Olivia Colman

Locke Movie

Over a year ago we saw Steven Knight makes his directorial debut with Redemption. The acclaimed screenwriter behind Eastern Promises and Dirty Pretty Things exhibited a clean eye for striking images and keen acting, with Jason Statham giving the most dramatically compelling performance of his career. It was a conventional yarn, despite being about a nun and a haunted gangster falling in love, but it was finely told, if a bit safe. Knight’s second effort behind the camera, Locke, doesn’t play it safe at all, yielding a powerful 85-minute result. We’ve seen plenty of single location films, but setting a movie almost entirely in a car with a character consistently talking on the phone is ambition itself. Knight’s script matches that audacity. Locke is a thriller, except the suspense comes from interpersonal drama, not gun fights and explosions. Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is a hardworking and honest family man. It’s a big night for him: his family is excited to watch a major football match together and the next day he’s meant to oversee the biggest concrete pour in European history. The problem is he won’t be present for either the football match or the pour. Months earlier he cheated on his wife (voiced by Ruth Wilson) with Bethan (voiced by Olivia Colman), who’s about to give birth to his child. She’s having a premature delivery, and Locke wants to be there for the child, so he’s driving to meet her at the hospital. Within his car, he’ll have to tell his wife about the affair, his bosses about leaving town, and make sure everything goes according at work […]

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Nick Frost in CUBAN FURY

After years of directing television episodes for comedies, including work on Episodes and Up All Night, director James Griffiths makes his film debut with Cuban Fury, a spicy comedy led by Nick Frost and a backing cast of other famous funny people. Similarly, the film is written by Jon Brown, whose resume was also previously film-free. Bruce (Frost) and his sister Sam were an award-winning salsa duo in their youth, until a gang of young bullies vanquished Bruce’s love of dance and upbeat attitude. Many years later, adult Bruce falls for his new boss Julia (Rashida Jones), and when he realizes that her favorite hobby is his childhood pastime, he’s inspired to get back in the salsa game. Cue Bruce’s grizzled old dance instructor (Ian McShane), and the fire in his heart is re-ignited.

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Editor’s note: Hyde Park on Hudson cruises into theaters this week, so please get handsy with our New York Film Festival review of the film, originally published on September 30, 2012. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is considered to be one of our greatest presidents — a strong, charismatic leader during World War II, beloved by his nation. Roger Mitchell’s Hyde Park on Hudson reveals FDR to be all those things… and also quite the Don Juan. The film tries to reveal FDR “the man,” a history-making president who can also seduce the ladies, befriend shy kings, and possess a mean stamp collection. While Hyde Park on Hudson is consistently entertaining, its tendencies to meander in tone and to veer too far into the ridiculous prevent it from succeeding as a whole. One fortuitous day, FDR (Bill Murray) requests that his fifth cousin Daisy Suckley (Laura Linney) visit him at his country home in Hyde Park, New York. Naturally, Daisy obliges, and shortly after being dazzled by FDR’s stamp collection she becomes a fixture at his country home. Their visits turn into full days of merriment and long aimless drives on country roads. When FDR stops the car in the middle of a field of purple wildflowers one afternoon, however, there is only one direction their relationship can go in (not to reveal too much, but watching Bill Murray as FDR receive pleasure in a car is mildly disturbing and somewhat hilarious). Eventually, though, Daisy comes to realize that besides the First […]

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Ian McShane is an accomplished actor who’s been steadily working in the business for more decades than he’d probably like to admit at this point, but these days he’s likely best known for bringing the phrase “cocksucker” back into style while playing the cutthroat and dastardly saloon owner Al Swearengen on HBO’s Deadwood, so it’s kind of funny to picture him salsa dancing, which is what he’s going to be doing in his next film. According to THR, McShane has just signed on for a big role in the upcoming UK comedy Cuban Fury. The film, which was penned by a television writer named Jon Brown but which comes from an idea of Nick Frost’s, will feature Frost playing a schlubby doormat type who’s inspired to return to the world of salsa dancing because of a crush that he has on his boss. You see, his character used to be a dancing prodigy, but he had his career ruined early on by a rival dancer. Probably the idea of watching Nick Frost sexy-dance sounds appealing enough to sell you on seeing this one already, but wait, it gets even better.

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After The King’s Speech won the Oscar for Best Picture and got multiple theatrical releases, it was always just a matter of time before Hollywood tried to capitalize on its success by releasing a whole slate of King George VI movies. So here we are, getting the release of the trailer for the first of these films, Hyde Park on Hudson. It’s not quite as exciting as the inevitable news that King George will be joining The Avengers in the summer of 2014, but for now it will have to do. Seriously though, all joking about King George showing up on the cover of “Tiger Beat” aside, everyone is actually looking forward to Hyde Park on Hudson for one reason: the chance to see Bill Murray play Franklin Roosevelt. So, how does he do? From what we can tell from this first look at the film, it seems like he does wonderfully. He’s not quite doing an F.D.R. impression, but he’s not just being Bill Murray either. Most importantly, it seems as if Murray’s version of Roosevelt is a charismatic troublemaker – something of a Woody Woodpecker archetype – who’s not just being portrayed as a historical figure and a powerful man, but instead as a multi-faceted individual with his own quirks, hang-ups, and small pleasures. Quite simply, it appears as if getting the chance to watch Murray live in the skin of this character for a couple of hours is going to be a terribly entertaining experience.

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Paddy Considine is a recognizable face onscreen thanks to memorable (and diametrically opposed) turns in movies like Dead Man’s Shoes and Hot Fuzz. You may also recognize him from recent (and fantastic) movies like Red Riding 1980, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Submarine. After years of toiling in supporting roles and the occasional lead Considine has taken a step back behind the camera for his feature directorial debut, Tyrannosaur. The film stars Peter Mullan (pictured above) as an angry drunken Irishman prone to violence and verbal meanness, and yes, Mullan is at risk of being typecast. He meets a woman who’s seen her fair share of violence and pain but still manages to hold onto a forgiving and caring heart. The two become friends, for lack of a better term, but her abusive husband (Eddie Marsan) suspects there’s more to their relationship. Check out the clip below to see the three fantastic actors play off each other with dialogue and even more powerful silence.

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The bleak, grey world of Tyrannosaur will be familiar to anyone who’s spent time in the cinematic universe of British miserablism, that subgenre of grim movies set on the isles. Protagonist Joseph (Peter Mullan) inhabits a milieu of depressed flats and rundown pubs, living a hopeless existence on the estate in Leeds. Yet, the movie is the feature filmmaking debut of the terrific character actor Paddy Considine, who is not content to simply wallow in the misery.  The director transforms what, at first appears to be the straightforward portrait of a violent man, into an affecting love story that chronicles his subtle redemption. In doing as such, the filmmaker has given an exceptional vehicle to Mullan and Olivia Colman, who plays a shopkeeper named Hannah. Considine’s characters are not simply defined by first impressions and easy conclusions; instead, they’re afforded the opportunity to grow and change, to reveal the reservoirs of experience, the unexpected strengths and profound, hidden weaknesses that collectively define their lives.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.19.2014
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