Jude Law, Dame Helen Mirren and Doctor Who star Matt Smith helped raise more than $155,000 (£100,000) for charity by taking part in a one-off play in London on Monday (01Jul13). British actor Luke Treadaway enlisted his real-life neighbour Law to co-star with him in the special production, while Mirren, Smith, Skyfall's Ben Whishaw and Sherlock star Andrew Scott appeared in video clips during the West End gala.
Treadaway was inspired to spearhead the benefit for autism charities after playing a teenager with the disorder in U.K. stage show The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
He tells the London Evening Standard, "Jude and I hadn't practised before Sunday but we rehearsed for two hours... in his garden. Everyone has been so lovely to come and do this, I couldn't have asked for a better reaction."
Law, who personally handed over $15,500 (£10,000) to the event, adds, "I'm just here to enjoy the show. I'm doing it because Luke asked me to."
Rocker Chris Martin matched Law's donation, and brought the evening at the Apollo Theatre to a close by performing Coldplay hits Viva la Vida and Paradise.
A Curious Night at the Theatre generated more than $155,000 (£100,000), which will go towards the U.K. organisations Ambitious about Autism and The National Autistic Society.
Garden gnomes decorated by stars including Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Maggie Smith for this year's (13) Chelsea Flower Show in London have raised $43,000 (£28,000) for charity. Sir Elton John's gnome was the star attraction - it sold for $7,900 (£5,100).
Sir Elton John has lent his artistic talents to a prestigious annual flower show in London by decorating a garden gnome to raise money for charity. Organisers of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show have previously banned the inclusion of gnomes in their outdoor displays, but they lifted the ruling to invite a number of stars to design their own in support of a campaign to educate children about gardening.
The Your Song hitmaker signed and styled his gnome to resemble one of the characters from 2011 animated film Gnomeo & Juliet, which was produced by his film company.
The singer also donated a signed set of the Gnomeo & Juliet figurines, which will be displayed along with other gnomes which have painted and signed by stars including Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Maggie Smith.
The gnomes will be on display for the duration of the Flower Show at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, London this month (21-25May13) and later auctioned on eBay.com to raise money for the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, a nationwide drive to encourage youngsters to take up green-fingered activities.
David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
It seems like a missed opportunity to call a movie Saving Mr. Banks, when it could just as appropriately be named after a far more recognizable P.L. Travers character: Saving Mary Poppins. But then again, the title could be an apology for the lack of subtlety in Disney's film adaptation of Mary Poppins, with which author Travers took issue — her displeasure with the movie is the focus of Saving Mr. Banks, after all. Plus, the title as it stands was enough to rope in new A-list cast members Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson. Still, Saving Mary Poppins seemed like a safer bet.
Alas, Saving Mr. Banks will feature Thompson as Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (born Helen Lyndon Goff — but you know writers), during negotiations to sell the rights to her now iconic character to Disney for a film adaptation. Hanks will embody Walt Disney himself, probably downplaying the head-freezing and anti-Semitism, who spent 14 years trying to convince Travers to accept a business relationship with his company.
As previously noted, Saving Mr. Banks will focus on Travers' eventual dissatisfaction with the otherwise cherished Disney movie, which suggests that the film might lean towards the promotion of artistic integrity, and the evils of selling out. The title refers to the Mary Poppins character Mr. Banks, as played by David Tomlinson in the '64 film.
John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, The Rookie) is set to direct, despite the fact that this doesn't appear to be a sports movie that will make you cry a little.
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The Queen star was horrified to learn that parts of the King Edward Memorial Park in Shadwell, east London will be dug up as part of a $5.76 billion (£3.6 billion) project to install a 20 mile (32 kilometre)-long sewer underneath the River Thames.
She's added her name to a growing petition to keep the area intact and says, "I give my full support to the SaveKEMP campaign.
"As a local resident I am aware how little green space there is in our area and hope that the beautiful King Edward VII Memorial Park Green continues to be a garden space for the many local people, who have nowhere else to enjoy a garden environment."
It can’t just ALL be about a boy wizard named Harry Potter. There have to be other fantasy-driven stories grounded in reality that are just as exciting. And so there is: The Spiderwick Chronicles a series of short books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black which tells us about the magical creatures who live around us but who remain invisible so we humans won’t freak out. Probably a wise choice for most but there are a few who want to see the creatures. One such person is Arthur Spiderwick (David Strathairn) a turn-of-the-century naturalist who has witnessed the likes of sprites goblins hobgoblins ogres and trolls at work. He has documented their secrets and habits in his Field Guide--a book that if placed in the wrong hands could make some fantastical beast maliciously omnipotent. Jump ahead some 80 years when we meet Spiderwick’s descendents the Grace family who have moved into his dilapidated house in the woods. Newly divorced mom Helen (Mary-Louise Parker) has uprooted her kids--teenage Mallory (Sarah Bolger) and twins Jared and Simon (both Freddie Highmore)--to start a new life with Jared being the one protesting the loudest. That is until he finds Spiderwick’s field guide and quite literally opens Pandora’s box giving evil ogre Mulgarath (Nick Nolte) who has desperately wanted the book since its inception the window of opportunity he’s been waiting for. The Grace kids have to band together--with a few otherworldly allies of course--to protect the book at all costs. Although Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) struggles at times with the American accent the young British lad continues to prove his worthiness in the acting department--and joins the ranks of playing twins onscreen that dates back to Patty Duke on The Patty Duke Show (yes they were just cousins but they were identical cousins). Highmore does a nice job distinguishing between the two boys but he seems to have the most fun playing Jared. And rightly so since Jared is the true hero of the story. He is deeply wounded by his parents’ divorce blaming his mother for it all but in discovering this magical and dangerous world that goes way beyond his personal problems he quickly snaps to it. Bolger (In America) too takes her clichéd older-sister-who-knows-everything role and freshens it up adding a fierce determination to protect her family--with an expressive face that makes her very watchable. The adult cast isn’t nearly as important but they all fit in nicely especially Joan Plowright as Great Aunt Lucinda Spiderwick’s 80-something daughter who saw her father taken away by sylphs the keepers of the faeries’ secrets when she was 6 and has been trying to explain it ever since. Then there are the voices of some of the creatures the Graces meet including Martin Short as the ever-faithful house brownie Thimbletack; Seth Rogen as the hobgoblin Hogsqueal a piggish and friendly fellow whose spit in the eye gives you the Sight; and Nolte as the horrible villainous Mulgarath. OK all those who believe in faeries raise your hand! The Spiderwick Chronicles is just the kind of story that gets an imaginative kid to run out to the garden to start looking for sprites and director Mark Waters inherently understands this. Better known for his comedies such as Mean Girls and Freaky Friday Waters nonetheless grabs hold of the Spiderwick’s mythology and firmly plants it in reality with normal modern kids encountering a whole magical realm. Taking from the illustrations of co-author Tony DiTerlizzi Waters also gives us new versions of magical creatures we’ve read about for ages. Goblins for example look like giant frogs and act like attack dogs in this film as opposed to the more civilized view of them in the Harry Potter books--and goblins in Spiderwick can be killed by tomato sauce which melts them. Nice touch. Trolls too aren’t great big lumbering fellows but more dinosaur-like in Spiderwick. And let’s just say ogre Mulgarath looks nothing like Shrek but more so a devilish creature with yellow eyes and great big horns. Spiderwick is indeed scary at times maybe too scary for the younger kids but the action sequences and chase scenes are thrilling enough to keep everyone else’s attention.
The Queen and its star, Helen Mirren, were the big winners at Sunday’s Orange British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs), winning the Best Film and Best Actress awards.
Elsewhere, Forest Whitaker won the Best Actor prize for Last King of Scotland, Little Miss Sunshine star Alan Arkin won Best Supporting Actor and Jennifer Hudson won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Dreamgirls.
The ceremony took place at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden.
The full list of winners is as follows:
The Academy Fellowship: Anne V. Coates
Film: The Queen
The Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema: Nick Daubeny
The Alexander Korda Award for the Outstanding British Film of the Year: Last King of Scotland
The Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer in Their First Feature Film: Andrea Arnold, Red Road
The David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction: United 93, Paul Greengrass
Original Screenplay: Little Miss Sunshine, Michael Arndt
Adapted Screenplay: Last King of Scotland, Peter Morgan/Jeremy Brock
Film Not in the English Language: Pan's Labyrinth
Animated Feature Film: Happy Feet
Actor in a Leading Role: Forest Whitaker, Last King of Scotland
Actress in a Leading Role: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Actor in a Supporting Role: Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
Actress in a Supporting Role: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
The Anthony Asquith Award for Achievement in Film Music: Babel, Gustavo Santaolalla
Cinematography: Children of Men, Emmanuel Lubezki
Editing: United 93, Clare Douglas/Christopher Rouse/Richard Pearson
Production Design: Children of Men, Jim Clay/Geoffrey Kirkland/Jennifer Williams
Costume Design: Pan's Labyrinth, Lala Huete
Sound: Casino Royale, Chris Munro/Eddy Joseph/Mike Prestwood Smith/Martin Cantwell/Mark Taylor
Achievement in Special Visual Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, John Knoll/Hal Hickel/Charles Gibson/Allen L. Hall
Makeup & Hair: Pan's Labyrinth, Jose Quetglas/Blanca Sanchez
Short Animation Film: Guy 101, Ian Gouldstone
Short Film: Do Not Erase, Asitha Ameresekere
The Orange Rising Star Award: Eva Green
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