Lumet still a luminary
Now 83, US director Sidney Lumet has been receiving his best reviews in decades for Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke head the fine cast as amoral brothers so desperate for money that they conspire to rob the jewellery store owned by their elderly parents (Albert Finney and Rosemary Harris). What they have planned as a perfect crime goes disastrously wrong and leads to tragic consequences in Lumet’s complex, compelling thriller.
Now on US release, the film opens in the UK on January 11th and here on February 1st. Lumet worked on TV drama before he made an auspicious cinema debut 50 years ago with 12 Angry Men. He went on to direct such memorable movies as The Pawnbroker, Fail-Safe, Serpico, Prince of the City, The Verdict, Daniel and Running On Empty, and two of the outstanding films of the 1970s, Network and Dog Day Afternoon.
The London Irish
Once director John Carney and Atonement actress Saoirse Ronan are both British, according to the London Film Critics Circle. They have nominated Once, which was set and shot in Dublin, for best British film of the year and shortlisted Carney in the British breakthrough (film-making) category.
Ronan also gets two nominations, as best supporting actress and for British breakthrough (acting).
Atonement and Control top the list with eight nominations each, even though neither is nominated for best film. The awards will be presented on February 8th.
We like the look of your Globes
The Golden Globes film and TV awards will be carried live on TV in Ireland and Britain for the first time next month. Sky One will begin coverage at midnight on Sunday, January 13th, with an hour of chitchat on the red carpet, followed by the awards ceremony at 1am. The late hour is due to the eight-hour time difference between here and Los Angeles.
Atonement leads the field with seven nominations in the film categories, including one for young Carlow resident Saoirse Ronan. The Mike Nichols movie, Charlie Wilson’s War, which opens here on January 11th, has five nominations, including three in acting categories for Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman and, in her first film for four years, Julia Roberts.
The Golden Globes are presented annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The group’s honorary prize, the Cecil B DeMille Award, will be presented to Steven Spielberg. Meanwhile, Sky Movies has acquired the rights to broadcast the Academy Awards live for the fourth consecutive year. Oscar night is Sunday, February 24th.
Gilliam’s latest imaginarium
Not to be confused with Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, which is now on release, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is the latest movie from reliably quirky director Terry Gilliam. After the disappointments of Gilliam’s Tideland and The Brothers Grimm, the good news is that the new project reunites him with Charles McKeown, his screenwriting collaborator on Brazil.
The film, which started shooting this month, features Christopher Plummer as Parnassus, a man with an extraordinary ability to guide the imagination of others, which, after all, is what the best film directors do.
Parnassus has a travelling theatre troupe and for centuries has been gambling with the devil, Mr Nick (Tom Waits). The cast also features Heath Ledger, Lily Cole, and one of the most promising new actors to emerge this year, Andrew Garfield, who played Robert Redford’s apathetic student in Lions for Lambs and was riveting as the child killer in John Crowley’s Channel 4 film, Boy A.
Alice in Burton-land
Tim Burton plans to follow his musical Sweeney Todd, due here on January 25th, with an adaptation of the much-filmed Lewis Carroll story, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Burton will use live action and computer-generated animation in the movie, which will be screened in 3D.
Casting gets under way shortly, but Johnny Depp, who has starred in six Burton pictures, must be a shoo-in to play the Mad Hatter. “It’s such a classic and the imagery is so surreal,” Burton says. “The stories are like drugs for children.” Happy New Year. email@example.com