The bridal gown Princess Diana wore when she wed Britain's Prince Charles in 1981 is set to be handed over to the couple's sons William and Harry, 17 years after her tragic death. Diana stipulated in her will that the silk and taffeta lace dress, designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, should be given to her boys once her youngest, Prince Harry, turns 30. He will reach the age milestone on 15 September (14).
The iconic outfit, which featured 10,000 pearls and boasted a 25-foot (7.62-metre) train, has been in the possession of the late princess' brother, Charles Spencer, since Diana lost her life in a car crash in Paris, France in 1997.
He previously used it as the centrepiece of the Spencer family museum at Althorp in Northamptonshire, England, where it remained on display for over 10 years from 1998.
It is not yet known what Princes William and Harry plan to do with the dress.
Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn is set to get the big screen treatment yet again in an upcoming biopic. Independent film producers are developing a new film about the iconic actress based on author William J. Mann's book, Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn.
British director Clare Beavan has been tapped to helm the film, while the screenwriting team of Michael Zam and Jaffe Cohen, who wrote Best Actress about Joan Crawford and Bette Davis' rivalry, are set to adapt the book for film.
Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn will focus on her early years in movies and how she went from an outsider to becoming one of the most beloved stars of Hollywood's Golden Age.
Earlier this year (14), bosses at Reunion Pictures announced they are also in the process of developing a film centred around Hepburn and her 25-year love affair with Spencer Tracy.
Martin Freeman's stage turn as Richard Iii has divided critics, with reviewers branding the actor's performance "highly intelligent" but "disappointingly underpowered". The Hobbit star takes on the role of William Shakespeare's villainous king in a new production at London's Trafalgar Studios theatre which opened on Wednesday night (09Jul14).
The production had previously been hit with reports suggesting overzealous Freeman fans had been creating a distraction by whooping and cheering throughout the show, but critics reported the audience on press night was well behaved.
However, many theatre reviewers were underwhelmed by the show, with Charles Spencer of Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper calling the production "unnecessarily complicated" and insisting Freeman's turn in the title role was "disappointingly underpowered", adding, "There were moments when your reviewer was tempted to stand up and boo."
The Guardian's Michael Billington calls Freeman's performance "highly accomplished" but insists the staging of the play "doesn't make total sense", while The Independent's Paul Taylor adds, "Freeman gives a highly intelligent, calculatedly understated performance... (but) Freeman doesn't radiate a sufficiently dangerous sense of unpredictability."
However, Ben Dowell of the Radio Times was full of praise for The Office star, writing, "Freeman does not disappoint... (His) talent lies in creating something frighteningly ordinary about his villainy."
Freeman follows in the footsteps of stars including Laurence Olivier, Sir Alec Guinness, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Sir Ian McKellen, who have all played the murderous king on the stage.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
Unfortunately saddled with one of those titles that leaves itself open to pun-filled reviews , there's not much truth to be found in The Truth About Emanuel, a film that's sadly unaware with how utterly ridiculous it comes across to the viewer.
The story follows Emanuel (Katia Scodelario), a surly teenager who's closing in on 18, but still feels pangs of guilt due to the fact that her mother died while giving birth to her. She takes out her anger on her new stepmom (Frances O'Connor), and her doting father (Alfred Molina) struggles to understand the fire burning inside his daughter. Emanuel begins to connect with her mysterious new neighbor Linda (Jessica Biel), who Emanuel agrees to babysit for.
The film's twist, which is revealed within the first act of the movie, is that Linda's daughter isn't a real baby, but a doll that Linda thinks is real and is using as a coping mechanism. Not wanting to break the spell that Linda has cast on herself, Emanuel goes along with Linda's psychosis, and what follows is a ridiculous game of "keep away" (or, better put, "pretend the baby is alive") like some twisted, direct-to-DVD sequel of Weekend at Bernie's. Emanuel bends over backwards to prevent anyone to get a glimpse at the plastic baby, and the last hour of the movie feels like a rejected C-plot of the worst mid-'80s sitcom never created.
The film's two protagonists are flip sides of the same grief stricken coin. Emanuel is a daughter riddled with the guilt over killing her mother, while Linda's very being is swallowed up by the loss of her child. The film wants to say some very poignant things about loss and grief, but even without the fake baby plotline flinging the story down into the bowels of unintentional farce, the film's writing is still too blunt and sloppy to express its ideas well. The characters ring false and the script clunks and clatters its whole way through with groan inducing lines. Adding the baby plotline on top of all that ensures that almost nothing in this film that comes off as "true."
There is a film in here somewhere that could have carried the story about the coping mechanisms we build to escape our grief, but The Truth About Emanuel just isn’t self aware enough to know how ridiculous it comes across, and the cast just isn't up to task to sell a dramatic story that could have just as easily worked as the main gag in a backburner SNL skit.
Thor star Tom Hiddleston has won rave reviews for his "stellar" performance in a new London stage production of Coriolanus. The Avengers actor is the latest big name to tackle one of William Shakespeare's plays in the British capital this season, competing with Jude Law's Hamlet and David Tennant in Richard II, which are both on stage this month (Dec13).
Hiddleston takes on the lead role in the tragedy, which opened at the Donmar Warehouse on Tuesday night (17Dec13), and his turn as the troubled Roman general has thrilled theatre critics.
Paul Taylor of The Independent brands Hiddleston "magnificent", adding that he gives a "central performance of blazing stellar power and intelligence," while The Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer writes, "(The show is) often exciting and intense, with Hiddleston delivering a powerhouse performance in the title role... The mixture of charisma and emotional truth in Hiddleston's performance is very special indeed."
Michael Billington of The Guardian calls the play a "fast, witty, intelligent production," adding "Tom Hiddleston boasts a fine Coriolanus," and the London Evening Standard's Henry Hitchings concludes, "Tom Hiddleston returns to the London stage with a compelling performance... He does an impressive job of suggesting the emotional inadequacy of this self-deluding, impulsive loner..."
Speaking after the opening night performance, Hiddleston insisted he was delighted to be back on the London stage: "It's such a privilege to come back. I've been wanting to do it for a long time and specifically to do it at the Donmar with Shakespeare which is where it started for me. Shakespeare led me to super heroes."
Hiddleston has previously credited the venue with launching his blockbuster movie career as Thor director Kenneth Branagh first spotted him on stage at the theatre in a production of Othello with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ewan McGregor.
British actor Jude Law has won a round of rave reviews from theatre critics for his portrayal of William Shakespeare's tragic king Henry V. The Sherlock Holmes star plays the title role in a revival of the Bard's classic work which opened at London's Noel Coward theatre on Tuesday night (03Dec13).
Law, who has previously starred in Hamlet both in the West End and on Broadway, has won over critics with his latest stage outing, landing a five-star review from Charles Spencer of Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, who called the actor's turn a "terrific star performance".
He adds, "Jude Law, relatively short of stature and with a receding hairline, initially looks an unlikely hero, but this is one of the richest and most detailed performances of Henry V that I have ever seen... You leave the theatre in no doubt that you have witnessed a production of rare distinction and dramatic depth."
Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail, writes, "(Henry V) is a 'big ask', as rugby coaches say, and Jude Law answers it. He is fit enough physically to wear period battledress without looking silly. He glowers beautifully, even if he resembles a slimmed down Phil Collins...
Henry V is not the Bard's greatest play... Yet under Mr (Michael) Grandage's assured direction and with Mr Law's magnetism, this show has a puissance of its own."
Michael Billington of The Guardian concludes, "Law's complex portrait of Shakespeare's contradictory king... is far and away the most fascinating aspect of an efficient, well-managed production... Law, sturdily built and with receding hairline, looks more mature than many Henries. That helps to explain the purposeful gravity he brings to the opening scenes."
He also call hails the actor's performance as "richly layered" and insists it "shows Jude Law maturing with age and getting under the skin of a character."
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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Prince William and Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge have thanked hospital staff for the "tremendous care" they have received following the birth of their baby boy on Monday (22Jul13). The royal couple welcomed a son at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London and the new parents are grateful for the help from medical staff.
A statement issued on Tuesday (23Jul13) reads: “We would like to thank the staff at the Lindo Wing and the whole hospital for the tremendous care the three of us have received. We know it has been a very busy period for the hospital and we would like to thank everyone - staff, patients and visitors - for their understanding during this time.”
Prince William's uncle, Charles Spencer, has added his congratulations to the many well wishes already received.
He tells People.com in a statement, "Such lovely news."
Spencer also recalled memories of his nephew's birth 31 years ago, when he was an 18-year-old student.
He continues, "The teacher rushed into my bedroom to tell me the good news, a bottle of champagne in his hands. Now, 31 years on... we're celebrating this family addition with just as much happiness."
The Duchess' parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, were the first official visitors to see the new baby on Tuesday.
One of the most difficult things about being Spider-Man is getting into the suit. It is pretty tight, after all. And it's especially difficult when you've got hair as luscious as Andrew Garfield's. Do you slick the mask back over your carefully gelled hair, or do you just throw it on as quickly as possible? How does Spider-Man have time to keep his tresses so excellent in the time constraits he's faced with? Where there's a web, there's a way.
Unfortunately, we don't have any hair tips for you, but check out Garfield and his stunt double William Spencer contemplate the best way to keep their locks looking fabulous under the Spidey mask, and take a gander at our gallery to see other celebs and their stunt doubles.
15 Celebrities and Their Stunt Doubles
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