27th Feb2017

Academy Award Winners (Film)

by timbaros

1051065393The Academy Awards were handed out last night and it was almost La La Land that took Best Picture but the true winner was Moonlight and the mix up was quickly resolved to allow Moonlight’s producers to graciously accept their award.

La La Land did not leave empty-handed; it won six awards on the night, including Best Director (Damian Chazelle) and Best Actress (Emma Stone), among others. Casey Affleck won for Best Actor while Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor. Best Supporting Actress was awarded to Viola Davis for Fences.

Here is a complete list of winners:

BEST PICTURE

“Arrival”

“Fences”

“Hacksaw Ridge”

“Hell or High Water”

“Hidden Figures”

“La La Land”

“Lion”

“Manchester by the Sea”

“Moonlight” (WINNER)

1051065393

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea” (WINNER)

Andrew Garfield in “Hacksaw Ridge”

Ryan Gosling in “La La Land”

Viggo Mortensen in “Captain Fantastic”

Denzel Washington in “Fences”

Casey-Affleck-Wins-Best-Actor-At-2017-Oscars-DESPITE-Allegations-Controversy-Image-631582

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Jeff Bridges in “Hell or High Water”

Mahershala Ali in “Moonlight” (WINNER)

Lucas Hedges in “Manchester by the Sea”

Dev Patel in “Lion”

Michael Shannon in “Nocturnal Animals”

mahershala-ali-oscars

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Isabelle Huppert in “Elle”

Ruth Negga in “Loving”

Natalie Portman in “Jackie”

Emma Stone in “La La Land” (WINNER)

Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins”

emma-stone-oscars-2

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Nicole Kidman in “Lion”

Viola Davis in “Fences” (WINNER)

Naomie Harris in “Moonlight”

Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures”

Michelle Williams in “Manchester by the Sea”

viola-davis-wins-best-supporting-actress

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“Kubo and the Two Strings”

“Moana”

“My Life as a Zucchini”

“The Red Turtle”

“Zootopia” (WINNER)

CINEMATOGRAPHY

“Arrival”

“La La Land” (WINNER)

“Lion”

“Moonlight”

“Silence”

COSTUME DESIGN

“Allied”

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (WINNER)

“Florence Foster Jenkins”

“Jackie”

“La La Land”

“Fantastic

DIRECTING

“Arrival” – Denis Villeneuve

“Hacksaw Ridge” – Mel Gibson

“La La Land” – Damien Chazelle (WINNER)

“Manchester by the Sea” – Kenneth Lonergan

“Moonlight” – Barry Jenkins

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

“Fire at Sea”

“I Am Not Your Negro”

“Life, Animated”

“O.J.: Made in America” (WINNER)

“13th”

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

“Extremis”

“4.1 Miles”

“Joe’s Violin”

“Watani: My Homeland”

“The White Helmets” (WINNER)

FILM EDITING

“Arrival”

“Hacksaw Ridge” (WINNER)

“Hell or High Water”

“La La Land”

“Moonlight”

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

“Land of Mine”

“A Man Called Ove”

“The Salesman” (WINNER)

“Tanna”

“Toni Erdmann”

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

“A Man Called Ove”

“Star Trek Beyond”

“Suicide Squad” (WINNER)

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

“Jackie”

“La La Land” (WINNER)

“Lion”

“Moonlight”

“Passengers”

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land”

“Can’t Stop The Feeling” from “Trolls”

“City Of Stars” from “La La Land” (WINNER)

“The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story”

“How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”

PRODUCTION DESIGN

“Arrival”

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

“Hail, Caesar!”

“La La Land” (WINNER)

“Passengers”

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Blind Vaysha”

“Borrowed Time”

“Pear Cider and Cigarettes”

“Pearl”

“Piper” (WINNER)

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“Ennemis Intérieurs”

“La Femme et le TGV”

“Silent Nights”

“Sing” (WINNER)

“Timecode”

SOUND EDITING

“Arrival” (WINNER)

“Deepwater Horizon”

“Hacksaw Ridge”

“La La Land”

“Sully”

SOUND MIXING

“Arrival”

“Hacksaw Ridge” (WINNER)

“La La Land”

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”

VISUAL EFFECTS

“Deepwater Horizon”

“Doctor Strange”

“The Jungle Book” (WINNER)

“Kubo and the Two Strings”

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

“Arrival”

“Fences

“Hidden Figures”

“Lion”

“Moonlight” (WINNER)

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

“Hell or High Water”

“La La Land”

“The Lobster”

“Manchester by the Sea” (WINNER)

“20th Century Women”

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25th Feb2017

Academy Award Predictions (Film)

by timbaros

464191912_oscar-academy-awards-zoom-bb836c56-be14-43f3-9559-a4bd8253d5b7It’s been a great year for movies, and it all culminates on Sunday night with the award show to end all award shows – the Academy Awards. Herewith are my annual predictions as to what should win, and more importantly, what will win:

Best Picture:
The Academy saw it fit to nominate 9 films in this category (why not round it to 10? Perhaps Jackie or The Lobster?).
Almost all the films nominated in this category deserve to be here, with the exception of Arrival – it just wasn’t that good!
Should win: Moonlight – a beautifully told film about a young black man growing up gay in Miami. It could slip through and win on the heals of it’s rave reveiws and the ‘Oscars so White’ campaign of last year, but ‘La La Land’ is still the odds-on favorite to win.
Will win: La La Land. Hollywood loves films about itself (remember the all-star movie ‘Crash’ which shockingly won ten years ago over Brokeback Mountain?) La La Land has picked up the BAFTA and the Golden Globe awards – and it’s on track to win this category – even though it is not an excellent film.
Other nominees: Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Lion and Manchester by the Sea

Best Actor:
There is no contest in this category. Casey Affleck will deservedly win for his performance as a man struck by tragedy and who who has to raise the teenage son of his dead brother in Manchester by the Sea. None of the other acting nominees stand a chance as Affleck has won every award for this performance. He’s a much better actor than his brother, Ben.
Should and will win: Affleck
Other nominees: Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge, Ryan Gosling for La La Land, Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic and Denzel Washington for Fences.

Best Actress:
This category is hard to call. It’s a three-way race, and it’s anyone’s guess as to whose name will appear on the envelope. Emma Stone has won the BAFTA and Golden Globe (Comedy or Musical) for La La Land, however, Isabelle Huppert also won a Golden Globe (Drama) and is the sentimental favorite for her performance in Elle where she plays a woman who tracks down the man who raped her. A few months ago this award would’ve gone to Natalie Portman for her stunning performance in Jackie, however, the film was not great and it failed to get Best Picture, director or writing nominations. I’m not too sure why Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenikins was included, her performance was OK but Viola Davis for Fences really does belong in this category and not Supporting Actress.
Should win: Huppert – she is one of the France’s most iconic actress of all time and she’s been ignored by the Academy until now. She’s been nominated for the César Award (French Oscars) 16 times.
Will win: Stone. She will piggy-back on La La Land’s momentum on the night and win in this category.
Other nominee: Ruth Negga for Loving.

Best Supporting Actor: This is a category where any one of the actors nominated deserves to win. Dev Patel just won the BAFTA for Lion, while Mahershala Ali is gaining momentum for his portrayal of a drug dealer who befriends a young black child in Moonlight, and Jeff Bridges’ rancher in Hell or High Water has won several film critics awards. Michael Shannon was the second best thing in Nocturnal Animals – however, it was Aaron Taylor Johnson who had the meatiest role – he should’ve also been nominated in this category (he won the Golden Globe) but wasn’t.
Should win: Mahershalla Ali’s performance was exquisite.
Will win: Ali.
Other nominee is Lucas Hedges for Manchester by the Sea

Supporting Actress: This is the easiest category to call. Viola Davis has it all sewn up for her role in Fences where she plays Denzel Washington’s suffering wife. It’s a role thats leading and not supporting, but she’s in this category and will win. The other women don’t even stand a chance.
Should and will win: Davis
Other nominees: Naomie Harris for Moonlight, Nicole Kidman for Lion, Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures, and Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea.

Best Director: Damien Chazelle will win for La La Land as it’s the film to beat, an award he’s getting for his celebration of Los Angeles/Hollywood in his film. He’s won almost every other directing award this year, including the all-important Directors Guild of America Award which guarantees him a win in this category.
Should win: Barry Jenkins for Moonlight. It’s a film that’s different in so many ways – it’s about struggle, race, discrimination, acceptance, homophobia – themes that are so relevant in today’s crazy political environment, and Jenkins captures it beautifully.
Will win: Chazelle
Other nominees: Denis Villeneuve for Arrival, Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge and Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Moonlight will and should win this award for the reasons mentioned above. Jenkins, with the story by Tarell Alvin McCraney, is the standout in this category. Other nominees: include Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures and Lion.

Writing (Original Screenplay): Chazelle will take the statuette in this category for a film that is as original as they come.
Should win: Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea because it’s a pull at your heartstrings kind of film that’s packs a strong punch.
Will win: Chazelle
Other nominees include Hell or High Water, The Lobster and 20th Century Women.

Best Animated Feature Film: Zootopia should and will win this award. It’s Disney and they’ve got a good track record in this category. Other nominees include Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini and The Red Turtle.
The 89th Annual Academy Awards will be shown live on television here in the UK on Sunday night/Monday morning on Sky Cinena (channel 304) at 1:30 a.m. For those of you who are unable to stay up all night to watch the show, an Oscar highlights show will air on Monday night at 10:00 p.m. on Sky Living (221).

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25th Feb2017

The Girls (Theatre)

by timbaros

LtoR Claire Machin, Sophie-Louise Dann, Joanna Riding, Claire Moore and Debbie Chazen in THE GIRLS. Credit Matt Crockett, DewyntersThere are several women of a certain age taking their clothes off in the West End.

No, these women are not strippers – they’re in a musical comedy called ‘The Girls’ based on the famous calendar girls of Yorkshire who took their clothes off for a calendar to raise money. And it’s no surprise that the actresses in this show take their clothes off to pose, just like the real women!

It’s a good time for the audiences in a show written by perennial favorite and Take That member Gary Barlow, along with Tim Firth (who co-wrote the movie). It provides lots of music that carry the Take That sound – top 40 middle of the road – enjoyable even at time when the storyline is a bit uneven and a bit too simple.

Almost everyone knows about these girls (well, they are not exactly girls – they are ladies), and if you haven’t seen the 2003 hit movie (which starred Helen Mirren and Julie Walters), then ‘The Girls’ tells their story again. Anna (Joanna Riding) has lost her husband and she wants to raise money for a memorial couch at the hospital where he was treated to replace the broken down couch. Chris (an excellent Claire Moore) comes up with the idea (after seeing a Dutch women’s stripper calendar) that instead of having the usual bake sale, why don’t they pose, not naked, but nude, for a calendar? She rallies her local women’s club – W1 – but of course there’s dissent – especially by leader Marie (Marian McLoughlin) – who vehemently opposes the idea – she’ll have none of that – she doesn’t want to destroy the reputation and image of the club where they are trying to be role models for the younger generation. Of course as you can guess, the women do eventually disrobe for a calendar and the rest is history.

‘The Girls’ is a very lighthearted (and very lightweight) musical which combines hummable tunes with a weak storyline. But it’s credit to all of the actresses who actually disrobe on stage – they do it with such grace and elegance (and lots and lots of humor) that I wished the show would’ve stretched this bit even more (no, not just to linger more at the naked women but to celebrate their openness and non-reserve!). The women are all excellent, but Michelle Dotrice as Jessie really shines as the elder woman takes if off with such candor. Another storyline in the show really seems to go nowhere – Chris’ son Danny (a good Ben Hunter) and his friend Tommo (Josh Benson) try to impress the rebellious Jenny (Chloe May Jackson) but the storyline goes nowhere, and Tommo disappears for most of the second act only to come back with one line. The set is a bit confusing (bookcases litter the stage – piled very high, used as a door as well, and an ugly scary tree pops down every now and then. But with catchy tunes such as ‘Yorkshire’ and ‘Dare’ that will have you humming for days afterward, ‘The Girls’ will put a smile on your face and will remind you that being ‘nude’ is not a big deal!

‘The Girls’ is now playing at the Phoenix Theatre until July, 2017. To buy tickets, please visit:
http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-girls/phoenix-theatre/#showinfotabs=showtimes

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12th Feb2017

BAFTA Award Winners (Film)

by timbaros

la-la-land-2016-002-ryan-gosling-emma-stone-crossing-los-angeles-bridge‘La La Land’ sweeps up four prizes, while Ken Loach’s ‘I, Daniel Blake’ is named best British film.

Damien Chazelle’s ‘La La Land’ was the big winner at the 2017 BAFTAs, scooping four awards, including best picture and best director. First screening to UK audiences at the BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®, Chazelle’s exuberant musical also won best actress for Emma Stone and best original music.

Ken Loach’s powerful welfare state drama ‘I, Daniel Blake’, backed by the BFI Film Fund, was named the year’s outstanding British film, while Babak Anvari’s horror film ‘Under the Shadow’ won best British debut.

Other BAFTA-winning films that screened at the BFI London Film Festival include Best Actor for Casey Affleck for ‘Manchester by the Sea’, Dev Patel as Best Supporting Actor in ‘Lion,’ ’13th,’ ‘Son of Saul’ and ‘Arrival.’

Complete list of winners:

Best film

Winner: La La Land – Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt

Arrival – Dan Levine, Shawn Levy, David Linde, Aaron Ryder
I, Daniel Blake – Rebecca O’Brien
Manchester by the Sea – Lauren Beck, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Kimberly Steward, Kevin J. Walsh
Moonlight – Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski

Director

Winner: La La Land – Damien Chazelle

Arrival – Denis Villeneuve
I, Daniel Blake – Ken Loach
Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford

Leading actress

Winner: Emma Stone – La La Land

Amy Adams – Arrival
Emily Blunt – The Girl on the Train
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins
Natalie Portman – Jackie

Leading actor

Winner: Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nocturnal Animals
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic

Supporting actor

Winner: Dev Patel – Lion

Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Nocturnal Animals
Hugh Grant – Florence Foster Jenkins
Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Supporting actress

Winner: Viola Davis – Fences

Hayley Squires – I, Daniel Blake
Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – Lion

Outstanding British film

Winner: I, Daniel Blake – Ken Loach, Rebecca O’Brien, Paul Laverty

American Honey – Andrea Arnold, Lars Knudsen, Pouya Shahbazian, Jay Van Hoy
Denial – Mick Jackson, Gary Foster, Russ Krasnoff, David Hare
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – David Yates, J.K. Rowling, David Heyman, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram
Notes on Blindness – Peter Middleton, James Spinney, Mike Brett, Jo-Jo Ellison, Steve Jamison
Under the Shadow – Babak Anvari, Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill, Lucan Toh
Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer

Winner: Under the Shadow – Babak Anvari (Writer/Director), Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill, Lucan Toh (Producers)

The Girl with All the Gifts – Mike Carey (Writer), Camille Gatin (Producer)
The Hard Stop – George Amponsah (Writer/Director/Producer), Dionne Walker (Writer/Producer)
Notes on Blindness – Peter Middleton (Writer/Director/Producer), James Spinney (Writer/Director), Jo-Jo Ellison (Producer)
The Pass – John Donnelly (Writer), Ben A. Williams (Director)
Under the Shadow: the films that influenced this creepy Iranian horror
Original screenplay

Winner: Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan

Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
I, Daniel Blake – Paul Laverty
La La Land – Damien Chazelle
Moonlight – Barry Jenkins

Adapted screenplay

Winner: Lion – Luke Davies

Arrival – Eric Heisserer
Hacksaw Ridge – Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight
Hidden Figures – Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder
Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford

Film not in the English language

Winner: Son of Saul – László Nemes, Gábor Sipos

Dheepan – Jacques Audiard, Pascal Caucheteux
Julieta – Pedro Almodóvar
Mustang – Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Charles Gillibert
Toni Erdmann – Maren Ade, Janine Jackowski
Documentary

Winner: 13th – Ava Duvernay

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years – Ron Howard
The Eagle Huntress – Otto Bell, Stacey Reiss
Notes on Blindness – Peter Middleton, James Spinney
Weiner – Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg
Animated film

Winner: Kubo and the Two Strings – Travis Knight

Finding Dory – Andrew Stanton
Moana – Ron Clements, John Musker
Zootopia – Byron Howard, Rich Moore

Original music

Winner: La La Land – Justin Hurwitz

Arrival – Jóhann Jóhannsson
Jackie – Mica Levi
Lion – Dustin O’halloran, Hauschka
Nocturnal Animals – Abel Korzeniowski

Cinematography

Winner: La La Land – Linus Sandgren

Arrival – Bradford Young
Hell or High Water – Giles Nuttgens
Lion – Greig Fraser
Nocturnal Animals – Seamus Mcgarvey

Editing

Winner: Hacksaw Ridge – John Gilbert

Arrival – Joe Walker
La La Land – Tom Cross
Manchester by the Sea – Jennifer Lame
Nocturnal Animals – Joan Sobel

Production design

Winner: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Stuart Craig, Anna Pinnock

Doctor Strange – John Bush, Charles Wood
Hail, Caesar! – Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh
La La Land – Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, David Wasco
Nocturnal Animals – Shane Valentino, Meg Everist

Costume design

Winner: Jackie – Madeline Fontaine

Allied – Joanna Johnston
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Colleen Atwood
Florence Foster Jenkins – Consolata Boyle
La La Land – Mary Zophres

 

Makeup & hair

Winner: Florence Foster Jenkins – J. Roy Helland, Daniel Phillips

Doctor Strange – Jeremy Woodhead
Hacksaw Ridge – Shane Thomas
Nocturnal Animals – Donald Mowat, Yolanda Toussieng
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Nominees TBC

Sound

Winner: Arrival – Claude La Haye, Bernard Gariépy Strobl, Sylvain Bellemare

Deepwater Horizon – Mike Prestwood Smith, Dror Mohar, Wylie Stateman, David Wyman
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Niv Adiri, Glenn Freemantle, Simon Hayes, Andy Nelson, Ian Tapp
Hacksaw Ridge – Peter Grace, Robert Mackenzie, Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright
La La Land – Mildred Iatrou Morgan, Ai-Ling Lee, Steve A. Morrow, Andy Nelson
Special visual effects

Winner: The Jungle Book – Robert Legato, Dan Lemmon, Andrew R. Jones, Adam Valdez

Arrival – Louis Morin
Doctor Strange – Richard Bluff, Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Tim Burke, Pablo Grillo, Christian Manz, David Watkins
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Neil Corbould, Hal Hickel, Mohen Leo, John Knoll, Nigel Sumner

British short animation

Winner: A Love Story – Khaled Gad, Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara, Elena Ruscombe-King

The Alan Dimension – Jac Clinch, Jonathan Harbottle, Millie Marsh
Tough – Jennifer Zheng

British short film

Winner: Home – Shpat Deda, Afolabi Kuti, Daniel Mulloy, Scott O’Donnell

Consumed – Richard John Seymour
Mouth of Hell – Bart Gavigan, Samir Mehanovic, Ailie Smith, Michael Wilson
The Party – Farah Abushwesha, Emmet Fleming, Andrea Harkin, Conor Macneill
Standby – Charlotte Regan, Jack Hannon

EE Rising Star Award (Voted for by the public)

Winner: Tom Holland

Anya Taylor-Joy
Laia Costa
Lucas Hedges
Ruth Negga

Outstanding contribution to British film

Curzon

BAFTA Fellowship

Mel Brooks

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12th Feb2017

The Boys in the Band (Theatre)

by timbaros

The Boys in the Band - Company - cDarren BellA play that was originally produced off Broadway in 1968 has returned to the West End again, it’s the famous gay play ‘The Boys in The Band.’

Written by Martin Crowley, and fresh from last year’s run at the Park Theatre, the durability of this play is a testament to the crisp and hilarious writing, and the performances of the actors, of the trials and tribulations of eight gay men (and one possibly straight man) which makes this play endure.

The story, in case you don’t know, is about a birthday party for Harold (a very good Mark Gatiss), a posh 42-year old gay man who seems to have everything. The party takes place in the very nice apartment of Michael (Ian Hallard, Gatiss’s real-life husband), with posters of film divas (Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis and lots of Judy Garland) that cleverly hang on the walls. The first to arrive at the birthday party is Donald (Daniel Boys), good looking and employed as a cleaner. He seems to be the most stable of the bunch. Then there’s Hank (Nathan Nolan) and Larry (Ben Mansfield), a couple who bring down the mood because of the constant tension between them. Do they really love each other? Then there’s Emory (an excellent James Holmes – the true star of the show). He’s witty, camp, funny and hilarious with the best lines. Emory, incidentally, has hired a not too smart male stripper named Cowboy (Jack Derges) who was supposed to arrive at Midnight (Midnight Cowboy – get it?), but arrives before the birthday boy gets there. He’s as hot and sexy as you would expect, and Derges plays him perfectly. Then there is a straight friend of Michael’s who comes to the party because he happens to be nearby. Throw this in along with a phone game and all of this creates more drama and tension in a play with a multitude of characters that you will either love or hate, though more than likely you will hate them.

‘The Boys in the Band’ is a play that is very outdated. It portrays gay men as bitter, angry and more importantly, lonely and outcast, but times have changed. And this show, which has been produced many times, has the same cast who were in the Park Theatre production last October. The actors are all very good (Holmes is really living it up on stage and looks like he’s really enjoying himself), the set is very clever, and the rest of the cast are very good, but it’s time to put this story to bed. ‘The Boys in the Band’ has been done to death. And as one of the characters says in the show ‘show me a happy homosexual and I’ll show you a gay corpse’ – this show is no longer relevant.

‘The Boys in the Band’ is playing at London’s Vaudeville Theatre until Saturday, February 18th.

https://www.nimaxtheatres.com/vaudeville-theatre/the_boys_in_the_band

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07th Feb2017

Akron (Film)

by timbaros

Edmund Donovan (front) and Matthew Frias (back) in AKRON - Courtesy of Wolfe VideoTwo young college men fall in love but are linked to a tragedy that took place years ago in the excellent ‘Akron.’

Hispanic Benny (Matthew Frias) and white All-American Christopher (Edmund Donovan) meet on the football pitch on their college campus. They have an instantaneous attraction to each other, and start dating. Benny still lives at home with his parents which includes his warm loving mom Lenora (an excellent Andrea Burns) and his lawyer father and younger sister. Benny’s parents are very accepting of his homosexuality, but they not quite over the loss of a son who died many years ago.

Benny and Christopher start spending a lot of time together – they really like each other and are a good match. They decide to go to Florida to stay with Christopher’s mom Carol (a good Amy Da Luz) where they plan to spend a perfect and romantic spring break. However, Christopher’s mom opens up to Benny about the tragedy that befell both their families years ago – a tragedy that’s probably worst of it’s kind. It leads Benny to question his relationship with Christopher. He was starting to fall in love with Christopher but the revelation by Christopher’s mom changes everything, enough so to have Benny’s parents forbiding him to see Christopher anymore. Benny has to make some adult decisions, but does he decide with his heart or does he listen to his family?

‘Akron’s’ truly a romantic film about two young men in love and events that make them grow up very fast. It has an undertone of sadness, yet it overcomes this to bring us a film that is heartfelt and emotional. And it’s got a first rate cast – both Frias and Donovan are very good, and Burns is excellent and natural as Benny’s mother. Directors Sasha King and Brian O’Donnell give us a movie, from a script by O’Donnell, that will pull at your heartstrings. Superb music by Bill Snodgrass sets the tone for each scene – creating the music in Dublin, Ireland where he played composed the score and played every instrument himself. Make sure you watch ‘Akron.’

Releasing February 7th on DVD / VOD

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05th Feb2017

Gold (Film)

by timbaros
GOLD_08479.dng

GOLD_08479.dng

Matthew McConaughey deservedly won an Oscar a couple years back for his portrayal of an AIDS victim in the film ‘Dallas Buyers Club.’ He definitely won’t win one for his new film ‘Gold.’

‘Gold’ is the true story of American Kenny Wells – a man so intent in following in his father’s footsteps that he’ll do anything to succeed. His father, played by Craig T. Nelson, founded a mining company, and Kenny wants to keep the company going strong. So he goes in search of gold, a commodity that he hopes is easy to find and which he hopes will make him extremely rich. He teams up with geologist Mike Acosta (Edgar Ramirez), and with Mike’s expertise in knowing where exactly to mine for gold (it is in the unchartered jungles of Indonesia), they easily, perhaps too easily, find gold, and become very very rich. Their company goes public and the stock goes up and up and up. Other larger companies start circling around them like vultures trying to buy them out, with investments bankers ready to seal the deal to become rich themselves. It’s all about money and who can trump who, but it comes at a cost. Wells gets malaria in the Indonesian jungle and almost doesn’t survive, his long-term girlfriend Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard) doesn’t like the man he’s become, and to top it off, is Acosta the man he appears to be? It’s basically ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ all over again. And if you remember McConnaughey’s excellent cameo in that movie (as a rich and successful banker mentor), well in ‘Gold’ he is playing a similar character. It’s fine for a few minutes of showmanship but for more than two hours it gets to be a bit too much.

McConaughey, who put on the pounds for this role (he lost the pounds for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’), overacts and overacts. ‘Gold,’ which is set in the eighties, shows Wells as a man who gets everything he wants, and method actor McConaughey plays it over the top. Howard is much much better as his girlfriend – all she wants is the simple life and does not care for nights at the Waldorf Hotel or expensive meals. The standout in this film is Ramirez. He’s charistmastic and extremely believable as Well’s business partner, a man who knows his business and can charm both the men and the women. Ramirez was also the lone standout in the awful ‘The Girl on a Train’ as Doctor Kamal Abdic. Make him a leading man already! Directed by Stephen Gaghan (Traffic and Syriana), in ‘Gold’ there’s no excitement, no feeling of happiness or sadness when the characters go through through their ups and downs. And the soundtrack is just god awful – the music just doesn’t go with the scenes in the film – it’s tepid at best but belongs in an old cowboy western movie. Originally scheduled to open wide on December 25, 2016, it was pushed back to open on January 27, with the December 25 release staying a limited release in order to qualify for awards. The film’s limited release was then pushed back to December 30, 2016, four days after its presumed date. ‘Gold’ has not been nominated for any awards, it doesn’t deserve any.

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05th Feb2017

Gay and Lesbian Film Critics choose ‘Moonlight’ as Best Picture (Film)

by timbaros

ml_webAfter being nominated for 7 Dorian awards, ‘Moonlight’ has been named Best Film of the Year by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Circle (GALECA).

This coming-of-age drama set in Miami over a span of 20 years was also voted LGBTQ Film of the Year, and won awards for Barry Jenkins for his direction and screenplay. Mahershala Ali was named Best Actor, while Trevante Rhodes, who plays the adult version of the film’s main character, was voted the Rising Star Award.

Viola Davis won Best Actress for her role in ‘Fences.’

The late Carrie Fisher was awarded Wilde Wit of the Year (honoring a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse) while John Water was named Timeless Star ((honoring an actor or performer whose exemplary career is marked by character, wisdom and wit).

GALECA is comprised of more than 170 film and TV critics and entertainment journalists across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. The awards cover both film and television.

The winners will be honored at a special ‘toast’ ceremony to be held on Saturday February 18th in Los Angeles.

Here is a complete list of the winners:

Film of the Year
Moonlight (A24)

Director of the Year (Film or Television)
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (A24)

Film Performance of the Year – Actress
Viola Davis, Fences (Paramount)

Film Performance of the Year – Actor
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (A24)

LGBTQ Film of the Year:
Moonlight (A24)

Foreign-Language Film of the Year
The Handmaiden (Amazon Studios)

Screenplay of the Year
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (A24)

Documentary of the Year (theatrical release, TV airing or DVD release)
O.J.: Made in America (ESPN Films)

Visually Striking Film of the Year
La La Land (Lionsgate)

Unsung Film of the Year
Christine (The Orchard)

Campy Film of the Year
The Dressmaker (Broad Green/Amazon Studios)

TV Drama of the Year
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)

TV Comedy of the Year
Transparent (Amazon)

TV Performance of the Year – Actor
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent (Amazon)

TV Performance of the Year – Actress
Sarah Paulson, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX)

TV Current Affairs Show of the Year
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (TBS)

TV Musical Performance of the Year
Kate McKinnon, “Hallelujah,” Saturday Night Live (NBC)

LGBTQ TV Show of the Year
Transparent (Amazon)

Unsung TV Show of the Year
The Real O’Neals (ABC)

Campy TV Show of the Year
RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars (Logo)

We’re Wilde About You! Rising Star of the Year
Trevante Rhodes

Wilde Wit of the Year (honoring a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse):
Carrie Fisher

Wilde Artist of the Year (honoring a truly groundbreaking force in the fields of film, theater and/or television) (tie)
Kate McKinnon
Lin-Manuel Miranda

Timeless Star (honoring an actor or performer whose exemplary career is marked by character, wisdom and wit)
John Waters

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05th Feb2017

Deepwater Horizon (DVD

by timbaros

dwh_d42_12682_r_crop-credit-david-leeIn what is the best action dramatic thriller you’ll see so far this year, ‘Deepwater Horizon’ delivers on all levels. It’s also very inspirational and heartbreaking as we all know it’s a true story.
On April 20th, 2010, eleven men were killed when their drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana exploded, creating the worst oil spill in history. ‘Deepwater Horizon’ tells the events leading up to the disaster, then the actual explosion, and it’s aftermath and impact on the lives of the people who survived, and is also a tribute to the men who lost their lives.

Directed with much intensity by Peter Berg, a former actor turned director (2013’s Lone Survivor), and starring Mark Wahlberg as the real life Mike Williams – the Transocean chief electronics technician who worked for the company that owned the rig. Williams was the man who was overseeing the rig’s computers and electrical systems at the time of the explosion. ‘Deepwater Horizon’ shows, in detail, how family man Miller was in a race to save as many of the crew as possible, while putting his own life in danger. He also has a wife Felicia (Kate Hudson) and daughter back home he desperately wants to get back to.

On that fateful day, the Deepwater Horizon, an ultra-deep-water, advanced oil rig owned by the Swiss company Transocean and leased by British Petroleum, was drilling deep in a well named Macondo. What’s ironic is that when the explosion occurred executives from British Petroleum (who chartered the rig) were present because the drilling for oil was 43 days and $50 million behind schedule. John Malkovich plays Donald Vidrine, a BP executive who was there to push the men to complete drilling the well as soon as possible. Against the wishes of Deepwater Horizon’s installation manager Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell, very effective and in one of his best performances ever), Vidrine orders the crew to perform negative pressure tests (an attempt to lower the pressure inside the well to ensure that the well can withstand that pressure without any leaks). These tests were the catalyst to what happens next; mud, oil and water starts seeping out of the drills, intensifying and then stabilising, but then tragedy strikes. And when it does, everyone is caught off guard, including Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez), the 23-year old woman who helped operate the rig’s navigation machinery. The BP executives are shell-shocked, and them and the crew scramble for lifeboats that would lead them to safety, while some men were caught up in the deadly flames. There are harrowing scenes of explosions, fire, and survival that will take your breathe away, and very emotional scenes at the end that will have you reaching for a tissue.

‘Deepwater Horizon’ excels in the way the story is told and shown; we are witness to the emotional and physical impact of the explosion, and we get to experience it with the flames and the crackling of the metal as it comes crashing down. This is thanks to special effects (and the pulsating soundtrack which adds to the intensity) that don’t even look like special effects – the explosion and flames are that intense, so intense that you can practically feel the heat come off the screen. And while some may blame the film for being about one man’s heroic efforts to save everyone (with Wahlberg in action star mode, perhaps maybe a bit too much), Mike Williams did save lots of lives and this is indeed his story, and this film is the chance to tell that story, and it does so extremely well. Berg’s human centred approach to the story brings us closer to the lives of the people who were caught up in the disaster – it’s the human element to the story that is the takeaway – the survivors as well as the dead.



Deepwater Horizon [DVD] [2016] (DVD)

Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dylan O'Brien, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, Gina Rodriguez
Rating: Suitable for 12 years and over

New From: £5.66 GBP In Stock
Used from: £4.26 GBP In Stock
Release date January 30, 2017.
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01st Feb2017

The White King (Film)

by timbaros

Lorenzo Allchurch in The White King 2‘The White King’ is not a film that will cheer you up.

It’s about a young boy who is growing up in a country ruled by a dictator, where rules are set in place, and where there is no freedom. This film comes at a time in our real world when we are dealing with the likes of Brexit and American President Donald Trump, and the possibility (probably not) that Trump will start banning all minorities and will control much what Americans do and say. Such is the story of ‘The White King.’ It’s a dystopian society called Homeland where Djata (Lorenzo Allchurch) and his parents Peter (Ross Patridge) and mother Hannah (Agyness Deyn) attempt to meek out a living. When Peter is arrested for being politically incorrect, Djata and Hannah are left to survive among (and are labeled traitors by the government) the rules and regulations their society has to abide by. And to make matters more intimidating, the community is overlooked by a huge statue called the White King – so big and imposing it’s as if it’s the dictator is literally looking down on them.

Djata gets to visit his grandparents where his grandfather teaches him to shoot. Djata is coming of age where soon enough he faces the prospect of perhaps going to war for his country, and who realizes that his mother is going slightly mad. ‘The White King’ is a film about Djata’s journey, his journey through life, through society, and growing up all too quick.

‘The Empire of the Sun’ comes to mind when trying to describe this film. While ‘Empire’ is a masterpiece and perhaps one of the best films ever made (and which starred a very young Christian Bale), ‘The White King’ of course does not measure up to ‘Empire.’ But it’s a quiet film with a strong message, supported by very good performances and a believable story. Adapted from a novel by Gyorgy Dragoman, and directed by Alex Helfrecht and Jörg Tittel, it’s a simple story that will leave an impression on you in these troubled times that we now live in. The plot in ‘The White King’ could soon become reality in Trump’s world. Scary.



The White King [DVD] (DVD)

Director: Alex Helfrecht, Jörg Tittel
Starring: Jonathan Pryce, Agyness Deyn, Fiona Shaw, Olivia Williams
Rating: To Be Announced

New From: £1.86 GBP In Stock
Used from: £1.47 GBP In Stock
Release date January 30, 2017.
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