British actress Joely Richardson is set to portray revered American poet Emily Dickinson in a new one-woman show. The Nip/Tuck star will tackle the role in an Off Broadway production of William Luce's play The Belle of Amherst, which is based on Dickinson's life story.
Richardson admits she never imagined herself taking on such a big job, saying, "Never say never. I always swore to myself that I would never do a one-woman show. I thought, 'That's for crazy people'. And then I read it (the script for The Belle of Amherst)."
Steve Cosson will direct the stage show, which is scheduled to open on 19 October (14) at New York's Westside Theatre.
Richardson will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of actress Julie Harris, who won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Dickinson in a Broadway production of the play in 1977.
The Brit last appeared on the New York stage in 2012 in productions of Ivanov, opposite Ethan Hawke, and Side Effects.
Summit via Everett Collection
You can imagine that Renny Harlin, director and one quadrant of the writing team for The Legend of Hercules, began his pitch as such: We'll start with a war, because lots of these things start with wars. It feels like this was the principal maxim behind a good deal of the creative choices in this latest update of the Ancient Greek myth. There are always horse riding scenes. There are generally arena battles. There are CGI lions, when you can afford 'em. Oh, and you've got to have a romantic couple canoodling at the base of a waterfall. Weaving them all together cohesively would be a waste of time — just let the common threads take form in a remarkably shouldered Kellan Lutz and action sequences that transubstantiate abjectly to and fro slow-motion.
But pervading through Lutz's shirtless smirks and accent continuity that calls envy from Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland performance is the obtrusive lack of thought that went into this picture. A proverbial grab bag of "the basics" of the classic epic genre, The Legend of Hercules boasts familiarity over originality. So much so that the filmmakers didn't stop at Hercules mythology... they barely started with it, in fact. There's more Jesus Christ in the character than there is the Ancient Greek demigod, with no lack of Gladiator to keep things moreover relevant. But even more outrageous than the void of imagination in the construct of Hercules' world is its script — a piece so comically dim, thin, and idiotic that you will laugh. So we can't exactly say this is a totally joyless time at the movies.
Summit via Everett Collection
Surrounding Hercules, a character whose arc takes him from being a nice enough strong dude to a nice enough strong dude who kills people and finally owns up to his fate — "Okay, fine, yes, I guess I'm a god" — are a legion of characters whose makeup and motivations are instituted in their opening scenes and never change thereafter. His de facto stepdad, the teeth-baring King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), despises the boy for being a living tribute to his supernatural cuckolding; his half-brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is the archetypical scheming, neutered, jealous brother figure right down to the facial scar. The dialogue this family of mongoloids tosses around is stunningly brainless, ditto their character beats. Hercules can't understand how a mystical stranger knows his identity, even though he just moments ago exited a packed coliseum chanting his name. Iphicles defies villainy and menace when he threatens his betrothed Hebe (Gaia Weiss), long in love with Hercules, with the terrible fate of "accepting [him] and loving [their] children equally!" And the dad... jeez, that guy must really be proud of his teeth.
With no artistic feat successfully accomplished (or even braved, really) by this movie, we can at the very least call it inoffensive. There is nothing in The Legend of Hercules with which to take issue beyond its dismal intellect, and in a genre especially prone to regressive activity, this is a noteworthy triumph. But you might not have enough energy by the end to award The Legend of Hercules with this superlative. Either because you'll have laughed yourself into a coma at the film's idiocy, or because you'll have lost all strength trying to fend it off.
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After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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The actor started his career on the stage before winning parts in blockbusters such as Thor and The Avengers and admits he misses the thrill of performing for a live audience.
He tells WENN, "I do think that theatre is the actors' medium ultimately. I love working in film, which is the directors' medium most of all. An actor is an instrument in the director's orchestra but the director is conducting and playing and composing the tune.
"Whereas on stage there's something so thrilling about the direct and live contact and complicity with an audience... you have this unique chemistry and there's no hiding place."
Hiddleston goes on to reveal he is actively searching for a new theatre project and hopes to be back on stage very soon.
He adds, "I'm quite excited, I'm actively reading plays at the moment to try and find something interesting and different that I could do. I also think it would be nice, I need to test myself in that arena again."
Hiddleston's previous theatre credits include a critically-acclaimed stint in a London production of Shakespeare's Othello with Scottish actor Ewan McGregor and a West End revival of Anton Chekhov's play Ivanov.
Enigmatic and deliberate Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy makes no reservations while unraveling its heady spy story for better or worse. The film based on the bestselling novel by John Le Carre is purposefully perplexing effectively mirroring the central character George Smiley's (Gary Oldman) own mind-bending investigation of the British MI6's mole problem. But the slow burn pacing clinical shooting style and air of intrigue only go so far—Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy sports an incredible cast that can't dramatically translate the movie's impenetrable narrative. Almost from the get go the movie collapses under its own weight.
After a botched mission in Hungary that saw his colleague Jim (Mark Strong) gunned down in the streets Smiley and his boss Control (John Hurt) are released from the "Circus" (codename for England's Secret Intelligence Service). But soon after Smiley is brought back on board as an impartial observer tasked to uncover the possible infiltration of the organization. The former agent already dealing with the crippling of his own marriage attempts to sift through the history and current goings on of the Circus narrowing his hunt down to four colleagues: Percy aka "Tinker" (Toby Jones) Bill aka "Tailor" (Colin Firth) Roy aka "Soldier" (Ciaran Hinds) and Toy aka "Poor Man" (David Dencik). Working with Peter (Benedict Cumberbatch) a conflicted younger member of the service and Ricki (Tom Hardy) a rogue agent who has information of his own Smiley slowly uncovers the muddled truth—occasionally breaking in to his own work place and crossing his own friends to do so.
Describing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as dense doesn't seem complicated enough. The first hour of the monster mystery moves at a sloth's pace trickling out information like the tedious drips of a leaky faucet. The talent on display is undeniable but the characters Smiley included are so cold that a connection can never be made. TTSS sporadically jumps around from past to present timelines without any indication: a tactic that proves especially confusing when scenes play out in reoccurring locations. It's not until halfway through that the movie decides to kick into high gear Smiley's search for a culprit finally becoming clear enough to thrill. A film that takes its time is one thing but Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy does so without any edge or hook.
What the movie lacks in coherency it makes up for in style and thespian gravitas. Director Tomas Alfredson has assembled some of the finest British performers working today and they turn the script's inaccessible spy jargon into poetry. Firth stands out as the group's suave slimeball a departure from his usual nice guy roles. Hardy assures us he's the next big thing once again as the agency's resident moppet a lover who breaks down after a romantic fling uncovers horrifying truth. Oldman is given the most difficult task of the bunch turning the reserved contemplative Smiley into a real human. He half succeeds—his observational slant in the beginning feels like an extension of the movie's bigger problems but once gets going in the second half of the film he's quite a bit of fun.
Alfredson constructs Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy like a cinematic architect each frame dripping with perfectly kitschy '70s production design and camera angles that make the spine tingle. He creates paranoia through framing similar to the Coppola's terrifying The Conversation but unlike that film TTSS doesn't have the characters or story to match. The movie strives to withhold information and succeeds—too much so. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy wants us to solve a mystery with George Smiley but it never clues us in to exactly why we should want to.
The comedic drama, about a cop who decides not to take action against a youngster caught dealing drugs to his friends, took home the prizes for Best Film, Best Actor for Dragos Bucur and Best Director for Porumboiu.
Police, Adjective, which was a double winner at the Cannes Film Festival in France in 2009, also landed accolades for Best Scenario, Best Supporting Role for Vlad Ivanov and Best Photography.
Other winners at the ceremony in Bucharest included filmmaker Radu Milhaileanu's Le concert, which received awards for Best Costumes and Best Original Music, while Hilda Peter walked away with the Best Actress honour for her role in Katalin Varga.
Kenneth Branagh, mostly known for re-envisioning Shakespearian plays for the big screen, apparently wants to break out a little.
According to Variety, he is in negotiations to direct Thor, the next Marvel Comics property that will be turned into a live-action film by Marvel Studios.
Branagh is in good company if he gets the gig, joining the latest string of directors--such as Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Christopher Nolan (the Batman franchise) and Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)--with arthouse roots taking on big-budget comic-book fare.
The Thor comic-book adaptation, penned by Mark Protosevich, follows disabled medical student Donald Blake, who has an alter ego as the hammer-wielding Norse god Thor.
Having been out of the spotlight for a bit, Branagh, who is currently drawing raves on the London stage in the title role of Ivanov, is having a good year. He'll next be seen acting in the Richard Curtis-directed The Boat That Rocked and the Bryan Singer-helmed Valkyrie.
Now, who could play Thor? It'd have to be a big blonde-headed fellow--in fact, Branagh himself could have played him back in the day. They'll probably go with some unknown.
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It's 1987 in Nicolae Ceausescu's totalitarian Romania. University student Gabriela (Laura Vasiliu) nervously packs for a trip of some kind while her more practical roommate Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) tends to various last-minute details. It gradually becomes clear that Otilia is helping her flightier friend arrange an illegal abortion--an offense that will send them both to jail if they're discovered. Things only get worse when the abortionist Bebe (Vlad Ivanov) turns out to be a cold condescending hostile man with his own agenda. As dependable Otilia struggles to juggle her loyalty to her friend with her precarious relationship with chemistry student Adi (Alexandru Potocean) and her own fears she navigates a world that's as bleak as the situation she's facing. 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days offers the kind of challenging roles that many actors dream of and its stars are more than up to the task. The two leads imbue their performances with such a convincing realism that the movie almost feels like a documentary at times. Marinca is particularly strong; Otilia says volumes without speaking a word and sometimes just hearing her ragged breath is enough to let audiences know what she's feeling. Vasiliu meanwhile is both endearing and maddening as Gabriela manipulating her friendship with Otilia to her advantage without any idea of how selfish she's being. Rounding out the core cast is Ivanov whose Bebe is utterly despicable in a contained disciplined way that makes him even more loathsome than a violent brute would be. The fact that the two young women are at his mercy casts a stark light on the realities of life in late-'80s Romania. One of the things that sets so many foreign films apart from their Hollywood-produced cousins is their willingness to linger--on faces conversations difficult images--and 4 Months is no exception. Director Cristian Mungiu offers long unbroken shots of his actors as they talk or think or walk giving the viewers time to take in their emotions--and the actors the time to express those emotions with small gestures and expressions. And he doesn't shy away from the dark side of the world he's re-creating whether it's the literal darkness of the many dank twisting streets Otilia walks through or the more figurative darkness represented by the outcome of Gabriela's abortion. With no musical score to give audiences cues on how to feel 4 Months relies solely on its story to provoke a reaction--and that's more than enough.
Daniel Day-Lewis and French actress Marion Cotillard were both winners at the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards--landing the Best Actor and Actress prizes.
Day-Lewis claimed the honor for his role in There Will Be Blood, which also claimed the Best Film prize on Saturday night, while Cotillard was victorious for her portrayal of French singer Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose.
There Will Be Blood's Paul Thomas Anderson claimed the night's Best Director award, while the other acting honors went to Amy Ryan (Best Supporting Actress for Gone Baby Gone) and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days star Vlad Ivanov (Best Supporting Actor).
COPYRIGHT 2008 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.
Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson's movie epic There Will Be Blood has been named Best Film by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
The film, based on the book Oil! by Upton Sinclair, also garnered three other honors: Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis, Best Director for Anderson and Best Production Design for Jack Fisk.
Marion Cotillard's portrayal of singer Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose won her the Best Actress accolade, while Amy Ryan was praised for her performance in Gone Baby Gone, taking home the Best Supporting Actress award.
Elsewhere, Romanian abortion drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days repeated its success at the Cannes Film Festival to be named Best Foreign Language Film, while star Vlad Ivanov took home the prize for Best Supporting Actor.
The Los Angeles Film Critics Association honours are one of the first groups to voice their opinions on the year's biggest winners in the buildup to the Academy Awards nominations announcement in January.
COPYRIGHT 2007 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.