Category Archives: Features

Fun movies articles, lists as long as your attention span, and opinions so big, you just have to comment on them.

Road to the Oscars: Best Winner Speeches

by Cookie N Screen & Jo Johnstone

People who get the coveted Academy Award and deliver a heartfelt, warming speech that is tender, evocative and sometimes funny are lucky bastards. In fact, I won a free coffee the other day and my mouth shook and words babbled out of me like a sea of word vomit. Watching actress, directors and more hit the stage and light it up verbally is always compelling. You can spend hours going from speech to speech, congratulating the hard workers who have created the past years great entertainment and  get teary-eyed at their emotive or witty speeches. The key to a being a good orator is confidence with a little panache for entertaining and these people have it.

Kate Winslet –The Reader 

The Brits have had a long history of scooping up an award and owning the stage with our speeches. We’re that perfect balance of politeness, self-deprecation and sarcasm (so much sarcasm). Kate Winslet is our definitive English rose and has been giving us some majorly brilliant performances. It wasn’t until her performance as illiterate German Hanna Schultz in The Reader  that she rose to Academy Award glory. In her speech, she is undeniably thrilled and nervous at getting the award which gifts her this natural and humanistic humour. Starting with a wonderful story about practising the speech into her shampoo bottles as a child, it gets better when she thanks her parents who are in the room. Asking for a sign, her Dad whistles (check out his hat) and her response is just delightful.

Robin Williams – Good Will Hunting

This year is going to be the first Academy Awards without Robin Williams in our lives. The tragic death of the actor last year sent shockwaves throughout the community alongside a list of names we’ll be pained to see at this year’s tributes. It’s only befitting that we celebrate his win for Best Supporting Actor in Good Will Hunting.His speech stripped away a lot of that extroverted comedy that he was known for and humanised him in a completely endearing win. Being rendered “speechless” as he thanks his family, friends and his wife, you can tell that, with every fibre of his being, Williams loved what he did and it makes for a wonderful, heart-wrenching speech. An absolutely much deserving award for a complete legend who reached out to all of us.

Charlie Chaplin – Honorary Oscar

Charlie Chaplin had thrilled audiences long before the Oscars actually began. When the talkies did begin and everyone started to lean towards grand monologues and speaking, there were very few stars who managed to survive. Charlie Chaplin was one of those legends who will live on for all the greatness he has given us – including his ability to transfer his silent comedy skills to the talkies with The Great Dictator. In 1972, all of his efforts were applauded again when he was finally given another honorary Oscar and was further celebrated with a twelve minute standing ovation (that is heavily cut down in his clip). His defining moment in the speech, besides the tears of gratitude that line his eyes,  was when he uttered “words are futile,” highlighting his lavish career as a silent movie star.

Cuba Gooding Jr. – Jerry Maguire

Before we begin, who didn’t love Cuba Gooding Jr’s presenting gig at this year’s BAFTA when he asked for a Stephen Fry kiss? No one? Good. Gooding Jr has proved repeatedly that he has enough charisma to delight bucket loads of audiences. But I dare you to not watch this acceptance speech and not feel the pure glee that is effervescing from this man as he scoops up the Best Supporting Actor award. Starting off thanking everyone, Cuba Gooding Jr went from refined joy to unbridled ecstatic jumping around that was so compelling, people lifted off their seats to applaud him. Unfairly, Gooding Jr was given 30 seconds before the band started up the music to hurry him along and this was the reason he became more frantic. But there’s a lesson for you: In just two minutes, Cuba Gooding Jr. wowed the entire crowd and made us fall completely in love with him as he jumped shouting “I love you, I love you, I love you.”

Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years A Slave

Last year had some terrific speeches and some downright bizarre ones (Matthew McConaughey went from thanking God to quoting Magic Mike in his famed Southern slur). Highlights included Cate Blanchett’s “the earth is round people” attack on Hollywood and Jared Leto’s provoking speech to his mother who raised them with next to nothing. Nyong’o had reached stardom and critical acclaim in her first feature role for 12 Years A Slavebut her Best Supporting Actress win was tentative thanks to everyone’s obsession with Jennifer Lawrence. Nyong’o’s win had us cheering in pure delight but the courteous and stunning speech was simply rousing – hopefully, reaching out to children who, thanks to minimum representation in the Academy, will be inspired to follow her glorious footsteps. Heck, even Benedict Cumberbatch shed a tear…

Adrien Brody for The Pianist

Not only did Mr Brody give a world class performance in The Pianist,his Oscar speech was pretty impressive too. The sheer joy and shock on his face as his name was announced and the looks of genuine happiness on his fellow nominees is heart warming. If this was not enough of an entrance to the stage he ran to Halle Berry, who was presenting the award and gave her an old Hollywood style kiss. Casablanca couldn’t have done it better. His speech was one of thanks to all that had worked on the film, inspired it and inspired him. And if that was not adorable enough he returned the next year to present best actress and before reading out the name sprayed breath spray, just in case.

Michael Caine for The Cidar House Rules

Michael Caine has always come across as a real gentlemen. This was so brilliantly demonstrated when he won his award for best supporting actor in The Cidar House Rules. He thanks his director and cast but most of the speech is dedicated to his fellow nominees who he clearly admires. The group includes Tom Cruise, Michael Clark Duncan, Jude Law and little Haley Joel Osment. A real classy speech from a real class act.

Christoph Waltz for either Inglorious Basterds or Django Unchained

The actor had been working steadily in Germany for thirty years before Quentin Tarantino cast him as Col Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds. The role made Waltzs an overnight Hollywood sensation and for Tarantino’s next film he again went to Waltz. The reunion resulted in another best supporting actor Oscar. For his first speech he compares the film to a ship and calls Tarantino its captain who changed the course of his destiny. For his second speech Waltz borrowed lines from his character Dr King Schultz to commend his directors bravery in film making. For either speech Waltz appreciation for his great director is the main subject for him. And also running to hug your director before kissing your wife is the ultimate sign of a real bromance.

Martin Scorsese for The Departed, 2006



FINALLY! Like his great muse Leonardo DiCaprio his Oscar was very, very overdue. So when his friends Steven Speilberg, George Lucus and Francis Ford Coppola got up on stage to present him his award it was almost like a sorry from The Academy. He also greeted his young daughter who was watching at home and told her to go to bed in ten. We can only hope that when DiCaprio gets his Oscar they esembled all his heros on stage and have a drink waiting for him.

Jennifer Lawrence For Silver Linings Playbook

Jennifer Lawrence has gained a following of adoring fans who like her for her talent, her beauty and her sheer quirkiness. She seems like the kind of girl you could be friends with. So to confirm just how quirky she really is Miss Lawrence ascended The Academy stairs and fell over. Not only did she keep her head  but she managed to make it look cool. She waves off the standing ovation she recieves by stating “You have to clap cos that was really embarrassing.” For even more Lawrence quirkiness watch her reaction as Jack Nicholson congratulates her on her win.

BONUS:


The 90th Academy Awards screen February 24th

Most Ridiculously Fun Action Films

Over-the-top action has been greatly underappreciated over the past few years; sometimes we just want to switch off our brains and enjoy the visual spectacle of a ludicrously explosive action film. Hunter Killer is one of these movies as it tells the story of American Captain Joe Glass’s (Gerard Butler) mission to save the Russian President and prevent all-out war between the two nations, all from the confines of his hunter-killer submarine.

Hunter Killer is available on digital download on 18th February and 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on 25th February, and to celebrate we’ve pulled together a list of the most ridiculously fun action films to get you in the mood.

 

Geostorm (2017) 

Following years without natural disaster, a system of climate controlling satellites malfunction, threatening a catastrophic global ‘geostorm’ capable of ravaging the planet. Geostorm stars Gerard Butler as Jake Lawson, the man sent to space to single handedly prevent a devastating cataclysm. Featuring spectacular disaster sequences such as a tsunami in Dubai, frozen beaches in Rio and a heatwave in Moscow, Geostorm is as ridiculously fun as it sounds.

 

John Wick (2014)

Keanu Reeves stars as John Wick, a former assassin pulled out of retirement after Russian gangsters slaughter his pet dog. Motivated by revenge, John Wick is a fearsome one man army as he attempts to systematically take out the entire Russian mob. Directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski ensure that the rigorous choreography and clear camera work produce some of the most impressive fight sequences of the decade.

 

 

The Fate of the Furious (2017) 

If you’re looking for an over-the-top, explosively fun action film, The Fate of the Furious fits the bill perfectly. The eighth entry into the Fast and the Furious franchise, The Fate of the Furious continues the story of Dom Toretto’s family, and features unexpected twists and turns as their bond is tested unlike ever before. The film also features some astonishing action sequences, such as a car chase across an unstable frozen lake and a spectacular pursuit through the streets of New York City involving hundreds of autonomous cars. The Fate of the Furious is as ridiculously fun as they come.

 

The Expendables (2010) 

Featuring big names such as Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren, the expendables gathers some of the world’s biggest action movie heroes to star in this explosive team-up flick. The Expendables are a team of elite mercenaries who get tasked with overthrowing General Garza, a dictator from ‘Vilena’. Along the way the team’s strength is tested, as they face difficulties from both General Garza’s forces and from friction within the group. The star-studded cast and impressive action ensure that this is film is tremendously fun and wholly entertaining.

 

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Gerard Butler stars as Mike Banning, an ex-US Army Ranger called into action after the White House is taken over, and its residents taken hostage by North Korean terrorists. Banning must infiltrate the White House, rescue the President and put a stop to the terrorist’s greater motives, without any assistance. This thrilling adventure combines high tension and electrifying action to produce a thoroughly captivating spectacle.

Hunter Killer (2018)

Deep within the harsh Arctic Ocean, Gerard Butler stars as Captain Joe Glass who must lead his crew of submariners, tasked with rescuing a fellow US Submarine that’s disappeared in foreign waters. However, their mission takes an action-packed turn when Glass discovers a secret coup brewing within enemy territory. With the world on the brink of WWIII, Captain Glass must assemble an elite group of Navy SEALS and start a battle to win a war.


HUNTER KILLER IS AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL DOWNLOAD ON 18TH FEBRUARY AND 4K, BLU-RAY AND DVD ON 25TH FEBRUARY

 

Road to the Oscars: Hugh Jackman’s Opening Number

It’s the countdown to the 90th Academy Awards. Yes, it’s the season that many film lovers get excited for as it will be a night of film-making celebrations. Whilst you can certainly recognise that this year is filled with rightly placed controversy, a year where no people of colour were nominated in major categories or women in non-acting roles, there is no one taking away from the excitement of those with nods or the excitement surrounding the glitz and the glam of it all.

So, to kick off a week of anticipation, we have a series of articles for you that will look at the Academy Awards and let’s start by celebrating one of the best opening numbers of in the history of the ceremony…


In 2009, Australian actor Hugh Jackman took hosting duties for the Oscars which was produced by director Bill Condon and Laurence Mark, notably. The hefty weight of responsibility to bring entertainment, wit, and charm to the proceedings is a tentative task to take on. Some succeed whilst many fail (Anne Hathaway and James Franco are a prime example.) Yet Hugh Jackman had audiences in the palm of his adamantium laced hands. Firing off quick witted jokes about range and hosting the awards instead of being nominated, Jackman was already poised to be one of the funniest MCs of the Academy Awards. Then he launched into a musical number.

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Writen by Community’s Dan Harmon and Parks and Recreation’s Ben Schwartz, the opening number is one of the best. It is no longer a secret that Jackman can belt out a tune or two (for anyone who followed his career post X-Men.) Before his live-singing, close up action in Les Miserables, Jackman was a Tony winner and musical hero and he brought his crooning skills to the stage of Kodak Theatre Hall in Los Angeles. Lamenting on the recession, Jackman uses cardboard sets to celebrate the movies nominated including Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, The Reader, The Wrestler, and even The Dark Knight. Coursing through this recyclable theatre, Jackman leaps through lyrics that reminisce on the film industry as well as those aforementioned films, leading to a musing on what Jackman needs to do to be nominated.

Certain highlights in the opening number include Anne Hathaway singing as Richard Nixon, the Craigslist Dancers, and, honestly, I’d happily re-watch the Benjamin Button on a Budget as Jackman sings about pubic hair.The best part is the honest break of composure as Hugh Jackman focuses on The Reader with a weirdly futuristic troupe accompanying him. The performer begins giggling when he laments that “he hasn’t seen The Reader” which makes the performance even better.

The final crescendo where Hugh Jackman exclaims “I am Wolverine” wraps up a raucous and entertaining number that saw the audience leap to their feet in celebration. Reminding us why Jackman is an honest to God, pure cinnamon bun in human form, Hugh Jackman blows every opening number in Academy Award ceremony history out of the water. Seriously, you’ll watch it repeatedly.  Fantastically amusing, hilarious, and catchy number which asks “why don’t comic book movies ever get nominated?”

No…seriously, why?

So please, from all of us, enjoy this incredible Oscar number.


The 91st Academy Awards screens on 24th February

Valentine’s Day: 22 Couples With Great On-Screen Chemistry

Romance movies are brilliant, aren’t they? I mean, lapping up love like there is no tomorrow is an audience favourite. People just love going all mushy when Channing Tatum kisses the girl (or Jonah Hill) and swoops her up in his abs declaring that whatever plot device they had to get over, doesn’t matter. The problem is that when it comes to the actors, they have to have the right amount of chemistry for it to work. Sometimes, whether they like each other or not, you’ll find that if you can’t fizzle on screen or entire romantic shtick will go off without a bang.

But what about those actors who can hit the right notes? For Valentine’s Day, let’s look at those

Andre Holland and Trevante Rhodes in Moonlight

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The excruciatingly beautiful lead up to this climatic scene is made poignant by the impressive and stirring performances by Holland and Rhodes. Meeting as men for the first time after their illicit beach tryst, the palpable tension in the air is clear as they admit their love for one another. It’s a gorgeous and timely movie crafted impeccably by Barry Jenkins is a lovingly built movie.

 

Nick Frost and Simon Pegg in The Cornetto Trilogy 

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“Hang on a minute, that’s not a romantic film?” Well, actually Shaun of the Dead has been called a romantic zombie comedy so how’s that for a slice of fried gold? And apart from the ladies Liz and Sam, it is actually less about wooing a lady and more about wooing your mate. Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, best pals in real life, transform their comedic energy on the big screen and create a series of films centred on their bromance. It’s hard to pick just one epic scene between them but the one that springs to mind is in the Winchester where Shaun says “Thanks Babe” with a wink after declaring “he’s not my boyfriend.” Sure, Shaun, sure.

Paul Rudd and Alicia Silverstone in Clueless 

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I would argue that Paul Rudd has chemistry with anyone because he is just that sublime at humanistic comedy. His history of ladies include Leslie Mann and Lisa Kudrow, portraying two very believable couples. One of his earliest roles was in that 1990’s adaptation of Emma, Clueless. As (ex) stepbrother Josh, Rudd plays opposite Silverstone’s seemingly superficial but generally sweet natured Cher and it works. Their constant sparring is in good spirits and it is clear that underneath it, lust and love are blossoming unequivocally. As it blossoms into romance, the whole coupling feels natural and real.

Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in (500) Days of Summer 

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Let’s be clear, this is film is definitely not a love story. But from the word go, the sparks are flying across the 500 days that you’ll be like Tom, actually begging them to get together. The pair scintillate with their quirky hipster likes and loves, instantly hitting it off despite her protests. What works between Deschanel and JGL is their mutual understanding between the pair that unravels and is regained throughout the broken narrative. The film is much a testament to how people can still bustle with energy and it not work. Through the centric performances, this is told splendidly.

Patrick Dempsey and Amy Adams in Enchanted 

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It was a pleasant surprise to see a live-action movie from Disney that isn’t afraid to take a few self-deprecating jokes. The entire affair of Prince and Princess pursued by Wicked Witch is turned on its head when the girl falls into a hole and winds up in our Universe. Exploring New York City, she bumps into cynic Robert and the pairs ideals clash. Though predictably they fall in love, their romantic charge is clear from the beginning. One scene is brimming with this chemistry, when they are dancing together at the ball and he sings a song with words meant just for her – because that’s how you know he loves her….that’s how you know he cares.

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic

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Any time you thrust these real life best friends on screen, you’ll almost certain to get a great performance out of the pair. Heck, even off screen there are billions of people who just wish they’d tie the knot because they have a fantastic dynamic. Their first screen companionship, and definitely the most famous, was Jack and Rose in James Cameron’s overblown sea epic Titanic. Sure, the film has lost its bearings over the past few years but still standing strong (like a Celine Dion epic) is the ice melting love between these characters and subsequently, the actors. Despite her letting go in the end, their chemistry is so strong here that Rose forgets her entire marriage after Jack’s death… (that has nothing to do with the actors’chemistry but, well, I had to say something).

Emily Blunt and Matt Damon in The Adjustment Bureau 

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Carrying on a love story that transcends time and space may seem like something only The Doctor can do but with the smart film The Adjustment Bureau, the filmmakers were able to capture the urgencies of soulmates and how meeting someone can change your entire world. The premise that our hero David is trying desperately to keep Elise in his life, opposing the ruling by these “fixer uppers” who control the universe is strong when you have the divine Blunt and the excellent Damon gifting the pair with a fiery attraction.

Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer in West Side Story

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Musicals have different levels of chemistry that you have to hit in order to make your love seem realistic. For example, you have to have all the singing on point. It has to match and harmonise with emotion and talent. Then you have to dance well too, every foot has to fit in with excellence. And when you aren’t can-canning or yodelling, you have to make the relationship believable. Which is exactly what Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer do as Maria and Tony in West Side Story. Ok, ok, they don’t exactly sing (that’s the job of Marni Nixon and Jimmy Byrant), but their love is so believable that you cannot stop blubbing at the tragic end.

Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas in Romancing The Stone 

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When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. And when the romancing makes love, the love gets loving – wait, what? Ok, so that was a terrible link into this entry but during the eighties, you’d be hard pushed to find an adventure film that didn’t titillate with the core performances and romance. As with most writers, wishing that their action-packed hero would come to life is a dream come true for Joan as she winds up on a jungle journey with exotic bird smuggler (you read that right) Jack. Here, the almost ridiculous plot is helped with the pairing and it makes for a funny yet affectionate relationship

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in The Noteboook

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They reportedly hated each other. Then they started dating each other. Which apparently sent a load of confusing signals to the director Nick Cassavetes. The minute you see Allie run soaked into Noah’s arms as he bellows “I wrote you a letter everyday”, you’ll forget about all the behind the scenes hatred. They ooze this melodrama romance that connects immediately the first time they see each other. And if you wanted some more chemistry in The Notebook, then James Garner and Gene Rowlands as the older versions of the characters really gift the film with this elderly chemistry too, however heart-breaking it is in the end.

Colin Firth and Renee Zelwegger in Bridget Jones’ Diary

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“What a minute, nice guys don’t kiss like that?”
“Yes they fucking do.”Actually, we’ll happily say that Firth is, again, one of those actors who is so good that you’ll believe his romance with everyone including Helena Bonham Carter and Matthew Goode. Apart of the soaking gorgeousness he was as Mr Darcy, one of his most famed roles was as Mark in Bridget Jones Diary. Look, we didn’t believe Hugh Grant and Renee to begin with (we were always suspicious of his adulterous ways). However, the first awkward conversation between Mark and Bridget oozed with this awkward tension that was so well acted you couldn’t help but want them to end up together.

Steve Oram and Alice Lowe in Sightseers

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So love comes in all these strange shaped boxes but none of them is as weird as Tina and Chris in Sightseers. Developed by the pair of actors themselves, with helpful guidance from director Ben Wheatley, the character actors are simply divine in their murderous ways that seems at odds with the rest of the world. As they tour the peculiar sites of Britain, from the pencil museum to Stonehenge, Lowe and Oram really connect in this amazing cult classic. They even have a better sex life than most and though hilarious, there are some very emotional moments too.

Cary Elwes and Robin Wright in The Princess Bride 

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“As you wish” screams Westley as he tumbles down the grassy knoll and the whole entire audience swoons along with Buttercup. This cult movie does so much for romance and humour that it is really hard not to see these characters as a couple in real life. The passion between the main characters comes at you like a Rodent of Unusual Size and it is helped along by stories of set harmonies. Knowing that everyone has fond memories of The Princess Bride just enhances the love story and makes Elwes and Wright vibrant on screen.

Alfred Molina and John Lithgow in Love Is Strange 

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There is something so engaging about Molina and Lithgow’s performances that you’ll be made not to see it. They play an ageing couple, Ben and George who are forced apart when they marry and one of their employers lets them go. Staying with family is difficult, but it is more of a strain on the pair. The honesty and swan song to ageing couples in Love Is Strange is strong in the earnest performances from Molina and Lithgow that’ll have you screaming for a real life wedding for the pair!

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman 

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Taking a prostitute and giving her all your riches so you can pass her off as a debutant may seem strange and strained in this day and age. However, Julia Roberts and Richard Gere were so wonderful as the pair that you’d believe this happens on a regular basis. Edward and Vivian shine and it departs happily from the first tension into this endearing love. The famous scene is the one where he snaps the jewellery box at her. The laugh and reaction is believable and warms your gullet so much that your heart will burst. Gere’s and Roberts romance were so great that they tried to rekindle it with the Runaway Bride – good but never quite as stellar as this.

Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser in The Mummy 

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The rambunctious Rick and the book-smart Evelyn may look as though they are at opposite ends of the Egyptian expert spectrum. But as usual, despite being at odds, their animal magnetism draws them in. One and two of The Mummy series really works at showcasing how great Fraser is as a rougher Indiana Jones whilst Weisz compelled us like the English rose she is. What works here is how they shape their differences around their romances and never compromise either, the pair of actors have fun whilst similarly conveying an ultimate couple.

Sanaa Lane and Omar Epps in Love and Basketball.

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Gina Prince-Bythewood’s bouncy love story has become a cult classic. The film looks at two basketball stars who fall in love over the game. In an endearing movie, Epps and Prince–Bythewood electrify the screen with a tender and sometimes wrought romance. It encapsulates the last remaining years’ of the nineties as the millennium moved forward! A sweet film with amazing performances, it’s an incredible romantic movie.

Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette in True Romance

 

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Often missed by people when they look back at Quentin Tarantino’s back catalogue, True Romance was one of the first feature films that the young Tarantino penned that wasn’t a cult classic. Slater and Arquette bring youthful energy to this crime drama that contrasts the terrifying Gary Oldman in hot pursuit. There are many scenes here that, despite their criminal tendencies, makes you believe that romance and love has no boundaries. “You’re so cool” is a repeated line that sums up their Bonnie and Clyde romp across L.A that is so compelling.

James Stewart and Donna Reed in Its A Wonderful Life  

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Even when George is down and out, Mary is still there for him. He may feel like a burden by Mary has loved him since he lassoed the moon down for her. Honestly, the draw here comes from Stewart and Reed for effervescence even on the downtrodden moments. As sparks fly at the beginning of their relationship, a poignant dance scene that has them falling in the water, the pair are able to delicately unravel with the sadder moments. Not a dry eye in the house when they rekindle in the end either, and that’s down to the believable romance.

Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge! 

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Nicole Kidman has had many leading men who have worked well with her acting. Sam O’Neil and Tom Cruise are just highlights of her great romantic career (obviously the latter, being her husband at the time, is engaging too.) However, in Baz Luhrman’s musical, Ewan McGregor’s bright eyed boy is matched sublimely to her courtesan ways. As they go on a secret affair, all set to tunes, the pair express freedom, beauty, truth and love. Between their pitched duets and their declarations of love, their ill-fated relationship is only enhanced by the beautiful actor and actress who connect definitely.

Tom Cullen and Chris New in Weekend 

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Here is a film that works on so many levels. It is a brilliant and astute portrayal of a fleeting love that develops over only a few days. As Russell and Jamie meet on a random night out, their initial morning after is so poignantly done that it connects with the audience straight away. As they tend to their emotions and feelings, getting more intense with each passing day, the pair bring a humanistic tone to their characters that will have you sobbing when they depart on the train. This is a beautiful and endearing film helmed by two men who gleam brightly in this wonderful on-screen pairing.

Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in Star Wars

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You stinking Nerf-herders didn’t think we’d leave this off the list, right? Well, the intergalactic space series Star Wars produced one of our favourite chemistries that bounces to a land far, far away. The minute Han Solo pops up cockily on screen and the minute the burning petty arguments begin, you just know that they are going to end up together. Even though Han is not our main protagonist, the creepy scene between Leia and Luke didn’t work before they found out they were related. However, how can you not get dreamy eyes at the late Carrie’s desperate “I love you” with Ford’s smoky, “I know.”


What do you think? Who are your favourite on-screen couples?

The Best Of: 6 Incredible Roles by Amy Adams

Amy Adams is one of my favourite actresses. I know it’s a bit unprofessional to start an article so deeply personal but I recently spoke to the great Adams at a press conference. Replying to me in such an astute and intellectual way, I instantly blacked out and cannot quite recall what she said because I was overcome by her perfection (Hooray for Dictaphones!)

Anyway, there is a great presence to Amy, no matter what role she tackles. Whether it’s a joyous naïve princess or a brooding art gallery owner, Adams masters them all. And though I know I am sadly missing tonnes of her work including The Fighter, Junebug, The Master and Catch Me If You Can, here are the six best roles of Amy Adams.

Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

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Look, when having to chose between Amy Adams’ best roles, I had a tricky decision to make. One could feel drawn to The Fighter and The Master. Oscar nominated roles, indeed do need a lot of mentions and if I didn’t hate David O Russell, I’d pop the former on and if I had seen The Master, I’d have popped that on too. Regardless, they are truly incredible roles.

Instead, I decided to punt for Adams debut role which is a terribly underrated dark comedy. Drop Dead Gorgeous is a mockumentary revolving around a deadly group of girls who are pining for a pageant crown. Adams plays the sexual cheerleader who can put her whole fist in her mouth, which she does as a talent. Stereotypically dumb, Adams executes the role with great affection, gifting us with a hilarious character that stands out alongside the sea of crazy hilariousness!

Enchanted (2007)

enchanted_movie_image_amy_adams__11_Adams’ work as a Disney “princess” saw her shoot to fame in 2007. The film revolves around a young wannabe princess named Giselle who is transported from her animated role to the real live-action one and has to deal with the hard-knock-life that grimy New York offers. In the role, Adams is impeccable. Bouncy and fun one minute yet full of sorrow the next, Adams encompasses every single Disney Princess whilst similarly crafting a new and exciting one. Yes, she technically isn’t a princess but, well, sod it, she’s the best one! Just listen to “How Do You Know?” and tell me you don’t come away with sheer glee at Giselle’s heart-warming optimism.

Doubt (2008)

aa-amyadams-doubt-hallwayPlaying opposite heavy-weights such as Meryl Streep and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman is challenging. Tackling paedophilia in the church is more so. The young Amy Adams, coming off her commercial and critically acclaimed Disney work plunged deeply into this hefty drama and earned an Academy Award nomination for her troubles. She plays young Nun Sister James who suspects that a Father at their parish is abusing a young student, setting off a campaign against him despite there being no concrete proof. Amy Adams is stellar as the earnest young Nun who wanted to do good despite the circumstances. Greatly solidifying her as one of greatest actresses, this is a fine performance from Adams.

No Doubt.

The Muppets (2011)

amy-adams-as-mary-in-green-with-envy-theProving a favourite with audiences and critics alike, Amy Adams completely immerses herself in a colourful and Muppety world opposite the likes of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and Fossy Bear. Here she plays Mary girlfriend of Gary whose affections for her are pulled by his loyalty to brother Walter.  Bringing the charms of Giselle to a brand new character, Adams is somewhat side-lined by the hilarious puppet pals. Within this fuzzy world, however, she has standout moments including her venture across LA by herself singing the vivacious Me Party that y’all need in your lives. Helping to bring the Muppets back for a whole new generation to enjoy, this a fun and fantastic role!

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

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Although the film was only released last week, it is sure enough one of her more accomplished roles. In fact, if the Academy doesn’t shove an award in her face because of it, then it will be a bitter disappointment. As Susan Marrow, she plays a disjointed gallery owner stifled by her loveless  marriage and the façade of people around her. When she receives a manuscript by her ex-husband, she becomes embroiled in the novel and it’s contents, leading to an emotional act of revenge. Adams is ethereal in the role, transcending into many different facets of Susan including her bubbly and charming younger self and the aged, sleep deprived forty-something person she doesn’t recognise. It’s a gifted almost silent role that Adams  elevates into a gripping poetic noir.

Arrival (2016)

ARRIVALAgain, the movie was only released yesterday but it is such a bloody brilliant performance that you can’t help but mention it. In fact, I urge you to fling your computer to one side, grab your nearest jacket, and head out to your local cinema because this is one film you aren’t going to want to miss on the big screen. As linguistics professor Louise, Adams’ plays a key role in unlocking the secrets of other-worldly visitors in Denis Villeneuve’s impeccable alien film. She’s astonishing. Absolutely perfect. Understated, emotionally charged, and full of clarity, Adams is bountiful in this stunning depiction of humanity’s need to work together to survive. Surely now, Adams is destined for legendary status.


Vice is out in cinemas now! 

A who’s who in Destroyer

Nicole Kidman’s latest film, Destroyer (in cinemas 25th January), sees the A-list actress taking on one of her most transformative roles to date. It’s a riveting and gritty crime thriller with an ensemble cast whose past credits include everything from superhero fighting powers and award-winning science fiction storylines. With the film coming to cinemas next Friday, we’re taking a look at the actors and actresses who have transformed on-screen.

Nicole Kidman

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Australian actress and producer, Nicole Kidman needs no introduction. With over 80 projects under her belt, she’s been nominated for multiple awards and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours. Kidman began her acting career in her native Australia with the 1983 film Bush Christmas and has grown to become one of the most recognised actresses in Hollywood. She’s known for her excellent commitment to the characters she portrays, going method and transforming her appearance with prosthetics.

 

Sebastian Stan

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Known mostly for his portrayal as Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier in Marvel’s Avengers, Sebastian Stan is captivating alongside Kidman in Destroyer. In addition to being part of the Marvel Universe, Stan co-starred with Margot Robbie in I, Tonya which saw him play Jeff, the on-off boyfriend of Tonya Harding.  Stan got his start in acting having spent a year at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London before moving back to America to pursue the big screen.

 

Toby Kebbell

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English born actor Toby Kebbell is no stranger to an action-packed film. He’s starred in Dawn of the Planet Apes, Fantastic Four and Wrath of the Titans. Kebbell’s most critically acclaimed role in Control won him the award for Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards.

 

Tatiana Maslany

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Canadian actress, Tatiana Maslany shot to fame in the science fiction series Orphan Black. The role earned her an Emmy, as well as TCA & SAG Awards.  She’s the first Canadian actor in a Canadian series to win an Emmy in a key dramatic category. Maslany is also a big fan of improv, having done comedic improv for 10 years and participated in the Canadian Improv Games. Maslany is just starting to climb the Hollywood ladder and her future is looking very bright.

 

Karyn Kusama

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While not appearing on the big screen, director Karyn Kusama has certainly left her mark on the film industry. Her directorial debut, Girlfight (2000) starred Michelle Rodriguez as a troublesome teenage girl who uses her anger in boxing after discovering the sport while picking up her brother up from training. Kusama not only directed the film but she also wrote and produced it. Having graduated from NYU, she spent her early years of her career working as an editor on documentary films and in production on independent film and music videos. Kusama’s films have had strong feminist themes, with female protagonists who are flawed. No doubt we’ll be seeing more of her work soon!


Destroyer is in cinemas 25th January.