Hugh Bonneville

TWC Dimension

Paddington details the origins of Paddington Brown, one of most beloved bears of children’s literature – from deepest, darkest Peru to stuffy, rainy London — where he was adopted, somewhat reluctantly, by the Brown family. Director/writer Paul King brings the bear to life with all the technology that the modern world can offer while the voice of Ben Whishaw completes the illusion in this charming and just silly enough film. Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins lead the Brown pack as Mr. and Mrs. Brown, who foil each other at almost every turn. Bonneville’s grumpy, cautious patriarch fears what Paddington could do to their home without the proper insurance, while Hawkins’ compassionate, optimistic matriarch is ready to welcome Paddington with open arms. Bonneville and Hawkins play off each other smoothly, pushing their characters only slightly to the realm of the absurd.

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Shakespeare in Love

Ah, the circle of stardom and the wonder of That Guy. Is there any greater thrill in pop culture than noticing someone you’d never noticed before? Probably not. Which says a lot about pop culture. Downton Abbey – peradventure because it’s an ensemble from a different country — has a host of familiar faces you can’t quite place. The woman carry a kind of instant fame with them (Elizabeth McGovern is an Oscar nominee and Maggie Smith is Maggie Smith), but the main men have a head-scratchier past. So here’s a brief primer on where you’ve seen these guys before. Prepare by aiming your hand at your forehead.

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Downton Abbey Pearl-Clutching

Throughout the history of Downton Abbey, Robert Crawley has consistently been the least interesting character. It makes sense. With a show rooted in traditions, he’s an anchor of sorts, but stuff that weighs your ship down can be pretty dull. Maybe they toss out a neutered love affair to tempt him, maybe another thing happens with the estate, maybe something at dinner causes him to harumph, but ultimately he’s a one-trick dressage pony no matter how alive Hugh Bonneville makes him feel. This isn’t a normal season, though, and episode four proved that the Earl of Grantham is next on the list for a true evolution.

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Director George Clooney

What is Casting Couch? Proof that not everyone’s tracking Hurricane Sandy’s path on Twitter. Some are still out there casting movies. The big casting news over the weekend was all of the big names that were announced for George Clooney’s next project as a director, The Monuments Men. Deadline had the scoop that this period drama about a group of art historians and museum curators trying to recover important and historical works from the clutches of the Nazis is going to star names like Bill Murray, Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, and Bob Balaban. As far as I know none of these people can even speak German, but you’ve still got to look at that list and be impressed. You could cast this crew as an office full of telemarketers and everyone would still watch the movie, making them heroes during the dying days of the Nazi regime is just icing on the cake.

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published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
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published: 01.29.2015
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published: 01.28.2015
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