Actor Damian Lewis teamed up with singer Sheryl Crow to play a game of charades against British comedian Steve Coogan and Jimmy Fallon on the TV host's Late Night With Jimmy Fallon talk show on Thursday (14Nov13). Lewis and Crow managed to crush the competition after successfully guessing clues including films Black Swan and A Chorus Line.
"We pulled it off. It was tough. They were in there for a long time discussing it, but it went our way, so I'm very happy." Actor/writer Steve Coogan is thrilled bosses at the Motion Picture Association of America saw sense on Wednesday (13Nov13) and agreed to drop the restrictive 'R' rating from his new movie Philomena. The film, starring Coogan and Dame Judi Dench will now hit cinemas in the U.S. with a family-friendly 'PG-13' rating.
Dame Judi Dench's final turn as James Bond's boss M has helped movie mogul Harvey Weinstein win an appeal to lower the age rating for the actress' new film. The Brit brought her Skyfall character back from the dead for a skit aimed at winning over bosses at the Motion Picture Association of America's Classification and Ratings Administration Board, who had slapped a restrictive 'R' rating on her film Philomena.
The ruse has now paid off as executives at The Weinstein Co. have won their appeal to land a family-friendly PG-13 rating.
Producers argued that the film's two 'f' words did not warrant an 'R' rating.
The film's star Steve Coogan joined TWC executives at the appeals hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday (13Nov13).
A jubilant Weinstein says, "We owe this victory to Barbara Broccoli, producer of the James Bond series, Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes who because of their relationship with Judi Dench gave permission to spoof the ratings system using the M character.
"We know that went a long way into shedding light on the themes of the movie and the fact that the PG-13 rating was correct. We are glad the MPAA has a good sense of humour and, with the co-operation of Barbara and her team, it was proven once again no one does it better than James Bond. And my sincerest congratulations to Steve Coogan, who went to the MPAA and defended the case personally."
Coogan also wrote the screenplay for the film, about an Irish woman on a hunt for the son who was adopted as a child without her permission.
British star Steve Coogan had to read the entire first draft of the screenplay for his new movie Philomena to Dame Judi Dench - because the actress was battling eyesight issues at the time. The comedian was desperate to land the actress as his leading lady in the film, which is based on a real-life Irish woman's search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption as a baby, and agreed to read to her in a bid to convince Dench to sign on.
The Skyfall star revealed last year (12) that she had been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, explaining that script reading had become problematic, but Coogan didn't mind reading to her and the two Brits enjoyed sessions in her garden.
The idea worked - Dench tells Entertainment Weekly magazine, "By the end of it there was no question in my mind that I wanted to do it."
But Coogan had a few reservations because he feared the actress would be too frail for his work schedule.
He adds, "It was a big ask. Judi would have to be there (on set) at 6.30am every day for a long time. But I knew she was feisty."
The two stars' gamble paid off and now the film is winning acclaim among critics around the world.
And Dench hopes her work on the project will put paid to reports suggesting her eyesight issues will end her career: "That was ridiculous! I'm not going blind. Hundreds of thousands of people have got the same thing (condition), and you just get on with it."
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).
"She was appalled at my bad taste, so sometimes she would rebuke me and tell me off, but I think she liked the fact that I was cheeky. She's used to people treating her with this deference because she's a Dame, and I think she finds that boring." Comedian Steve Coogan amused Philomena co-star Dame Judi Dench with his naughty jokes in between takes on the set of the new film.
Dame Judi Dench has brought her James Bond character M back from the dead to appeal a restrictive U.S. rating for her new movie Philomena. The British acting icon portrayed the head of the Secret Intelligence Service MI6 in seven of the Bond films, until she was killed off in 2012's Skyfall.
However, Dench has revisited one of her most famous roles for a campaign video as part of producer Harvey Weinstein's bid to convince censors at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to lower the 'R' rating for Philomena, a true story about a Catholic woman who tries to track down the son she was forced to give up for adoption at birth.
During a TV appearance in America on Thursday (07Nov13), Weinstein debuted a clip of the video, in which Dench appears in her late character's London office and quips, "Just when you thought I was dead..." She then begins to detail a new job for a mystery agent, stating, "I have an important mission for you. Are you familiar with MPAA?"
Weinstein reveals he sought the permission of Bond bosses before shooting the video, explaining, "With the blessing of Barbara Broccoli and the Bond team, M has returned from the dead to fight this battle. The appeal is on Wednesday, and M has risen from the dead."
The Hollywood producer is determined to win a revised PG-13 rating for the emotional drama to allow children over 13 to see the film without parental guidance, because he is convinced there is nothing offensive in the movie.
He says, "There are two F-words in the movie - you're allowed one F (for a PG-13 rating)... The movie is the gentlest, most wonderful true story, filled with humour and joy. They should just put 'PG-13 strong language' on this and make an exception."
Dench's co-star Steve Coogan also features in the campaign video, which will premiere in full on the comedy website FunnyorDie.com.
Philomena is scheduled for release in the U.S. later this month (Nov13).
Weinstein has become a regular MPAA visitor in recent years and won a ratings appeal in 2010 after movie bosses gave his film The Kings Speech a hard R rating. He also challenged them over the NC-17 rating of another movie, Blue Valentine.
Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is to appeal against U.S. censors' decision to give his studio's latest film an 'R' rating. Philomena, staring Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, is set for release in the U.S. over Thanksgiving next month (Nov13) but will be given the country's second highest restriction.
Bosses at the Weinstein Company argue the 'R' rating given to the film by officials at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) will affect the number of cinema-goers who can see it.
The rating means anyone under the age of 17 will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. In the U.K., the film has been given a 12A rating by the British Board of Film Classification, meaning over-12s can view it unaccompanied.
Italian movie Sacro Gra has become the first-ever documentary to win the coveted Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival after seeing off competition from a number of Hollywood offerings. The event's top trophy was handed out on Saturday (07Sep13) and Sacro GRA's win also marked the first time an Italian project has won the prize in 15 years.
The documentary, by filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi, beat out a number of notable entries, including Stephen Frears' Philomena, starring Dame Judi Dench, which took the Best Screenplay award for writer Steve Coogan.
Scarlett Johansson's Under The Skin, Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theorem starring Christoph Waltz and Matt Damon, Zac Efron's Parkland and Nicolas Cage film Joe all failed to win any prizes in the competition.
The Silver Lion trophy for best director went to Greek moviemaker Alexandros Avranas for his drama Miss Violence, while the film's star, Themis Panou, was named best actor.
The Jury Grand Prize went to retiring Chinese director Tsai Ming-Liang's Stray Dogs and the Special Jury Prize was awarded to Philip Groning's The Police Officer's Wife.
British actor James Buckley failed to land a role in Steve Coogan's Alan Partridge movie after falling apart with nerves during his audition. The Inbetweeners star was invited to read for a part in the comedy character's big screen debut, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, which opened at the top of the U.K. box office last weekend (09-11Aug13).
However, the read-through proved too much for Buckley, who is a huge fan of Coogan's work.
Telling fans of his embarrassing time in front of the film's producers, the star writes in a post on Twitter.com, "I read for a part in Alpha Papa. Embarrassingly I'm such a Coogan geek I was literally starstruck of the script (sic). Was V (very) nervous, I wasn't cast."
The film co-stars Sean Pertwee and Colm Meaney.