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* BBC Films

* The Guardian (Film)

  • post Killer queens: how The Favourite reigns over Mary Queen of Scots - 10 December
  • Two new royal dramas both offer feminist reappropriations of history but they exist on opposite ends of the courtThere may be no surefire short cut to awards glory, but as strategies go, playing a British monarch has a higher strike rate than most - dating back to 1932, when Charles Laughton scooped the best actor Oscar for The Private Life of Henry VIII. More recently, Judi Dench?s late-blooming film career was rewarded with a slew of awards and an Oscar nomination for her Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown. The next year, she took the gold for an eight-minute turn as Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love; that same year, Cate Blanchett narrowly lost the leading prize for playing the same queen in Elizabeth. Related: Mary Queen of Scots review ? Saoirse Ronan rules over political drama Continue reading...
  • post And the 2018 Braddies go to ? Peter Bradshaw's films of the year - 10 December
  • Guardian Film?s official best of the year list ? voted for by a panel of reviewers, writers and editors ? is into the final furlong. Meanwhile, here are our chief critic?s personal picksSee our countdown of the 50 best films of 2018This year?s awards season peaks here with the publication of the ?Braddies? ? that is, my personal 10-strong best-of lists for films released this calendar year. These are distinct from the paper?s top 50, and come in the categories best film, best director, best actor, best actress, best supporting actor and actress, best screenplay, best cinematography and best documentary. There are also two new categories this year: best directorial debut and the special Braddie award for the quirkiest film overlooked by the complacent MSM gatekeeper-establishment that may be a future cult classic. (Last year it went unofficially to Gore Verbinski?s A Cure for Wellness, and I am standardising the award this year).As ever, I invite readers to peruse this list and comment on omissions etc below. Continue reading...
  • post The 50 best films of 2018 in the UK: No 10 ? Hereditary - 10 December
  • Increasing the sense of impending horror to almost unbearable intensity, Ari Aster?s terrifying debut caused convulsions ? without a jump-scare in sightSee the rest of the UK countdownThe best culture of 2018This year, first-time director Ari Aster gave us a scary movie which gave us all the delicious pleasures of big-screen fear, along with a killer lead performance. That perennially excellent actor Toni Collette gave us some of the best work of her career as Annie, a contemporary artist and miniaturist. She specialises in intricately wrought dioramas with scenes taken from her own life, all reduced to Lilliputian scale. Clearly, this artistic approach says something about her own control-freakery and dysfunction. Annie?s elderly mother, an unpleasant old woman with whom Annie and her husband did not particularly get on, has just died after a long history of dementia. But then she makes contact from beyond the grave, wanting somehow to take over Annie?s 13-year-old son, her grandson, and somehow claim him in the cause of evil. Related: Hereditary review ? Toni Collette is outstanding in brilliant fear machine Continue reading...
  • post Amanda Bynes, back in Hollywood: what a girl wants? - 10 December
  • After her public downfall, the former teen actor is back on Twitter and thinking about making films again. Is the celebrity spotlight the right place to return to?Remember Amanda Bynes? You might do from such teen comedies as What a Girl Wants, in which she discovers her dad is Colin Firth and comes to England to de-Englishize him. Or She?s the Man, in which she masqueraded as a boy to play soccer and charm Channing Tatum. Or before that, Nickelodeon?s The Amanda Show.Alternatively, you might remember Bynes for her subsequent, very public flame-out, induced by a toxic combination of body-image anxieties, child-star pressures and dangerously easy access to both narcotics and social media. During the 2000s, print and online media alike reported on Bynes?s escapades and misfortunes with relish; many of them read like episodes from a stoner comedy. Like her courtroom appearance for allegedly throwing a bong out of her 36th-floor window when the police came calling (the case was dismissed). Or the time she reportedly started a fire in a stranger?s driveway. There were no charges brought against her but she did accidentally douse her dog in petrol and have to go into a store to rinse it off. Continue reading...
  • post Streaming: the missing films of Roeg and Bertolucci - 10 December
  • Tried and failed to explore the online back catalogues of the late Nicolas Roeg and Bernardo Bertolucci recently? You?re not alone?Just as the death of famous musicians tends to send their albums soaring back up the charts, you?d expect a spike in demand for the work of major film-makers when they pass on. The recent one-two loss of Nicolas Roeg and Bernardo Bertolucci in the space of a weekend presumably sent many a cinephile scrambling to their streaming outlet of choice to pay couch-based tribute.They may have run into some difficulties, however. As it turns out, even such legendary filmographies as Roeg?s and Bertolucci?s are scattered inconsistently across the streaming universe, with many of even their most high-profile works nowhere to be found. Who would have thought, for example, that Bertolucci?s lavish Forbidden City spectacular The Last Emperor ? winner of nine Oscars back in 1988, and arguably his most middlebrow success ? would be unavailable to stream anywhere? The same goes for his monumental rustic epic 1900, or his dizzyingly gorgeous political mystery The Spider?s Stratagem. Continue reading...
  • post Bumblebee review - Transformers spinoff that dumps 'Bayhem' for old-school spirit - 09 December
  • With a new director at the helm, the standard Transformers crassness has been replaced by a sweetness reminiscent of classic SpielbergIn a better, truer cinematic universe, Travis Knight would have been in charge of the Transformers franchise all along. For this prequel/spin-off, the sixth in the series, the director gets under the hood of Michael Bay?s pumped-up blockbuster machine, and strips it down to something succinct, fun and sweet-toned. Hitherto ? with its two-and-a-half- hour runtimes, mindless plots, jive-talking robots and Victoria?s Secret casting?the series seemed to have been scripted by an AI that had done its deep-learning on Donald Trump?s Twitter feed. Instead, Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) and writer Christina Hodson offer up a heartfelt, old-school, almost ET-esque story (albeit with the full CGI trimmings) of a teenage girl and her faithful protector: in this case, her Volkswagen Beetle-cum-alien footsoldier.Amid the relentless ?Bayhem? of the preceding five films, characterisation wasn?t exactly a strong point. Bumblebee ? the dinky yellow sidekick Transformer who befriends Shia LaBeouf at the start of the first film and speaks in snippets of FM radio ? was perhaps the only viable option for a spin-off. Knight restores Bumblebee to the VW design rejected by Bay for looking too much like Herbie, and strands him on Earth in 1987 with orders to set up a refuge for the Autobot rebels trying escape war on their home planet Cybertron. After a run-in with the military, he winds up with his memory wiped in a San Francisco junkyard being eyed up by Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), a klutzy, Smiths-loving goth misfit still finding her path after her dad?s death. Continue reading...
  • post 'I sincerely apologise': Kevin Hart steps down from hosting Oscars ? video explainer - 07 December
  • Kevin Hart has announced he is stepping down as host of next year's Oscars ceremony following an outcry over perceived homophobic comments from the comedian. Hart initially refused to apologise, but then posted an apology on TwitterKevin Hart steps down as Oscars host after three days of controversyThe Kevin Hart Oscars debacle is a lesson in the way power works | Peter Bradshaw Continue reading...
  • post Avengers: Endgame ? title and trailer for new Marvel movie revealed - 07 December
  • First footage from the fourth film in the popular superhero series, and sequel to Infinity War, makes its debut onlineThis article contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War
    The trailer for the fourth Avengers film, Avengers: Endgame, has been launched on to the internet. Related: Avengers 4 trailer: five things we learned about Marvel's Endgame movie Continue reading...
  • post Kevin Hart steps down as Oscars host after three days of controversy - 07 December
  • Actor apologises to LGBTQ community for past ?insensitive words? and says he does not want ?to be a distraction? Kevin Hart has announced he is stepping down as host of next year?s Oscars ceremony following an outcry over perceived homophobic comments and tweets from the comedian.On Friday Hart posted an apology to the LGBTQ community on Twitter for his past ?insensitive words? and confirmed he would not take on the gig, so as not to be a ?distraction?. Continue reading...
  • post New York magazine deletes article calling Priyanka Chopra a 'scam artist' - 06 December
  • Magazine apologises for piece, attacked as racist, about actor?s marriage to Nick Jonas
    New York magazine has deleted an article that labelled the actor Priyanka Chopra a ?global scam artist? who had conned musician Nick Jonas into marrying her after it was widely panned, especially by Indian readers.The piece, published on the magazine?s the Cut website, a spinoff aimed at female readers, painted Chopra, 36, as a calculating figure whose relationship with Jonas was influenced more by a desire to further her career than love. Continue reading...

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