Disney’s tradition of taking and adapting famous fables and tales continues with Frozen, their version of The Snow Queen. In the land of Arendelle, young Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel) has the elemental power to make and control snow and ice. While playing with her sister Anna (Kristen Bell), she accidently injures her and in a desperate attempt to protect them both the King and Queen separate them and lock the doors to the Palace for good. Years later after the unfortunate death of their parents, Elsa comes of age and the doors are finally opened for her coronation, but her secret is revealed and unable to control her emotions causes a permanent winter of the kingdom before fleeing into the mountains. Anna, concerned for her sister leaves her love Prince Hans (Santino Fontana) and joins Ice salesmen Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) in a quest to go find her.
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The two decade crusade by Walt Disney to bring his daughters favourite book Mary Poppins to the screen forms the dramatic thrust of Saving Mr. Banks. Based on a script that was on the ‘Black List’ of Hollywood’s best unmade films in 2011, director John Lee Hancock has brought it to the screen in a charming and sometimes heart-breaking fashion.
Based on Julie Maroh’s graphic novel, Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Colour was this year’s winner of the Palm d’Or at Cannes – arguably the film industry’s most prestigious award – and became the first film where the prize was awarded to both the director and the lead actresses. It quickly becomes clear why.
Directed by Jeremy Lovering, In Fear revolves around two almost-strangers, Tom (Iain De Caestecker) and Lucy (Alice Englert) who met at a bar and hit it off. A couple of weeks later, Tom invites Lucy to come with him to a music festival with some of his friends. On their way there, he told her that he took the liberty of booking them a hotel for the night, deep in the Cornwall countryside. So they set off into the night to get to the hotel, but things start to go horribly wrong.
Strolling through prison under a cascade of toilet paper, Dom Hemingway is the titular cockney geezer in Richard Shepard’s latest film. Played with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer by Jude Law, the character is an amalgam of a number of 1970s British ex-prisoner archetypes. But in a World that has any number of cheeky chappies vying for our attention in low-budget British films, these characters are not quite as charming as they once were.
Pig’s blood, telekinetic powers, a religious mother and the ultimate Prom-gone-wrong. The reboot of the now classic Carrie hits all the right notes without ever really breaking free of the legacy of the original. Like Brian De Palma’s original and the Stephen King novella upon which both are based, Kimberley Pierce’s somewhat modernised version only really introduces some throwaway cyber-bullying as something new.
Using Oscar Wilde’s children’s story The Selfish Giant as the starting point for this bleak but beautiful social-realist tale might seem unlikely but it’s an inspired idea.
Following the conclusion of the mega-franchises of Harry Potter and Twilight, there was a gap in the market to be filled. Various pretenders attempted to lift the vacant crown, but it wasn’t until The Hunger Games was released in 2012 that the successor was found. It catapulted the career of lead Jennifer Lawrence, who later went on to win an Oscar, and after only a year since its release the sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is set to become a monster commercial success.
Just above the Earth, 3 astronauts are performing routine upgrades to a satellite. Veteran Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) is enjoying the final moments of his final mission, Shariff (Phaldut Sharma) is horsing around with his umbilical-like chord and Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is attaching a prototype to the satellite, annoyed by the other twos behaviour. They then receive a sudden instruction to abort and get inside, but a shower of debris forces them into a desperate fight for survival. Life in space is impossible.
If ever proof were needed, which of course it isn’t, of Dame Judi Dench’s acting ability then Philomena will go down as a masterclass in poignancy and depth from one of the finest actors to have lived. Adapted from the book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, itself based on a true story, Philomena is deftly directed by Stephen Frears from a script co-written by star Steve Coogan.