Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
For a film that involves a love triangle, mental illness, a Bohemian colony of free-spirits, an impending war and several important historical figures, the most exciting elements of Summer in February are the stunning shots of the English country and Cornish seaside. The rest of the film never quite lives up to the crashing waves and sun-dappled meadows that are used to bookend the scenes, as the entertaining opening never manages to coalesce into a story that lives up the the cinematography, let alone the lives of the people that inspired it.
Set in an Edwardian artist’s colony in Cornwall, Summer in February tells the story of A.J. Munnings (Dominic Cooper), who went on to become one of the most famous painters of his day and head of the Royal Academy of Art, his best friend, estate agent and part-time soldier Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens), and the woman whom they both loved, aspiring artist Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning). Her marriage to Munnings was an extremely unhappy one, and she attempted suicide on their honeymoon, before killing herself in 1914. According to his journals, Gilbert and Florence were madly in love, although her marriage and his service in the army kept them apart.
When the film begins, Munnings is the center of attention in the Lamorna Artist's Colony, dramatically reciting poetry at parties and charming his way out of his bar tab while everyone around him proclaims him to be a genius. When he’s not drinking or painting, he’s riding horses with Gilbert, who has the relatively thankless task of keeping this group of Bohemians in line. Their idyllic existence is disrupted by the arrival of Florence, who has run away from her overbearing father and the fiancé he had picked out for her in order to become a painter.
Stevens and Browning both start the film solidly, with enough chemistry between them to make their infatuation interesting. He manages to give Gilbert enough dependable charm to win over both Florence and the audience, and she presents Florence as someone with enough spunk and self-possession to go after what she wants. Browning’s scenes with Munnings are equally entertaining in the first third of the film, as she can clearly see straight through all of his bravado and he is intrigued by her and how difficult she is to impress. Unfortunately, while the basis of the love triangle is well-established and entertaining, it takes a sudden turn into nothing with a surprise proposal from Munnings.
Neither the film nor Browning ever make it clear why Florence accepts his proposal, especially when they have both taken great pains to establish that she doesn’t care much for him. But once she does, the films stalls, and both Stevens and Browning spend the rest of the film doing little more than staring moodily and longingly at the people around them. The real-life Florence was plagued by depression and mental instability, but neither the film nor Browning’s performance ever manage to do more than give the subtlest hint at that darkness. On a few occasions, Browning does manage to portray a genuine anguish, but rather than producing any sympathy from the audience, it simply conjures up images of a different film, one that focused more on Florence, and the difficulties of being a woman with a mental illness at a time when both were ignored or misunderstood.
Stevens is fine, and Gilbert starts out with the same kind of good-guy appeal the won the heart of Mary Crawley and Downton Abbey fans the world over. However, once the film stalls, so does his performance, and he quickly drops everything that made the character attractive or interesting in favor of longing looks and long stretches of inactivity. He does portray a convincing amount of adoration for Florence, although that's about the only real emotion that Gilbert expresses for the vast majority of the film, and even during his love scene, he never manages to give him any amount of passion.
Cooper does his best with what he’s given, and tries his hardest to imbue the film with some substance and drama. His Munnings is by turns charming, brash, and brooding, the kind of person who has been told all of their life that they are special, and believes it. He even manages to give the character some depth, and even though he and Browning have very little chemistry, he manages to convey a genuine affection for her. It’s a shame that Munnings becomes such a deeply unlikable character, because Cooper is the only thing giving Summer in February a jolt of life – even if it comes via bursts of thinly-explained hostility. It's hard to watch just how hard he's working to connect with his co-stars and add some excitement to a lifeless script and not wish that he had a better film to show off his talents in.
Unfortunately, by the time Florence and Gilbert are finally spurred into activity, the film has dragged on for so long that you’re no longer invested in the characters, their pain, or their love story, even if you want to be. Which is the real disappointment of Summer in February; underneath the stalled plot and the relatively one-note acting, there are glimmers of a fascinating and compelling story that’s never allowed to come to the forefront.
Bono's actress daughter Eve Hewson is heading to the small screen after landing a role in Steven Soderbergh's upcoming TV series The Knick. The This Must Be The Place star, 22, has been cast alongside Clive Owen in the 10-part show, which is based in 1900s New York and will centre around groundbreaking surgeons and staff at Knickerbocker Hospital during a period of high mortality rates and a lack of antibiotics.
Kristen Stewart's ex-boyfriend Michael Angarano has also joined the line-up, which includes Andre Holland and Sinister's Juliet Rylance, according to Deadline.com.
Production on the programme, which will air on America's Cinemax cable network, is due to begin in late September (13).
Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan's actor son is teaming up with Irish rocker Bono's daughter to make an independent movie. The Hunger Games star Jack Quaid and actress Eve Hewson are asking fans to help them fund new film #Roadies by making donations via their page on the crowdsourcing website Indiegogo.com.
The filmmakers behind the project have set a goal of $7,000 (£4,500) to cover costs on the upcoming road-trip shoot across Los Angeles, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico.
The cast and crew have agreed to work for free, and Quaid and Hewson are offering prizes such as personal tweets, autographed photos, DVDs and thank-you cards as rewards for those who donate.
A message on the Indiegogo page for #Roadies states, "We are the new generation of filmmakers. We are young. We are passionate. And we are ready to make a difference in the world of cinema."
Bono and Denzel Washington brought some superstar glamour to graduation day in New York on Wednesday (22May13) as the celebrated their daughters' academic achievements. The pair was in attendance at Yankee Stadium for the New York University's graduation ceremony, and watched proudly as their girls graduated.
The U2 rocker's 21-year-old actress daughter Eve Hewson picked her diploma, as did Olivia Washington.
Bono had been offered an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by university bosses, but decided to turn down the honour so he could concentrate on cheering on his daughter's achievements.
Washington had double the reason to feel proud - he attended his son Malcolm's graduation from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia last week (13May13).
Malcolm excelled at the Ivy League school, playing basketball and earning a degree in film studies.
U2 rocker Bono has turned down the chance to receive an honorary degree during his daughter's graduation ceremony in New York next week (begs20May13). The Irish frontman's 21-year-old daughter Eve Hewson will receive her degree from New York University on 22 May (13), and college chiefs offered her famous father a honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on the same day.
However, the musician has decided against accepting the honour so he can concentrate on cheering on his daughter's achievements.
A representative for Bono tells New York Post gossip column Page Six, "Bono was hugely honoured to be asked by NYU to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. Given his daughter is part of the graduating class, they discussed the invitation as a family and decided they wanted to keep the day a quiet one for the family in which Bono could simply be a very proud father."
"The last time I had a conscious growing-up feeling was probably when I started growing boobs. It's a devastating moment. I always wanted to be a boy when I was younger - I dressed as a boy, I cut my hair off. But then I grew up and people couldn't mistake me for a boy anymore." Rocker Bono's actress daughter Eve Hewson was devastated when she hit puberty.
"My school is very strict. If you miss more than two classes they dock your grades. So if you have to leave for an audition it's not good news." Bono's actress daughter Eve Hewson on juggling her studies at New York University with her career.
The Oscar-winning actor reached the milestone in August 2010 while he was filming This Must Be The Place, alongside Bono's daughter Eve Hewson, in the Irish capital.
He left his birthday celebrations in the hands of the U2 rocker, who organised a bash with guests including the actor's children and country legend Kris Kristofferson - and Penn was delighted with the party.
The star tells Britain's Telegraph magazine, "He (Bono) takes us to lunch, then on a literary walking tour, then up the stairs of some famous pub - and there waiting are (folk band) the Dubliners. They play for five hours, my son sits in on guitar, we drink Guinness...
"And he didn't just sing me Happy Birthday. He sang me (Me and) Bobby McGee (by Kristofferson)."
The Oscar-winning actor reaches the milestone on Tuesday (17Aug10) but he broke out the champagne early for a boozy bash in Dublin, Ireland.
He is currently in the Irish capital filming This Must Be The Place alongside Bono's daughter Eve Hewson, but he took time out on Saturday (14Aug10) to party with the U2 star, his own son Hopper and daughter Dylan, and country legend Kris Kristofferson.
The group gathered at the Samsara Bar for a special party organised by Bono before heading to the nearby O'Donohue's pub, where the rocker and the birthday boy enjoyed a singsong late into the night.
On Sunday (15Aug10), Penn joined Bono for lunch at celebrity chef Marco Pierre White's Steakhouse and Grill - but Penn was clearly feeling the effects of the night before, leaving the eaterie after just two hours while Bono continued to party into the early evening.
U2 singer Bono is a father again. Bono's wife Ali gave birth Monday morning to a baby boy. The child is the couple's fourth, following two daughters, Jordan, 11, and Eve, 9, and son Elijah, 21 months old, Reuters reported. The boy, who is not yet named, weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces at birth. Bono, named Paul Hewson at birth, left U2's North American tour to be with his family, and expects to rejoin the tour Thursday.