London Critics’ Circle Film Awards Winners 2015

The UK’s top film critics named Boyhood as Film of the Year at their annual ceremony tonight, hosted by previous winners Alice Lowe and Steve Oram at The May Fair Hotel. In addition to Film, Boyhood also won Director for Richard Linklater and Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette. 

The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film to Miranda Richardson, handed to her by her friend and colleague Stanley Tucci.

The evening’s other big winner was Under the Skin, for which Jonathan Glazer was on hand to collect the Attenborough Award for British Film of the Year, and composer Mica Levi accepted the Technical Achievement Award for her score. Recently Oscar-nominated producers Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky were present to receive Documentary of the Year for Citizenfour. Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev accepted his Foreign-language Film by video.

Other winners in attendance included British Actor Timothy Spall (Mr Turner) and Young British Performer Alex Lawther (The Imitation Game). Special guests and nominees present included Daniel Huttlestone, Corey McKinley, Florence Pugh, Toby Sebastian, Louise Brealey, Matthew Warchus, Hossein Amini, James Kent, Elaine Constantine, Steve Jamison, Mike Brett, Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard, Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin, Andre Singer and Robin Gulch.

35th LONDON CRITICS’ CIRCLE FILM AWARDS WINNERS LIST:

FILM OF THE YEAR  Boyhood (Universal)

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR Leviathan (Curzon Artificial Eye)

BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR Under the Skin (StudioCanal)

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR Citizenfour (Curzon Artificial Eye)

ACTOR OF THE YEAR Michael Keaton – Birdman (Fox)

ACTRESS OF THE YEAR Julianne Moore – Still Alice (Curzon Artificial Eye)

SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR JK Simmons – Whiplash (Sony)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR  Patricia Arquette – Boyhood (Universal)

BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR Timothy Spall – Mr Turner (eOne)

BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl (Fox) & What We Did on Our Holiday (Lionsgate)

YOUNG BRITISH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR Alex Lawther – The Imitation Game (StudioCanal)

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Richard Linklater – Boyhood (Universal)

SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel  (Fox)

BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH FILMMAKER Yann Demange – ’71 (StudioCanal)

TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Under the Skin – Mica Levi, score (StudioCanal)

DILYS POWELL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILM Miranda Richardson

TOP 10 FILMS of 2014

1. Boyhood

2. Birdman

3. Under the Skin

4. Whiplash

5. Mr Turner

6. Leviathan

7. The Grand Budapest Hotel

8. Ida

9. Nightcrawler

10. The Theory of Everything

Oscar Nominations List 2015

Full official List of nominations for this year’s Academy Awards, which take place at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood on 22 February. As expected The Theory of Everything, Birdman, The Imitation Game, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Boyhood lead the way alongside a few surprises. 

Best Picture

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

 

Best Director

Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman

Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game

 

Best Actor

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper – American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton – Birdman

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

 

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard- Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon – Wild

 

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall – The Judge

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood

Edward Norton – Birdman

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

JK Simmons – Whiplash

 

Best supporting actress

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Laura Dern – Wild

Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game

Emma Stone – Birdman

Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

 

Best original screenplay

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo – Birdman

Richard Linklater – Boyhood

E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman -Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Dan Gilroy – Nightcrawler

 

Best adapted screenplay

Jason Hall – American Sniper

Graham Moore – The Imitation Game

Paul Thomas Anderson – Inherent Vice

Anthony McCarten – The Theory of Everything

Damien Chazelle – Whiplash

 

Best foreign film

Ida

Leviathan

Tangerines

Timbuktu

Wild Tales

 

Best documentary

CitizenFour

Finding Vivian Maier

Last Days in Vietnam

Salt of the Earth

Virunga

 

Best animation

Big Hero 6

The Boxtrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Song of the Sea

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

 

Best original song

Everything is Awesome – The Lego Movie

Glory – Selma

Grateful – Beyond the Lights

I’m Not Going to Miss You – Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me

Lost Stars – Begin Again

 

Best documentary short

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Joanna

Our Curse

The Reaper

White Earth

 

Best cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki – Birdman

Robert Yeoman – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski – Ida

Dick Pope – Mr Turner

Roger Deakins – Unbroken

 

Best editing

Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach – American Sniper

Sandra Adair – Boyhood

Barney Pilling – The Grand Budapest Hotel

William Goldenberg – The Imitation Game

Tom Cross – Whiplash

 

Best sound editing

Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman – American Sniper

Martin Hernández and Aaron Glascock – Birdman

Brent Burge and Jason Canovas – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Richard King – Interstellar

Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro – Unbroken

 

Best sound mixing

John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin – American Sniper

Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga – Birdman

Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten – Interstellar

Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee – Unbroken

Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley – Whiplash

 

Best make up and hair

Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard – Foxcatcher

Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White – Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Best original score

Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game

Hans Zimmer – Interstellar

Jóhann Jóhannsson – Mr Turner

Gary Yershon – The Theory of Everything

 

Best production design

Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Maria Djurkovic and Tatiana Macdonald – The Imitation Game

Nathan Crowley and Gary Fettis – Interstellar

Dennis Gassner and Anna Pinnock – Into the Woods

Suzie Davies and Charlotte Watts – Mr Turner

 

Best visual effects

Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould – Guardians of the Galaxy

Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher – Interstellar

Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer – X-Men: Days of Future Past

 

Best costume design

Milena Canonero – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Mark Bridges – Inherent Vice

Colleen Atwood – Into the Woods

Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive – Maleficent

Jacqueline Durran – Mr Turner

 

Best short film (animated)

The Bigger Picture

The Dam Keeper

Feast

Me and My Moulton

A Single Life

 

Best short

Aya

Boogaloo and Graham

Butter Lamp

Parvaneh

The Phone Call

BAFTA Film Awards Nominations 2015

The EE British Academy Film Award  Nominations 2015 were announced this morning with Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel emerging as a surprise leader with 11 nominations. Though as expected stars like Benedcit Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones and Michael Keaton picked up much deserved nominations in the major acting categories.

Full list of official nominations below:

BEST FILM
Birdman, Alejandro G. Inarritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole
Boyhood, Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson
The Imitation Game, Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman
The Theory of Everything, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
’71, Yann Demange, Angus Lamont, Robin Gutch, Gregory Burke
The Imitation Game, Morten Tyldum, Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman, Graham Moore
Paddington, Paul King, David Heyman
Pride, Matthew Warchus, David Livingstone, Stephen Beresford
The Theory of Everything, James Marsh, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten
Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer, James Wilson, Nick Wechsler, Walter Campbell

ANIMATED FILM
Big Hero 6, Don Hall, Chris Williams
The Boxtrolls, Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable
The Lego Movie, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

DIRECTOR
Birdman, Alejandro G. Inarritu
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson
The Theory of Everything, James Marsh
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Birdman, Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson
Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
American Sniper, Jason Hall
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
The Imitation Game, Graham Moore
Paddington, Paul King
The Theory of Everything, Anthony McCarten

LEADING ACTOR
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel

LEADING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, Big Eyes
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Edward Norton, Birdman
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Emma Stone, Birdman
Imelda Staunton, Pride
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Rene Russo, Nightcrawler

ORIGINAL MUSIC
Birdman, Antonio Sanchez
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Alexandre Desplat
Interstellar, Hans Zimmer
The Theory of Everything, Johann Johannsson
Under the Skin, Mica Levi

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Birdman, Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Robert Yeoman
Ida, Lukasz Zal, Ryzsard Lenczewski
Interstellar, Hoyte van Hoytema
Mr. Turner, Dick Pope

EDITING
Birdman, Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game, William Goldenberg
Nightcrawler, John Gilroy
The Theory of Everything, Jinx Godfrey
Whiplash, Tom Cross

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH ACTOR, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
Elaine Constantine (Writer/Director,) Northern Soul
Gregory Burke (Writer), Yann Demange (Director), ’71
Hong Khaou (Writer/Director), Lilting
Paul Katis (Director/Producer), Andrew de Lotbiniere (Producer), Kajaki: The True Story
Stephen Beresford (Writer), David Livingstone (Producer), Pride

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Ida, Pawel Pawlikowski, Eric Abraham, Piotr Dzieciol, Ewa Puszczynska
Leviathan, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov
The Lunchbox, Ritesh Batra, Arun Rangachari, Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga
Trash, Stephen Daldry, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Kris Thykier
Two Days, One Night, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd

DOCUMENTARY
20 Feet From Stardom, Morgan Neville, Caitrin Rogers, Gil Friesen
20,000 Days on Earth, Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard
Citizenfour, Laura Poitras
Finding Vivian Maier, John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
Virunga, Orlando von Einsiedel, Joanna Natasegara

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Big Eyes, Rick Heinrichs, Shane Vieau
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock
The Imitation Game, Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana MacDonald
Interstellar, Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
Mr. Turner, Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts

COSTUME DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Milena Canonero
The Imitation Game, Sammy Sheldon Differ
Into the Woods, Colleen Atwood
Mr. Turner, Jacqueline Durran
The Theory of Everything, Steven Noble

MAKE-UP AND HAIR
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Frances Hannon
Guardians of the Galaxy, Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White
Into the Woods, Peter Swords King, J. Roy Helland
Mr. Turner, Christine Blundell, Lesa Warrener
The Theory of Everything, Jan Sewell

SOUND
American Sniper, Walt Martin, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
Birdman, Thomas Varga, Martin Hernández, Aaron Glascock, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wayne Lemmer, Christopher Scarabosio, Pawel Wdowczak
The Imitation Game, John Midgley, Lee Walpole, Stuart Hilliker, Martin Jensen
Whiplash, Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Erik Winquist, Daniel Barrett
Guardians of the Galaxy, Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner, Nicolas Aithadi
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White
Interstellar, Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley
X-Men: Days of Future Past, Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION
The Bigger Picture, Chris Hees, Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka
Monkey Love Experiments, Ainslie Henderson, Cam Fraser, Will Anderson
My Dad, Marcus Armitage

BRITISH SHORT FILM
Boogaloo and Graham, Brian J. Falconer, Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney
Emotional Fusebox, Michael Berliner, Rachel Tunnard
The Kármán Line, Campbell Beaton, Dawn King, Tiernan Hanby, Oscar Sharp
Slap, Islay Bell-Webb, Michelangelo Fano, Nick Rowland
Three Brothers, Aleem Khan, Matthieu de Braconier, Stephanie Paeplow

EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Jack O’Connell
Margot Robbie
Miles Teller
Shailene Woodley

The winners will be announced at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony on Sunday 8th February 2015.

EE Rising Star Award Nominations 2015

The EE Rising Star Award nominations for 2015 were announced this morning with a stellar line up of promising breakthrough stars. This year’s nominees include Jack O’Connell, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Margot Robbie, Miles Teller & Shailene Woodley. A detailed review of this year’s line up below.

GUGU MBATHA-RAW landed her first major feature film in 2011, with the release of Larry Crowne, directed by Tom Hanks and co-starring Julia Roberts, and later that year was included in BAFTA’s Brits to Watch Initiative. In 2013, Mbatha-Raw starred alongside Willem Dafoe and Anton Yelchin in the Stephen Sommers directed film, Odd Thomas. In the same year, she went on to play the title role of Dido Belle, Britain’s first mixed-race aristocrat, in the period drama film Belle alongside Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson. The role was pivotal in her career earning her the Best Actress award and a nomination for Most Promising Newcomer at last year’s British Independent Film Awards. Most recently, Mbatha-Raw took on a very different role for Gina Prince-Bythwood’s Beyond The Lights as Noni, a present day pop singer torn between love, success and finding her authentic self in an exploitative industry, steered by her ambitious mother played by Minnie Driver. Mbatha-Raw has also enjoyed a prestigious television career which has so far included roles in Spooks, Dr Who, Marple – Ordeal by Innocence, Bonekickers and Fallout and has appeared on stage as Ophelia opposite Jude Law’s Hamlet.

JACK O’CONNELL became a household name when he played James Cook in popular TV series Skins which aired from 2007 and was made into a feature length episode Skins Rise in 2013. O’Connell also received critical acclaim for his punchy portrayal of Private Gary Hook in ‘71, for which he was nominated for a British Independent Film Award. The thriller, based on the troubles in Belfast, was first in competition at the Berlin Film Festival before being screened in Toronto. In 2013, O’Connell took the lead in British indie film Starred Up, where his portrayal of Eric, a violent reprobate prematurely transferred to an adult prison, earned him a nomination in the category of Best Actor at last year’s British Academy Scotland Awards as well as another nomination for a British Independent Film Award. Most recently, O’Connell took the lead role in Angelina Jolie’s film Unbroken, a chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II, which was released in December. O’Connell has also appeared in Private Peaceful (2012) and 300: Rise of an Empire (2014). Jack has recently been awarded ‘Breakthrough Performance’ by the National Board of Review for Starred Up and Unbroken and has been nominated by the London Critic’s Circle as ‘Best British Actor of the Year’. Critics and audiences eagerly await this year’s performance in Tulip Fever alongside Christoph Waltz and Holliday Grainger.

MARGOT ROBBIE was first recognized for her role as Donna Freedman in soap opera, Neighbours. This role garnered her two Logie Award nominations for Most Popular New Female Talent and Most Popular Actress. Robbie earned her place among Hollywood’s finest for her recent breakthrough role in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street in which she stars as the female lead opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, and alongside other acting heavyweights including Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill and Rob Reiner. In February, Robbie will star as an up-and-coming con artist opposite Will Smith in Focus. The Warner Bros. film is directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa from a script they co-wrote.

MILES TELLER made his feature screen debut, following several short films, opposite Nicole Kidman in the film based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play, Rabbit Hole. Last year, Teller firmly established himself on the film scene with his roles in Whiplash and Divergent. Critically acclaimed American drama Whiplash received the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and Teller’s intense performance as a struggling drumming student landed him a Best Actor nomination for the 2014 Gotham Awards. Teller will play Mr. Fantastic in The Fantastic Four with Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell which will be released later this year. His previous film credits are diverse and include Footloose, Project X, 21 & Over, The Spectacular Now and That Awkward Moment in which he starred alongside Zac Efron.

SHAILENE WOODLEY found breakthrough success for her performance opposite George Clooney in the BAFTA and Academy Award-nominated film The Descendants. Woodley firmly established herself as a rising Hollywood actress when she was cast as Beatrice, the leading heroine in action adventure film Divergent, which also featured EE Rising Star nominee Miles Teller. Woodley has received critical acclaim for her tragic portrayal of a young cancer patient in the witty yet heart breaking love story The Fault in our Stars. Woodley’s TV credits include The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Felicity: An American Girl Adventure, and recurring roles on Crossing Jordan, The O.C. and Jack & Bobby. Among the many accolades she has received was a 2012 Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress, a National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe nomination and a Critics Choice Award nomination. Shailene will soon be starring in both Insurgent and Allegient as the final two instalments of the Divergent trilogy, and will this year begin filming the lead female role opposite Joseph Gordon Levitt in Oliver Stone’s next movie Snowden.

2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the EE Rising Star Award, an award which has set a standard for identifying talent destined for future film stardom. Since being crowned the first Rising Star in 2006, James McAvoy has gone on to be nominated for two more BAFTAs and has starred in seven major award-winning films.

The other previous winners have included Eva Green in 2007, Shia LaBeouf in 2008, Noel Clarke in 2009, Kristen Stewart in 2010, Tom Hardy in 2011, Adam Deacon in 2012 and Juno Temple in 2013. Last year’s nominees were Dane DeHaan, George MacKay, Lupita Nyong’o, Léa Seydoux and the eventual winner, Will Poulter.

The jury who selected the five nominees from the hundreds suggested by BAFTA members and industry experts comprised Jury Chair Deputy Chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, Pippa Harris, actress Alice Eve, director Dexter Fletcher, experienced film critic, James King; Game of Thrones & The King’s Speech Casting Director, Nina Gold; Film & TV Producer and Director of Entrepreneurship at the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Parminder Vir; Love Actually & Les Misérables Producer, Debra Hayward; Nanny McPhee Returns Director, Susanna White; previous Director of the UK Association of Independent Producers, Marc Samuelson; as well as leading film and arts journalists.

The EE Rising Star Award is the only award at the EE British Academy Film Awards to be voted for by the public. Voting is now open at ee.co.uk/BAFTA. The winner will be announced at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday 8th February 2015.

The Interview Review

The Plot:

A cocky TV chat show host and his good intentioned producer manage to secure an unlikely interview with the reclusive North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. They are quickly persuaded by the CIA to use this historic opportunity to discreetly assassinate the ‘supreme leader’ for the good of America and the world. But when they arrive in the infamously secretive state things don’t exactly go to plan.

The Good

Randall Park plays North Korea’s infamous leader Kim Jong-Un as a deranged cry baby with daddy issues and a secret penchant for fruity cocktails and Katy Perry. Lurching from soft spoken vulnerability to crazy screaming tyrant it’s a convincingly delusional caricature. Park plays the notorious ‘supreme leader’ almost like a more rotund Mr Chow from the Hangover. In truth it’s not a difficult challenge to mock the reclusive dictator as few people outside of the North Korean military elite have any real concept of who Kim Jong-Un truly is. Park essentially has free licence to make him as maniacal or pathetic as he likes.

Seth Rogen and James Franco have a well-practiced chemistry based on a simple but effective formula of offsetting Franco’s smug charms with Rogen’s oafish likeability. The pair is undeniably well typecast as obnoxious host Dave Skylark and his increasingly disillusioned producer sidekick Aaron Rapaport. They trade innuendos and moronic banter with all their usual enthusiasm.  It isn’t sophisticated or subtle but it is at least often amusing.

Overall the film benefits from some snappy action montages, a catchy soundtrack and a few memorable gags. It even manages to coin the term ‘honeydicking’ as an unlikely catchphrase.

The Bad

Without the immeasurable hype created by the Sony hacking scandal and the studios seeming hesitation to subsequently release the film, it’s doubtful interest in a low brow Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy vehicle could ever have been this high. Fans of the duos trademark unapologetic mix of dick jokes and drug addled buffoonery will certainly enjoy this latest offering. However it may not be enough to satisfy those watching the film just to see what all the diplomatic fuss is about.

Comedy and satire have always been powerful weapons against oppression, evil or tyranny. Reducing symbolic figures of hate and fear to the level of common ridicule is a laudable aim. Unfortunately The Interview often fails to deliver the kind of biting political satire optimistic audiences might have hoped for.  The comedic potential provided by propaganda fuelled dictatorial regimes is largely squandered in favour of jokes about hiding things in your ass and lazy pop culture references.

Rogen and Franco deliver exactly what you’d expect, but it’s fair to say that the film could just as easily have centred on a fictitious country and dictator. The potentially daring choice to actually make a comedy about North Korea really adds little to the film beyond absurd international controversy and the resulting mostly unnecessary hype. Whatever this film has to say about North Korea, it’s important to remember Matt Stone and Trey Parker said it first with Team America.

The Ugly Truth

The Interview is a satisfying slice of silly slapstick, though it’s very unlikely to win awards or actually change the world. It’s not hard to see why North Korea weren’t amused, but the rest of the world just might be. In truth the film is likely to divide opinions between those who welcome poking fun at Kim Jong-Un and those who feel a little disappointed that this only comes in the form of a ludicrous James Franco comedy. Possibly the funniest thing about The Interview is that it actually somehow managed to start the world’s first major cyber-war.