Real Life British explorer Major Percival Fawcett sets out to secure the glory he desperately needs to advance his career by undertaking a long and dangerous expedition to chart the remotest regions of the Amazon during the perilous dawn of the 20th century. While doing so he believes he may have found a mysterious ancient city, leading to a lifelong obsession and a relentless quest for discovery.
Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam delivers a leading man performance that is earnestly British and physically intense. After many years of playing Americans he reclaims his native accent without much difficulty. He also prove more than a match physical for the arduous task of surviving remote jungles, dangerous rapids and the battlefields of world war one. His Major Fawcett is a credible depiction of what it genuinely means to be a true ‘explorer’, rather just an Indiana Jones style fantasy figure.
Around Hunnam a strong supporting cast of familiar faces keep the film watchable in spite of its occasionally languid pace. As major Fawcett’s fiercely supportive but outspoken wife Sienna Miller continues to prove her talents extend well beyond a being just another pretty face. She manages to ensure that with relatively modest screen time Major Fawcett’s family life back home remains something to yearn for and fight to return to.
Miller manages to avoid too many heavy handed clichés whilst illustrating the frustrations of being an enlightened woman during a more repressive era. She also serves a useful narrative purpose on behalf of the audience in directly confronting Major Fawcett about his potentially selfish addiction to adventure and the glory of discovery.
Spider-Man star and BAFTA winner Tom Holland is a competent fit for Major Fawcett’s young son, caught somewhere between hero worship and frustrated abandonment for his often absent father.
Finally Robert Pattinson delivers an understated and virtually unrecognisable performance as Fawcett’s sharp shooting travel companion. Hidden beneath a rugged full beard and jungle dirt Pattinson manages to fully shed increasingly distant memories of his pretty Twilight adolescence. The young British star has systematically built a credible dramatic reputation beyond the hysterical screaming of young adult fiction fans. While light in dialogue his performance exudes convincing wilderness weary qualities.
Perhaps most significantly the convincing comradeship between Hunnam and Pattinson’s characters is a crucial part of making Fawcett’s yearn to explore and push the limits of human survival actually make some emotional sense.
Those anticipating or even hoping for something approximating Indiana Jones dodging snakes and poisoned darts on his way to the temple of doom will no doubt find the grim realities of actual expeditions to be considerably less fantastical and fun. Though there is undoubtedly a genuine sense of peril at times, there simply aren’t any moments of escapist joy.
During what turns out to be an ever growing series of life threatening expeditions, Fawcett often finds himself openly questioning why he persist is abandoning his wife and young children for such a seemingly foolish and almost suicidal pursuit. Unfortunately as the film progresses it’s a question that audiences may find harder to ignore themselves.
In the shadow of world war atrocities and with the promise of a perfectly idyllic life at home it may be hard for many people to understand what really drives Fawcett to keep going back to the edge of civilization. In a modern era of google maps and sat navs it will be especially hard for younger audiences to comprehend what the lure of blank spaces on the map and the true unknown could possibly be.
The Ugly Truth
The Lost City Of Z is a reverential homages to a largely forgotten bygone spirit of exploration at a time when the world was still full of dangerous mysteries worthy of risking life and limb for. Though the film looks and feels authentic this may not satisfy audiences hoping for more fantastical or fun adventures.
Review by Russell Nelson]]>
An elderly man Henry Carr recounts comically misremembered tales of his time as a minor British Diplomat in Zurich in 1917. In the proses he accidentally fuses faded memories of his encounters with James Joyce, Tristan Tzara and Lenin with jumbled recollections of his involvement in a moderately successful production of The Importance of Being Ernest.
Returning to the West End after many years absence, much of the philosophical and political themes of Stoppard’s Travesties remain oddly contemporary. Though set against the very specific historical backdrop of Switzerland in 1917 much of the play’s free flowing debate about the meaning of art, love and anarchy are indisputably timeless.
In the lead role as both the befuddled older Henry Carr and the spry younger version of his recollections, British thespian Tom Hollander is perfectly magnificent. Those that perhaps know him best from his consistently scene stealing supporting work will be even more delighted to see him hold court on stage with an effortless charm and accomplished dry wit. Opening the production with a lengthy and demanding monologue he sets a perfect tone for Stoppard’s unique comedic blend of intellectualised stupidity.
Around Hollander a strong cast of gifted supporting talents inject frenetic life into each scene. Freddie Fox is a perfect madcap foil for Hollander, playing the boundlessly anarchic founder of Dadaism Tristan Tzara. His impressively energetic performance makes sure that even those struggling to grasp the endless array of philosophical word play and early 20th century references will have much enjoy none the less.
Alongside Hollander and Fox the rest of the cast is rounded out by equally amusing performances. Peter McDonald is a fine fit for Stoppard’s parody of literary icon and compulsive rhymer James Joyce. Likewise Amy Morgan and Clare Foster provide a scintillating combination of quick wits and dancing feet as the respective love interests of Carr’s Oscar Wilde themed fantasies. Forbes Masson also does a great job of making Soviet state builder Lenin both playfully silly and sincerely sermonising by equal turns.
The combined talents of the cast make Stoppard’s demanding script work to the very best of its abilities. Whether it’s trading verbal barbs or breaking into impromptu musical numbers the production flows with ease, particular in an even livelier second act.
The plays relentless barrage of aggressively intellectual language and complex wordplay will soon prove overwhelming for some. Tourists listening in their second language will no doubt struggle, but in truth even for native speakers Stoppard’s unashamedly frantic intellectualising demands a very high degree of attention.
At least for those that are either incapable of grasping the full meaning of Stoppard’s words or reluctant to expended the requisite effort to keep pace there’s enough frequent physical comedy and whimsical musical interludes to keep them satisfied and at least moderately entertained.
The Ugly Truth
Travesties is a unique piece of highbrow theatre expertly brought to life by a fine ensemble cast, led by Tom Hollanders note perfect performance. Entertaining and rewarding on a number of different level it’s a production which much to offer satisfying a wide range of west end crowds.
Review by Russell Nelson]]>
A young hearing impaired girl Nishimiya Shoko transfers to a new elementary school but struggles to win the acceptance of her increasingly unkind classmates. Some years later the boy primarily responsible for her bullying Ishida Shouya is dealing with his own loneliness and crippling guilt, setting the pair on an unlikely path towards friendship and forgiveness.
A Silent Voice deals delicately with important and powerful themes that speak to a truly global audience. With time and sincere care the film explores the emotional complexities of both bullying and disability. Both issues are in truth tackled far too rarely on screen and the film is laudably ambitious in dealing with both simultaneously.
With the aid of a diverse cast of characters surrounding the central paring of Nishimiya and Ishida, the film captures a detailed portrait of the wide ranging impact the stigma of both bullying and disability can have on victims, perpetrators and bystanders.
In particular the film deserves considerable praise for the unflinching way it captures the perhaps surprising parallels between Nishimiya and Ishida’s experiences. The film manages to illustrate the ugly pains and frustrating isolations they both endure without allowing either character to be solely defined by them.
Though the film is frequently punctuated by moments of pain and grief it also balances this with humour, affection and elegant visuals. While generally tending towards a more realistic style of animation the film does take advantage of a more playful and cartoonish approach to certain characters and scenes to add some much needed joy.
It’s simply hard to imagine a better piece of cinematic evidence for the unique capacity and advantages of using animation for sophisticated emotional storytelling. Watching this film will powerfully illustrate why Japan uses animation as a preferred medium for all genres of cinema, not just the more stereotypical examples of giant robots and fighting ninjas.
Those unfamiliar with the unique nuances of Japanese culture and its emotional mind-set may find elements of the characters behaviour a little harder to understand at times and psychologically draining to watch. Even by the standards of western melodrama, the Japanese penchant for relentless self-recrimination accompanied by wailing tears and throwing oneself to the ground in prostrate apology may seem almost excessively hysterical.
Though A Silent Voice explores legitimately heart-breaking subject matter, non-Japanese audiences may find their sadness gives way to possible frustration, particularly during the later stages of the film’s lengthy 2 hour and 10 minute run time.
The apparent absence of a much needed calming and sensible adult intervention is increasingly hard to ignore. Likewise it’s exponentially agonising to find so many of the characters unable to merely move beyond their past mistakes and embrace their newfound happiness. However it may be that this is partly a flaw in adolescence rather than just a criticism of this specific story.
The Ugly Truth
A Silent Voice is an exquisitely animated piece of unashamedly poignant melodrama. It is by equal turns tragic, romantic, humorous, sincere and ultimately uplifting. The film represents some of the very finest elements of Anime that may have a particularly surprising impact on those just discovering the true range and depth of Japanese animation.
Review by Russell Nelson]]>
Check out an exclusive Red Carpet News TV gallery of pictures of winners from the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2017 at the Royal Albert Hall.
The winners of the EE British Academy Film Awards 2017 are listed in full below :
LA LA LAND Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
I, DANIEL BLAKE Ken Loach, Rebecca O’Brien, Paul Laverty
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
Under the Shadow: BABAK ANVARI (Writer/Director), EMILY LEO, OLIVER ROSKILL, LUCAN TOH (Producers)
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
SON OF SAUL László Nemes, Gábor Sipos
13th Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick, Howard Barish
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS Travis Knight
LA LA LAND Damien Chazelle
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Kenneth Lonergan
LION Luke Davies
CASEY AFFLECK Manchester by the Sea
EMMA STONE La La Land
DEV PATEL Lion
VIOLA DAVIS Fences
LA LA LAND Justin Hurwitz
LA LA LAND Linus Sandgren
HACKSAW RIDGE John Gilbert
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM Stuart Craig, Anna Pinnock
JACKIE Madeline Fontaine
MAKE UP & HAIR
FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS J. Roy Helland, Daniel Phillips
ARRIVAL Sylvain Bellemare, Claude La Haye, Bernard Gariépy Strobl
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
THE JUNGLE BOOK Robert Legato, Dan Lemmon, Andrew R. Jones, Adam Valdez
BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION
A LOVE STORY Khaled Gad, Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara, Elena Ruscombe-King
BRITISH SHORT FILM
HOME Shpat Deda, Afolabi Kuti, Daniel Mulloy, Scott O’Donnell
EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
Max Irons spoke exclusively to Red Carpet News about upcoming historical drama Bitter Harvet. Set between the two World Wars and based on true historical events the film conveys the untold story of the Holodomor, the largely forgotten genocidal famine engineered by Stalin.
The film displays a powerful tale of love, honour, rebellion and survival at a time when Ukraine was forced to adjust to the horrifying territorial ambitions of the burgeoning Soviet Union. With an exceptional cast of established and rising stars, the film recreates one of the most dramatic and dangerous episodes in the history of 20th Century Europe.
Check out the interview below where Max talks about preparing for the role, the importance of the painful subject matter and working with costars like Samantha Barks & Terrence Stamp.]]>
While being celebrated in London as a rising British star by the Newport Beach Film Festival, Craig Roberts spoke to Red Carpet News about the frankly awesome Amazon original series Red Oaks.
Craig confirmed that while he still remains in the dark about exactly what’s in store for David and how the show will ultimately end, the cast will start filming the new series soon with a likely release date before the end of the year.
While fans will be delighted to see the cult favorite show get another batch of episodes, sadly Craig also confirms that this third season will definitely be the last.
Speaking about the climactic events of the season two’s final episode that saw David turn his back on everything and moving to New York, Robert’s compared it to the iconic closing moments of The Graduate. Time will tell whether season three will pick up with the characters in their new lives or find everyone conveniently brought back to Red Oaks yet again for one last summer.
One thing that remains to be seen after his dramatic change of circumstance at the end of season two is whether or not Paul Reiser will be back as grumpy club president Getty. Craig jokes that they may have ‘lost him to the dark side’ as Reiser has now joined the principal cast of Netflix’s own award winning series Stranger Things. Though filming has already wrapped on the second season of Stranger Things it remains to be seen whether Reiser will be able to juggle commitments on both 1980s set shows for the rival streaming services.
In any case for now fans can at least feel excited for more awful fashion, catchy retro pop hits and note perfect comedy drama when Red Oaks Returns. Till then check out the interview below:]]>
Speaking at the London awards ceremony for the Newport Beach Film Festival Charles Dance paid tribute to Sir John Hurt following the recent tragic loss of the iconic British actor. Dance worked with the veteran actor on what sadly proved to be Hurt’s final screen appearance . Sir John plays a terminally ill screenwriter in the yet to be released drama That Good Night, made all the more poignant by real life events. Charles Dance talks about his experiences working with Sir John below and what he thinks made Hurt such a unique and talented performer.]]>
YouTuber Twin stars Niki and Sammy Albon sat down for a peculiar chat with Red Carpet News at a special fan meet and greet event at Ripley’s world famous London Odditorium celebrating the DVD release of Tim Burton fantasy adventure Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. The boys shares their ‘most peculiar’ experiences with us along with YouTube advice and their plans for 2017. Fans of the film can also check out an exhibition of costumes from the film at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! London.
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is out now on Digital HD, Blu-ray™, Blu-ray 3D, 4K Ultra HD and DVD]]>