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Entries in Colin Firth (21)

Thursday
Dec172015

Berlinale - Which films will Meryl Streep soon be judging?

Murtada here to talk Berlinale which runs February 11th through the 21st. The Berlin Film Festival just announced titles for its Panorama section. These are possibly movies we will be talking about all through 2016, as we are still talking about 45 Years which made its debut there all the way back in February.

Gerwig and Hawke in Maggie's Plan

Among the titles is TIFF and NYFF entry Maggie’s Plan from director writer Rebecca Miller and starring Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke and Julianne Moore. Gerwig has admitted during a Q&A at NYFF that she based her character’s look on Miller’s style. That got us fantasizing that the movie is a roman a clef about how Miller married Daniel Day Lewis soon after he was involved with Isabelle Adjani. After all Moore is playing a sorta crazy European.

Another interesting title is John Michael McDonagh’s War on Everyone with Michael Pena, Alexander Skarsgard and Theo James. All you fans of The Guard should be excited. Other titles include films from Ghana, Morocco and of course France. The full list is here.

 

Firth and Law in Genius

But more importantly who does Meryl get to judge as president of the jury?

First is Michael Grandage’s Genius which stars the man who presented her with that 3rd Oscar and her co-star from The Hours. Genius tells the true story of the relationship between famous American novelist Thomas Wolfe (played by Jude Law) and iconic editor Max Perkins (Colin Firth). Nicole Kidman is playing Aline Bernstein a costume designer who was in a romantic relationship with Wolfe. Other literary greats depicted in the film are Ernest Hemingway (Dominic West ) and F Scott Fitzgerald (Guy Pearce).

Previously thought to be premiering at SXSW, Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special will now premiere first at Berlin. Starring Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton and Kirsten Dunst, it’s the tale of a boy who may have supernatural powers and all the bad guys in his pursuit.

Actor/Director Vincent Perez (Queen Margot) rallied up Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson to play a couple who start working against the Nazis after the death of their only son during WWII in Alone in Berlin. Daniel Bruhl is the SS Officer on their tail in the first of two 2016 movies where he plays a member of that infamous group, the other being the Jessica Chastain vehicle The Zookeeper’s Wife. (Not at Berlinale).

These titles join the previously announced opening film Hail, Caesar! which will be playing out of competition. Yes it's the latest from Joel and Ethan Coen but more importantly has Tilda Swinton giving Dame Helen Mirren (Trumbo) a run for her money by playing a version of Hedda Hopper. Who will be Capote and who becomes Infamous?

Kidman, Thompson, Moore, Swinton. Who’s first on your list based on these descriptions?

Thursday
Sep102015

McDreamy is Bridget Jones' Baby

Here's Murtada with some casting and sequel news.

Patrick Dempsey is joining Bridget Jones’ Baby, the third movie about the charming British singleton played by Renee Zellweger. Is this the first announcement about his movie? Filming starts pretty soon, October 2nd to be exact. Did we miss something? Is Zellweger returning to major movies and the headlines are about McDreamy? Both Zellweger and Colin Firth are expected back but not Hugh Grant hence Dempsey. Although there are no details yet on who Dempsey is playing, it’s clear from the casting this may be another love triangle.

Zellweger aside, are we ready for for Bridget to come back? It’s been more than a decade since the last movie. Are people really going to see this? From the recent long-after-first-few reboots and sequels people really wanted to see Jurassic World  while no one cared for the Terminator reboot. Like the latter the last Bridget was in the mid-aughts. Not a good sign. People who loved it at the time might not feel nostalgic for it yet while younger audiences wouldn’t care.

The first film, Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001), is a romantic comedy gem that came at a time when those were made regularly and some were made well. The book which of course came before the movie was a phenomenon. We loved Bridget’s self deprecating voice and wanted her to have the Elizabeth Bennet fantasy she dreamed of. Zellweger was aces in the part calming down everyone who was mad an American was cast as this quintessentially British woman. The second film, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) followed shortly. In addition to the preposterous title, it's a trifle. Coming with an unnecessary sojourn into a Bangkok prison (is this a remake of both Bangkok Hilton and Brokedown Palace?) it presented nothing new. Just went on repeating all the best beats of the original including the fun and childish rivalry between Mark Darcy (Firth) and Daniel Cleaver (Grant). Let’s just forget about it and watch that fight scene from Diary again.

Is Dempsey over Grant an upgrade? If we’re being shallow and judging just by how they look today Dempsey wins. However he’s not the caddish charmer that is Grant as Daniel and that's was proven way sexier. Remember his seduction of Bridget and the way he said “absolutely enormous panties”. Can Dempsey match that? Dempsey’s charm is different. Blandly handsome with no gravitas, i.e. the perfect foil for a Disney princess like he was for Amy Adams in Enchanted. He could lay on that wholesome charm but we all know everyone likes the bad boy more.

It’s clear where we stand on the Grant/Dempsey debate but tell us where you are and why.

Sunday
Feb222015

Review: 'Kingsman' is a Toxic Stew of Tone Deaf Mayhem

Michael C here with a question: When did it stop mattering if the hero saves the day?

Recently, it seems as long as the protagonist gives it the old college try that’s good enough to get rounded up to a victory. If a few thousand innocents die before he gets the job done, eh, nobody’s perfect. I started noticing this trend right around the time Man of Steel had to be careful to keep the piles of dead Metropolitans out of frame while Superman kissed Lois Lane on a pile of rubble.

Now we have Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service which ups the ante by not only having the hero fail to stop the villain from causing an outbreak of mass violence, but by lingering lovingly on the mayhem, including a mother who is brainwashed into attempting to murder her own baby. With previous examples of this trend, one could chalk it up to blockbuster inflation, with each movie trying to top its predecessors until the implications of all that destruction became unavoidable. With Kingsman, however, it feels like the showing of true colors, dropping the pretense that the film is about anything more than unashamedly reveling in a mass bloodletting. Vile stuff.

I realize I risk coming off as a prude and a scold by taking to task a film which wants only to be giddy escapist entertainment. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan122015

Would You Rather, With Tina and Amy

JA from MNPP here, taking the bait since Tina and Amy were nice enough to ask and there's not much we enjoy more than playing silly games involving good-looking celebrity fellows. First off, the Colins...

 

 

(Those pictures up top are via the Globes official Instagram btw; lots of great pictures over there.)  And secondly...

 

Friday
May232014

Yes No Maybe So: "Magic in the Moonlight"

Another year, another Woody Allen. Same as it ever was. Coming off another professional high Blue Jasmine but a personal low, will people turn out? Woody films are always hard to predict, reception wise both critically and at the box office (I'm still so alarmed at how successful To Rome With Love was despite being so so terrible), from abject failures to Oscar nominees. But let's talk about Magic in the Moonlight ... or at least our futurist perception of it based on its new trailer. 

The Yes No Maybe So™ breakdown is after the jump...

Click to read more ...