Posts Tagged ‘Helena Bonham Carter’


Fast reviews for busy people! Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to seat a pickle! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the neo noir “Love Lies Bleeding,” the mockumentary “Hey Viktor!” and the Can Con rom com “French Girl.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I join CP24 to have a look at the neo noir “Love Lies Bleeding,” the mockumentary “Hey Viktor!,” the Can Con rom com “French Girl” and the drama “One Life.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I join CTV NewsChannel anchor Roger Peterson to talk about the neo noir “Love Lies Bleeding,” the mockumentary “Hey Viktor!,” the Can Con rom com “French Girl” and the drama “One Life.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I sit in with CKTB morning show host Tim Denis to have a look at the neo noir “Love Lies Bleeding,” the mockumentary “Hey Viktor!,” the Can Con rom com “French Girl” and the drama “One LIfe.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

ONE LIFE: 3 STARS. “given life by the emotional story and performances.”

Chances are good you have seen the extraordinary viral video of elderly London stockbroker Nicolas Winton, given a standing ovation by the grown survivors of the 669 children, mostly Jewish, he rescued from Czechoslovakia before the Nazi occupation closed the borders. Taken from the BBC television show “That’s Life,” it is moving footage that has been viewed millions of times.

“One Life,” a new biopic starring Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Flynn, Jonathan Pryce and Helena Bonham Carter, and now playing in theatres, provides the background of the much-viewed video and the man known as the “British Schindler.”

Based on the book “If It’s Not Impossible…: The Life of Sir Nicholas Winton” by Barbara Winton, the film toggles back-and-forth between 1987 London and 1938 Czechoslovakia. In the contemporary scenes Winton (Hopkins) is in retirement, puttering around a house stuffed with memories, paperwork and artefacts from his past. He continues his charitable work, still haunted that he was not able to save more children, while his wife Grete (Lena Olin) urges him to clear out the ephemera of the past and slow down. “Why would I want to slow down?” he asks.

Played by Flynn in the flashbacks, Winton is on assignment for the British Committee for Refugees From Czechoslovakia. In Prague, taken by the plight of the stranded children he encounters, the hunger and the mortal danger the impending Nazi occupation, he puts into motion the massive relocation of hundreds of children. Through money raising efforts, arranging visas and foster care, he spirits nine trainloads of children, through precarious circumstances, to safety in Britain.

The famous viral video, in which Winton is finally able to see, and maybe for the first time, understand, the results of his work, is recreated to great emotional effect. But even as his status as a national hero grows, he grumbles, “This is not about me.”

As the latter-day Winton, Hopkins gives a quietly powerful performance. It is empathetic work colored by the guilt Winton carried. “I’ve learned to keep my imagination in check,” he says, referring to the children left behind, “so I don’t go raving mad.” In a restrained movie, it is his inner work that bursts forth, making us feel the immense impact of Winton’s work.

“One Life” is a potent story of doing the right thing, trapped in a staid historical biopic, but given life by the emotional story and performances.


Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 11.24.05 AMRichard’s alter ego Zomald Trump reviews the teenage Halloween freak-out “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse,” and some more adult fare in the ghostly form of “Our Brand is Crisis,” “Truth” and “Suffragette.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

SUFFRAGETTE: 2 STARS. “well-intentioned retelling of an important and timely story.”

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There’s a noise I hear in my head when I’m watching dryly-presented historical dramas. It’s a faint scratching sound that always reminds me of sitting in Mr. Parkers history class, listing to him write thousands of words on the chalkboard before saying, “Copy this into your scribblers and read chapter 3 by tomorrow.” I was reminded of the sound during a recent screening of the new Carey Mulligan film “Suffragette.”

Set in 1912 London, the movie stars Mulligan as Maud Watts, a young wife, mother and laundry worker. It’s a tough life for the twenty-eight year old, who has worked at the laundry since she was a little girl. Long hours leave little time for her family, husband Sonny (Ben Whishaw) and son George (Adam Michael Dodd), but they are a loving trio, at least until she meets Violet Miller (Anne-Marie Duff), a disciple of Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep), Britain’s leading suffragette.

In 1912 women were considered to not “have the temperament or the balance of mind” to take part in the political affairs. Following years of peaceful protest for equal rights the suffragettes begin a campaign of civil disobedience.

“You want to respect the law?” says Violet Miller. “Then make the law respectable!”

Maud becomes involved with the cause, helping Edith Ellyn (Helena Bonham Carter) blow up a Member of Parliament’s house and winding up in jail. Prison time was a badge of honour for the suffragettes, but Sonny wants nothing to do with it and soon Maud is separated from her family. With no legal recourse to get custody of her son she throws herself into the movement, fighting to get the vote and rights for women.

For a movie about rebellion “Suffragette” contains very little rebellious spirit. It’s a straightforward retelling of the story, a piece of history right out of Mr. Parker’s class. The only thing missing is the sound of Mr. Parker writing it out on the chalkboard.

It is a well-intentioned retelling of an important and still timely story but director Sarah Gavron leans too heavily on the kitchen sink drama—and a dull visual palette of beiges and reddish browns—for the broader story of the fight for women’s rights to have the impact it deserves.

“It’s deeds not words that will get us the vote,” and Gavron shows us the deeds—including the infamous mailbox bombings and a truly hard to watch prison force-feeding—but by the time the end credits roll there are story threads dangling all over the place and while we’re left impressed by the performances, the story telling itself is less impressive.

THE YOUNG AND PRODIGIOUS T.S. SPIVET: 2 ½ STARS. “whimsy overload warning!”

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 12.10.16 PM“The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivot” should come with a whimsy overload warning. The off kilter tale of a boy genius, suicide and a road trip across the United States is so twee it makes Wes Anderson look stodgy.

10-year-old Tecumseh Sparrow Spivet lives on a Montana ranch with his cowboy father (Callum Keith Rennie), entomologist mother (Helena Bonham-Carter) and bored sister (Niamh Wilson) who has dreams of becoming Miss America dancing in her head. A year before his twin brother Layton (Jakob Davies) had a tragic incident with a rifle and passed away.

T.S. has invented a perpetual motion machine that wins him the prestigious Baird Prize by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. They don’t realize the perpetual motion genius is a preteen and invite him to accept the award in person and deliver a speech. Leaving behind a note to his folks, T.S. packs a bag and hops a freight train headed to DC. On arrival he becomes a sensation due to his age, but a live television interview reveals more about the prodigy’s psyche than the Smithsonian bargained for.

Filtered through the fevered imagination of “Amelie” director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Reif Larsen’s book “The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet” becomes a dark children’s tale that is not exactly for kids. Packed with iconic American scenery, inventive 3D and enough quirk for two movies, the story is about isolation and dealing with loss. Near the end there are some heightened emotional moments but the overall tone is left-of-center, often pushing the Whimsy Meter needle into the red. Glimpses of the inner-workings of Gracie’s mind and on-screen graphics dazzle the eye, but begin to wear on the nerves by film’s end.

As flashy as the film is, the bittersweet tale of loss in “The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivot” is often overwhelmed by the visuals. Like the diagrams that decorate the screen throughout, the movie is more concerned with showing you the nuts and bolts of the story than allowing you to feel the underlying emotion of the piece.

Metro In Focus “Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death” meets “Harry Potter”

The_Woman_in_Black_2_Angel_of_Death_-_TrailerBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death has more in common with its predecessor, the 2012 chiller Woman in Black, than just a title and source material.

The first film starred Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter himself, in the lead role. The spooky new movie about the strange goings-on at a haunted house during World War II co-stars Potter alum Helen McCrory and Adrian Rawlins.

McCrory, who plays Angel of Death’s uptight schoolmarm, was pregnant when Potter producers offered her the role of pure-blood witch Bellatrix Lestrange in Order of the Phoenix. She passed and the part went to Helena Bonham Carter but two years later she jumped at the chance to play Narcissa, Bellatrix’s sister and the mother of Draco Malfoy, in The Half-Blood Prince.

Co-star Rawlins is the shadowy Dr. Rhodes in Angel of Death, but is best known as the father of Harry in seven Potter movies. Years before playing James Potter the actor starred in the original Woman in Black TV adaptation as Arthur, the role Radcliffe played in the recent remake.

Over the ten years they were in production it seems like the Potter films employed almost all of the British Actors’ Equity Association. Everyone from Ralph Fiennes, Richard Harris and Gary Oldman to Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton and Emma Thompson appeared in the series. When Bill Nighy was cast in The Deathly Hallows he said. “I am no longer the only English actor not to be in Harry Potter and I am very pleased.”

Less well known than the British superstars that peppered the Potter cast are some of the supporting players, many of which have gone on to breakout success without Harry.

Tom Felton will likely always be associated with cowardly bully Draco Malfoy, so it’s not surprising he played the spineless bad guy utters the famous “damn dirty ape” line,” in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Before he starred opposite Rachel McAdams in the time travel romance About Time Domhnall Gleeson was Curse-Breaker Bill Weasley in The Deathly Hallows. The son of actor Brendan Gleeson is on his way to household name status with a role as an Imperial officer who defects to the Republic in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The biggest breakout Potter alum has to be Robert Pattinson. He’s best known as sparkling vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise but he first appeared as Cedric Diggory in The Goblet of Fire. “The day before [the movie came out] I was just sitting in Leicester Square,” he said, “happily being ignored by everyone. Then suddenly strangers are screaming your name. Amazing.”