Posts Tagged Keira Knightley

STEELE PICKS: 12 BEST FILMS of 2014

I’ll choose indie, quirky and dark over anything else anytime. Also quite clear that I support women screenwriters and directors and women in film. I also immensely like Kristen Wiig, Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss. THREE films from Knightley make the list. Themes running through my list: depression; finding oneself; feeling wayward; and musicians.

For two years while I worked at Harvard Business School I was a film critic for the newspaper The Harbus. I wrote reviews for several other publications but I’ve always been primarily a music critic. I’ve also become a book critic. I appreciate great films but don’t write about them.

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1. Whiplash

incredible film about the power of music, redemption and perseverance.

starring: Miles Teller, JK Simmons
written and directed by: Damien Chazelle

BEGIN AGAIN

2. Begin Again

promising singer-songwriter gets her shot at recording an album.

starring: Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Catherine Keenar, Adam Levine
written and directed by: John Carney

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3. Under the Skin

a weird mesmerizing film. stunning cinematography.

starring: Scarlett Johansson
written by: Walter Campbell and Jonathan Glazer
directed by: Jonathan Glazer

Gugu Mbatha-Raw Sarah Gadon

4. Belle

In 19th century England, a young black woman gets brought up alongside her white cousin. She learns that she’ll never be treated equally despite their similarities. Belle [Gugu Mbathal-Raw] battles racism and joins the fight for equality under the law.

starring: Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Gugu Mbathal-Raw
written by: Misan Sagay
directed by: Amma Asante

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5. The Skeleton Twins

touching film about estranged twins with depression and stagnant lives. perfectly played by Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader.

starring: Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader
written by: Mark Heyman and Craig Johnson
directed by: Craig Johnson

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6. Nightcrawler

didn’t expect to like this film as much as I did and I was blown away. it’s riveting and disturbing. Gyllenhaal outstanding in every scene.

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Written and directed by:Dan Gilroy

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7. Laggies

loved this film about not being quite an adult and no longer being a teenager either. That point where you just don’t know what to do with yourself anymore but know that you can’t remain in a stagnant life.

starring: Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Chloe Grace Moretz
written by: Andrea Seigel
directed by: Lynn Shelton

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8. Frank

sometimes the best (or most memorable) artists are eccentric, sad or both. Frank is about such a musician leading an indie group who makes it to perform at SXSW.

starring: Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Domhnall Gleeson, Scoot McNairy
written by:Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan
directed by: Lenny Abrahamson

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9. The Homesman

Not generally a fan of westerns this one got me. a feminist Western with a strong, uncompromising woman [Hilary Swank] at its core.

starring: Hilary Swank, Tommy Lee Jones, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto
written by: Tommy Lee Jones and Kieran Fitzgerald
directed by: Tommy Lee Jones

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10. The Imitation Game

amazing story about the small group of mathematicians led by Alan Turing [Benedict Cumberbatch] who broke the Nazi’s Enigma Code during WWII. what happens to Turing in the 50s– getting prosecuted for being gay– is horrific. The film is wonderful. Keira Knightley excellent as the lone female in the group.

starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Good, Allen Leech, Mark Strong, Charles Dance
directed by: Morten Tyldum
written by: Graham Moore

SELMA

11. Selma

An important film about civil rights. So moving. I cried. Martin Luther King Jr. works to secure equal voting rights during the 1960s with a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

starring: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth, Lorraine Toussant, Tom Wilkinson
written by: Paul Webb
directed by: Ava DuVernay

Listen Up Philip (2014) Jonathan Pryce and Jason Schwartzman

12. Listen Up Philip

starring: Jason Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss, Jonathan Pryce, Krysten Ritter
written and directed by: Alex Ross Perry

Acerbic wit. Arrogant self-centered writer (aren’t most writers?). Highly quotable and darkly amusing film.

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Entertainment News: books to film

James Franco plans to adapt another William Faulkner novel, The Sound and the Fury

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Franco recently premiered his version of As I Lay Dying at the Cannes Film Festival. The Sound and the Fury is a collaborative effort between Franco and his Yale classmate Matt Rager. Franco will direct and star in the movie. He would like to cast Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm in the role of Mr Compson, the head of a family of southern aristocrats fallen on hard times in early 20th century Mississippi.

As I Lay Dying trailer:

Keira Knightley will produce and star in The Other Typist

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The Other Typist, the debut novel from Suzanne Rindell, focuses on Rose, a typist in a police department typist during the 1920s.

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CELEB news: Keira Knightley in March 2013 Marie Claire

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Marie Claire feature

“I’m not sure I can define success. I think if I get to the end of my life having hurt as few people as possible, I will be happy, making sure that the people who mean the most to me know they’ve been loved. Success in work, whatever work, will come and go.”

“I like the fantasy of fashion. Creating a different person and dressing up like her. Putting on a flowery dress when it’s raining brightens up the world.”

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Entertainment Realm’s Picks for 15 Best Films of 2012

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Silver Linings Playbook
–brilliant film about mental illness. darkly engrossing and stirring.
Directed by: David O. Russell
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro
Screenplay by: Chris Terrio

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Moonrise Kingdom
–young love/ first love. so sweet. this film is absolutely charming.
Directed by: Wes Anderson
Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman
Screenplay by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola

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Anna Karenina
–gorgeous adaptation of Anna Karenina.
Directed by: Joe Wright
Starring: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald,
Screenplay by: Tom Stoppard

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The Deep Blue Sea
–how could I not like a film about unrequited love and depression and suicide? intense and lovely.
Directed by: Terence Davies
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Simon Russell Beale
Screenplay by: Terence Davies

beasts of the southern wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild
— poignant and magical film.
Directed by: Benh Zeitlin
Starring: Quevenzhane Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly, Gina Montana
Screenplay by: Benh Zeitlin & Lucy Alibar

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Take this Waltz
–beautiful film about love and the choices we make.
Directed by: Sarah Polley
Starring: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Sarah Silverman, Luke Kirby
Screenplay by: Sarah Polley

Argo

Argo
–intense. based on outrageous true-story.
Directed by: Ben Affleck
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman
Screenplay by: Chris Terrio

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Damsels in Distress
–witty, brutal, intelligent, dark and amusing.
Directed by: Whit Stillman
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody, Carrie MacLemore, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Analeigh Tipton
Screenplay by: Whit Stillman

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Friends with Kids
–sharply observant and funny.
Directed by: Jennifer Westfeldt
Starring: Jennifer Westfeldt, Adam Scott, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, Kristen Wiig
Screenplay by: Jennifer Westfeldt

perks of being a wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
–fantastic film about fitting in and coming to terms with ones quirkiness.
Directed by: Stephen Chbosky
Starring: Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Logan Lerman, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh
Screenplay by: Stephen Chbosky

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Your Sister’s Sister
–thoughtful and perceptive.
Directed by: Lynn Shelton
Starring: Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mark Duplass
Screenplay by: Lynn Shelton

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Ruby Sparks
–clever and whimsical.
Directed by: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
Starring: Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano, Annette Bening
Screenplay by: Zoe Kazan

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The Intouchables
–heart-warming true story. amusing and extremely inspiring.
Directed by: Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
Starring: François Cluzet, Omar Sy
Screenplay by: Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano

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Lola Versus
–one of the best films EVER about being a single woman. honest, strong and poignant.
Directed by: Daryl Wein
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Zoe Lister Jones, Hamish Linklater
Written by: Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister Jones

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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
–something charming and sweet. and Yemen without terrorism–refreshing.
Directed by: Lasse Hallström
Starring: Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Kristin Scott Thomas, Amr Waked
Screenplay by: Simon Beaufoy

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Anna Karenina: THE ultimate fall film to see

starring:

Keira Knightley
Jude Law
Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Matthew Macfadyen
Kelly Macdonald
Michelle Dockery
Emily Watson
Olivia Williams

director: Joe Wright

opens in theatres November 16

stills:

trailer:

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some favorite films about love [not always happy] for Valentine’s Day

Though I rarely have a valentine on Valentine’s Day and am not a particular fan of the holiday, I’m hopeful to find LOVE someday. Here are some of my favorite love stories on film.

Brokeback Mountain
“I can’t quit you.” That just says it all. Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger show what unconditional love is all about.

Love & Sex
Kate [Famke Janssen] is a magazine writer given the assignment to write about love and sex: a guide for single women. She hasn’t dated since she broke up with Adam [Jon Favreau]. In writing the article she recalls past romances and Adam keeps coming back. It’s hysterical and Janssen and Favreau are great together.

Romeo & Juliet
Shakepeare’s classic story of star-crossed lovers gets the updated treatment with Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
When a romance goes awry, would you want to erase all memories of it and that person you loved? That is the unique concept behind writer Charlie Kaufman’s script. Under the astute direction of Michel Gondry, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, starring Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, ranks as one of my favorite films. It is a fabulous and romantic film. It’s amazing and thoughtful and the performances are brilliant all around [Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo and Elijah Wood].

The Apartment
Love Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon together here. Such a romantic classic and it won Best Picture in 1960. Fran [MacLaine] is an elevator operator in CC. “Bud” [Lemmon] Baxter’s office building. She keeps having affairs with married men. Bud falls for Fran and wants to protect her at all costs.
“That’s the way it crumbles . . . cookie-wise.”

Roman Holiday
Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn together. I need not say much more. Audrey won an Oscar for her performance as a rebellious princess who sets off to explore Rome on her own. She meets an American newspaper reporter who wants a real scoop. He pretends he doesn’t know who she is to get the story but then they fall in love. Oh so romantic!

Love and Basketball
Friends since they were children, both Monica [Sanaa Lathan] and Quincy [Omar Epps] are ace basketball players. Both make very different decisions about their relationship, the sport and their academic careers. It’s a fantastic sports film and feminist love story [written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood].
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Kate & Leopold
Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman make time travel so appealing. Do you ever wonder if you were born at the wrong time or in the wrong place? I’ve thought about it. This is a fun and sweet film.

Pride & Prejudice
Keira Knightley stars as Lizzie Bennet in this Jane Austen classic. This is probably my favorite adaptation [excluding the miniseries with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth].

Possession
Two literary scholars are studying Victorian poets who had an affair. This brings together Maud [Gwyneth Paltrow] and Roland [Aaron Eckhart] as they attempt to uncover the mystery of the Victorian affair. Based on the wonderful novel by A.S. Byatt.

The Whole Wide World
Writer Robert Howard [Vincent D’Onofrio] created the Conan the Barbarian series. This is the true story of his love affair with a small town school teacher Novalyne Price [Renee Zellweger].

Before Sunrise/ Before Sunset
It’s imperative that you do a double feature of these Richard Linklater romantic films starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

Once
A brokenhearted street musician [Glen Hansard] meets a keyboardist [Marketa Irglova] and for a week they make music together and fall in love. The soundtrack is spectacular too.

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DVD review: The Duchess

Loved this film with its lush, elaborate, bold, scrumptious plot and script and divine costuming. Keira Knightley [Atonement, Pride and Prejudice] does a stellar job as 18th century Duchess of Devonshire, Georgiana [a distant relative to Princess Diana]. At a mere 16-years-old, her parents married her off to the much older Duke of Devonshire, but she was far more interested in politics and sporting events. She liked neither the rules expected of her title nor her boorish husband [the talented Ralph Fiennes [The Reader, The English Patient], quite stuffy in this role]. Not only did her husband ignore her most of the time and make little of her ideas and opinions [she spoke out quite often in mixed company], make demands on her for male heirs [the norm at the time] but he blatantly cheated on her time and again, going so far as having his mistress live in the home with he and the Duchess.

After putting up with his affairs for years and “disappointing” him by giving birth to two daughters, she had an affair of her own with an aspiring politician [Dominic Cooper of Mamma Mia!] who later became Prime Minister. The Duke gave her an impossible choice: give up the guy or her children. Despite the strong-willed, independent nature of the Duchess, she remained devoted to her children.

The Duchess is a delight– an artful piece of film.

GRADE: B+

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