Irish Nominations for Golden Globes

 

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The nominations for the 73rd Golden Globe Awards have been announced with a number of Irish featured amongst the nominations. Lenny Abrahamson’s Room was nominated in the category of Best Motion Picture. Emma Donoghue was nominated for Best Screenplay for Room, which she adapted from her own award-winning book. And Brie Larson made it a hat trick of nominations for Room with her nomination in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture.

Saoirse Ronan was also nominated in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture alongside Larson for her performance in Brooklyn.

Michael Fassbender was nominated in the category of Best Actor in a Motion Picture for his performance in Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs. Caitriona Balfe received a nomination in the category of Best Actress in a TV series for Outlander. Also in this category is Eva Green, nominated for her role in Penny Dreadful, which was shot on location in Dublin.

The 73rd Golden Globe Awards will take place on January 10th 2016 in Beverly Hills California.

 

The full list of 2016 Golden Globe award nominations:

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Best Motion Picture, Comedy
The Big Short
Joy
The Martian
Spy
Trainwreck

Best Director – Motion Picture
Todd Haynes, Carol
Alejandro Iñárritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
George Miller, Mad Max
Ridley Scott, The Martian

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Melissa McCarthy, Spy
Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
Maggie Smith, Lady in the Van
Lily Tomlin, Grandma

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Jane Fonda, Youth
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Will Smith, Concussion

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Steve Carell, The Big Short
Matt Damon, The Martian
Al Pacino, Danny Collins
Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best TV Series, Drama

Empire
Game of Thrones
Mr. Robot
Narcos
Outlander

Best TV Series, Comedy
Casual
Mozart in the Jungle
Orange Is the New Black
Silicon Valley
Transparent
Veep

Best TV Movie or Limited-Series
American Crime
American Horror Story: Hotel
Fargo
Flesh and Bone
Wolf Hall

Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Wagner Moura, Narcos
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Emma Donoghue, Room
Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer, Spotlight
Charles Randolph, Adam McKay, The Big Short
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

Best Animated Feature Film
Anomalisa
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited-Series, or TV Movie
Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Regina King, American Crime
Judith Light, Transparent
Maura Tierney, The Affair

Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex Girlfriend
Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens
Julia Louis Dreyfus, Veep
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Lilly Tomlin, Grace & Frankie

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited-Series or TV Movie
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall
Ben Mendelson, Bloodline
Tobias Menzies, Outlander
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Love Me Like You Do” 50 Shades of Grey
“One Kind of Love” Love and Mercy
“See You Again” Furious 7
“Simple Song No. 3” Youth
“Writing’s on the Wall” Spectre

 

 

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Cinema Review: 300: Rise of an Empire

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DIR: Noam Murro • WRI: Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad • Ryan Engle PRO: Mark Canton, Bernie Goldmann, Gianni Nunnari, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Thomas Tull • DOP: Simon Duggan • ED: David Brenner, Wyatt Smith • MUS: Junkie XL • DES: Patrick Tatopoulos • CAST: Sullivan Stapleton, Rodrigo Santoro, Eva Green, Lena Headey

Partially a prequel, partially a sequel, the bulk of 300: Rise of an Empire takes place roughly concurrently with the events of the original. While the first 300 followed the titular number of pecks and six-packs carrying pointy things as they attempted to thwart Xerxes’ (Rodrigo Santoro) army by land, here we focus on the advance of the Persian army by sea as led by Xerxes’ naval commander Artemisia (Eva Green). In lieu of a consensus from the collective Greek governments, legendary military tactician Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) assembles his own ragtag army of inexplicably muscular volunteers to meet the Persian army. With the Greek states in a panic over the invasion and Sparta refusing to join their army with the others, Themistokles tries to hold off the invasion by sea long enough for the various states to join their armies in order to push the Persians back before they lay waste to all of the Greek states.

Noam Murro‘s intentionally lurid direction as he attempts to emulate Snyder’s recognisable style from the original naturally gives everything a highly pornographic look to it that’s not merely limited to the battle scenes this time. You can expect war porn, slave-labour porn, senate debate porn, riding-horses-through-fields porn and even a little bit of porn-porn. Surprisingly though, the almost hilarious overuse of the slow-motion throughout has the odd effect of quickly desensitising you to it, making you forget it’s there and you eventually come to embrace the almost mesmeric flow it gives to the highly overwrought visuals. But let’s be clear, this is still the 300 you’ve come to expect.

There’s an amusing moment when one of Themistokles’ aides tries to demonstrate the futility of their situation by asserting that their meagre army is made up of nothing but simple farmers, poets, artists etc. all the while the background is filled with endless amounts of dead-eyed, flexing, body-builder types. Either this film is a little on the silly side or we’re meant to assume the water supply of the various Greek states is laced with steroids. There’s also something initially bewildering about seeing and hearing this collective of white, largely Anglo-American accented characters and trying to reconcile that in your brain with the fact that they’re supposed to Greek and/or Persian. Thankfully, the film doesn’t take itself too seriously so neither should we and watching it with that attitude, there’s a lot to like about the latest in the 300 franchise (oh gods, we have to refer to this as a franchise now, don’t we?)

As far as the good guys go, you’re looking at the same drill as last time; a bunch of sweaty men run around in capes and leather underwear screaming and plunging their weapons into one another and spilling their bodily fluids everywhere. There’s also at least one sex scene. It’s fine, it’s silly and it’s all in slow-motion; moving on. The real standout is in the villain camp with Eva Green’s Artemisia. Green has played villainous characters before but this is the first time she’s been given the chance to let loose like this. She never quite manages to attain true scenery-chewing status (except perhaps in her sex scene with Themistokles where they’re just screaming, choking and hitting each other in an hilariously over the top visualisation of the characters’ attempting to prove their dominance) but she gets practically all of the film’s most memorable moments; good, bad or otherwise.

She saunters around for the first half of the film acting like a disinterested, passive-aggressive school teacher that’s been left in charge of the play-school class who haven’t had their nap and are now all fighting. It’s really a delight to watch Green embrace the film for all its camp and just go with it. That’s not to say she can’t be a formidable onscreen presence when she needs to be and it’s hard not to have a grin on your face during the final battle as she spouts a one-liner and jumps into the fight wielding twin ivory swords. It certainly wouldn’t have seemed the most obvious casting choice on paper but Green can really deliver in a role like this and will hopefully get more opportunities to do so in the future.

The visuals deserve almost as much praise. The original film created a unique aesthetic that has since been referenced to the point of obsolescence. The sequel sidesteps that issue by starting in a similar vein before moving to the naval battles which feature a completely different colour palette but in the same style as the original. For all the over-use it’s since got, the original’s visual style still looks great and this update works equally well, especially in IMAX. The one drawback of IMAX is that it can often show the ‘seams’ in CGI so it’s impressive then that a film that was almost entirely shot on green-screen is as immersive and looks as convincing as it does. To that end…

The film this most reminded me of was, of all things, Gravity. Don’t look at me like that, I’ll explain. In both cases you’re presented with a visually impressive film that absolutely justifies being seen in IMAX (not so much in 3D apart from one shot where the depth really works and might cause some nausea for those uncomfortable with heights), but that’s a bit thin on the character-development front and works best as a fast-paced, rollercoaster-ride, spectacle of a film. In the case of both this and Gravity, they’re magnificent cinematic experiences when viewed in the highest, loudest definition you can find but probably don’t warrant ever watching again.

Taken for what it is then, the film is a very enjoyable romp through the fields of grunting, gore and nonsense. Additionally the self-awareness is noticeably more present than in the original given both the moments of humour and the fact that the entire plot hinges on the decisions of the only two female characters who wield all the power within their respective armies; essentially viewing the aggressive masculinity the whole film is built around for the juvenile, macho, posturing it is.

It’s also worth mentioning that if you’ve ever studied classical studies, there’s a certain bemusement to be had at seeing all these familiar battles from Greek history (complete with the often ridiculous strategies the Greek’s employed to best their numerically superior foe) being dramatized like music videos to metal songs. It’s by no means the most subtle film ever made (how can you tell they’re the bad guys? well they’re dressed uniformly in black, metal and spikes), and it’s undoubtedly a poorly, and often confusingly, structured film but it’s still refreshing to see a movie so unashamedly committed to its sense of gory silliness. Good, unclean fun.

 

Richard Drumm

16 (See IFCO for details)
102  mins

300: Rise of an Empire  is released on 7th March 2014

300: Rise of an Empire – Official Website

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pi_Ugm4sV8

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Cinema Review: Dark Shadows

 

DIR: Tim Burton  WRI: Seth Grahame-Smith  PRO: Tim Burton, Johnny Depp•  DOP: Bruno Delbonnel • ED: Chris Lebenzon  • DES: Rick Heinrichs  Cast: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter

After his version of Alice In Wonderland netted more than $1 billion in the worldwide box office, Tim Burton was pretty much given carte blanche to do whatever he liked next. And in typically atypical Burton fashion, he decided to adapt a little-known and, truth be told, god-awful cult ’70s tv show.

When Barnabus Collins (Johnny Depp) breaks a witch (Eva Green)’s heart, her reaction could be considered over-the-top; she kills his parents, makes his new girlfriend commit suicide, turns him into a vampire and then has him buried alive for 200 years. He is dug up in 1972 to find his family name and business has been tarnished, so Collins takes it upon himself to bring together his distant relations and rebuild his fish-cannery business, which has suffered greatly due to the establishing of a rival cannery, owned and run by that still-smarting witch.

Burton has amassed an impressive supporting cast as the Collins clan; from the still-stunningly beautiful Michelle Pfeffier, to the slimy Jonny Lee Miller, as well as the embodiment of the ’70s Chloe Moretz, and the instantly lovable Gulliver McGrath. That’s not to mention sterling turns from Jackie Earle Haley as the Collins’ housekeeper and Bella Heathcote as the object of Barnabus’ affections. And that’s not to mention Depp, while adding yet another be-make-up’d freak to his CV, manages to turn this serial killer (Barnabus murders around twenty innocent people over the course of the movie) into someone quite relatable. What isn’t as relatable is the fact that the main problem of the movie is that Johnny Depp doesn’t want to have sex with Eva Green, who almost swipes the movie out from under Depp’s nose with her Grade-A bitch villain.

The 70s setting is properly realised and all the usual jokes are present and correct, with Depp’s fish out of water reacting to everything from electricity to lava lamps with an arched eyebrow of mistrust. Which, unfortunately, seems to be the point of the movie; Johnny Depp reacting to the ’70s. While there is some semblance of a plot, the movie itself doesn’t really seem to be about anything, with twenty minutes of set-up, over an hour of what felt like Johnny Depp-reacts-to-the-70’s montages, and then twenty minutes of climax. There are also some weird plot devices that never get fully explained, like if Barnabus was an only child, how is he related to these people? And what’s the story with Barnabus’ 1770s girlfriend and 1970s girlfriend being played by the same actress? And that’s not even getting to the biggest question of all, which is how did a film which is primarily four people talking to each other in an old house cost over $100 million to make??

Somebody needs to take Tim Burton’s budgets away from him. And while you’re at it, take away Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, too. Maybe if we take away all of Burton’s toys his imagination will return.

Rory Cashin

Rated 12A (see IFCO website) for details)
Dark Shadows is released on 11th May 2012

Dark Shadows  – Official Website

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isjg9O7ifwM

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Cinema Review: Perfect Sense

insert Star Wars reference gag here

 

DIR: David McKenzie WRI: Kim Fupz Aakeson • PRO: Gillian Berrie, Malte Grunert • DOP: Giles Nuttgens • ED: Jake Roberts • DES: Tom Sayer • CAST: Ewan McGregor, Eva Green, Connie Nielsen

Perhaps the last thing that audiences need right now (or at any time, let’s face it) is yet another hackneyed story about love overcoming all obstacles. However, with Perfect Sense, director David McKenzie, (Hallam Foe, You Instead) manages to re-invigorate this tired theme by setting a love story between a chef (Ewan McGregor) and an epidemiologist (Eva Green) against an apocalyptic backdrop of the havoc caused by a mysterious global pandemic which slowly and violently robs the population of their sensory functions. Starting with the sense of smell, humanity inexorably loses its gifts of perception and sections of society descend into chaos. Meanwhile, our central couple battle to keep calm and carry on, despite the apocalyptic forces descending on them. If this mix of sci-fi disaster and romance sounds just a bit daft, its because it is – but to credit David McKenzie and writer Kim Fupz Aakeson, they manage to craft an affecting and visually striking work from this dubious premise.

Set in a bleak Glasgow (which already looks a bit post-apocalyptic), Perfect Sense introduces us to Michael (McGregor) and Susan (Green), two professionals with unfulfilled love lives who meet behind the restaurant where McGregor works. Shortly after their initial meeting, the first symptoms of the obscure pandemic begin to emerge, and Michael and Susan find themselves thrown together out of a mutual need for human contact and safety. As they fall in love and experience the slow loss of their senses, society collapses around them as the population go on rampages of consumption and destruction, the symptoms of the pandemic wreaking havoc on the streets. Shortly before the loss of the sense of taste, we see everyone descend into a brief mania before taste deserts them forever, shoving anything at hand down their throats in a last-ditch frenzy of feasting – (prompting McGregor’s pastry chef buddy Ewen Bremner to enthusiastically knock back the contents of a gallon drum of vegetable oil in a blackly hilarious moment.

Many will have last seen Bremner as the hapless Spud in Trainspotting, and he appears to be playing the same semi-intelligible character here – it’s as if Spud managed to kick the smack some years ago and acquired a passion for patisserie in his late thirties.) These scenes of panic and mayhem provide the film with some of its most intense moments, evoking comparisons with modern end-of-the-world-scenario classic 28 Days Later. As McKenzie cleverly includes frantic montages suggesting the global nature of the catastrophe, the shadowy forces behind all of this remain obscure – but this is hardly significant since the pandemic really only serves as a device for exploring the ways in which we collectively take our senses for granted, as well as preaching the oft-proclaimed message of the enduring power of love.

McKenzie’s film ingeniously squeezes the most out of a modest budget to depict the terrifying carnage and destruction visited by the sense-stripping virus. He also manages to evoke a genuine poignancy in scenes of people coming to terms with the loss of their sensory gifts, appreciating the sound of tinkling glasses and breaking bread in a restaurant after the loss of taste, for example. Another oddly moving scene plays out in a rock club after the disease robs everyone of their hearing, as the audience throw their arms around pulsating amplifiers as a band pounds away in front of them, the music registering as only a muffled hum through the speakers. Sound design and editing are particularly effective in these scenes.

At the centre of the film though, it is Ewan McGregor and Eva Green who hold our focus, their torrid romance playing out as chaos rages around them. McGregor has never been better than he is here, he rages convincingly as the symptoms of violent mania take hold, and has a potent chemistry with the always impressive Eva Green. These powerful central performances give the film its considerable heart, and prevent things from lapsing into the self-importance which the portentous voiceover threatens occasionally. An excellent return to form for a director who badly blotted his copybook recently with the disastrous You Instead, Perfect Sense is a vivid celebration of the senses as well as a memorable and original depiction of love triumphing in catastrophic circumstances.

Martin Cusack

Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)
Perfect Sense is released on 7th October 2011


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Principal photography now underway on ‘CAMELOT’

Principal photography has begun at Ardmore Studios in Ireland on the new romantic adventure series Camelot, a fresh telling of the classic King Arthur legend.

The cast is led by Jamie Campbell Bower (New Moon, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) as King Arthur, Joseph Fiennes (Elizabeth, Shakespeare in Love) as Merlin, Eva Green (Casino Royale) as Morgan, Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black, The Rock) as Arthur’s mother Queen Igraine, Tamsin Egerton (Keeping Mum) as Guinevere.

Filming is set to continue until December on this Irish-Canadian co-production. Camelot is tentatively scheduled to premiere next spring on Starz in the US and the CBC in Canada.

Chris Chibnall (Life on Mars, Torchwood) is showrunner and writer on the Irish-Canadian co-production, which was engineered by executive producers Morgan O’Sullivan of Octagon in Ireland and John Weber of Take 5 Productions in Canada. Other executive producers on the project are Oscar®-winner Graham King and Tim Headington of GK Films and Craig Cegielski of GK-TV, James Flynn of Octagon, Douglas Rae of UK’s Ecosse Films, as well as Fred Fuchs, Michael Hirst and Anne Thomopoulos.

Camelot is scheduled to première spring 2011 on Starz in the US and on CBC in Canada.

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Cracks

Cracks

DIR: Jordan Scott • WRI: Caroline Ip, Ben Court • PRO: Kwesi Dickson, Andrew Lowe, Julie Payne, Rosalie Swedlin, Christine Vachon • DOP: John Mathieson • ED: Valerio Bonelli • DES: Ben Scott • CAST: Eva Green, Juno Temple, María Valverde

Cracks is one of those films that has infinite potential to disappoint. A slightly less lurid tone or slightly more hammy performances and this would have been not only a dull film, but also a disastrously over-the-top film. Thankfully, the tone is perfect, the casting spot-on and the story is gloriously dark.

Set in 1930s Britain in an all-girls boarding school, Cracks examines the relationship between the girls on the school’s diving team and their mentor, the glamorous and beautiful Ms G. (Eva Green). The ‘leader’ of these girls is Di Radfield (Juno Temple), as charismatic as she is cruel. She is the most popular girl in school and also shares a special intimacy with Ms. G. When the arrival of new girl, Fiamma, an aristocrat from Spain, is announced, all hell breaks loose and the relationships suddenly become very complex indeed.

It is difficult to categorise this film. It examines the lives of teenagers and the social constructs in their world but the themes are so adult that it would never be categorised as a ‘teen movie’. I suppose it would be most like a coming of age drama, though not like any I have ever seen. Similar in tone to Peter Weir’s haunting Picnic at Hanging Rock, this is a film of many layers. It examines the hierarchy of the social structure and the unsteady line between being hated and being admired. As Fiamma begins to show her personality and all it has to offer, it is interesting to see how the girls flip-flop between loving her and hating her.

As well as a coming of age story, this is also a very interesting look at mental health problems. Eva Green’s Ms. G is breathtakingly confident and beautiful and full of exciting stories of her adventures abroad. However, as the story darkens, the extent of her emotional problems becomes clear and suddenly her inappropriate relationship with her students becomes all the more creepy.

Turning in a tremendous performance as Di, Juno Temple cements her status, in my eyes at least, as one of the best emerging actresses of the moment. I’ve been keeping an eye on this young star since her spectacular turn in Joe Wright’s Atonement and she has not disappointed. Here, she has the film all to herself and she turns in a truly magnificent performance. The same can be said for Eva Green. Who could resist the role of Ms. G? It is so dark and multi-layered, it would be a joy for any actress. Few, however, could pull it off with the grace and texture that Green brings to it.

I highly recommend this film. Admirably unafraid to delve into some seriously dark territory, this film may disturb some people. However, it is a fantastic piece of cinema and a study of isolation that stayed with me long after I left the cinema.

Charlene Lydon
(See biog here)

Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)
Cracks
release date Dec 2009

Cracks – IMDb Page

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