Category: Period Films

The Book Thief

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The Book Thief Movie

Taglines: Courage beyond words.

Based on the beloved bestselling book, The Book Thief tells the inspirational story of a spirited and courageous young girl who transforms the lives of everyone around her when she is sent to live with a new family in World War II Germany.

In 1938, the young girl Liesel Meminger is traveling by train with her mother and her younger brother when he dies. Her mother buries the boy in a cemetery by the tracks and Liesel picks up a book, “The Gravediggers Handbook”, which was left on the grave of her brother and brings it with her. Liesel is delivered to a foster family in a small town and later she learns that her mother left her because she is a communist. Her stepmother, Rosa Hubermann, is a rude but caring woman and her stepfather, Hans Hubermann, is a simple kind-hearted man.

Liesel befriends her next door neighbor, the boy Rudy Steiner, and they go together to the school. When Hans discovers that Liesel cannot read, he teaches her using her book and Liesel becomes an obsessed reader. During a Nazi speech where the locals are forced to burn books in a bonfire, Liesel recovers one book for her and the Major’s wife Ilsa Hermann witnesses her action. Meanwhile Hans hides the Jewish Max Vandenburg.

The Book Thief is an American-German war drama film directed by Brian Percival and starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Sophie Nélisse. Based on the novel of the same name by Markus Zusak and adapted by Michael Petroni, the film is about a young girl living with her adoptive German family during the Nazi era. Taught to read by her kind-hearted foster father, the girl begins “borrowing” books and sharing them with the Jewish refugee being sheltered by her foster parents in their home. The film features a musical score by Oscar-winning composer John Williams.

The Book Thief Movie - Sophie Nelisse

About the Story

In April 1938, a voice representing Death (Roger Allam) tells about how the young Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nélisse) has piqued his interest. Liesel is traveling on a train with her mother (Heike Makatsch) and younger brother when her brother dies. At his burial she picks up a book that has been dropped by his graveside (a gravedigger’s manual). Liesel is then delivered to foster parents Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson) Hubermann because her mother, a Communist, is fleeing Germany. When she arrives, Liesel makes an impression on a neighboring boy, Rudy Steiner (Nico Liersch).

Rudy accompanies her on her first day of school. When the teacher asks Liesel to write her name on the chalkboard, she is only able to write two “X”s, showing that she doesn’t know how to read. Later that day, she is taunted by her schoolmates who chant “dummkopf” (“fool” in German) at her. One of the boys, Franz Deutscher, challenges her to read just one word to which Liesel responds by beating him up. She impresses Rudy, and they become fast friends. When Hans, her foster father, realizes that Liesel cannot read, he begins to teach her, using the book that she took from the graveside. Liesel becomes obsessed with reading anything she can get her hands on.

Liesel and Rudy become members of the Hitler Youth movement. While at a Nazi book burning ceremony, Liesel and Rudy are bullied into throwing books onto the bonfire by Franz, but Liesel is upset to see the books being burned. When the bonfire ends, and everyone but she has left, she grabs a book that has not been burned. She is seen by Ilsa Hermann (Barbara Auer), the mayor’s (Rainer Bock) wife. Hans discovers that she has taken the book and tells her she must keep it a secret from everyone.

The Book Thief Movie

One day, Rosa asks Liesel to take the laundry to the mayor’s house. Liesel realizes that the woman who saw her taking the book is the mayor’s wife, and she is scared she will be found out. Instead, Ilsa takes her into their library and tells Liesel she can come by anytime and read as much as she’d like. Liesel also finds out about Johann here, who was the son of Ilsa and is now missing. Ilsa feels the loss of her son profoundly and has kept his library intact to commemorate him. One day Liesel is found reading by the mayor who not only puts a stop to her visits but dismisses Rosa as their laundress. Liesel continues to “borrow” books from the mayor’s library by climbing through a window.

There is a night of violence against the Jews (known historically as Kristallnacht). Max Vandenburg (Ben Schnetzer) and his mother, who are Jewish, are told by a friend that one of them (but only one) can escape, and Max’s mother forces him to go. Max goes to the Hubermanns’ house where Rosa and Hans give him shelter. Max is the son of the man who saved Hans’s life in World War I.

Max is initially allowed to stay in Liesel’s room while recovering from his trip, and they begin to become friends over their mutual hatred of Hitler since Liesel blames Hitler for taking her mother away. World War II begins, initially making most of the children in Liesel’s neighborhood very happy. Max is later moved to the basement so that he can move around more, but it is colder in the basement, and Max becomes dangerously ill. Liesel helps Max recover by reading to him with every spare moment.

The Book Thief Movie Poster

The Book Thief

Directed by: Brian Percival
Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Sophie Nélisse, Ben Schnetzer, Nico Liersch, Sandra Nedeleff
Screenplay by: Markus Zusak, Michael Petroni
Production Design by: Simon Elliott
Cinematography by: Florian Ballhaus
Film Editing by: John Wilson
Costume Design by: Anna B. Sheppard
Set Decoration by: Mark Rosinski
Music by: John Williams
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some violence and intense depiction of thematic material.
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: November 15, 2013

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The Invisible Woman

The Invisible Woman Movie

In the 1850s, Ellen Ternan is a minimally talented actress who catches the eye of the hailed British author, Charles Dickens. Bored with his intellectually unstimulating wife, Dickens takes the educated Ellen has his mistress with the cooperation of her mother. What follows is a stormy relationship with this literary giant who provides her with a life few women of her time can enjoy. Yet, Ellen is equally revolted by Charles’ emotional cruelty and determination to keep her secret. In that conflict, Ellen must judge her own role in her life and decide if the price she pays is bearable.

The Invisible Woman is a drama film directed by Ralph Fiennes and based on Claire Tomalin’s book The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens. It had its premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9th, 2013.

Ralph Fiennes directs and stars as Charles Dickens in this opulent period drama about the great novelist’s passionate, years-long secret affair with the young actress Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones; Like Crazy).

Actress Nelly Ternan was performing in London’s Haymarket Theatre when she was first spotted by Charles Dickens, who subsequently cast her in a production of The Frozen Deep. The year was 1857. Dickens was forty-five and had been married some twenty years. Ternan was seventeen. The two began an affair, which was kept a secret from the general public for the duration of their lives. Theirs has since become one of the great love stories in literary history, as alluring for the speculation it inspires as for the details on record as fact.

Based on Claire Tomalin’s biography of Ternan, scripted by Abi Morgan, (The Iron Lady, Shame), and directed by the great English actor Ralph Fiennes — whose directorial debut, Coriolanus, screened at the Festival in 2011 — The Invisible Woman is a rapturous chronicle of Ternan and Dickens’s relationship, which prompted the end of Dickens’s marriage, survived a train crash, inspired characters and scenarios in some of the author’s most beloved novels, and continued until his death in 1870.

Felicity Jones’s performance as Ternan brims with passion and intelligence — the latter quality being one of the things that drew Dickens to Ternan in the first place. Dickens himself is embodied by Fiennes as a complicated artist torn between his desires and ideals and his need to uphold tradition and avoid scandal. Enveloped in opulent period detail, The Invisible Woman brings us closer to this giant of nineteenth-century prose — and to the woman who sustained his lust for life in his final years.

The Invisible Woman Movie Poster

The Invisible Woman

Directed by: Ralph Fiennes
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander, Charlotte Hope, Laurence Spellman, Jonathan Harden
Screenplay by: Abi Morgan
Production Design by: Maria Djurkovic
Cinematography by: Rob Hardy
Film Editing by: Nicolas Gaster
Costume Design by: Michael O’Connor
Set Decoration by: Tatiana Macdonald
Music by: Ilan Eshkeri
MPAA Rating: R for some sexual content.
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: December 25, 2013

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

After successfully crossing over (and under) the Misty Mountains, Thorin and Company must seek aid from a powerful stranger before taking on the dangers of Mirkwood Forest–without their Wizard. If they reach the human settlement of Lake-town it will be time for the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to fulfill his contract with the dwarves. The party must complete the journey to Lonely Mountain and burglar Baggins must seek out the Secret Door that will give them access to the hoard of the dragon Smaug. And, where has Gandalf got off to? And what is his secret business to the south?

The film follows the titular character Bilbo Baggins as he accompanies Thorin Oakenshield and his fellow Dwarves on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. The film also features the vengeful pursuit of Azog the Defiler and Bolg while Gandalf the Grey investigates a growing evil at the ruins of Dol Guldur. The ensemble cast includes Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, and Orlando Bloom.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is an epic fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson. It was produced by WingNut Films in collaboration with New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was distributed by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and is the second installment in the three-part film series based on the novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. The film was preceded by An Unexpected Journey (2012) and will be followed by The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

About the Story

At the Inn of the Prancing Pony in Bree, Gandalf persuades Thorin Oakenshield to obtain the Arkenstone to unite the Dwarves, and suggests that a stealthy burglar may be needed to steal the jewel back from Smaug.

One year later, Thorin and his company are being pursued by Azog and his Orc party down the Carrock following the events of the previous film. Bilbo Baggins informs the group that a bear is also tracking them, and are ushered along by Gandalf to the nearby home of Beorn to seek his assistance. Beorn is revealed to be a skin-changer who sometimes takes the form of the bear. That night, Azog is summoned to Dol Guldur and instructs his son Bolg to take over the hunt for Thorin.

The following day, Beorn escorts the company to the borders of Mirkwood, where Gandalf discovers Black Speech imprinted on an old ruin. This coincides with a telepathic message from Galadriel urging him to investigate the tombs of the Nazgûl. He warns the company to remain on the path and abruptly leaves. Upon entering the forest they lose their way and are ensnared by giant spiders. Bilbo then sets about freeing the dwarves with the help of the One Ring. He subsequently drops the ring and brutally kills a centipede-like creature to retrieve it.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The remaining spiders are fended off by the Wood-elves led by Tauriel and Legolas. They in turn capture the Dwarves, and bring Thorin before Thranduil. He confronts the Elvenking about his neglect of the Dwarves of Erebor following Smaug’s attack 60 years before, and is consequently imprisoned with the other Dwarves. Bilbo, having avoided capture, arranges an escape using empty wine barrels that are sent downstream. While being pursued by the Wood-elves, they are ambushed by Bolg and his Orc party, and Kíli is wounded with a poisoned arrow.

They engage in a running three-way battle down the river, but ultimately the Dwarves are able to escape both groups of pursuers. Thranduil then seals off his kingdom when an Orc captive reveals an evil entity has returned and is amassing an army in the south, but Tauriel decides to leave and assist the Dwarves along with Legolas. Meanwhile, Gandalf meets Radagast to investigate the tombs of the Nazgûl, which are found empty.

The company are then smuggled into Esgaroth by a boatman called Bard. Thorin promises the Master and the people of Lake-town a share of the mountain’s treasure. It is then revealed that Bard is a descendant of the last ruler of Dale, and possesses the last black arrow capable of killing Smaug. Kili is forced to remain behind, tended to by Fíli, Óin, and Bofur, as the remaining company receive a grand farewell. Meanwhile, Gandalf travels south to the ruins of Dol Guldur, while Radagast leaves to warn Galadriel of their discovery at the tombs. Gandalf finds the ruins infested with Orcs and is ambushed by Azog. The Necromancer overwhelms Gandalf and reveals himself as Sauron.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Poster

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving
Screenplay by: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, J.R.R. Tolkien
Production Design by: Dan Hennah
Cinematography by: Andrew Lesnie
Film Editing by: Jabez Olssen
Costume Design by: Bob Buck, Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor
Set Decoration by: Simon Bright, Ra Vincent
Music by: Howard Shore
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.
Studio: New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: December 13, 2013

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Mr. Banks

Saving Mr. Banks

Taglines: When her book ended, their story began.

Two-time Academy Award–winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar-winner Tom Hanks topline Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen.

When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation.

For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp.

It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.

Saving Mr. Banks Movie Poster

Mr. Banks

Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Starring: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Colin Farrell
Screenplay by: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith
Production Design by: Michael Corenblith
Cinematography by: John Schwartzman
Film Editing by: Mark Livolsi
Costume Design by: Daniel Orlandi
Set Decoration by: Susan Benjamin
Music by: Thomas Newman
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements including some unsettling images.
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: December 13, 2013

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47 Ronin

47 Ronin Movie

From ancient Japan’s most enduring tale, the epic 3D fantasy-adventure 47 Ronin is born. Keanu Reeves leads the cast as Kai, an outcast who joins Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), the leader of 47 outcast samurai. Together they seek vengeance upon the treacherous overlord who killed their master and banished their kind. To restore honor to their homeland, the warriors embark upon a quest that challenges them with a series of trials that would destroy ordinary warriors.

47 Ronin is helmed by visionary director Carl Erik Rinsch (The Gift). Inspired by styles as diverse as Miyazaki and Hokusai, Rinsch will bring to life the stunning landscapes and enormous battles that will display the timeless Ronin story to global audiences in a way that’s never been seen before.

47 Ronin is directed by Carl Erik Rinsch based on a screenplay by Chris Morgan and Hossein Amini. While the film is based on the true story of the forty-seven ronin, it is a fantastical take, being set “in a world of witches and giants”. The studio Universal Pictures first announced the project in December 2008 with actor Keanu Reeves attached to star.

Variety reported, “The film will tell a stylized version of the story, mixing fantasy elements of the sort seen in The Lord of the Rings pics, with gritty battle scenes akin to those in films such as Gladiator.” Universal planned to produce the film in 2009 after finding a director. In November 2009, Universal entered talks with Rinsch to direct the film. For Rinsch, who has filmed “visual and stylish” blurbs for brands, the film is his feature film debut.

In December 2010, the studio announced that the film would be produced and released in 3D. Between March and April 2011, five Japanese actors were cast alongside Reeves: Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikuchi, Kou Shibasaki, and Jin Akanishi. According to Variety, Universal chose them to make the story more authentic instead of picking actors that would be recognizable in the United States. Universal is providing Rinsch with a production budget of $170 million despite his lack of feature film experience, which The Hollywood Reporter considered to be a “large-scale, downright risky” move.

Filming began on March 14, 2011 in Budapest. Production moved to Shepperton Studios in the United Kingdom; additional filming in Japan was also planned. Reeves said that scenes are filmed first in the Japanese language to familiarize the cast, and the scenes are filmed again in the English language. The actors’ costumes were designed by Penny Rose, who said, “We decided to base it on the culture and what the shapes should be—i.e., everyone’s in a kimono—but we’ve thrown a kind of fashion twist at it. And we’ve made it full of color, which is quite unusual for me.”

47 Ronin Movie Poster

47 Ronin

Directed by: Carl Erik Rinsch
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Screenplay by: Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini
Production Design by: Jan Roelfs
Cinematography by: John Mathieson
Film Editing by: Stuart Baird
Costume Design by: Penny Rose
Set Decoration by: Elli Griff
Music by: Ilan Eshkeri
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic elements.
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date: December 25, 2013

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Labor Day

Labor Day Movie

Depressed single mom Adele and her son Henry offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.

Labor Day is an American drama film based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard. The film had a wide release on January 31, 2014, in the United States. It was announced in 2009 that the film would be directed by Jason Reitman. On June 16, 2011, it was announced that Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin committed to star as the film’s leads Adele and Frank, respectively. Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush co-produced the film. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 29, 2013, and on September 7, 2013, at Toronto International Film Festival.

Labor Day Movie

About the Story

In 1987, Adele Wheeler (Kate Winslet) is a depressed single mom who lives in a rural home with her 13-year-old son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith). While they are clothes shopping, a bloody man approaches Henry and makes them take him home to look after him. The man is revealed to be Frank Chambers (Josh Brolin), a convict who is wanted by the local police after breaking out of jail.

Through flashbacks, it is revealed that Frank is a Vietnam veteran who returned home and married his pregnant girlfriend, Mandy (Maika Monroe), who soon gave birth. A year after the baby’s birth, Frank and Mandy had a fight, in which, based on his suspicions he asks if he’s even the baby’s father. During the fight, he accidentally pushed her against a radiator, resulting in her death. Simultaneously, through imagery, it is implied that the baby drowned. Frank was sent to jail for murder.

It is also learned as Adele tells Frank through flashbacks that she has had several miscarriages after Henry, the final of which is a full term stillborn baby girl. This has left Adele damaged and depressed which Henry’s father later explains to Henry as why he left her. Adele doesn’t like going out in public. Henry has tried to be both a son and a husband (innocently) but he realizes he can’t provide all of the things Adele needs. Adele is a passionate woman who loves to dance and teaches both Henry and Frank separately to dance. Frank teaches Henry car repairs and other handyman/fatherly things. He also teaches Adele and Henry how to play baseball and how to bake.

Labor Day Movie

Adele and Frank fall in love and plan to escape to Canada with Henry. They begin packing the house and cleaning on Labor Day. Meanwhile, Henry develops a friendship with a mature, but manipulative girl named Eleanor (Brighid Fleming), and goes to see her one more time before they leave. She manipulates him into thinking Adele and Frank are going to abandon him and he accidentally reveals Frank’s past. Adele assures Henry she would never leave him. The morning they are going to leave, Henry takes a note to his father’s house and leaves it in his mailbox.

While he is walking home, a policeman (James van der Beek) offers to drive him home, and Henry has no choice but to accept. The policeman is suspicious of the packed car and nearly-empty house, but eventually leaves. Adele goes to the bank to get all the money out of her account, and the bankers too are suspicious. While Adele is gone, the neighbor comes over to give Adele some cinnamon rolls, and speaks to Frank.

She too is suspicious of who he may be. Henry’s father finds the note that Henry left, and calls the house wondering what is going on. Before Adele, Frank, and Henry can escape, the police arrive and arrest Frank. He ties Henry and Adele up before he goes out to surrender, so that they won’t be charged with harboring a fugitive. It is not revealed who called the police to report Frank’s presence at the house.

Labor Day Movie Poster

Labor Day

Directed by: Jason Reitman
Starring: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Tobey Maguire, Tom Lipinski, Malika Monroe, Brooke Smith
Screenplay by: Jason Reitman, Joyce Maynard
Production Design by: Steve Saklad
Cinematography by: Eric Steelberg
Film Editing by: Dana E. Glauberman
Costume Design by: Danny Glicker
Set Decoration by: Tracey A. Doyle
Music by: Rolfe Kent
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: December 27, 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material, brief violence and sexuality

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The Christmas Candle

The Christmas Candle Movie

In the fictional village of Gladbury, every twenty-five years an angel visits the candlemaker and bestows a miracle upon whomever lights the Christmas Candle. However, shortly after the arrival of a new pastor, David Richmond in 1890, the Christmas Candle goes missing.

It is based on Max Lucado’s novel The Christmas Candle. The film is an Impact and Big Book Media Production presented by Pinewood Pictures being distributed by Rick Santorum’s film production company EchoLight Studios in the US and by Pinewood Pictures in the UK It is Susan Boyle’s debut on the big screen. Boyle also contributes an original song to the film, “Miracle Hymn”. It was shot in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and in the Isle of Man.

The Christmas Candle is a timeless and inspirational story based on the novel by bestselling author, Max Lucado. Nothing out of the ordinary ever happens in the small village of Gladbury — except at Christmas. Legend has it that every twenty-five years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights the Christmas Candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve. But in 1890, at the dawn of the modern age, all that is about to change. With the arrival of David Richmond, a skeptical, young minister, Gladbury’s humble candlemaker, Edward Haddington must fight to preserve his family’s legacy. When the Christmas Candle goes missing, the miraculous and the human collide in the most astonishing Christmas the town of Gladbury has ever seen.

The Christmas Candle Movie Poster

The Christmas Candle

Directed by: John Stephenson
Starring: Hans Matheson, Samantha Barks, Lesley Manville, Sylvester McCoy, James Combo, Susan Boyle, Barbara Flynn
Screenplay by: Candace Lee, Eric Newman
Production Design by: Tony Noble
Cinematography by: Mike Brewster
Film Editing by: Emma E. Hickox
Set Decoration by: Rob Cameron
Art Direction by: Harry Pain
Music by: Tim Atack
MPAA Rating: PG for mild thematic elements.
Studio: Pinewood Studios
Release Date: November 22, 2013

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Nebraska

Nebraska Movie

A father and son trek from Montana to Nebraska to claim prize money. Along the way, the two meet up with friends, relatives and acquaintances to whom the father owes money. While in production on About Schmidt, Alexander Payne was given Bob Nelson’s screenplay by producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, asking him to recommend a director. He asked to direct it himself but didn’t want to follow-up one road trip movie, Sideways (on which he was in pre-production), with another, and he also decided to wait until after completing The Descendants.

Nebraska is an American black-and-white comedy-drama road film directed by Alexander Payne and written by Bob Nelson. It stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, and Bob Odenkirk. The film was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where Bruce Dern won the Best Actor Award. It was also nominated for six Academy Awards; Best Picture, Best Director for Payne, Best Actor for Dern, Best Supporting Actress for Squibb, Best Original Screenplay for Nelson, and Best Cinematography for Phedon Papamichael.

About the Story

In Billings, Montana, Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is found walking in traffic and stopped by a police officer. He is picked up by his son, David (Will Forte), who learns that Woody wants to go to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect a $1 million sweepstakes prize he has won. When David sees the sweepstakes letter, he realizes that it is a mail scam to make a person purchase magazine subscriptions. He returns Woody to his home, where David’s mother Kate (June Squibb) becomes annoyed by Woody insisting on collecting his money.

Nebraska Movie

This happens again with David being disrupted at his job as a stereo salesman. He and his brother Ross (Bob Odenkirk), a local news anchor, discuss putting Woody in a retirement home. David is paid a visit by ex-girlfriend Noel (Missy Doty), who is returning his things, refusing to move back in. Their conversation is cut short by a call from David’s mother reporting that his father has left yet again. David retrieves Woody and decides to drive him to Lincoln, much to Kate’s dismay.

While in Rapid City, South Dakota, Woody goes on a drinking bender and returns to their motel room and falls, hitting his head. David takes him to the hospital for stitches where they realize Woody has lost his dentures. They retrace Woody’s steps and find them. While Woody was in the hospital, David notified their family that they would be passing through Woody’s hometown of Hawthorne, Nebraska and plans were made to stay the night with them. Woody is against the idea.

The following day, they arrive in Hawthorne and stay with Woody’s brother Ray (Rance Howard) and his family. Woody and David visit a mechanic shop Woody once owned and then a local bar. When David brings up Woody’s alcoholism and problems within the family—with Woody implying that he did not love his wife nor really want children—they get into an argument. In another bar, they encounter Woody’s former business partner, Ed Pegram (Stacy Keach), whom the family blames for stealing Woody’s air compressor decades ago. Against David’s recommendation, Woody mentions winning the money and the customers of the bar give him a toast. The next morning, they learn that the news has spread through the town.

Kate arrives in Hawthorne by bus and David takes her and Woody to the cemetery for Kate to pay respects while providing some colorful history on Woody’s relatives and their behavior. That night, while David is out to dinner with Woody and Kate, Ed approaches him in the bathroom about some money Ed loaned Woody years ago that has not been repaid and threatens legal action. David meets a local newspaper owner who had been planning a story on Woody to tell her the truth about the “sweepstakes.” He discovers that she is an ex-girlfriend of his father and learns a little more about his dad, including how he was affected when he came back from the Korean War.

The rest of Woody’s family, including Ross, come to visit him. Woody’s nephews, Cole and Bart (Devin Ratray and Tim Driscoll), and others approach David and Ross about getting money that they believe Woody owed them. A fight begins, ending abruptly with Kate calling out the relatives for unpaid debts they owe. David, Kate, Ross and Woody tour Woody’s childhood home, which has fallen into disrepair. They drive past a house Kate says is Ed’s, so David and Ross elect to steal back the air compressor. However, Kate comes to realize that the house actually belongs to another couple, whom Kate distracts when they arrive home.

Nebraska Movie Poster

Nebraska

Directed by: Alexander Payne
Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach, Missy Doty, Melinda Simonsen
Screenplay by: Bob Nelson, Phil Johnston
Production Design by: J. Dennis Washington
Cinematography by: Phedon Papamichael
Film Editing by: Kevin Tent
Costume Design by: Wendy Chuck
Set Decoration by: Fontaine Beauchamp Hebb
Art Direction by: Sandy Veneziano
Music by: Mark Orton
MPAA Rating: R for some language.
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: November 15, 2013

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Diana

Diana Movie

Taglines: The legend is never the whole story.

The film takes audiences into the private realm of one the world’s most iconic and inescapably public women — the Princess of Wales, Diana — in the last two years of her meteoric life. On the occasion of the 16th anniversary of her sudden death, acclaimed director Oliver Hirschbiegel explores Diana’s final rite of passage: a secret love affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, the human complications of which reveal the Princess’s climactic days in a compelling new light.

Diana is a biographical drama film, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, about the last two years of the life of Diana, Princess of Wales. The screenplay is based on Kate Snell’s 2001 book Diana: Her Last Love, and was written by Stephen Jeffreys. British-Australian actress Naomi Watts plays the title role of Diana. The world premiere of the film was held in London on 5 September 2013. It was released in the UK on 20 September 2013. The film received negative reviews from both the British and American critics.

Diana Movie Poster

Diana

Directed by: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starring: Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews, Douglas Hodge, Geraldine James, Charles Edwards, Juliet Stevenson
Screenplay by: Stephen Jeffreys
Production Design by: Kave Quinn
Cinematography by: Rainer Klausmann
Film Editing by: Hans Funck
Costume Design by: Julian Day
Set Decoration by: Niamh Coulter
Music by: Keefus Ciancia, David Holmes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language, some sensuality and smoking.
Studio: eOne Films
Release Date: November 1, 2013

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Kill Your Darlings

Kill Your Darlings

Kill Your Darlings is an American biographical drama film written by Austin Bunn and directed by John Krokidas in his feature film directorial debut. The film had its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, garnering positive first reactions. It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and it had a limited theatrical North American release from October 16, 2013. Kill Your Darlings also became available on Blu-ray and DVD, March 18, 2014 in the US, followed by its UK release on April 21, 2014.

The story is about the college days of some of the earliest members of the Beat Generation, (Lucien Carr, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and David Kammerer) their interactions, and the killing in Riverside Park.

About the Story

As a young man in the 1940s, poet Allen Ginsberg wins a place at Columbia University in New York City. He arrives as a very inexperienced freshman, but soon runs into Lucien Carr, who is very anti-establishment and rowdy.

After a while, Ginsberg discovers that Carr only manages to stay at Columbia thanks to a somewhat older man, a professor, David Kammerer, who writes all of his term papers for him, and seems perhaps to have been an ex-lover of Carr’s. It appears that Kammerer is still in love with Carr, and is revealed to be pressuring Carr for sexual favors, in exchange for assuring that he cannot be expelled.

Kill Your Darlings

Ginsberg soon meets, through Carr, William S. Burroughs, already far into drug experimentation. The writer Jack Kerouac, who was a sailor at that time and expelled from Columbia, also meets and spends time with them. Ginsberg takes part in various extreme escapades with this extraordinary group of people.

Carr eventually tells Kammerer he is done with him, and recruits Ginsberg (who has a crush on him) to write his term papers instead. After a while, Kerouac and Carr attempt to run off and join the merchant marine together, hoping to go to Paris.

There is a confrontation between Carr and Kammerer, during which Kammerer is killed by stabbing (and perhaps also by drowning). Carr is arrested, and asks Ginsberg to write his deposition for him. Ginsberg is at first reluctant to help the unstable Carr, but after digging up more crucial evidence on Kammerer and his past relationship, he writes a piece entitled “The Night in Question”. The piece describes a more emotional event, in which Carr kills Kammerer who outright tells him to after being threatened with the knife, devastated by this final rejection. Carr rejects the ‘fictional’ story, and begs a determined Ginsberg to not reveal it to anybody, afraid that it will ruin him in the ensuing trial.

We learn from Carr’s mother that Kammerer was the first person to seduce Carr, when he was much younger and lived in Chicago. After the trial we find out that Carr testified that the attack took place only because Kammerer was a sexual predator, and that Carr killed him in self-defense. Carr is not convicted of murder and receives only a short sentence.

Ginsberg then submits “The Night in Question” as his final term paper. On the basis of that shocking piece of prose, Ginsberg is faced with possible expulsion from Columbia. Either he must be expelled or he must embrace establishment values. He chooses the former, but is forced to leave his typescript behind. A week or two later he receives the typescript in the mail with an encouraging letter from his professor telling him to pursue his writing.

Kill Your Darlings Movie Poster

Kill Your Darlings

Oirected by: John Krokidas
Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Michael C. Hall, Daniel Radcliffe, Jack Huston, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ben Foster. David Cross, Kyra Sedgwick
Screenplay by: John Krokidas, Austin Bunn
Production Design by: Stephen H. Carter
Cinematography by: Reed Morano
Film Editing by: Brian A. Kates
Costume Design by: Christopher Peterson
Set Decoration by: Sarah E. McMillan
Music by: Nico Muhly
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, language, drug use and brief violence.
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: October 18, 2013

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