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LFF '11 Review: 'Wild Bill' Is An Immensely Likable Directorial Debut From Dexter Fletcher

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 23, 2011 5:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments
For whatever reason, directorial debuts by British character actors tend to lean towards the gritty kitchen-sink drama; Tim Roth, Gary Oldman and, more recently, Paddy Considine have all broken their filmmaking cherry with uncompromisingly tough, bleak subject matter. Considering that it involves abandonment, council estates and the risk of being taken into care, one might be forgiven for expecting the same from Dexter Fletcher's first film, "Wild Bill." But then, Fletcher's best known for being one of the central quartet, alongside Jason Statham, Jason Flemyng and Nick Moran, in Guy Ritchie's debut "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," and for appearing frequently in Matthew Vaughn's pictures, so could Fletcher have turned out some kind of guns and geezers movie instead?

Review: British Urban Melodrama 'Broken Lines' With Paul Bettany Falters, Fails To Convince

  • By Sam Price
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  • September 26, 2011 3:11 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There’s a familiar, some would say endless, argument about the British film industry: that the films it produces are essentially afraid of tackling the present and pressing contemporary issues. British directors, or at least the companies that finance their films, have rarely tried to engage with the shock of the now, and instead remain happy to retreat into a comfortable, mindless and nostalgic past that probably never existed in the first place. The recent riots that rocked the capital, for instance, or the fall-out from the News International hacking scandal are subjects less likely to be turned into a feature film than, say, something like “Notting Hill 2,” or any another mythological and monocultural representation of London or -- God forbid -- one of the country's other major cities. Occasionally someone comes along with a stick and pokes the ruling classes in the eye (think “The Shooting Party” or “Gosford Park”) but screenplays penned by Julian Fellowes can hardly be considered the stuff of breath-taking dynamism. When the Brits aren’t churning out benign pictures about a benign royal dynasty (hello, “The Queen” and “The King’s Speech”) or enlisting scads of former theatre directors (Richard Eyre, Stephen Daldry, Nicolas Hytner, Sam Mendes) to blandly recreate their deferential attitude towards bland material, they make shockingly poor gangster pictures that would make even a hack like Guy Ritchie blush.

Emily Watson and Alicia Vikander Added To Joe Wright's 'Anna Karenina;' Saoirse Ronan & Others Out

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 8, 2011 8:47 AM
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  • 3 Comments
As Promised, Keira Knightley, Jude Law & Aaron Johnson To StarWell, Joe Wright and Focus Features have locked down the cast for their lavish adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel "Anna Karenina," and it seems like a full house of talent – in addition to the already confirmed Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Matthew Mcfadyen ("Pride & Prejudice") and Olivia Williams, the film has added Domhnall Gleeson ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"), Alicia Vikander ("The Seventh Son"), Emily Watson, and Ruth Wilson (BBC series "Luther").

'Rushmore' Reunion? Olivia Williams Frontrunner To Play Bill Murray's Wife In 'Hyde Park On Hudson'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 8, 2011 6:03 AM
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  • 5 Comments
What else can we say about the lovely and talented Olivia Williams except that she's consistently great in pretty much anything she's in. Most American audiences became familiar with her she when she starred in Wes Anderson's sophomore effort "Rushmore" and it looks like a reunion of sorts with another cast member is in the works.

Andrea Riseborough, Matthew Macfadyen & Olivia Williams Join Joe Wright's 'Anna Karenina'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 3, 2011 2:22 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Benedict Cumberbatch Out, Choosing To Do Brit WWI-era Mini-seriesIt's been a while since we've heard anything on Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" -- mostly because the press rounds for "Hanna" have ended -- but today comes a fresh bit of casting news about the film. But before we get to that, let's just re-cap for a second shall we? Last fall, came first word that Keira Knightley would re-team with her "Atonement" and "Pride & Prejudice" director for the film. Then, this spring, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson came aboard with Joe Wright later saying that Kelly Macdonald and Benedict Cumberbatch had joined the film, and that he was waiting on Saoirse Ronan and James McAvoy to confirm.

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