Review: Thor 2

"How's space?" "Space is fine."

Sunshine on Leith - A musical review

A review of The Proclaimers' musical to the tune of (500) Miles. (Warning: Contains bad singing.)

Review: The Selfish Giant

A heart-rending British drama starring two astonishing young actors.

World War H – or hate’s not all that

What do Shyamalan, World War Z and Man of Steel have in common? Hype - and hate.


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Tag:joe wright

Maple syrup. Ice hockey. Adorable Olympic mascot Mukmuk. You get the feeling Canada's been building up to something special for quite a while. It turns out it's this: the Toronto International Film Festival 2012 line-up.

Terrence Malick's To the Wonder. Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing. Rian Johnson's Looper. Ben Affleck's Argo, Joe Wright's Anna Karenina. Monty Python's animated autobiography, Midnight's Children, Tom Tykwer's Cloud Atlas, Noah Baumbach's new film starring Greta Gerwig...

In short, Canada wins at film this year. (Despite not being a real country anyway.)

So if you catch anyone trying to Blame Canada in the next few months, just show them this list. It's so full of awesome I can't remember why we were ever blaming Canada in the first place. Probably something to with Bryan Adams, eh?


For the full line-up, head over to the TIFF website.




Keira Knightley in period costume. Joe Wright behind a carefully framed camera. Jude Law losing hair. 

We all know they can do that. But you know what really makes this Anna Karenina trailer stand out? Aaron Johnson. Dancing.

Yes. He can dance. And he can totally pull off a moustache.

Keira Knightley, Joe Wright, Jude Law, Tolstoy AND Aaron Johnson dancing with a moustache? I'm sold. Read on for the trailer.

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Cinema's longest tracking shots 

Long before I saw Silent House (out today in the UK), while hiding from the real world behind books and exams, I wrote an incredibly geeky thesis on the relationship between text and screen, which postulated that: given sentences on the page are the equivalent of takes on film, linguistic analysis of voice and narrative in a novel (and a script) could be related directly to the positioning of a camera in a cinema adaptation.

Because unlike literature, which can roam wherever the heck it wants, video cameras are physical and must be placed somewhere: films inherently have a perspective, which means that every shot is actively positioning the audience.

That’s why first-person POV is such an interesting choice, not to mention the more subtle decisions about the camera's proximity to the people on screen – the choice, for example, to only show scenes that contain a specific character.

But arguably the most curious technical decision a director can make is the long shot. Presenting something in a single, continuous take frees up the audience to track their own way through a scene - but it also restricts them to a set path of exploration, turning at a predetermined point, lingering on certain details.

Is it more immersive than a traditional montage sequence? When done well, it can be.

Which is what makes Silent House such an effective horror movie: ok, so like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope it’s not really all done in a single shot, but by keeping the camera rolling and staying close to Elizabeth Olsen, our knowledge is as limited as hers. We don’t ever see a person coming up from behind her: to be more exact, we can’t. And in a world where we’re used to the chronological or causational relationship between consecutive shots, not being able to see something from a reverse angle makes things more terrifying.

The ending of Chris Kentis and Laura Lau’s movie, sadly, ruins the whole effect – because of the script, I should add, not because of the visual technique.

So to celebrate the technical achievement of Silent House’s 88 (purportedly) uncut minutes, here are some of cinema’s most effective long takes...

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Thor thundered ahead at the UK Box Office this week, holding on the top spot after its £5m debut. 

Marvel's superhero lost around 40% of last week's takings, but has hammered together a £9.5m running total, which will keep the makers of The Avengers happy for now.

Fast Five is right behind the God of Thunder with £1.6m stashed firmly in the boot. After three weeks on release, Vin Diesel's racer has accelerated past the £13.5m gross from the last Fast and Furious film, making it the fastest and most furious in the whole series. Bald men up and down the country will be sweating profusely with excitement.

Insidious, meanwhile, is in a strong third position, boasting a teeny 9% drop as people begin to spread the word about the Saw director's horror film. It's almost at the £4m mark in total, but expect this one to reach a fair bit higher than that.

All the three holdovers held back the weekend's new releases. Emerging at the head of the pack is Water for Elephants, the watery film about elephants and Robert Pattinson. Thanks to previews from Wednesday onwards, R-Patz beat Saoirse Ronan's Hanna to the UK Top Ten's fourth spot. But we all know she could take him in a proper fight.

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There are loads of things that rhyme with Hanna.

Here are some of them:



A Banana



The Savanna




The Copacabana



Princess Diana


Out of the billion things in the world that rhyme with Hanna, only one is capable of taking down six blokes in a Berlin underground station with its bare fists.

A Spanner


Some Lasagne



Can you guess which one it is? 



That's right. It's the lasagne.

Hanna is in cinemas tomorrow. Here's a full Hanna review, in case a giant picture of some lasagne didn't make the film's awesomeness clear enough.



Director: Joe Wright
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Jessica Barden
Certificate: 12A

Everyone thought the same thing when they saw Atonement: "What a beautiful, flawless film. If only Saoirse Ronan had a gun." We get our wish with Hanna, Joe Wright's stylish Euro-thriller about a teenage girl (Ronan) raised in the wilds of Finland by Eric Bana. And like any teenage girl raised in the wilds of Finland by Eric Bana, Hanna is really good at killing people. Killing people. To death. 

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Imagine for a minute that I'm Jamie Oliver and I have some pointless TV programme about film and dreams and what my dream film would be.

Now forget that and imagine Saoirse Ronan from Atonement holding a gun. That's more like it.

Yes, we've now got the trailer for Joe Wright's thriller, Hanna, and it's safe to say that it's probably something close to my dream movie. It's directed by the guy who did Atonement and it's about a little girl assassin raised "in the wilds of North Finland" (read: the car park behind IKEA) to be a cold hard killer. Not only that, she's raised by Eric Bana. Eric fricking Bana. Mr. Incredible Hulk 1.0.

Needless to say it all looks like a load of twonky old cobblers (Girl on the run! Sinister corporations! Loud music!) but it's twonky old cobblers that involves Cate Blanchett and Tom Hollander doing some of the most ridiculous accents since Russell Crowe tried to play Robin Hood.

Add in the potential for robots/clones/robot clones/cloned robots and it looks like The Soloist's director has found the perfect follow-up to that syrupy nonsense: a mental action film/fairy tale about Hit Girl's Finnish cousin - which Joe Wright himself has said is influenced by David Lynch.

Hanna blows up UK cinemas on Friday 6th May. Read on for the trailer or head this way for the Hanna poster and official synopsis.

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Director: Joe Wright
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Olivia Williams, Tom Hollander
Certificate: TBC
Release Date: Friday 6th May

Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) is 16 years old. She is bright, inquisitive, and a devoted daughter. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a soldier; these come from being raised by her widowed father Erik (Eric Bana), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of North Finland

Hanna has been living a life unlike any other teenager; her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. But out in the world there is unfinished business for Hanna’s family. She is separated from Erik and embarks on the mission that she was always destined for.

Before she and her father can reunite as planned in Berlin, Hanna is captured by agents dispatched by ruthless intelligence operative Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett). Detained for observation and held beneath the Moroccan desert, Hanna soon turns the tables on her captors. Her daring escape to above-ground thrusts her into an unfamiliar landscape and world which she must quickly learn to comprehend and navigate. As Hanna journeys across Europe and nears her ultimate target, she faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity...

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The reunion is off, apparently. Keira Knightley will not be back working with Atonement director Joe Wright on My Fair Lady. Knightley, who also acted under Wright for Pride and Prejudice, is all set to star as Eliza Doolittle in the remake of the popular musical. But Keira's casting and Emma Thompson's script apparently aren't enough to lure Joe Wright to the project.

Following rumours of his helming My Fair Lady, he confirmed to Screenrush that he's definitely not doing it: "I thought about it for a couple of minutes and decided not to do it, and then suddenly it got into the press that I was doing it." And so the world waits for the next director to step into the chair. All we know so far? It's not Michael Bay...


We all remember what happened to Hepburn. After securing the starring role in 1964's My Fair Lady, she sung her socks off. Then got dubbed over. Well, that won't be happening to Keira Knightley. Yes, after battling it out with Scarlett Johansson for the part, she will be playing Eliza Doolittle in a new version of the musical (based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion), which may be directed by Joe Wright.

Scripted by our very own Emma Thompson, the remake will still see Eliza taken on by Professor Henry Higgins (drop the 'h' when reading aloud) for a bet. And who might poor Professor Higgins be? Why, the rumours whipping round at the moment say Daniel Craig. How now, brown cow, indeed.

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