The Playlist

The Essentials: The 5 Best Ewan McGregor Performances

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • June 2, 2011 6:42 AM
  • |
  • 22 Comments
After spending much of the last decade in some of the worst theatrically-released movies around ("Cassandra's Dream?" "Stay?" "Incendiary?" "Deception?" "Amelia?" "Angels & Demons?"), Mike Mills' "Beginners" seems to be the start of a new phase of Ewan McGregor's career. Not only is the film terrific, one of the years' best (read our review here), but McGregor's great in it, the best he's been in years.

The Importance Of Dogs To The Writing Process & More We Learned About Mike Mills' 'Beginners'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • June 2, 2011 6:12 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
As big fans of music video veteran Mike Mills' debut feature "Thumbsucker," we've been keenly awaiting a sophomore film from the director ever since, and when that film, "Beginners," premiered at Toronto last year, the word was comfortingly strong. But even that didn't quite prepare us for the experience of actually seeing it -- when we caught up with it for ourselves at SXSW, it immediately became one of our favorite films of the year thus far; our review said "it makes you sigh and swoon in equal measure."

Review: Mike Mills' 'Beginners' Is A Wonderfully Attuned & Empathetic Look At Love, Life & Grief

  • By The Playlist
  • |
  • June 2, 2011 2:19 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
The following is a reprint of our review that ran at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival.

SFIFF '11: Ewan McGregor & Mike Mills Talk The Sadness, Humor & Joy Of 'Beginners'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • April 25, 2011 2:34 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
On Thursday night at the historic Castro Theatre in San Francisco “Beginners,” the new film from director Mike Mills (“Thumbsucker”), kicked off the 54th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival. “Beginners” is a partially fictionalized account of Mills’ father, played here by Christopher Plummer, coming out of the closet as a septuagenarian. Ewan McGregor fills in for Mills himself as the character Oliver, who recounts the story of witnessing his father, Hal's transition to a gay lifestyle after living most of his adult life married to Oliver’s mother. Soon after Hal’s rebirth, he is diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer that leaves Oliver both caring for and being in awe of the man he realizes he never really knew.

En-Ra-Ha: Eddie Marsan Joins Bryan Singer's 'Jack The Giant Killer'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • April 15, 2011 12:58 PM
  • |
  • 5 Comments
We're never one to begrudge anyone a payday, particularly when they're a character actor who's toiled away in theater and TV for years and who's finally managed to get a big break. Which is why we're pleased to see Eddie Marsan working so consistently these days. The actor's been working since the late 80s, but the last decade has seen him go from strength to strength -- kicking off with serious, auteur-driven pictures like "Gangs of New York" and "21 Grams," he's gone on to crop up in the likes of "Mission Impossible 3," "Miami Vice," "Hancock" and "Sherlock Holmes," while still turning out terrific performances in the indie world, particularly with Mike Leigh, in "Vera Drake" and "Happy-Go-Lucky."

Gina Carano Beats Up Ewan McGregor In Set Pics From Steven Soderbergh's 'Haywire'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • March 11, 2011 5:07 AM
  • |
  • 12 Comments
Cliff Martinez Scoring 'Contagion'While we've lately been going off about the lack of quality female-led comedies with last year's "Easy A" and "Bridesmaids," "Bad Teacher" and "Friends With Benefits" on the way, it seems at least that gap will be filled for now. But another genre that has been largely void of strong female roles has been action films, but Steven Soderbergh is about to make a distinct impression in that field with his upcoming "Haywire."

Andrew Garfield & Ewan McGregor May Star In Rival Bank Robber Flicks 'The Robber' & 'Electric Slide'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • March 4, 2011 1:59 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
For over a century now, bank robbers have been an eternally popular choice of protagonists for film-makers: as we saw when we looked at the genre last year, countless great pictures have been made centering around heists, and the success of Ben Affleck's "The Town" proved that audiences still love to see armed robbery on their screens. There's more caper pictures in the works -- most notably Brett Ratner's comedy "Tower Heist," with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, and now two rival projects based around bank robbing look to be on the way.

Ewan McGregor In Talks For Bryan Singer's 'Jack The Giant Killer'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • February 25, 2011 1:37 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Adelaide Kane and Eleanor Tomlinson Latest Names Mentioned For Female LeadAfter a pair of scorching lead performances in two Danny Boyle films, "Shallow Grave" and "Trainspotting," it looked as though the world would be Ewan McGregor's oyster -- he was picked by George Lucas to play the key role of the young Obi-Wan in the Star Wars prequels, and it seemed as though a star had been born. But outside of those films, and the role he'll perhaps be best remembered for in future generations, as the lead in "Moulin Rouge" (which this writer believes wouldn't work anywhere near as well without the tonal dexterity displayed by the Scottish actor), he never stuck the landing: for the most part, his Hollywood leads in pictures like "The Island" and "Down With Love" were disappointments, and he made patchy choices away from the tentpole world too -- see, or rather don't, "Stay" and "Incendiary."

'Gnomeo & Julet' Director Kelly Asbury Talks the Narrative Quality of Elton John Songs

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • February 10, 2011 4:33 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Plus: His Take on the Nearly Endless Development Process & Why Everyone Gets Uptight About the Movie's EnglishnessDisney and Rocket Films' "Gnomeo & Juliet," opening nationwide this Friday, has had a storied production history that could be its own compelling film. The story of star-crossed lawn ornaments was set up as a joint Disney/Rocket Films production in the first part of the aughts, under the supervision of "Beauty and the Beast" co-director Gary Trousdale, with Kate Winslet and Ewan McGregor attached (they're now replaced by Emily Blunt and James McAvoy). The project fell apart, only to regain steam and be cut down again when Pixar's John Lasseter was installed, as the head of Disney's animation division (this was around the time he axed Chris Sanders' "American Dog," before neutering it and turning it into the toneless "Bolt"). The project was finally rescued by executive Dick Cook, who set it up not at Disney Animation proper, but with Miramax instead. Of course, with Miramax since being sold, Walt Disney are now taking on distribution duties for the film. At the end of all the back and forth, this take on the Shakespearean classic, thankfully, did not end in tragedy.

Trailer: Ewan McGregor & Christopher Plummer Charm Completely In Mike Mills' 'Beginners'

  • By Edward Davis
  • |
  • January 27, 2011 8:33 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
Why hello, favorite indie trailer of the year so far, how are you?

Email Updates

Recent Comments