as a "genius" who employed techniques that created the fluid, recognizable cadence to What Richard Did's scenes. What looks and sounds like off-the-cuff acting is more like guided improvisation. "In scenes where they're badgering back and forth with one another, we had topics we set up," Reynor says. "We wanted to make it improv, but controlled improv. So we had topics: school, girls… conversations where we didn't set the words. Key points that we needed to go to where we needed to pass the ball between each other very quickly."
Abrahamson also pushed the young actor to shade Richard with his own past. In one scene, Richard recounts the traumatizing event of accidentally killing a pet gerbil by drowning it in the toilet. Yeah, that was true. "That was my own personal story. I really killed that poor thing when I was five years old. Buried him in a shot glass," he says. Abrahamson didn't want a carbon copy of Reynor to stand in for Richard, but he was striving for reality. "I think Lenny would tell you as well, it's very difficult to take an actor and force them into a performance without making it feel a little contrived," the actor explains. "So Lenny wanted to bring the character to me. So we got an amalgamation of me and the character. There are definitely elements of myself that I invest into it. Which I think lends a lot of truth into it. But at the end of the day, Richard and I are very different people."
One of the toughest scenes — the kind of gut-wrenching moment that would easily make Reynor a must-have in the eye's of Bay — comes late in the film, as Richard grabbles with the devastating consequences of "what he did." The character's life is shattered and Reynor explodes in a fury of emotion. It works because Richard's never directly reminded of his past actions. Instead, they continue to haunt every second of his life.
"We decided to use this little trigger," Reynor says. "Richard wakes up and is instantly flooded with the thoughts of everything that's happened. It's about feelings. He feels this incredible shame and guilt and terror and it's an overload." The actor says that physicality played a bigger part in bringing the scene to life than any script note or "dramatic" angle did. "But it was very much about waking up and getting into a physical posture that allowed for it to be unlocked. It's difficult to explain, but it came physically more than mentally," he says.
Transformers 4 may sound like an entirely different animal than What Richard Did, but according to Reynor… well, it is. "With Richard, I was excited to make this film with such an amazing role for an actor. Play a wide range of emotion and really invest myself in the character," he says. "With Transformers, I'm going to get to drive fast cars and have a lot of fun. That's what appeals to me about it. I want to have as much fun as possible."
Reynor says that regardless of the scale or subject matter, his goal to be truthful never wavers. The director relationships are the real variable. For instance, the conversations he has with Abrahamson are entirely different than the ones he's had with Bay in these months before shooting the film. "With Lenny, we're talking introspectively about the human condition," he says. "With Michael, we're talking blowing s**t up."
As serious-minded as Reynor sounds, his defining quality (that is quite evident on screen and off) is a desire to enjoy the work, enjoy the people around him, and enjoy the moment. His character Richard can often be seen kicking back and sipping beer while chatting to his friends. Reynor is quick to answer if he himself has a brew of choice.
"Guinness, Guinness, Guinness, Guinness," he says before ruing the fact that'll he live in America for a majority of the Transformers 4 shoot. "I can't drink it here. It's terrible. What makes me so awfully sad is seeing them put Guinness in pitchers. You can't do that! That's terrible. You pour a pint of Guinness a certain way or it's not Guinness!" So while he's happy to be in New York City for Tribeca and revving up for Bay's next blockbuster, Reynor's looking ahead when he can return to Ireland. "When I get home after Transformers there'll definitely be a bit of drinking."
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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"I am so happy I didn't have to do an Irish accent," Will Forte says when describing the experience of migrating to Ireland to shoot his first dramatic role, Run & Jump. "I do the worst Irish accent. It's all based on the Lucky Charms commercials." He tries his hand at "purple horseshoes," and it dawns on him that it might be sub-cereal character level. "Actually, I can't even do the Lucky Charms accent."
Run & Jump makes its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival and pairs the former Saturday Night Live player with Maxine Peake, an English actress famous for her stage and TV work, including the UK version of Shameless. Peake stars as Vanetia, a vibrant Irish woman whose husband, Connor (Edward MacLiam), suffered a violent stroke that left him in a coma. After awakening and spending four months recovering, Vanetia brings him home — accompanied by Ted (Forte), an American psychologist who plans on studying Connor. Oscar-nominated director Steph Green captures the collision of new personalities and relationships with frankness, subtle camera work, and the popping colors of the Irish backdrop.
Green didn't ask Forte to attempt his Lucky Charms accent, but it was still demanding for the actor, who is better known for outlandish characters like MacGruber than for losing himself in understated realism.
"It was kind of terrifying for me, having never done anything like this," Forte says. He admits that he responded to the script but had no idea if he could pull off the "acting" required. "A lot of the stuff I've been involved in, you have to do a lot of big, broad characters. So my internal mechanism to figure out what real people act like is a little off. It's just different to be a real person."
Forte wasn't alone. When Peake got the call that Green wanted her for the film, she couldn't help but be a bit self-deprecating. For the actress, there became an obvious difference between her past work and Run & Jump. "Once Steph explains it, it's very minimal," she says. "'Stop crying.' There was a lot of that. I'm known in England for crying a lot, so I was out of my comfort zone. Will was out out of his comfort zone because he wasn't doing comedy and I was out my comfort zone because I wasn't allowed to cry."
Forte says moving to Ireland was a huge help in tackling dramatic work. "It really helped because it was this safe environment very far away from anyone I knew." Forte began his career as part of The Groundlings comedy troupe, going on to tackle behind-the-scenes roles writing comedy. He had to shake his writer's perspective when he was eventually given the opportunity to perform on camera. "When I got the chance to act, I would be thinking, 'Oh these guys who wrote this thing for me are disappointed.' I get into my head on that stuff." He jokes that moving away was vital for Run & Jump. "I cannot do domestic serious [laughs]. Everything was a new experience."
The duo rehearsed with Green for nearly a year and half, building back story that you only see traces of in the finished film. "My character was born in Ireland, went to England, and came back," Peake says. "That's all the backstory Steph and I did — and all the lines were cut in the edit … but it was about her sense of identity." The actual lines may not have made the film, but the characters in Run & Jump have a rare sense of age. They're lived in, having pasts that become clear by present interaction and Vanetia remembering a time that was.
"The trap you can fall into as an actor is feeling sorry for the actor instead of being true to the character's emotional life," Peake says. "I think that was a balance Steph told me. There was a scene where Ed's character walks past him and I'm having a couple of tea. And then I was [crying sounds]. And Steph says, 'Why are you doing that? Just sit and have a cup of tea.' Of course! She had such a vision of how someone would deal with grief."
According to Forte, the early days of rehearsals required a bit of hand-holding. But he worked with Green rigorously, turning the actual shoot into more of a fine-tuning process. A bit of facial hair only made him more confident. "For some reason, my acting changed with the beard. It was like a cloak. Like a safety blanket." In a way, it was like a totally different actor went and shot Run & Jump. An out-of-body experience. "I didn't do a bad job in that scene, that guy with the beard did a bad job in the scene!" Forte jokes.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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Tennant, who will also host the awards ceremony in London on 29 January (12), has been recognised for his role in Kafka: The Musical by Murray Gold, while Lewis is nominated for Giovanni's Room. They will compete with Rory Kinnear for his role in Terence Rattigan's Flare Path, which also landed a Best Supporting Actor nod for Rupert Penry-Jones.
Absolutely Fabulous star Whitfield is mentioned for her role in A Monstrous Vitality.
The judges deciding on the awards winners include actresses Maxine Peake and Imogen Stubbs and screenwriter Andrew Davies.
It might have been early in the morning, but that didn't stop everyone from Dido to Moby to Evanescence's Amy Lee from showing up at the announcement of the 46th annual Grammy Award nominations this morning at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
OutKast, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and the Neptunes' Pharrell Williams are tied for the lead with six nominations apiece. Missy Elliott, 50 Cent, Eminem, the Neptunes' Chad Hugo, Justin Timberlake, Ricky Skaggs, Evanescence, Luther Vandross and the late Warren Zevon are close behind with five noms each.
The four big categories--album of the year, record of the year, song of the year and best new artist--reflect the dominance of rap, hip-hop and R&B artists in mainstream music as well as the renewed popularity of rock music.
Up for album of the year are Missy Elliott's Under Construction, Timberlake's Justified, Evanescence's Fallen, the White Stripes' Elephant and OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
Hip-hop duo's OutKast's single "Hey Ya!" will go head-to-head for record of the year against Black Eyed Peas' "Where is the Love?," Beyoncé and Jay-Z's "Crazy in Love," Eminem's "Lose Yourself" and Coldplay's "Clocks."
For song of the year, which goes to the songwriter as opposed to the recording artist, nominees are Linda Perry for Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful," Eminem and Luis Resto for Eminem's "Lose Yourself," Richard Marx and Luther Vandross for Vandross' "Dance With My Father," Avril Lavigne and the Matrix for Lavigne's "I'm With You" and the late Warren Zevon and Jorge Calderon for Zevon's "Keep Me in Your Heart."
Sean Paul, 50 Cent, Evanescence, Fountains of Wayne and Heather Headley will compete for the best new artist award.
The Grammy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 8 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be telecast on CBS from 8-11:30 p.m. (EST/PST).
Here is a partial list of nominations (a full list of nominees is posted on Grammy.com):
Album of the Year
Under Construction, Missy Elliott
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, Outkast
Justified, Justin Timberlake
Elephant, The White Stripes
Record of the Year
"Crazy In Love," Beyoncé Featuring Jay-Z
"Where Is The Love?," Black Eyed Peas featuring Justin Timberlake
"Lose Yourself," Eminem
"Hey Ya," Outkast
Best New Artist
Fountains Of Wayne
Song of the Year
Linda Perry for "Beautiful" (performed by Christina Aguilera)
Richard Marx and Luther Vandross for "Dance With My Father"
Avril Lavigne and The Matrix (Lauren Christy, Graham Edwards and Scott Spock) for "I'm With You"
Jorge Calderón and Warren Zevon for "Keep Me In Your Heart"
Jeff Bass, Marshall Mathers (aka Eminem) and Luis Resto for "Lose Yourself"
Best Rap Song (NEW!)
Calvin Broadus (aka Snoop Dogg), Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams for "Beautiful" (performed by Snoop Dogg Featuring Williams and Uncle Charlie Wilson)
Shawn Carter (aka Jay-Z), Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams for "Excuse Me Miss" (performed by Jay-Z Featuring Williams)
Mike Elizondo, Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent) and A. Young for "In Da Club" (performed by 50 Cent)
Jeff Bass, Marshall Mathers and Luis Resto for "Lose Yourself" (performed by Eminem)
Missy Elliott and Tim Mosley for "Work It" (performed by Elliott)
Best Rap Album
Missy Elliott, Under Construction
50 Cent, Get Rich Or Die Tryin'
Jay-Z, The Blueprint2 - The Gift & The Curse
Outkast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
Best R&B Album
Erykah Badu, Worldwide Underground
Blu Cantrell, Bittersweet
Aretha Franklin, So Damn Happy
Isley Brothers Featuring Ronald Isley aka Mr. Biggs, Body Kiss
Luther Vandross, Dance With My Father
Best Contemporary R&B Album
Ashanti, Chapter II
Beyoncé, Dangerously In Love
Mary J. Blige, Love and Life
Anthony Hamilton, Comin' From Where I'm From
R. Kelly, Chocolate Factory
Best Rock Album
Foo Fighters, One By One
matchbox twenty, More Than You Think You Are
Nickelback, The Long Road
Best Rock Song
Evanescence, "Bring Me To Life" (David Hodges, Amy Lee and Ben Moody)
Train, "Calling All Angels" (Charlie Colin, Pat Monahan, Jimmy Stafford and Scott Underwood)
Bruce Springsteen and Warren Zevon, "Disorder In The House" (Jorge Calderón and Warren Zevon)
The White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army" (Jack White)
Nickelback, "Someday" (Chad Kroeger, Mike Kroeger, Ryan Peake and Ryan Vikedal)
Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
The White Stripes
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
Christina Aguilera, "Beautiful"
Kelly Clarkson, "Miss Independent"
Dido, "White Flag"
Avril Lavigne, "I'm With You"
Sarah McLachlan, "Fallen"
Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
Lil' Kim and Christina Aguilera, "Can't Hold Us Down"
Tony Bennett and k.d. lang for "La Vie En Rose"
Pink and William Orbit for "Feel Good Time"
Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples for "Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking"
Sting and Mary J. Blige for "Whenever I Say Your Name"
Best Pop Vocal Album
Christina Aguilera, Stripped
George Harrison, Brainwashed
Annie Lennox, Bare
Michael McDonald, Motown
Justin Timberlake, Justified
Best Pop Male Vocal Performance
George Harrison, "Any Road"
Michael McDonald, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
Sting, "Send Your Love"
Justin Timberlake, "Cry Me A River"
Warren Zevon, "Keep Me In Your Heart"
Best Pop Instrumental Performance
Ry Cooder and Manuel Galbán for "Patricia"
Dave Koz, "Honey-Dipped"
Randy Newman, "Seabiscuit"
The Brian Setzer Orchestra, "The Nutcracker Suite"
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Bette Midler Sings, Bette Midler
Rosemary Clooney Songbook, Rosemary Clooney
The A Wonderful World, Tony Bennett and k.d. lang
As Time Goes By…The Great American Songbook: Volume II, Rod Stewart
The Movie Album, Barbra Streisand
Best Spoken Word Album For Children
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Eric Idle
Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix, Jim Dale
Prokofiev: Peter And The Wolf/Beintus: Wolf Tracks, Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev and Sophia Loren
Tell Me A Scary Story, Carl Reiner
Winnie-The-Pooh, Jim Broadbent
Best Spoken Word Album
Fear Itself, Don Cheadle
Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair And Balanced Look At The Right, Al Franken
Living History, Hillary Rodham Clinton
Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, Nikki Giovanni
When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden, Bill Maher
Best Female Country Vocal Performance
Patty Loveless, On Your Way Home
Martina McBride, This One's For The Girls
Dolly Parton, I'm Gone
Shania Twain, Forever And For Always
Best Country Collaboration With Vocals
Willie Nelson and Norah Jones, Wurlitzer Prize (I Don't Want To Get Over You)
Willie Nelson and Toby Keith, Beer For My Horses
June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash, Temptation
Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet, It's Five O'Clock Somewhere
James Taylor and Alison Krauss, How's The World Treating You
Best Country Album
Faith Hill, Cry
Lyle Lovett, My Baby Don't Tolerate
Willie Nelson and Ray Price, Run That One By Me One More Time
Willie Nelson, Live And Kickin'
Shania Twain, Up!
Compilation, Livin', Lovin', Losin' - Songs of the Louvin Brothers