Hugh Jackman Announces A World Tour!

Hugh Jackman has been teasing a special announcement lately and it’s had his fans going crazy at what it could be. Well, earlier today the man himself announced his plan of a world tour in 2019 in which he will perform songs from The Greatest Showman, Les Miserables, and more hits from Broadway and film.

The tour will kick off with 12 shows across Europe and the UK beginning Monday, May 13th in Hamburg, Germany at Barclaycard Arena, with stops in Amsterdam, Paris, Manchester, Dublin, and London, with two shows at The O2 Arena. The 22-city North American leg will begin Tuesday, June 18th at Toyota Center in Houston, TX, with stops in Chicago, Toronto, Boston, Las Vegas, and New York, with two shows at Madison Square Garden, as well as two performances at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Tickets for his one man tour go on sale 9am Friday 7th December and are available from the official tour website.

This is a show we definitely don’t want to miss!

26734.jpg

Advertisements

Oscars 2016: Best Picture Predictions

Written by Chris Winterbottom

It may be early, but with awards season kicking off, I thought I would share my tips for who will be nominated at the 2016 Academy Awards, which will be held on the 28th February. Last year’s winner of the award for Best Picture, ‘Birdman’, was part of an eight-strong group vying for that prestigious gold statuette, but the category can have up to ten films nominated. With that in mind, I’m predicting a nine horse race, considering the amount of interesting films still to be released before the big night.

And the nominees are…

Steve Jobs

After making the hugely enjoyable ‘Trance’, Danny Boyle is back to courting the big awards with this biopic of the Apple genius Steve Jobs. Michael Fassbender plays the titular character and with supporting actors in Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels, early reviews have suggested this is the one to watch. Personally, I am looking forward to this immensely; Danny Boyle is one of my favourite filmmakers and with a script penned by Aaron Sorkin, whose other works include the wonderful ‘The Social Network’, this film looks set to be a huge success both financially and critically.

Suffragette

This recent release has seen much of its acclaim directed towards the acting performances; I am sure Carey Mulligan in particular will at least be nominated for Best Actress at the awards ceremony next February. I haven’t seen the film, but with Jennifer Lawrence’s recent essay on sexism in Hollywood, and the regular calls of discontent at the amount of roles for women and the pay they receive when they come along, I feel the Academy will include the film in the Best Picture category to acknowledge female filmmakers’ cries for equality, regardless of its quality.

Sicario

This Denis Villeneuve film is one of my favourites of the year so far. Currently, I would like ‘Sicario’ to win the award for Best Picture, but I haven’t seen the majority of the other potential nominees so it is too early to put fully commit. That said, the film is a brilliant piece of visceral, shocking and tense filmmaking. There may be nominations for its cast too, particularly for Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro, and Roger Deakins is sure to win the Best Cinematography award for the first time. For now, ‘Sicario’ is an outsider, but we shall see what will happen in the coming months.

Inside Out

This may prove a controversial choice to some, considering no animated film has ever won Best Picture, but the amount of positive reviews for this Disney-Pixar effort may sway Academy voters. This is another film which I am yet to see, and I have to say that it is one of my big film regrets this year. I suspect that ‘Inside Out’ is the animated film most likely to pick up the Best Picture gong in February, but it still remains a big outsider. However, it was not so long ago that the majestic ‘Toy Story 3’ picked up the nomination for Best Picture, with ‘Up’ achieving this feat the year before.

Bridge Of Spies

Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and The Cold War? I’m predicting this film will receive the most nominations of all at the 2016 Academy Awards. But I feel this movie will pull an ‘American Hustle’ – receive the most nominations, including Best Picture, but then fail to win anything. Whilst it has a chance in the Best Costume and Best Make Up categories, and maybe some of the technical categories, I just don’t feel like the ‘Bridge Of Spies’ campaign will gain enough momentum.

The Hateful Eight

Tarantino’s last two films, ‘Inglourious Basterds’ (I know it’s spelled wrong) and ‘Django Unchained’ both received Best Picture nominations, and I am certain his latest effort will deliver him another. The film’s official release date is the 8th January 2016 in the USA, which would have made this ineligible, but with a limited release on Christmas Day, I’m confident that ‘The Hateful Eight’ will be nominated. The release date is telling; films with a release date around January and February here in the UK are often the big contenders when it comes to awards. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be Tarantino’s most financially successful film, even surpassing ‘Django Unchained’, but like his previous couple of movies, I don’t think it’ll win the Best Picture award.

The Revenant

Will Leonardo Di Caprio finally win the elusive Oscar for Best Actor? Many seem to think it’ll be his year, but I think the great man will have to wait at least another year. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu enjoyed big success at last year’s ceremony with ‘Birdman’, but I think he will receive something of a muted backlash for ‘The Revenant’, at least in terms of its critical reaction. However, The Academy love Inarritu and because of this, I believe the film will be competing for the Best Picture award. More likely though, I think we could see Emmanuel Lubezki pick up another statue for his cinematography work. For those that have seen the trailer, it already looks to be a visually stunning film.

Hail, Caesar!

The Coen Brothers are back with ‘Hail, Caesar!’, a musical-comedy satirising Hollywood. The film has a 1950’s setting, during Hollywood’s golden era, and features a fantastic cast including Scarlett Johansson. This film will be the main competition for Danny Boyle’s ‘Steve Jobs’. It will certainly challenge in terms of the technical awards, like Best Editing, but in my opinion the film will most likely pick the Best Director(s) award. The Coen Brothers are no strangers to award nominations, after the receiving a whole spate of them for ‘No Country For Old Men’, ‘True Grit’ and ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’.

The Danish Girl

I am a big admirer of Tom Hooper, particularly for his work on the underrated ‘The Damned United’. But his rise to the top, in terms of British filmmakers, has come off the back of ‘The Kings Speech’ and ‘Les Miserables’. You only have to look at the poster for this movie to know that this is an unashamed, Oscar-bait project. I don’t feel like this will be much of a success at the Oscars in February, but having said that I didn’t think ‘Gravity’ would either. Sometimes there are surprises, and I am sure Redmayne will receive another Best Actor nomination for his defiant, cross-dressing role, but my gut instinct is that the film will slip under the radar somewhat.

So there you have it – my predictions for the Best Picture category. Of course, this list may well be wrong and even if it is, it does not necessarily represent the year’s best films. I often find that The Academy is completely wrong in its choices; like Christopher Nolan being ignored twice, for ‘Inception’ and ‘Interstellar’. We are talking about an awards ceremony which snubbed ‘Citizen Kane’, after all. But there is no getting around the fact that the Oscars are the most prestigious of awards ceremonies, and I think in 2016 we will see Danny Boyle and his film ‘Steve Jobs’ be the triumphant victor.

Kenton Hall

Kenton Hall is a Canadian-born writer, actor, director and musician. A Jack of all trades, and a master of most, we must say. Kenton has appeared in films such as ‘Les Miserables’, ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ and ‘The Theory Of Everything’, but our focus today is his brainchild – the fantastic comedy for and about children – ‘A Dozen Summers’. 

Interview by Jakob Lewis Barnes

Q. They say you should never work with kids, yet you chose to work with a cast full of them for ‘A Dozen Summers’. First of all, are you crazy? And why did you choose to make this casting decision?
A. Well, first of all, I think that, at the heart of this warning not to work with children is the idea that it is somehow, more difficult. To which I can only reply: Yes, it is difficult. It requires an enormous amount of concentration, attention and care from everyone involved to ensure that you foster a creative environment that both caters to a young cast’s needs and gets the best possible version of the film in the can. But that’s as it should be. It’s supposed to be difficult. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. And the rewards – seeing young performers blossom, without the jaded attitude that, sadly, too many older actors seem to develop and, most of all, being reminded that it may be hard work, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun – more than make up for the difficulty. Besides, anyone else would have been too tall. 
Q. You gave the lead roles to your daughters, Scarlet and Hero Hall. How did you find the experience of switching between dad and director?
A. One of the best things about writing the script had been talking to them about what I was trying to accomplish with the story, so when they screen-tested and I realised they understood the roles, it was a joy to continue working with them. Again, not without difficulty, but far more joy. I do think it will be interesting to see how different their performances are, when directed by someone else, as they move on to other projects. I suspect even better.
Q. You played the role of the girls’ dad in the film too. How close to the real Kenton Hall is the character of Henry McCormack?
A. I had a long talk with Sarah Warren, who plays Jacqueline, the girls’ mum in the film, during which I basically told her that the character of Jacqueline was actually closer to me than Henry. Wanting to do the right thing, trying their best, but not always sure where to start. She gets there, eventually, and I hope I have too. Henry is who I aspire to me; much more clued up, but still annoying.
Q. Colin Baker offers his vocal chords as the narrator for ‘A Dozen Summers’, how did the collaboration with the former Doctor Who star materialise?
A. I met Colin on another set – a short film by Rhys Davies called ‘Finding Richard’. Completely by coincidence, I was in the middle of casting for ‘A Dozen Summers’ and he was top of my list for The Narrator. As it happens, we met and struck up a conversation and I asked if he’d mind looking at a script if I sent it to his people. He agreed and, earning my eternal gratitude, signed up to do the film. Like a lot of legends, I think people forget how good he actually is, what enormous control of his voice he has and how funny he is. I love his audio work for ‘Big Finish’ in particular, which fans of ‘Doctor Who’ and, basically, fans of great storytelling and performance should seek out and purchase immediately. 
Eight years previously, unbeknownst to him, he had also been very kind to Hero, who plays Daisy, and she’d kept a signed picture of the sixth Doctor by her bedside ever since, so it just felt right on every level.
Q. There are plenty of positive messages conveyed throughout the film. How important do you think it is for young viewers to hear and see these things?
A. I think it’s important to present positive messages in a manner that children don’t find patronising. We do that too often – “Hey kids, positive message coming up! Pay attention now! Don’t litter!” – as though they’re only children, they don’t know any better. Children are smart. They are instinctive. They take their own lives very seriously. The mistake we make is assuming that because we don’t have the same priorities as them, that somehow their concerns are of intrinsically lesser value. We need to guide children because they have less experience – that’s the true purpose of all education – to expand internal and external experience. But if we haven’t learned from our own experiences, they’ll cry hypocrite and quite rightly so. So, we tried to make a film that has positive messages about family, friendship and the colossal tapestry of human variance, but one of its most positive messages, I hope, is: “We’re listening.” 
Q. What would you like viewers to take from the film?
A. A desire to buy the DVD? Sorry. Didn’t mean to say that out loud. A moth just crawled out of my wallet and I got distracted. First of all, I hope it provides 90 minutes of audiences – adults and children alike – laughing together. That’s not a small thing. I’d be so humbled by that. I know my best memories – as a child and as an adult – are of sharing laughter. I also hope that the children watching feel that someone knows that they’re not just their age going on some other age. They have to live in the moment, they have to be who they are in the moment. It’s a being-of-age movie. And I hope the adults try to remember that when they talk to their children too. That’s what I learned from writing it, and I’m still trying. 
Q. Can you tell us anything about your future projects?
A. There are a couple of scripts in the pipeline. My heart is with ‘A Dozen Summers’ at the moment, but there are a couple of stories scratching at the door and mewling. Both comedies of varying hues. I shan’t say anymore. This is providing that anyone lets me make another one. There might be a petition against me once this one comes out. Not every film I make will be for younger audiences, but it’s certainly something I’d like to do again when I have another idea that feels as important to me.  
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you can offer aspiring filmmakers?
A. Never assume that you deserve success because you worked out which end of the camera to point at the actors. It’s the audience that deserves something – your best. Your best story, your best shot, your best performances. And also, some part of you in the story. Otherwise, there’s no connection and that’s neglecting the true magic of cinema. Wow, that got pretentious fast, my bad!

The delightful ‘A Dozen Summers’ is released in selected cinemas in the UK on 21st August 2015, so find it and watch it! You can read our review of this film here. Hunt down Kenton Hall on Twitter @KentonHall and whilst you’re at it, keep up with the film @ADozenSummers