Every family has secrets. Every family has traits that are passed down from fathers to sons. Most families do not require a father-son chat on the nature of inherited time travel. Tim’s (Domhnall Gleeson) is an exception. On his 21st birthday, he inherits a gift that all the male members of his family have, his father (Bill Nighy) explains: he can, in fact, travel back in time. It is one of my favorite father-son chats in film history because while it is about as something as bizarre as the time travel, it contains the awkwardness and general generational incredulity that is at the heart of most father-son bonds (or lack thereof). About Time is a slightly science fictiony love story, but at its heart, it’s about family, the moments that begin and end them, and more than anything the bond between fathers and sons and how it changes and evolves as we age. It’s a funny, touching, and seriously underrated film that if you haven’t seen-I couldn’t recommend more.
Martin Freeman looks like an accountant more than he does a major star, but Freeman’s star has catapulted from the early days of the BBC’s version of The Office to roles in the biggest films Hollywood has to offer. Freeman has always bounced back and forth between television and films. He redefined Dr. Watson for a new generation in Sherlock, starred in a better Fargo than the film, and began The Office revolution. He’s also traversed Middle-Earth, traveled the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and starred in a trilogy of Edgar Wright’s most bizarre comedies. He has astounding range for someone who looks like a midwestern insurance salesman (he just changed careers from accountancy), and while is terrifically funny, can be menacing, charming, or heart-breaking in turns. Anything that has Martin Freeman in it is instantly worth watching, because if it’s good, he’s going to make it great, and even if it’s bad; he’ll make it tolerable. Continue reading Martin Freeman’s 10 Best Movies
Keira Knightley has been acting professionally since she was eight, and at 32, has an impressive resume of quality films under her belt that range from indie dramas to seafaring blockbusters. Knightley has wonderful range as a comedic actress and fits well in period dramas where she’s gotten the most awards attention (The Imitation Game and Pride and Prejudice) and modern dramas (Love Actually and Collateral Beauty). Her most famous role is that of Elizabeth Swann, female protagonist of the first three films in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Where she chooses to take her career at this point is up to her. She’s a proven box office draw with the respect of the critics, and she’s still so young, you get the feeling her best is still yet to come.
Continue reading Keira Knightley’s 10 Best Movies
Emma Thompson, over a career of 35 years of excellence in movies and television has proven herself one of the most reliably outstanding actresses of the last half-century. She’s had two boom periods in her film career: when she burst onto the scene after several years in BBC series, she was a mainstay at awards shows in the early-mid 1990’s with Howard’s End, Sense and Sensibility (which she both wrote and starred in), In the Name of the Father, and a number of other projects. She’s in the midst of a career renaissance now as part of the juggernaut that is the live action Beauty & the Beast remake, was the worst Divination professor in Wizarding World history in the Harry Potter films, and starred as the creator of Mary Poppins in Saving Mr. Banks.
My two favorite performances of Thompson’s; however, showcase her darker, cynical sense of humor. Stranger Than Fiction has to be one of the most criminally overlooked films of the 21st Century, and if you have a day to recover from it, watching her wickedly funny and devastating adaptation of the stage play Wit for HBO will leave you in awe of Thompson’s talent. Continue reading Emma Thompson’s 10 Best Movies
Alan Rickman wasn’t a leading man. He wasn’t the first name on the billing for films he was in: he simply made them better by his inclusion. On a morning when Oscar nominations (Rickman never received one, sadly) were being handed out, a pall was cast over the celebration of film as word spread that the talented actor had passed away from cancer at the age of 69.
I always brightened up when I saw Rickman’s name on the billing or watched him own scenes in the face of “greater” actors. He’ll be most remembered for his role as the Potions Master Severus Snape in the eight-film Harry Potter series, but also for one of the great screen villains of all-time, Hans Gruber, from the first DIe Hard film. Rickman’s final performance will be voiceover, as he’ll be the Caterpillar in Disney’s Through the Looking Glass later this year. Here are my Top 10 Rickman Performances, followed by his official obit from the BBC.
1. Die Hard
2. Harry Potter Series
3. Love Actually
4. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
5. Galaxy Quest
7. Truly, Madly, Deeply
8. Sense & Sensibility
9. Sweeney Todd
10. Bottle Shock Continue reading R.I.P. Alan Rickman (1946 – 2016) *One of Film’s Finest Character Actors is Gone*