The new drama from director Simon Curtis (Five Days, My Week With Marilyn), Woman in Gold, is now playing in theaters. Starring Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren (The Queen, Hitchcock) and Ryan Reynolds (Waiting, Safe House), the film follows the story of Maria Altman (Mirren), a Jewish woman who seeks to regain her family’s lost artwork that was stolen by the Nazi party in World War II with the help of her lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Reynolds). The film is based on the memoirs of Altman and Schoenberg and was adapted for film by screenwriter Alexi Kaye Campbell (Possession, Planespotting). Included in the supporting cast are actors Daniel Bruhl (The Bourne Ultimatum, Inglorious Bastards), Katie Holmes (Phone Booth, Batman Begins), Tatiana Maslany (Eastern Promises, Heartland), Max Irons (Being Julia, Red Riding Hood), and Jonathan Pryce (Tomorrow Never Dies, Pirates of the Caribbean). The announcement for the film came around the same time as The Monuments Men was released in theaters in February 2014, so I’m sure there will be comparisons made between the two, but definitely give it a chance nonetheless.
A remake of director William Wyler‘s 1959 epic Ben-Hur is currently in the works at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Paramount Pictures, and the producer’s and director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) are working hard getting the pre-production check list in order. Thus far the cast includes actors Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire, American Hustle), Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight), Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), and Nezanin Boniadi (Iron Man, The Next Three Days), with Rodrigo Santoro (Love Actually, 300: Rise of an Empire) making an appearance in the role of Jesus Christ. The story of Ben-Hur comes from the 19th-century book by Lew Wallace titled Ben Hur: A Tale of Christ, which tells the story of a Jewish prince who is betrayed by his Roman friend and sent into years of enslavement, only to regain his freedom and return to seek his vengeance. The original movie starred Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, and Stephen Boyd and won 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Heston), Best Director (Wyler), Best Cinematographer (Robert Surtees), and Best Supporting Actor (Hugh Griffith). The new movie is expected to be in theaters sometime in 2016, so we’ll be following it for a while; in the meantime you should definitely check out the original; you can find it available on both DVD and Blu-Ray disc.