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Julie and Julia – Trailer for Meryl Streep and Amy Adams cookery film.

Posted by LiveFor on April 30, 2009

Sony has debuted the trailer for Julie & Julia, directed by Nora Ephron, and starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams who both starred together in Doubt.

The film follows Powell, a government employee who decides to cook her way through legendary cook Julia Child’s classic cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in one year’s time out of her small Queens kitchen. Powell blogs her daily experiences, gaining a loyal following along the way.

It is due out on 7th August.

What do you reckon? Two excellent actors involved in this. Will you be watching it?

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Doubt, 2008 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on December 30, 2008

Director: John Patrick Shanley
Starring: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis, Joseph Foster II
Running Time: 104 minutes
Score: 9 / 10

This review by Howard Schumann

According to a report commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, over four thousand clerics were accused of sexual abuse during the past fifty years. Although approximately thirty percent of these accusations were not investigated because they were unsubstantiated, given the proclivity of the bishops to cover up these incidents, the figures are widely suspected to be underestimated. What may be lost in the discussion of statistics about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, however, is an understanding of the humanity of the people involved or the complexities of the circumstances.

This factor is brought to light in Doubt, John Patrick Shanley’s filmed version of his Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning stage play. Based on Shanley’s personal experiences at Catholic School, the film explores not only the issue of possible sexual abuse but conservative versus progressive religious values and how far one can rely on suspicion in the absence of proof. Set in 1964, one year after the Kennedy assassination, Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Meryl Streep) is the dragon lady of St. Nicholas school in the Bronx. A strict taskmaster, she relishes her role as the upholder of tradition, rejecting such modern devices as ballpoint pens and the singing of secular songs at Christmas like Frosty the Snowman which she equates with pagan magic.

Under Aloysius is the sweet and innocent Sister James (Amy Adams) whose easy going manner and charming personality is a welcome antidote to her authoritarian superior. The priest at St. Nicholas is Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who is the closest thing to a progressive at the school. He is open to new ideas and the changes initiated by Pope John XXIII, being much more open and relaxed with the children and engaging them in sports and conversation. In his sermons he brings the language of religion into the twentieth century, talking about the positive aspects of doubt and the injurious effects of gossip. “Doubt”, he says, “can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone.” Resentful of the role of women in the Catholic Church and suspicious of Father Flynn, Sister Aloysius assigns Sister James to keep an eye peeled for anything unusual in his conduct. Her fears appear justified when Sister James reports that Father Flynn asked Donald Miller (Joseph Foster II), the school’s only African-American student, to a private conference in the rectory and was seen hanging up the boys undershirt in his locker. Sister James also informs her that there was alcohol on the boy’s breath and that the boy seemed upset when returning to his desk.

Although no inappropriate behavior was witnessed, Sister Aloysius suspects wrongdoing and summons the priest to her office on the pretext of discussing the Christmas pageant. She accuses the priest of misconduct with the altar boy who denies that he gave altar wine to the boy or that anything unusual happened. The drama takes more twists and turns, especially when Donald’s mother (Viola Davis) raises Aloysius’ eyebrows by suggesting that, in spite of the allegations, the boy, who is due to enter high school in a few months, may be better off in the hands of the priest than having to face his intolerant and abusive father.

Doubt avoids easy answers and challenges us to view inflammatory issues from a broader perspective, embracing the essential mystery of human behavior. The acting in the film is uniformly brilliant. Streep is mesmerizing, even if at times more theatrical than may be necessary for the character. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance is more restrained and draws our sympathy with his broader view of church doctrine and display of love and compassion, although his demeanor at the end tantalizingly suggests remorse.

What may be the most noteworthy performance, however, is that of Viola Davis whose dialogue with Aloysius is one of the dramatic high points of the film. The issue of whether Father Flynn acted as a friend and mentor to the boy or a sexual partner is ultimately left to the viewer to resolve, though what is beyond doubt is that absolute certainty without considering other points of view is a dead end for all involved.
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Oscars – What do you think will win Best Picture

Posted by LiveFor on November 24, 2008

I recently posted the ad that had been taken out to promote The Dark Knight for Best Picture at next years Oscars.

That got me thinking about what could possibly win The Best Picture. On my wanders around the World Wide Web there are a few films that seem to be in the running for Best Picture. They are as follows:

Australia – Nicole and Hugh get it on in the outback.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Brad Pitt ages backwards.

The Dark Knight – Bale growls as The Batman, Ledger does a magic trick and there are two Aaron Eckharts but I didn’t see any jousting.

Doubt – Meryl Streep and Amy Adams are nuns. Is it a porno? Philip Seymore Hoffman wishes.

Frost/Nixon – The head Lycan dude fron Underworld interviews Dracula.

Gran Torino – Clint Eastwood plays a rascist and has a nice car.

Milk – Sean Penn play a big gay bottle of semi-skimmed or a politician or something.

Nothing But the Truth – Kate Beckinsale outs a CIA agent with hilarious consequences.

Rachel Getting Married – Rachel is getting married and her sister does drugs

The Reader – Kate Winslet is a Nazi who likes to have bedtime stories read to her. Ahh isn’t that sweet!

Revolutionary Road – Kate Winslett and Leonardo DiCaprio set sail on the Titanic while living in 1950’s Connecticut and argue a lot or something. I could be wrong. Not sure how Kate got the part in the film directed by her husband? Is Billy Zane in it?

Slumdog Millionaire – Indian kid wins Who Wants to be A Millionaire. Danny Boyle still goes on about 28 Days Later wasn’t a zombie film.

The Wrestler – Mickey Rourke is a washed up has-been. In this film he plays a wrestler.

WALL-E – CGI Pixar fest with a cute little robot.

Sadly I’ve only seen a couple of them (Dark Knight, WALL-E) although a fair few of them have yet to be released so it’s not that bad a thing. I do want to see Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Gran Torino, Milk and The Wrestler and the others I’m all a bit meh about. I personally think Benjamin Button will win the best picture Oscar purely from all the buzz and reviews I’ve been reading about it.

Which film do you see winning Best Picture? How many of the above list have you seen and what are you looking forward to seeing? Which ones will you avoid? What films should be on the list? Will Billy Zane win best actor?

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Doubt – Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Posted by LiveFor on September 13, 2008

DOUBTJohn Patrick Shanley‘s 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning Doubt is a riveting exploration of paranoia and suspicion in the Catholic Church. Set in a Bronx parochial school in 1964—just as the Vatican II reforms begin to transfigure the Church—evidence of a priest’s wrongdoing comes to light. Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep), a strict school principal and traditionalist nun, faces the decision of a lifetime: Does she openly accuse a priest and give voice to her fear of his sinful actions, or does she bury her suspicions and leave room for doubt? This intense and personal power struggle between Sister Aloysius and Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) ultimately calls into question both faith and justice in the shadows of this cloistered institution. It also stars Amy Adams.


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Posters – Chevolution, Tale of Despereaux, Doubt and Saw V

Posted by LiveFor on August 5, 2008

Discuss in the forum.

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