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‘Darkest Hour,’ ‘Three Billboards’ Among Films Not Eligible for WGA Awards

‘Darkest Hour,’ ‘Three Billboards’ Among Films Not Eligible for WGA Awards
Once again the Writers Guild of America’s eligibility strictures, which stipulate that a qualifying production must conform to the guild’s Minimum Basic Agreement, have rendered a number of this year’s screenplay Oscar hopefuls non-factors in the organization’s annual awards race.

Original screenplays not included on a ballot of 59 titles, obtained by Variety, include Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Anthony McCarten’s “Darkest Hour,” and William Nicholson’s “Breathe.” Also not in the mix is Pixar’s “Coco” (animated features rarely conform to WGA signatory rules), as well as two of last year’s Oscar nominees, “The Lobster” scribes Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, for “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.”

On the adapted side, where 47 eligible contenders will compete, Lee Hall’s “Victoria & Abdul” and Matt Greenhalgh’s “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” are absent from the ballot.

Dismissal from the WGA proceedings is never an albatross in the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Network review – Bryan Cranston creates studio mayhem

Lyttelton, London

Cranston is compelling as the TV anchorman-gone-rogue in Ivo Van Hove and Lee Hall’s dazzling stage version of the 1976 film

Flesh and gizmo. Substance and reflections. Watchers and watched. A massive whirling mix of the mechanical and the human. Ivo van Hove’s electric staging of Network restores at a stroke my faltering esteem for this director. Lee Hall’s adaptation of Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 film makes this look like a prescient, urgent text. It lands with messianic zeal: on press night the audience at the National, not instinctive risers, were up on their feet as if at a revivalist meeting.

A jutting-jawed anchorman, galvanically embodied by Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, gets fired from a commercial news channel because of poor ratings – and cracks up. Or cracks open, to reveal a palpitating, anti-news-as-entertainment spirit. “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more!
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Bryan Cranston interview: Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams

Rob Leane Oct 23, 2017

Bryan Cranston chats to us about his involvement in Channel 4 and Amazon’s Phillip K. Dick anthology series, Electric Dreams...

Amazon and Channel 4’s Philip K. Dick anthology series, Electric Dreams, adapts ten of the iconic author’s short stories into hour-long TV dramas.

The show has the mighty Bryan Cranston involved as an actor and an executive producer. This marks the second Amazon production that Cranston has pulled double duty on, following on from Sneaky Pete.

Along with a bunch of other journalists, Den Of Geek took part in a roundtable interview with Cranston on the set of Electric Dreams, on an offensively hot day back in June. Here’s how it went...

I think what we all want to know is the genesis of how Electric Dreams came together.

It did come together. I bumped into Michael Dinner, who was a director that I knew,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Film Review: History by Rote in Formulaic ‘Victoria and Abdul’

Chicago – There have been 155 TV/Movie depictions of Queen Victoria, who ruled England from 1837 to 1901. The “Victorian Era” continues to fascinate filmmakers, and who is perfect to portray Queen V. towards the end of her life? Get me Dame Judi Dench on the Skype!

Rating: 3.0/5.0

This is a story of a little known chapter of her later life… her unlikely relationship with a footman from India, Abdul Karim. In the film, it is hinted that the history of this friendship was destroyed for image purposes, but enough of the events were recorded to adapt into a film (from a book by Shrabani Basu). Veteran director Stephen Frears (“Florence Foster Jenkins”) applies his usual workmanlike approach to narrative, but nothing comes to life in the situation. No offense to the great Judi D., but the formula presented in the film almost seemed like a satire, with the elder actress of course
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Victoria And Abdul – Review

Judi Dench (left) stars as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal (right) stars as Abdul Karim in

director Stephen FrearsVictoria And Abdul, a Focus Features release. Photo credit: Peter Mountain / Focus Features ©

Director Stephen Frears’ funny, charming Victoria And Abdul was inspired by a real event late in the life of Queen Victoria, when the aging British monarch had her mood brighten by the arrival of a visitor from India, much to the dismay of her advisers and her son, the crown prince. Judi Dench gives a brave and bitingly funny performance as the elderly Queen Victoria, which feels a bit like a kind of sequel to her role as the same queen earlier in life in 1997’s Mrs. Brown. Frears’ handsome historical comedy/drama has a script written by Lee Hall, who penned Billy Elliot, and is based on journalist Shrabani Basu’s “Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

‘Victoria and Abdul’ Leads Indie Box Office as Awards Season Kicks Off

  • The Wrap
The indie box office got its biggest jolt in quite some time this weekend, as three releases from Toronto had limited rollouts. Leading the way was Focus Features’ “Victoria and Abdul,” which made $152,000 from four screens for the top per screen average of the weekend with $37,933. The period piece stars Judi Dench and Ali Fazal as Queen Victoria and Indian clerk Abdul Karim and explores the pair’s unlikely friendship during the later years of the British monarch’s rule. Stephen Frears directed from a script by Lee Hall, with Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Beeban Kidron and Tracey Seaward producing.
See full article at The Wrap »

'Victoria and Abdul' Review: Judi Dench Is 'a Pleasure' in Shallow Royal Film

'Victoria and Abdul' Review: Judi Dench Is 'a Pleasure' in Shallow Royal Film
Since Dame Judi Dench is acting royalty she has no trouble playing the hell out of Queen Victoria in her last years on the throne of England. Even better, she lets her ingrained mischief remove any hints of sanctimony from the old girl. Sadly, Victoria & Abdul, directed by the usually scrappy Stephen Frears from a dutiful script by Lee Hall, only sets one place at the table. Abdul Karim (Bollywood star Ali Fazal), the lowly Indian Muslim clerk who's sent from Agra to England to present the Queen with a ceremonial coin,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Victoria & Abdul’ Director Stephen Frears On Turning Shrabani Basu’s Book Into An Unlikely Buddy Movie – Toronto Studio

‘Victoria & Abdul’ Director Stephen Frears On Turning Shrabani Basu’s Book Into An Unlikely Buddy Movie – Toronto Studio
The little-known story of Queen Victoria and her beloved Indian servant Abdul Karim was once so little-known that Shrabani Basu, author of the 2010 non-fiction biography Victoria & Abdul, spent three days searching the graveyards of Agra in Utter Pradesh in order to find Karim’s final resting place. Happily, thanks to the lightly comic film adaptation of Basu's book – penned by Lee Hall, directed by Stephen Frears and starring the indefatigable Judi Dench as the monarch…
See full article at Deadline »

Victoria & Abdul movie review: one of her best friends was brown

MaryAnn’s quick take… Charming based-on-fact British costume dramedy gently snarks about power and propriety but cuts a lot deeper when it comes to bigotry and bootlicking. I’m “biast” (pro): love Judi Dench, mostly love Stephen Frears’s films

I’m “biast” (con): we’re still telling stories about this dead queen?

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

The ribbing writes itself: Hey, they finally made the sequel to 1997’s Mrs. Brown! You know, the movie in which Judi Dench as Queen Victoria develops a close platonic friendship — or maybe even a romance — with royal groundskeeper John Brown in the early years of her widowhood, in the 1860s. It was a scandal! And now here’s Victoria & Abdul, which opens 20 years later and stars Judi Dench (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Victoria & Abdul review

Dami Judi Dench reprises the role of Queen Victoria in Victoria & Abdul. Here's our review...

Appreciating that every film is a risk to varying degrees, sometimes, you come across one that just seems like a safe bet on paper. Here’s one now. Victoria & Abdul sees Dame Judi Dench reprising the role of Queen Victoria, albeit this time near the end of the monarch’s life. Billy Elliot and War Horse screenwriter Lee Hall has penned the script, based on the book by Shrabani Basu. Philomena and The Queen director Stephen Frears takes the helm. And the story itself is a recently-ish discovered one, about an unlikely friendship that Queen Victoria struck up with a young Indian clerk by the name of Abdul Karim.

See related Twin Peaks season 3: Kyle MacLachlan chats about the finale Looking back at Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

What could possibly go wrong with that?
See full article at Den of Geek »

With ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Darkest Hour’ Showing Strong, Will Churchill-Heavy Britpics Storm the Oscars?

With ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Darkest Hour’ Showing Strong, Will Churchill-Heavy Britpics Storm the Oscars?
Two British movies; two endings that feature the same iconic Winston Churchill speech. Which one will dominate the Oscar conversation?

Not to be left out of the Oscar campaign opportunities at the Toronto International Film Festival, Christopher Nolan capitalized on a chance to project his summer blockbuster “Dunkirk” at the world’s original IMAX, Toronto’s restored Cinesphere. Afterward, he said the movie never looked so good — it was one of 35 70 mm IMAX prints. From my perspective, it was sublime, clear, crisp, and even more emotional than the first time I saw it at Universal CityWalk (one of Nolan’s favorite 70 mm IMAX venues, along with the Metreon in San Francisco and Lincoln Square in New York).

Over tea at an afterparty, Nolan asked: “And how is ‘Darkest Hour’?”

The films are complementary: one is an immersive, almost-silent action epic that brilliantly toys with three disjunctive time frames. (During the
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

With ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Darkest Hour’ Showing Strong, Will Churchill-Heavy Britpics Storm the Oscars?

  • Indiewire
With ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Darkest Hour’ Showing Strong, Will Churchill-Heavy Britpics Storm the Oscars?
Two British movies; two endings that feature the same iconic Winston Churchill speech. Which one will dominate the Oscar conversation?

Not to be left out of the Oscar campaign opportunities at the Toronto International Film Festival, Christopher Nolan capitalized on a chance to project his summer blockbuster “Dunkirk” at the world’s original IMAX, Toronto’s restored Cinesphere. Afterward, he said the movie never looked so good — it was one of 35 70 mm IMAX prints. From my perspective, it was sublime, clear, crisp, and even more emotional than the first time I saw it at Universal CityWalk (one of Nolan’s favorite 70 mm IMAX venues, along with the Metreon in San Francisco and Lincoln Square in New York).

Over tea at an afterparty, Nolan asked: “And how is ‘Darkest Hour’?”

The films are complementary: one is an immersive, almost-silent action epic that brilliantly toys with three disjunctive time frames. (During the
See full article at Indiewire »

Movie Review – Victoria and Abdul (2017)

Victoria And Abdul, 2017.

Directed by Stephen Frears

Starring Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Eddie Izzard, Tim Piggott-Smith, Michael Gambon, and Olivia Williams.

Synopsis:

Queen Victoria is in her declining years when she forms a close friendship with Abdul Karim, a clerk from Agra in India. As well as being her confidante, he becomes her advisor, teaching her about the Koran and to speak Urdu – much to the consternation of her courtiers and the Prince Of Wales.

Are we in the midst of Queen Victoria madness? As her younger self has her mettle tested as a monarch and a mother on Sunday night television, her final years come to the big screen this week, as portrayed by Dame Judi Dench.

It’s not, of course, the first time she’s played the monarch in her post-Albert years. In John Madden’s Mrs Brown (1997) she was shown forming an attachment to Billy Connolly’s John Brown,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Victoria & Abdul gets red carpet premiere in London

  • Bollyspice
Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant got it’s UK premiere this Sunday at UK premiere at the Odeon, Leicester Square on Tuesday. Attending the red carpet event where Dame Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Shrabani Basu (Author of the book), Eddie Izzard, Fenella Woolgar, Lee Hall (Screenwriter) and Stephen Frears (Director).

The extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to
See full article at Bollyspice »

‘Victoria & Abdul’ Review: Judi Dench-Starring Historical Drama Is Only Half a Story — Venice

‘Victoria & Abdul’ Review: Judi Dench-Starring Historical Drama Is Only Half a Story — Venice
Stephen Frears’ “Victoria & Abdul” is an otherwise benignly toothless, pleasantly glossy affair, but it does force us to confront one tricky question: When treating a subject as fraught as British imperial rule, when does a film’s benign inoffensiveness become offensive in and of itself? Still, that’s about the only food for thought in what is at once a breezy, lion-in-winter vehicle for Judi Dench in queen-mode and a “Lifestyles of the Rich and Noble” bit of wealth porn, and not much more.

Dench is back as Queen Victoria, returning to a role she had previously played in John Madden’s “Mrs. Brown,” a film that must have not only inspired Frears and screenwriter Lee Hall, but acted as their foundational text. Little is known about the very real relationship that existed between the aging monarch and her advisor Abdul Karim, and so Hall has essentially grafted their story
See full article at Indiewire »

Venice Film Review: ‘Victoria & Abdul’

Venice Film Review: ‘Victoria & Abdul’
In “Victoria & Abdul,” a gilded let’s-tweak-the-Empire-but-not-really talkfest duet directed by Stephen Frears, our first encounter with Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) comes during a lavish lunch for her majesty’s golden jubilee. It’s 1887, and the 68-year-old monarch has been placed at the head of a dining table as long as a cricket field. She’s so bored and depressed that she can barely stay awake, so she eats herself into a food coma and looks ready to be wheeled out — that is, until Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a 24-year-old Indian clerk who’s been chosen to present her with a mohur (a gold coin minted by British India), approaches her royal highness. Their eyes meet, agleam with a delight that’s nearly flirtatious, as if Tinkerbell had just sprinkled fairy dust on both of them.

And so begins a love affair: not a literal one, but a mother-son, master-servant, disciple-guru
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Victoria & Abdul’ Review: Judi Dench’s Queen Victoria Keeps This Smarm-ada Afloat

  • The Wrap
‘Victoria & Abdul’ Review: Judi Dench’s Queen Victoria Keeps This Smarm-ada Afloat
Forget the “Fifty Shades” movies: For real dominance and submission, check out “Victoria & Abdul,” which is all about the platonic friendship between the elderly Queen Victoria and one of her Indian subjects. As though their difference in wealth and station weren’t enough of a relationship imbalance, the old queen’s interest is clearly piqued when the much-younger man stoops down and kisses her foot at a luncheon. Director Stephen Frears and writer Lee Hall (“War Horse”), adapting the book by Shrabani Basu, aren’t particularly interested in exploring the legacy of the United Kingdom’s rampant colonialism; frankly, they’re not even all.
See full article at The Wrap »

22 Awards Contenders to See This Season, From ‘Wonderstruck’ to ‘Mudbound’

  • Indiewire
22 Awards Contenders to See This Season, From ‘Wonderstruck’ to ‘Mudbound’
All this week, IndieWire will be rolling out our annual Fall Preview, including the very best indie cinema has to offer, all the awards contenders you need to know about, and even blockbuster fare that seems poised to please the most discerning tastes, all with an eye towards introducing you to all the new movies you need to get through a jam-packed fall movie-going season. Check back every day for a new look at the best the season has to offer, and clear your schedule, because we’re going to fill it right up. Next up: contenders who will rule the awards season, well into next year.

“mother!” (September 15)

The return of Darren Aronofsky should be enough to get any cinephile back to the theater, but the fact that “mother!” has remained so secretive with just under a month to go has only made anticipation higher. Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem
See full article at Indiewire »

25 Indie Films and Festival Favorites to See This Season, From ‘mother!’ to ‘Call Me By Your Name’

  • Indiewire
All this week, IndieWire is rolling out our annual Fall Preview, including the very best indie cinema has to offer, all the awards contenders you need to know about, and even blockbuster fare that seems poised to please the most discerning tastes, all with an eye towards introducing you to all the new movies you need to get through a jam-packed fall movie-going season. Check back every day for a new look at the best the season has to offer, and clear your schedule, because we’re going to fill it right up. First up: indie films and festival favorites.

“mother!” (September 15)

The return of Darren Aronofsky should be enough to get any cinephile back to the theater, but the fact that “mother!” has remained so secretive with just under a month to go has only made anticipation higher. Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem play a couple whose lives are
See full article at Indiewire »

Michelle Dockery Cast Opposite Bryan Cranston in 'Network'

Michelle Dockery Cast Opposite Bryan Cranston in 'Network'
Playwright Lee Hall and director Ivo van Hove have cast Michelle Dockery as the female lead in their highly anticipated London stage adaptation of the Sidney Lumet film, Network.

The Downton Abbey star will play Diana Christensen, the ambitious U.S. television executive who blurs the lines separating entertainment, news and naked human suffering in her unethical quest for ratings glory. The role won an Oscar for Faye Dunaway in the 1976 film, which was written by Paddy Chayefsky.

Dockery joins previously announced lead Bryan Cranston, who will make his British stage debut as Howard Beale, the psychologically unstable news anchor...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »
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