The 16th annual Tribeca Film Festival is once again underway in New York City. Entries in this year’s festival include films from 28 countries, which are being shown from April 19th to April 30th. The festival has already seen a fair share of controversy this year. Photographers and reporters were incensed to find some lesser known actors walking on the red carpet wearing masks of James Franco, Shia LaBeouf, and Greta Gerwig instead of the actors themselves for the premiere of the film Flames. In addition, a commercial for United Airlines, which was originally scheduled to appear at the festival, was pulled from the line up after the controversy surrounding Dr. David Dao being violently dragged off one of their flights. Despite a fair share of controversy, which has always been typical of the Hollywood scene, there have been some impressive displays at this year’s festivities. Continue reading →
Director Amma Asante’s latest project, A United Kingdom, is seeing a limited theatrical release this weekend after premiering at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. Starring David Oyelowo (A Most Violent Year, Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day, Gone Girl), the film tells the story of Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana, who caused an international controversy when he married a white Englishwoman in the late 1940s. Their marriage was met with criticism and persecution in both South Africa, which borders Botswana, and Seretse’s family and local Bamangwato chieftaincy elders. At the time, interracial marriage was illegal in South Africa. To complicate things further, Botswana (then Bechuanaland) was a British protectorate, and England was still recovering from World War II, and so relied heavily on supplies imported from South Africa. As a result, the British government declared Seretse unfit to serve as chieftain and exiled him and his wife, Ruth Williams, from Botswana in 1951. Continue reading →
Director Adam Smith’s family-crime drama Trespass Against Us received an Official Selection nod at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), as well as top nods at the British Independent Film Awards and the Zurich Film Festival. Following a number of runs at various film festivals here in the United States, the film received a brief limited release back in January, but as of now we have yet to see it picked up for major distribution in theaters nationwide, but here’s hoping that changes! Written by documentary director Alastair Siddons (Turn it Loose, Inside Out), Trespass Against Us follows a man who comes into conflict with his outlaw father and family after he decides he must find a way out of his own criminal world in order to provide a better future for his own family. Michael Fassbender (Macbeth, The Light Between Oceans) and Brendan Gleeson (Cold Mountain, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) lead the cast as Chad and Colby Cutler, the father and son who come to arms with each other over the former’s desire to break free of his criminal past. Continue reading →
On September 20, 1956, director William Wyler‘s Friendly Persuasion was released in theaters in the United States. Based on the book by Jessamyn West, the story revolves around a Quaker family in 1862, whose faith and belief in non-violence is tested when Confederate troops come sweeping through their land and the family must decide whether to fight or to remain complacent. The film was written by screenwriter Michael Wilson (A Place in the Sun, Planet of the Apes), and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenwriting. It wasn’t until 2002, however, that Wilson would receive legitimate recognition for his work on the film. Continue reading →
After nine years away, Jason Bourne is returning to the big screen in the fifth installment in the Bourne series. The new film is simply titled Jason Bourne and reunites original lead Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, The Departed) with Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass (United 93, Captain Phillips). Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate About You, Silver Linings Playbook) is also rejoining the cast as CIA operative Nicky Parsons. She and Damon will be joined on screen by an all-star cast, including Oscar winners Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) and Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive, No Country For Old Men). Actors Riz Ahmed (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Nightcrawler), Ato Essandoh (Blood Diamond, Django Unchained), and Scott Sheperd (Side Effects, Bridge of Spies) are also starring in the new adventure that seeks to uncover the true history behind Bourne’s (aka David Webb) mysterious past. Continue reading →
Producer Harvey Weinstein of the Weinstein Company has pushed back national release of his long anticipated drama Tulip Fever, based on the popular novel by Deborah Moggach, to a February 2017 release. The film has already seen several release delays; it was filmed back in 2014 and has since made no debuts at any of the film festival circuits or limited releases here in the States or elsewhere. Now, however, Weinstein seems to have settled on a post-Valentine’s Day release, going up against God Particle from producer J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Sleepless with Jaimie Fox (Ray, Collateral) and Michelle Monaghan (Gone Baby Gone, True Detective). Starring Oscar winners Alicia Vikander (El Machina, The Danish Girl) and Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained), the film follows an artist who falls for a married woman he is hired to paint in portrait in the midst of the tulip frenzy of 17th century Amsterdam. Continue reading →
Veteran actress Madeleine LeBeau (8 1/2, Angelique), who was the last living cast member of 1942’s Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart (The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep) and Ingrid Bergman (Notorious, Autumn Sonata), has passed away at the age of 92. LeBeau starred as Bogart’s mistress, Yvonne, in a role that mirrored her own experience as a European refugee at the height of the Nazi occupation. LeBeau had made her debut in France with a film called Girls in Distress in 1939 before fleeing with her husband to Spain. They eventually entered the United States with temporary Canadian passports and went to Hollywood to find work. Both LeBeau and her husband, actor Marcel Dalio, were cast in supporting roles in Casablanca, and LeBeau would make two more films (Paris After Dark, Music for Millions) before returning to France following the end of World War II. She would continue to work as an actress until her retirement from the screen in 1970. LeBeau died on May 1st in Spain after breaking her hip.
The final trailer has arrived for director Bryan Singer‘s upcoming X-Men feature, Apocalypse. If you haven’t been following, the last X-Men movie was Days of Future Past, which found Wolverine going back in time to alter the timeline of the X-Men movies to prevent the end of the world. This new timeline picks up in what I’m guessing would be at least the the late 1980s, and finds Mystique responsible for training the new generation of X-Men to fight Apocalypse, the world’s first and most powerful mutant, who happens to be immortal. Apocalypse awakes after thousands of years and begins amassing power; having seen what humanity has become, he recruits a team of powerful mutants (including Magneto) to cleanse mankind and create a new world order. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes, Fantastic Four) wrote the script from a story written by himself and director Bryan Singer (X2: X-Men United, X-Men: Days of Future Past), as well as writers Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris (Superman Returns, Krampus). Continue reading →
There is a plethora of limited releases opening in theaters across the country this weekend that you should definitely consider checking out. First up is a new musical drama from director John Carney (Once, Begin Again) titled Sing Street, which follows a group of young Dubliners in 1980s London who decide to form a band while experiencing the ups and downs of youth, life, and rock and roll. Continue reading →
A new war drama from director Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ender’s Game) titled Eye in the Sky is opening in theaters nationwide this Friday, March 11th. The film is led by Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren (The Queen, The Hundred-Foot Journey) and features an ensemble of stars including Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, Exodus: Gods and Kings), Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips, Hawaii Five-O) and Phoebe Fox (One Day, A Poet in New York), as well as the late Alan Rickman (Die Hard, Love Actually), who died just last month. Screenwriter Guy Hibbert (Five Minutes of Heaven, A United Kingdom) wrote the script about a military colonel commanding a drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, who becomes enthralled in an international debate over the morality, and the implications of modern warfare when a young girl enters the Kenyan kill zone where the operation is taking place. Although this will be his last full-length feature appearing in the flesh, Alan Rickman’s last official film will be the upcoming sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, titled Alice Through the Looking Glass, expected in theaters this coming May. The trailer for Eye in the Sky is available here on MADE. Check it out in theaters this Friday.