February 9, 2012 |
*1/2 (out of four) “W.E.” may be Madonna's second directorial effort, but she still tells a story like a virgin. Guiding a script she wrote/botched with Alek Keshishian, the Material Girl takes a step forward visually from 2008's sloppy, incoherent “Filth and Wisdom, which isn't saying much. Unfortunately she also remains totally incompetent when it comes to shaping a story around humans with credible human feelings. Andrea Riseborough stars as Wallis Simpson, the real-life American woman whose controversial romance with Prince Edward (James D'Arcy)
October 25, 2012 |
**1/2 (out of four) For better and for worse, “The Sessions” has “crowd-pleaser” written all over it. The dramedy, which won the audience award and a special jury prize for ensemble acting at Sundance this year, engineers a small story for mass consumption. It's falafel at a chain restaurant: Good enough, but missing some flavor. The terrific John Hawkes (“Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “Winter's Bone”) stars as real-life poet/journalist Mark O'Brien, who's spent the majority of his life in an iron lung after...
October 15, 2013 |
Helena Bonham Carter wasn't sure she should take on the role of legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor, so she sought out some advice. “My mother said, 'For Christ's sake, don't even go near it; don't touch it with a barge pole,'" Bonham Carter said during a conference call with reporters. “Because she's a screen icon, everyone knew what she looked like. And I didn't look especially like her.” Despite her appearance - and her mother's advice - Bonham Carter took the role and plays La Liz in the made-for-TV movie...
December 12, 2011 |
If you've seen Gary Oldman play Sid Vicious (“Sid and Nancy”), Lee Harvey Oswald (“JFK”) or Dracula (“Dracula”), you know Gary can be scary. In fact, “Scary Gary” was reportedly his on-set nickname during “Air Force One,” in which he played a terrorist. So it's quite the reality check to watch and listen as the 53-year-old, soft-spoken Englishman talks about eating Gary's popcorn (not Garrett's, I asked) and watching “The Sound of Music” in Grant Park while in Chicago to film “The...
August 7, 2012 |
Women break down in romantic comedies all the time. They just rarely do so to the point of looking unattractive, says Rashida Jones. “She always looks good, her hair looks good and her apartment's pretty. It's like, there's things strewn on her couch and she's sniffling a little bit,” says the 36-year-old star and co-writer of the breakup tale “Celeste and Jesse Forever.” “We wanted to go way past that. The un-showered, un-tethered, stoner drunk mess that I have been at times in my life, and I think other women have...
December 19, 2012 |
On a recent night in New York, “Les Miserables” stars Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Samantha Barks re-purposed their singing skills for something less epic - karaoke. “Amanda was attempting some rap and then halfway in she goes, 'How does this song go?' We're like, 'You picked it! You picked the song!,'” recalls Barks, a veteran of London's “Les Miz” stage musical making her film debut in the film from director Tom Hooper (“The King's Speech”). “And then Annie gave an incredible rendition of 'Don't Rain On My...