Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Everett’


Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “Tomb Raider,” the dark comedy “The Death of Stalin,” the old folks road trip “The Leisure Seeker,” the crime thriller “7 Days in Entebbe” and the Cecil Beaton documentary “Love, Cecil.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

LOVE, CECIL: 3 ½ STARS. “narration by Rupert Everett brings intimacy to the film.”

Cecil Beaton, the subject of a new documentary called “Love, Cecil,” says he was determined not to be “just an ordinary, anonymous person.” To that end he distinguished himself as a diarist, painter, interior designer and an Oscar–winning costume designer but it was as a photographer that he made his grandest statements.

Director Lisa Immordino Vreeland (related by marriage to fashionista Diana Vreeland) presents a portrait of a serial multi-tasker, a man “tormented with ambition” who wonders aloud if he might have been more successful had he focussed on one discipline over the others. Still, it is hard to imagine the restless spirit shown in the film as anything but creatively unsettled. His iconic portraits of everyone from Greta Garbo and Marilyn Monroe to Mick Jagger and Queen Elizabeth are world famous but equally impressive, perhaps more so are his wartime photographs, pictures that captured the horrors of the German Blitz. His startling photo of 3-year-old bombing victim Eileen Dunne, laying in a hospital, clutching a ragged teddy bear became famous in the day, is thought to have helped push America into the war and remains an indelibly powerful image seventy-five years later.

The doc also showcases Beaton’s unsettled private life. Controversial, outspoken and publicly vengeful, he was once also fired from American Vogue for inserting anti-Semitic phrases into an illustration; an act he admits was inexcusable. His romantic life is lightly touched on. Affairs with Garbo and various men never did led to lasting love, a fact that hints at the great sadness that lay just beneath his polished exterior.

In the 1920s Beaton was one of the Bright Young Things, a bohemian group of young aristocrats and artists who exemplified the excesses of Britain’s Jazz Age. He was an active member and documenter of their short lived heyday but the spirit of creativity that fuelled his exploits as a young man stayed with him until his death in 1980 at age seventy-six.

“Love, Cecil” is a traditional talking head doc that features notables like David Bailey, designer Manolo Blahnik and artist David Hockney. It moves chronologically through the man’s life and there is none of the style Beaton brought to his own life on display in the filmmaking but narration by Rupert Everett, lifted directly from the photographer’s own diaries, brings intimacy to the proceedings.


screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-8-25-28-amRichard sits in with Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the true-to-life thrills of “Deepwater Horizon,” Tim Burton’s X-Men-esque “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children,” the thriller “Imperium” and the ripped-from-the-headlines documentary “The Lovers and the Despot.”

Watch the whole ting HERE!


screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-4-43-13-pmFrom director Tim Burton comes “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children,” another story of outsiders trying to find place in the world where they belong. Or in this case a place in time.

Teen years are for making friends and having fun but for Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield) they are a hardship. He’s the weird kid in class, friendless except for his grandfather Abraham (Terence Stamp) who keeps the boy entertained with wild stories about a life spent travelling the world and the Home for Peculiar Children where he was raised. He grew up side-by-side with a boy made of bees, a teacher who could turn into a bird, and a balloon girl, lighter than air who had to wear lead shoes so as not to float away.

When his Abe is attacked Jake arrives in time to catch his last, strange words. “I know you think I’m crazy but the bird will explain everything,” he says before urging the youngster to venture off to find out who, what, he really is. “I should have told you years ago. I thought I could protect you.”

Thus begins Jake’s adventure, a journey that leads him to a small island where Miss Alma LeFay Perigrine (Eva Green) a.k.a. The Bird Lady, attends to her brood of peculiar child. She has created a time loop, reset every day, to keep her peculiar safe and protect them from growing old. Every day is September 3, 1943 all day. An attack by Hollows (Samuel L. Jackson and others), evil creatures who steal the eyeballs of peculiar children, upsets Perigrine’s orderly time loop and gives Jake a chance to learn why he was sent to the island.

The first hour of “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” is pure Tim Burton. He creates a fanciful world—imagine quirkier “X-Men”—with all his trademarks—mid-century kitsch, topiary sculptures, weird creatures and characters straight out of the outer regions of the imagination—and a mythology all its own. World building is a fantasy director’s strongest asset, and Burton paints a pretty picture, it’s just too bad he gets bogged down in the story in the second half.

The mushy second half erases the charm of the first sixty minutes as fanciful dreaminess and unique stop motion effects give way to CGI overload. The film’s long climax seems to go on forever—as though the audience is in one of Miss. Perigrine’s endless time loops—in an orgy of digital trickery that betrays the feel of the piece. An army of skeletons is a cool homage to Ray Harryhausen and setting its macabre sequence to weird amusement park dance music is a nice Burton touch, but it pales by comparison to the smaller, more intimate touches that give the movie much of its personality.

“Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” has some beautiful images—like Emma Bloom (Ella Purnell), tethered to Jake like a balloon as he walks and she floats through an amusement park—but like many of Burton’s recent films the story feels like an afterthought.

Metro In Focus: Tim Burton’s characters, “I feel like they are mutated children.”

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-4-44-08-pmBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Visionary Tim Burton values his time alone.

One writer called the director of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetle Juice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands and this weekend’s Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, “the most widely embraced loner in contemporary cinema.”

“I always try to at least spend time, as much as I can everyday, staring out into space; staring out a window,” the director says. “I find that sometimes you get the most ideas and the most feelings when you’re not involved in things you have to do everyday; especially these days when technology is such that you can be reached any time. I try and avoid that.”

Unsurprisingly as a filmmaker the characters he champions tend to echo his sensibility. From warped Mad Hatter in his Alice in Wonderland to the grieving child in Frankenweenie who reanimated a dog’s corpse, Burton’s heroes are often misfits and outsiders.

From his debut, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Burton has showcased people on the fringes of society. “You don’t wanna get mixed up with a guy like me,” says man-child Pee-Wee (Paul Reubens), “I’m a loner. A rebel.” Loosely based Vittorio De Sica’s classic film The Bicycle Thief, Burton’s story sees Pee-Wee on a mission to retrieve his stolen fire engine-red customized 1940s Schwinn. David Letterman was a fan, describing the anti-social character as having, “the external structure of a bratty little precocious kid, but you know it’s being controlled by the incubus, the manifestation of evil itself.”

In his next film Burton breathed life into Betelgeuse‘s rancid lungs. In the haunted-house comedy Beetlejuice Michael Keaton plays a “bio-exorcist” with crazy hair, giant teeth and an attitude, hired by two ghosts to scare away the insufferable new owners of their old house.

“I think Beetlejuice shows the complete positive side of being misperceived and being categorized as something different,” Burton says. “He can do whatever he wants! He’s horrible and everybody knows it, so he’s a complete fantasy of all of that.”

Burton’s two greatest misfits, his most intrepid folks on the outside looking in, are the off-kilter Eds—Wood and Scissorhands.

Edward Scissorhands is the strange-but-sweet story of a man with scissors for hands. The first collaboration of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, the movie is a funny, romantic and moving fantasy was inspired by a sketch Burton created as a teenager. “One look at that drawing was all I needed to understand what Edward was about,” says Depp. “I felt very tortured as a teenager,” says Burton. “That’s where Edward Scissorhands came from. I was probably clinically depressed and didn’t know it.”

Ed Wood, played by Depp in the film of the same name, is the story of one of Hollywood’s great outcasts. Wood wrote, produced and directed low-budget anti-classics like Plan 9 from Outer Space and Glen or Glenda. Burton says he was a fan of Wood’s films and after reading some of the director’s letters was touched by how Wood, “wrote about his films as if he was making Citizen Kane, you know, whereas other people perceived them as, like, the worst movies ever.”

Burton links his best-known creations, labelling them as “semi-antisocial, [having] difficulty communicating or relating, slightly out of touch,” and adds, “I feel very close to those characters. I really do. I feel like they are mutated children.”

FINDING ALTAMIRA: 2 STARS. “too bad the film isn’t more interesting.”

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-12-52-53-pmDirector Hugh Hudson put some spring into the step of “Chariots of Fire,” his Oscar winning account of runners in the 1924 Olympics but fails to bring the story of the discovery of stone age cave paintings to vivid life.

Set in 1879, Antonio Banderas is amateur archaeologist Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola. A free thinker with an interest in Darwin and prehistory, he creates controversy in his community when he and his daughter uncover Maria (Allegra Allen) unearth cave paintings depicting life two million years ago. “This discovery in our province is of enormous significance in the history of mankind,” says Sautuola.

Not everyone agrees.

Although a university of Madrid archaeologist dates the etchings to the Palaeolithic Era other scholars disagree. “A vast fresco painted by a tribe of Palaeolithic Michelangelos,” says on mockingly. Church leaders fume at the suggestion of life beyond their historical parameters—“Monkeys with paint brushes!”—and even his own wife, Conchita (Golshifteh Farahani) has a hard time reconciling his science to her deeply held religious beliefs. “You have lost your faith and want to take mine,” she says. The discovery, a profound challenge to the entire country’s belief system, exacts a toll on Sautuola both personally and professionally.

“Finding Altamira” is a handsomely rendered movie. The period details add to the overall feel of the film, even the computer generated bisons that spring to life from the drawings don’t seem that out of place. Hudson shot on location—including inside the cave itself, now a Unesco site—but all the pretty pictures can’t make up for the mannered dialogue and reserved performances. Banderas and Farahani seem to have stepped out of a “Masterpiece Theatre” episode, handing in work that would have benefitted from fewer restraints. Only Rupert Everett as the villainous Monsignor seems to be having any fun.

The film documents an important discovery plus the intolerance and jealousies that it was met with. It’s just too bad the film isn’t more interesting. As it is “Finding Altamira” feels like the kind of movie your science teacher ran in class when they didn’t feel like lecturing.


Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 3.40.10 PMRichard’s CP24” reviews! This week it’s Tom Hardy times two in “Legend” and Sarah Gadon as Princess Elizabeth in “A Royal Night Out.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 12.01.04 PMRichard “Canada AM” reviews! This week it’s Tom Hardy times two in “Legend,” Sarah Silverman in “I Smile Back” and Sarah Gadon as Princess Elizabeth in “A Royal Night Out.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro Canada: Sarah Gadon ‘charmed’ by teen Queen Elizabeth

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 3.54.43 PMBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

For many of us Queen Elizabeth is a face on a stamp, someone we see every day on our money. For Sarah Gadon, the Canadian actress who plays H.R.H. in A Royal Night Out, the figurehead is “an icon and it is really always kind of difficult to humanize someone who is embalmed in icon status.”

The Dracula Untold star plays the Queen before she took the throne, when she was a 20-year-old headstrong woman known to friends as Lillibet. It’s May 8, 1945, VE Day in England, the biggest party London has ever seen and Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret (Bel Powley), or P1 and P2 as the princess sisters are called, want in on the action.

“For six years we’ve been cloistered,” says Princess Elizabeth. “Like nuns,” adds Princess Margaret.

“I fell in love so much with this script,” says Gadon. “I was charmed by the story and its portrayal of her at that point in her life. It was this beautiful coming of age story about this woman faced with her future. That is something I really related to. That feeling of when you are growing up and you have all these ideas about the world, all these ideologies you are associated with and then you are confronted with reality and you have to decide for yourself what you want. I thought that was an interesting entry point.”

The slick talking Liz manages to convince Mom (Emily Watson as the Queen Mum) and Dad (Rupert Everett as King George) to let them mingle with the real people, listen to the King’s victory speech and report back.

Royal Night Out is part royal romcom, part urban adventure, and only loosely based on real events. In truth the princesses went out, accompanied by an entourage of 16 people and were home by curfew.

“Julian Jarrold, the director, was so conscious of what he wanted the tone of this film to be,” says Gadon. “We all knew it wasn’t a biopic, and none of us wanted to make that film. It is very much a fantasy, very much an adventure chase film. Being more North American in my approach to the part, my tendencies were to indulge the humour and indulge in the slapstick moments. Julian held the reins tight and really captured the reserve of Elizabeth. He really walked that line between going off too far in either direction. The film has very real feelings but a lot of tongue-in-cheek.”

To capture Queen Elizabeth’s posh accent Gadon studied footage of the princess at that age, the movies Roman Holiday and Brief Encounter and worked with dialect coach Brett Tyne. “Brett worked with all of us,” she says. “It wasn’t just me. She worked with Bel, Emily and Rupert because even though they’re British they certainly don’t walk around talking like that.”

The dialogue coaching worked. A Royal Night Out is already open in England and Gadon notes, “The reviews were great, very generous. And most people had no idea I was Canadian! It was exciting for me.

“I was really, really nervous. To have it received so warmly was such a relief. Now, with the North American release, I’m like, ‘I’m good! I got the stamp of approval from the Brits!’”