Hugh Dancy

Hannibal TV Show

Admittedly, the prospect of a TV show following Hannibal Lecter is a bit cringeworthy. It reeks of the kind of corporate thinking that co-opted Sherlock Holmes for television after a successful movie franchise (and another successful television program) proved that the character had some life in him with modern audiences. It also, of course, taps into the same ease of movie remakes and has the same kind of name-recognition packaging that proves short cuts are always easier to take but don’t always bring you to where you want to go. Then again, hiring the man who cried blood in Casino Royale and owned every minute of Valhalla Rising to play one of the most famous fictional serial killers of all time is a hell of a good start. We’ll get to see how it fares in April when Hannibal comes to NBC, but the first teaser trailer for the show is enticingly dark and promises frantic performances from Hugh Dancy as Special Agent Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen as the greatest foe fava beans have ever known. Check it out for yourself:



This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering! When you think about the invention of the vibrator (and I bet you think about that a lot, you naughty minx), you probably don’t quite picture that particular apparatus being invented during one of the most straight-laced periods in modern history – the Victorian era. Yet, that’s exactly when the electro-mechanical vibrator was invented, thanks to the vision of one open-minded doctor. In Tanya Wexler‘s Hysteria, the director fictionalizes up some of the story, using the charming Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal for some sexiness, and the result is a forward-thinking and very entertaining film. To get your motors running, we’re giving away one (1) copy of Hysteria on DVD and one (1) copy of Hysteria on Blu-ray. It’s worth moaning about, that’s for sure. Winners will be chosen randomly (including which version our two winners will each receive). The home video release of Hysteria also includes some fun extras, like deleted scenes, commentary with Wexler, and a featurette on “The Technology of Orgasm.” Zing! To win one (1) copy of Tanya Wexler’s Hysteria on DVD or Blu-ray, all you have to do is jump down into the comments section and let us know the title of your favorite sex comedy (because, at its heart, Hysteria is quite funny). Please also provide your email address in your comment. This contest is only open to U.S. residents. The contest will close on Friday, September 28th, at 6:00PM PST. The winner will be chosen at random to receive one copy […]



Despite being trapped in the constricted 1880’s, Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) is a forward-thinker, a believer in germ theory (can you imagine a time when doctors chalked the existence of germs up to a theory?), meaning that he doesn’t fit in with his counterparts at London’s many hospitals, which is why he’s been fired from just about all of them. Desperate for a position – any kind of position – the good doctor lands an assistant job at Dr. Robert Dalrymple’s (Jonathan Pryce) clinic, working for the rich and popular doctor who specializes in something very, very unique: the treatment of female hysteria. Traditionally speaking, “hysteria” was used as a blanket term of any kind of lady trouble for centuries, with the term originating in 4th century BCE. Hysteria was seen as a particular scourge on ladies in the Victorian era – “the plague of our time” – and was believed to effect half of the female population. Dalrymple eases his patients by way of a procedure referred to as “pelvic massage.” You can guess what “pelvic massage” really was. No, really, you can. There’s a picture up top and everything.


interview_john hawkes

John Hawkes describes his cult leading character Patrick as if he “just came from outer space.” After you’ve seen the film, you’ll know that that description could not be more apt. Patrick is a walking and talking enigma with no past or future. He’s someone who lives in the moment and is only interested in feeling that moment. Does he have a greater agenda? Maybe. Are his intentions malicious? Possibly. Where does he come from, and what does he believe in? No idea. That’s Patrick: a mystery. The gentle and quietly frightening character is one of the many mysteries in Sean Durkin’s feature debut, Martha Marcy May Marlene. The Sundance hit raises far more questions than the answers it barely gives. Durkin’s psychological horror film trusts you to fill in the blanks, as does John Hawkes. Here’s what the actor had to say about the oddly and charming ways of Patrick, the walking mystery:



The real-life experience of being seduced into a cult and dealing with its psychological ramifications is probably a lot like that undergone by Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) in Martha Marcy May Marlene. That’s the highest praise one could offer this engaging drama, which arrives in theaters after causing a mini sensation on the festival circuit, complete with an unfortunate title and a brand new Indie It Girl in Olsen. Writer/director Sean Durkin‘s feature filmmaking debut isn’t going to cure global hunger or cause world peace, despite what the frenzied hype might suggest. It is, however, an assured work that achieves the tricky feat of offering a finely-tuned window into the existential burdens of its protagonist while simultaneously keeping her at a distance. The picture’s split chronology parallels Martha’s introduction into the Upstate New York “family” led by the manipulative, charismatic Patrick (John Hawkes) and her re-integration into her real family two years later. Without launching into convoluted explanations for Martha’s actions, the film follows her experiences in the harrowing reclusive clan, which has a propensity for guns, austere clothing and psychological torture, as well as a general acceptance of vicious physical abuse. At the same time, she is shown adrift in the lavish lakefront Connecticut home of her sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and brother-in-law Ted (Hugh Dancy).



Very few films resemble the structure of Martha Marcy May Marlene. The story follows a young girl, Martha (Elizaebth Olsen), both when she was a part of a cult and when she leaves it to try to relive a normal life. The psychological drama doesn’t give you the introduction of how Martha made it into the cult, which one would expect to take up the first act, and the film also ends on a scene that would’ve been the beginning of any other story’s third act. Martha Marcy May Marlene features subverted conventions, bare-boned exposition, and a whole lot of ambiguity. However, writer/director Sean Durkin never approached his drama to deliberately “subvert conventions,” it just happened to turn out that way. Durkin confessed to never quite getting the lessons from screenwriting courses, and perhaps that was for the better. By avoiding expected screenwriting tropes, in his feature debut, Durkin made an anti-cliche cult film. There are no heroes. There is no third act bang. Plus, the moral compass of the film, Ted (Hugh Dancy), is almost as off-putting as the ambiguous cult leader, Patrick (John Hawkes). Clearly, not your regular “cult” film. Here’s what Sean Durkin had to say about cracking the structure of Martha Marcy May Marlene, approaching the story with a fresh perspective, despising lazy flashbacks, and the mysterious ways of the warm and scary community leader, Patrick:



Films about cults were all the rage at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, with some of the buzziest titles all revolving around veritable innocents sucked into organizations that are far, far more terrifying than they first let on. Vera Farmiga starred in and directed the religious-tinged Higher Ground, Sundance It Girl Brit Marling haunted audiences in Sound of My Voice, but the only culty hit that captured my attention (and made it wear rags, sleep in a room with eight other people, and till a garden) was Sean Durkin‘s Martha Marcy May Marlene. The film starred another Sundance break-out talent, Elizabeth Olsen (sister to the twins) as the titular Martha (or is it Marcy May? or even Marlene?), a young woman who has recently escaped a cult, led by none other than the magnetic John Hawkes. The film follows Martha’s attempts to reintegrate herself into a “normal life” with her sister (Sarah Paulson) and brother-in-law (Hugh Dancy), both of whom have no idea what’s she been through to get back to them. The film flashes back frequently to show just what Olsen’s character has been through. It is, in one word, consuming. Fox Searchlight has released two new trailers today, both hidden in QR codes, but our pals over at The Film Stage went ahead and embedded them for your viewing pleasure (i.e. terror). Check them out after the break.


Hysteria Trailer 2011

Stop groaning at that headline and start moaning along with this clever, mildly silly trailer for Hysteria. Based on the historical invention of the vibrator, the film boasts Felicity Jones, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Rupert Everett, Jonathan Pryce and a bunch of women shaking their thighs in ecstasy. Seriously. There are a lot of shots of women coming in this thing. Beyond that, it has the usual flair that any period piece might aspire to. The costuming, the set work, the language. It’s all there along with some cheeky humor and what looks like a romantic foundation the focuses on taming a shrew. Plug in, and check it out for yourself:



After months and months of racking my brain over it, a film project has finally pointed out what was missing from He’s Just Not That Into You and Valentine’s Day: a bunch of women climaxing and the invention of the vibrator. Thankfully, Maggie Gyllenhaal has signed on for just such a romantic comedy project where she’ll play daughter to a doctor (Jonathan Pryce) who helps insane, crazed, hysterical (read: slightly irritated) women of the sexy Victorian age by placing a vibrating massage tool where their Victorian’s Secret should cover. Uncover the details of Hysteria.



I love movies. I truly do. But for me there’s nothing that can match seeing actors cut loose from the confines of the screen. Film actors can be at the mercy of the greater good. Their performances can be cut to suit a director’s vision, but on stage they are the masters of their own fate. Seeing actors do their thing in real time is an experience everyone should seek out. And right now the production they should run to is “The Pride” at the Lucille Lortel theater in New York City.



We’ve got an exclusive first look at a featurette in which Peter Gallagher tells us his favorite things about starring in Fox Searchlight’s Adam.



The first trailer for Fox Searchlight’s Sundance ’09 acquisition Adam, from director Max Mayer has debuted online courtesy of Yahoo Movies.



Kevin Carr reviews the movies the studios didn’t allow him to see early this week: Friday the 13th, Confessions of a Shopaholic and The International.



If there is one studio that knows how to pick indie winners, it is Fox Searchlight. And they appear to once again be off to a good start by snatching up Max Mayer’s charming and quirky romantic comedy Adam.

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published: 01.26.2015
B-, C-
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015

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