Redgrave was feted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the first-ever European tribute to an actor.
Playwright David Hare hosted the event, entitled An Academy Salute to Vanessa Redgrave, and paid tribute to the veteran star, declaring, "Wherever you go in the world, people know and admire Vanessa Redgrave. There are not many consistently brilliant 50-year careers in the history of cinema, but hers is one of them."
Hare created three videos highlighting the 74 year old's work and other guests at the gala included Dame Eileen Atkins and Redgrave's daughter Joely Richardson.
Redgrave says, "I am simply amazed by this wonderful tribute. I am immensely grateful to the Academy and to all my colleagues, for thinking of me in this generous way."
Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences President Tom Sherak adds, "Vanessa Redgrave's depth and range as an actress have earned her work the admiration of peers, critics and fans. We are delighted as an organisation to be celebrating her career this evening."
The evening's guests were similarly in awe of Redgrave - Jones, who stars alongside the actress in the current London production of Driving Miss Daisy, raves, "I love this woman. My wife understands. I stand in profound admiration of her courage, both on and off the stage."
Fiennes adds, "I'm honoured and delighted to participate in this celebration of Vanessa Redgrave. She is one of the greatest actresses, inspiring to work with on so many levels. She is unique."
Redgrave received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in Julia in 1977, and she has been nominated a further five times.
Hugh Grant, Sienna Miller and J.K. Rowling were pretty delighted when Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, admitted to and apologized for encouraging News of the World journalists to hack into people's phones and bribe police officers as a means of getting information to print in their successful tabloid magazine. And it's pretty safe to say they were particularly happy when on July 7th, 2011, the paper was shut down after being in print for the last 168 years. But even though the paper has been discontinued and several powerful individuals have been forced to resign from their jobs (such as the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, Sir Paul Stephenson), the investigation into News of the World's conduct continues: on July 15th, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder promised to launch an investigation to determine whether or not Murdoch's company, News Corporation (which has headquarters in the U.S.), had breached the Foreign Corruption Practices Act. Additionally, Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, ordered that Parliament continue to evaluate the ethics of current media practices. And in order to make sure no other publication tries to illegally obtain information the way Murdoch and his employees did, Grant, Miller, Rowling and 43 other public figures "who have, or may have, suffered as a consequence of press activity" will all hare their stories about how News of the World directly targeted them with P.M. Cameron.
Grant is expected to talk about how he recorded a conversation with Paul McMullan (a reporter and photographer for News of the World), who stated that British politicians were aware that reporters had been ordered to tap people's phone lines, and that every Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher had a very close relationship with Murdoch. Miller was one of the celebrities who had her phone hacked into and the content of her voice mail messages published. The tabloid apologized for their actions in June and when she took them to court, News Corporation awarded her 100,000 pounds (or $150,000). And finally, Harry Potter author Rowling will make remarks about how photos of her two-year-old son were published in News of the World, and how people should be able to protect their children from being publicly exposed, even if their parents are in the spotlight.
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Sources: Huffpo, TheMarySue, Wikipedia, Moviefone, TPM
The best way to go into Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is to think of it as the first film in a brand new franchise; a franchise in which mermaids love men zombies won’t eat you and a Fountain of Youth exists but all laws of logic reasoning and competent storytelling don’t. Although screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio were smart enough to sever the narrative ties to the first two sequels in their franchise’s fourth outing the latest swashbuckling adventure in the series shares most of the same faults its predecessors faced.
Director Rob Marshall (Chicago) steps in for Gore Verbinski in On Stranger Tides but you’ll be hard-pressed to find his contributions to the already-flashy film that finds our hero Capt. Jack Sparrow (the inimitable Johnny Depp) on the hunt for the fore mentioned fountain. Of course he’s not the only one looking for eternal life: also in tow are nameless stereotypical Spaniards the English crown headed by a reformed Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and Blackbeard a ruthless pirate who looks and sounds a lot like Ian McShane. Their paths cross on numerous occasions as the story scrambles across the map culminating in a splashy battle in a magical meadow where Ponce de Leon’s greatest discovery lies.
Less a cohesive story and more a collection of individual set pieces linked together by nonsensical dialogue and supernatural occurrences the film isn’t all that hard to follow if you don’t strain yourself doing so. The sequence of events collide so conveniently for the characters you can’t help but call the screenplay anything but the result of complacency while the film itself sails so swiftly from point to point it’s actually a waste of time to dwell on plot holes and motives. Disrupting its momentum (which is one of the few things the film has going for it) is an unwatchable romance between Sam Claflin’s missionary Philip and Syrena (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) one of a handful of murderous mermaids who do battle with Blackbeard’s crew. Their bland courtship will have you begging for Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley to return to the high seas and that’s saying something.
The all-female fish people are one of a few additions to the Pirates world but their effect on the film is negligible outside of being the impetus for the coolest action sequence in the picture and perhaps the most unnerving of the series. The others include Penelope Cruz as Blackbeard’s busty daughter Angelica and Stephen Graham as shipmate Scrum. The former feels out of place among the cartoony happenings but provides much needed sass while the latter fills in for Kevin McNally’s Gibbs for much of the film and is a pleasure to watch for some hammy comedic moments.
As always however this is Depp’s show and he continues to put a smile on my face with his charisma and theatrical presence. Even though he’s operating on autopilot throughout you can’t help but marvel at his energy and enthusiastic output as he literally fuels the fun in the film. The same can be said of Rush who’s given a meatier and more significant arc this time around. He trades quips with Depp as if they were a golden-age comedy duo and they remain the most appealing attraction in the franchise. Though he brings an undeniable sense of danger to the picture I was sadly underwhelmed by McShane’s Blackbeard a character with such a domineering reputation and imposing look he should’ve been stealing scenes left and right. Instead I felt he phoned his performance in though that could’ve been the result of Marshall’s indirection.
No better than the genre-bending original but a slight improvement over Dead Man’s Chest and At Worlds End On Stranger Tides suffers centrally from lack of a commanding captain. Marshall’s role is relegated to merely on-set facilitator or perhaps liaison between legions of talented craftspeople that make the movie look so good. Whatever vision he had for this venture if he had a unique take at all is chewed up and spit out by the engines of the Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster factory rendering the film as mechanical as the ride from which it is based.
The writer passed away in his sleep at his home in Bath, England on Tuesday (04Jan11), his agent has confirmed. He was 88.
King-Smith was one of Britain's best-selling kids authors and often used his love of animals to inspire some of his better-known works, including 1983's The Sheep-Pig, which was turned into a big screen hit with the release of Babe in 1995.
Another novel, 1990's The Water Horse, became a movie in 2007 starring Harry Potter actress Emma Watson and David Morrissey.
He wrote more than 100 books in the last three decades, among them The Invisible Dog, Harriet the Hare and The Witch of Blackberry Bottom, and was handed an Order of the British Empire honour in 2009 for his contributions to the literary world.
He is survived by his second wife Zona and his three children, as well as 14 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
September 17, 2010 10:15am EST
The production, directed by David Cromer and produced by Tony winner Scott Rudin, will open next autumn, a spokesman for the production said on Friday (17Sep10).
Kidman will portray Alexandra Del Lago, the ageing, drunken movie star played by Geraldine Page in the original 1959 production, which co-starred Paul Newman as her character's lover, gigolo Chance Wayne.
Newman also starred in a film version of the play and in the last Broadway revival in 1975.
Kidman previously caused a sensation when she stripped for a brief scene in Broadway's The Blue Room in 1998. The David Hare play - her Broadway debut - drew mixed reviews, reports the New York Post.
Further casting details had not been released as WENN went to press.
The Damages star will play Mike, a past fling of McDormand's character Marge, in the new David Lindsay-Abaire play, about the hopes and struggles of making it in America.
The production will be directed by Tony winner Daniel Sullivan.
Donovan last appeared on Broadway in the 1999 production of David Hare play Amy’s View, which co-starred Judi Dench and Samantha Bond.
Good People is scheduled to begin previews on 8 February (11) with opening night set for 3 March (11).
Fans of true cinema are in for a treat with this next piece of news. City of God and The Constant Gardener director Fernando Meirelles will work with Academy Award nominated wordsmith Peter Morgan on 360, a tale of the sexual mores of various social classes. The script is inspired by Reigen, a play originally written in 1900 by Austrian author Arthur Schnitzler, who wrote the story that inspired Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.
The play has been the subject of a few adaptations in the past, including 1950’s La Ronde, and more recently into 1998's David Hare-penned stage adaptation The Blue Room. This iteration will undoubtedly aim for a wider audience and will need a proper cast to warrant broad appeal. Meirelles, who's last film was the critically despised Blindness, needs a solid piece of work like this to get himself back into the good graces of the collective film community that is still sour over his take on Jose Saramago's brutal piece of literature.
With proper casting, this project could be a real winner. I'm already giddy at the prospect of two of the world's finest cinematic talents working together on material with such depth; big name stars willing to go to unexplored sexual and emotional territory will just heighten my anticipation for the film.
Morgan's next credit goes to Clint Eastwood's supernatural thriller Hereafter, due in theaters this December, while Meirelles has two independent dramas that he produced ready for release sometime this year: Rosa Morena, the story of a man's journey from Denmark to Brazil to get a child, and VIPs, which offers "a human look on the life of one of the biggest frauds in the world happened by important people in Brazil."
Nearly a century and a half after Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland first acquainted readers with the Mad Hatter the Cheshire Cat and the rest of the peculiar inhabitants of author Lewis Carroll’s fertile imagination filmmaking technology has finally developed the tools capable of properly rendering Carroll's exquisitely twisted world on the big screen. And who better to oversee the translation than Tim Burton Hollywood’s foremost mass-market purveyor of dark quirky fantasy? If there’s any director working today who can lay claim to Carroll’s creative inheritance surely it is him.
His creation Alice in Wonderland is fashioned not as an adaptation of Carroll’s two Alice-centered books but rather a kind of sequel to them its titular heroine (Mia Wasikowska) redrawn as the mischievous 19-year-old daughter of English aristocrats. Given more to chasing small animals than attending society functions Alice is the kind of adventurous free-thinking Victorian renegade who thinks nothing of drinking suspicious beverages found at the bottom of rabbit holes.
If only she were more interesting. Burton’s Alice isn’t so much a character as she is a tour guide leading us through the director’s $150 million museum of digital delights. Virtually everything on display in the film from the giant mushrooms of the Underland forest to the bulging eyes of Johnny Depp’s (literally) mercurial Hatter was either created or enhanced inside a computer presumably one with a direct connection to Burton’s cerebral cortex. (Interestingly the enhanced Depp bears a more than passing resemblance to Elijah Wood who the producers could have gotten for a lot less money.) Much like Alice herself it’s gorgeous to look at but never particularly engaging.
Were he alive today — and reasonably coherent — Carroll himself would no doubt marvel at the visual grandeur of Alice in Wonderland its CGI world as detailed and immersive as the most vivid of his migraine-induced hallucinations. But he might frown at the short thrift given to his characters. Esteemed cast members like Anne Hathaway (The White Queen) Crispin Glover (The Knave of Hearts) and even the mighty Depp can’t hope to compete with the beauty of their surroundings — instead of actors chewing the scenery the scenery devours the actors. (A notable exception is Helena Bonham Carter the cast’s lone standout as the screeching acerbic Red Queen.)
Alice in Wonderland is really designed to function as an inoffensive family flick and in that regard it boasts more than enough pretty fluff to keep the minds of most pre-teens occupied for the duration of a Saturday matinee. But afterward they might be hard-pressed to recount details of the story which involves Alice having to find a magic sword so she can slay a giant dragon and unlock the Legend of Zelda. Or something like that.
Filled with moments of fleeting exhilaration and empty whimsy Alice in Wonderland never really grabs the viewer in any meaningful way its overall experience more akin to that of a theme park ride than a movie. Which I half suspect was Disney’s intention all along.
Casting has yet to be finalised, but Pegg will play Burke in the John Landis movie.
Burke and Hare earned notoriety in the 19th century for digging up the dead and selling off cadavers to British medical schools.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
When a strong-willed business woman is suddenly told she might lose her job and be deported to her native Canada she impulsively forces her ever-loyal executive assistant into a shotgun engagement in order to get a green card and stay in the country. The plan gets complicated when the mismatched twosome must go to meet his family in Alaska and convince everyone including a pesky government investigator that their impending marriage is the real thing.
WHO’S IN IT?
Sandra Bullock has never been more appealing in the kind of “tough boss” role normally associated with male actors. The Proposal turns the usual romantic comedy tables around giving Bullock lots to play with — and she certainly makes the most of it painting a hilarious picture of an attractive and surprisingly vulnerable business exec caught in a situation spiraling out of control. Ryan Reynolds’ sitcom expertise is put to good use in the role of her willingly unwilling assistant who must join her charade or risk losing his job. This is Reynolds’ best outing as a rom-com lead yet and he shows he could own the genre if provided the right material. Stealing the movie from both of them however is the irrepressible Betty White who plays Reynolds’ saucy Grammy. Once again the Golden Girls alum proves she has comic timing second to none.
Knowing the standard romantic comedy setup just isn’t going to cut it anymore director Anne Fletcher (Step Up 27 Dresses) turns The Proposal into more of a screwball farce letting the laughs fly without forcing them on us. She’s helped by two game lead players who really know their way around this well-worn genre and provide just the right balance to keep this merry soufflé from falling apart. The breathtaking remote locations (Massachusetts oddly enough substitutes for Alaska) don’t hurt.
No matter how inventive the script it’s pretty obvious where things are going to wind up in any romantic comedy. But The Proposal despite following the standard blueprint still manages to keep us guessing until the very end and that accounts for most of the fun.
A scene in which Bullock and Reynolds accidentally run into each other sans clothing is hilarious worthy of the best farceurs. A close second is a sequence involving a little dog a menacing eagle and a cell phone. Classic stuff.
BEST REASON TO PLOP DOWN 10 BUCKS?
After 60 — count ‘em 60 — years in show business with six Emmys and numerous TV series to show for it Betty White at age 87 still proves there can be second third and even fourth acts in life. She gives a movie star turn here that shows everyone how it’s done.
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX?
As an alternative to big summer action flicks and gross-out comedies The Proposal is definitely the date movie du jour.