Anticipating The 67th Edinburgh International Film Festival Line-Up Announcement

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With the full line-up announcement only a day away, it’s hard not to speculate what films are likely to unspool at the 67th Edinburgh International Film Festival next month. In previous years, we’ve been way off mark, choosing bigger films over the usual smaller ones Edinburgh likes to promote. However, with the welcome regeneration the festival experienced last year, it’s only natural to feel optimistic about what might be on offer this year, and the revelations so far have only propelled this. Continue reading “Anticipating The 67th Edinburgh International Film Festival Line-Up Announcement”

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Jessica Brown Findlay Lands Lead Role In Winter’s Tale

Jessica Brown Findlay has sought off competition to land the lead role in Warner Bros. Pictures’ Winter’s Tale, a forthcoming adaptation of Mark Helprin’s acclaimed 1983 novel of the same name, Deadline is reporting.

Best known as Lady Sybil in Downton Abbey, Brown Findlay also starred in last year’s coming-of-age drama Albatross, where she appeared as the feisty Emelia opposite Sebastian Koch, Felicity Jones and Julia Ormond, and is set to star in Shoplifters Of The World, a film about the demise of iconic British band The Continue reading “Jessica Brown Findlay Lands Lead Role In Winter’s Tale”

DVD Releases: February 6, 2012

Midnight In Paris (Review)

Director: Woody Allen

Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams & Kathy Bates

Synopsis: A romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better. Continue reading “DVD Releases: February 6, 2012”

Evening Standard British Film Awards 2012: Nominations

Shame, Tyrannosaur and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy lead the nominations for the 39th London Evening Standard British Film Awards.

Selected by a host of Britain’s leading film critics, the London Evening Standard British Film Awards recognise the skill and audacity of those involved with the British film industry.

The awards, hosted by Stephen Mangan, will take place on Monday, February 6 Continue reading “Evening Standard British Film Awards 2012: Nominations”

2011: A Film Bloggers Retrospective

In the middle of last year, I – a budding cinephile – made the decision to become a film writer. A month or two after this rather out-of-the-blue decision, I successfully applied to write for (according to up-to-date Wikio stats) the UK’s top film website HeyUGuys. Subsequently, I created my own blog, Centrefolds & Empty Screens: a sanctum for me to convey my love of cinema through reviews and other, more personal posts. However, it wasn’t until this year that I grew more confident in myself (though that’s not saying much as I still often doubt my abilities) and started to gain recognition from Continue reading “2011: A Film Bloggers Retrospective”

Best Ten Films Of 2011

While 2011 hasn’t exactly been a year of record-breaking box office success, it has been a fantastic one for British cinema, emerging talent and unique independent features which found themselves surpassing the popularity of many much bigger movies.

The films I’ve chosen – and believe me when I say it wasn’t an easy process – are what I think represent the pinnacle of the cinema I Continue reading “Best Ten Films Of 2011”

BIFA Awards 2011: Nominations

Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur, Steve McQueen’s Shame and Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy lead the nominations for the 14th annual Moët British Independent Film Awards (BIFA’s), which were announced at a ceremony in London earlier today.

Other nominees include Ben Wheatley’s Kill List, Richard Ayoade’s Subarmine, Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin and John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard. 

The BIFA’s, an awards ceremony aimed squarely at acknowledging the Continue reading “BIFA Awards 2011: Nominations”

Cinema Releases: October 14, 2011

Real Steel (Review)

Director: Shawn Levy

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly and Dakota Goyo Continue reading “Cinema Releases: October 14, 2011”

Trailer: Albatross (2010)

Albatross first turned up on my radar when I heard the shamefully underrated and always transcendent Felicity Jones had signed up to star in a major role. A few months went by without any further news – most likely because the film was deep in production – until it was announced that it would receive its worldwide premiere at the 65th Edinburgh International Film Festival in June of this year. Continue reading “Trailer: Albatross (2010)”

Feature: Top Ten Films Of 2011: January – June

So far, 2011 has been a fantastic year for film. Below, I’ve compiled a list of my ten favourites from the last six months, with a few honourable mentions that just missed out on a place. Finally, I’ve listed some somewhat less honourable mentions that you should probably avoid at all costs.

10. Never Let Me Go (February 2011)

Mark Romanek’s shamefully overlooked adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s momentous novel Never Let Me Go wasn’t exactly the hit Fox Searchlight were banking on, but that didn’t stop it being a beautifully explorative, acted and directed piece of cinema.

9. Animal Kingdom (February 2011)

This Australian crime-thriller rose from the underbelly, picking up momentum thick and fact for its astoundingly honest portrayal of a fully functional crime family. Striking direction, raw performances and compelling source material have made well worth seeking out.

8. Archipelago (March 2011)

Joanna Hogg’s stark look at family turmoil is beautifully captured and carefully paced to provide a deeply resonant and affecting glimpse into the highs and lows of family life and what makes people tick.

7. Heartbeats (May 2011)

Multi-faceted Xavier Dolan follows in the footsteps of acclaimed filmmakers Gus Van Sant, Pedro Almodóvar and Wong Kar Wai to write and direct Heartbeats, a film of true beauty, wisdom and depth beyond its years.

6. Arrietty (June 2011 – EIFF)

Studio Ghibli’s sprightly interpretation of Mary Norton’s acclaimed children’s book The Borrowers is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, under the watchful eye of filmmaker extraordinaire Hayao Miyazaki. Arrietty boasts some truly illustrious animation and a score by French musician Cecile Corbel that made me go weak at the knees.

5. Bridesmaids (June 2011)

Kristen Wiig, well known for her long-standing stint on Saturday Night Live, was launched to stardom with hit comedy Bridesmaids. Directed by Paul Feig, the film features an array of flawless comedic performances, unforgettable gags and the goddess-like figure Rose Bryne.

4. Albatross (June 2011 – EIFF)

Niall McCormick’s British coming-of-age film premiered at the 65th Edinburgh International Film Festival to rave reviews. Written by burgeoning writer Tamzin Refn, Albatross is a fully realised and thought-provoking piece of cinema, chock full of heart, depth and humour to boot. If Jessica Findlay-Brown doesn’t become a star, then there’s something seriously wrong with the world.

3. Black Swan (January 2011)

Granted, this film opened last year in America, but due to different release schedules it was early January before I had a chance to see Natalie Portman give an Academy Award winning performance in Darren Aronofsky’s daringly dark psychological ballet thriller. Hauntingly brilliant.

2. Submarine (March 2011)

Former IT Crowd actor Richard Ayoade made his directorial debut with the mesmerising, outlandish and warm-hearted indie comedy Submarine. The entire cast, not least relative newcomer Craig Roberts, delivered remarkable performances.

1. Blue Valentine (January 2011)

This emotionally crippling insight into one couple’s turbulent relationship shot Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams back into the limelight, and earned them a few dozen award nominations in the process. After years of suffering various unfortunate setbacks, Derek Cianfrance’s passion project came to fruition with such intensity that it was hard to ignore. From the offset I was hooked, so it’d be impossible for Blue Valentine not to be my top film of the year so far.

Films of notable interest: Hobo With A Shotgun, Trust, Project Nim, Attack The Block, Rango, The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adèle Blanc-Sec, Rubber, Pina 3D, Scream 4, Winnie The Pooh, Meek’s Cutoff, X-Men: First Class, The Silent House, 13 Assassins, Perfect Sense, Thor and Cave Of Forgotten Dreams.

Films to think no more of: Mars Needs Moms, Larry Crowne, Ghosted, I Am Number Four, The Rite, Faster, Chalet Girl, Red Riding Hood and Battle: Los Angeles.