December 4, 2009 |
He was the celebrated author of "War and Peace," but the last years of Leo Tolstoy's life were all war and no peace. The savage rivalry for his attention and legacy between his redoubtable wife and his craftiest disciple that overshadowed his final days has now been turned into a showcase for tasty acting by performers who really know how to sink their teeth into roles. Under the accomplished direction of Michael Hoffman, who also wrote the script, "The Last Station" is well-acted across the board, but the film's centerpiece is the spectacular back and forth between Christopher Plummer as the great man, a count as well as a writer, and Helen Mirren as Sofya, his wife of 48 years and always a force to be reckoned with.
December 3, 2009 |
James McAvoy had to wait a few years for "The Last Station" to come together before he could play Valentin Bulgakov, personal secretary to exalted Russian writer and philosopher Leo Tolstoy. But when it finally did, with Christopher Plummer as Tolstoy, Helen Mirren as his long-suffering wife and Paul Giamatti his chief acolyte, with a script McAvoy loved (adapted by director Michael Hoffman from Jay Parini's novel), the Scottish actor found it all something to sneeze at. His character has the distracting habit of sneezing violently when nervous.
May 9, 2007 |
The queen won't be meeting "The Queen" just yet. Helen Mirren, who won an Academy Award this year for playing Queen Elizabeth II, has turned down an invitation to dinner at Buckingham Palace, a British newspaper reported. The Mail said Mirren had been invited to dine with the queen last week but sent her regrets because she is filming "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" in the United States.
March 30, 2007 |
Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren, the sexiest grande dame at this year's Academy Awards ceremony, is officially in on the secret. Mirren is joining leading man Nicolas Cage in "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," the sequel to Walt Disney Pictures' action-adventure directed by Jon Turteltaub and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. This mystery involves the assassination of President Lincoln, his assailant John Wilkes Booth -- and 18 pages missing from Booth's diary.
February 27, 2007 |
Helen Mirren, who won the best actress Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth II in "The Queen," may be invited to tea, Buckingham Palace said Monday. The film's director, Stephen Frears, has already suggested that he, Mirren and screenwriter Peter Morgan would visit the queen at the palace next month. "It is speculation, but we are looking at a number of options," a palace spokeswoman said Monday. As for Mirren's victory, "I'm sure that the queen will be pleased," the palace spokeswoman said.
January 16, 2007
No one cracks wise like the Brits, and they were in fine form Monday night. Backstage, even Helen Mirren told a naughty joke: You can tell if an Essex girl's had good sex, she said -- she "drops her fries." And if Mirren wins an Oscar for her performance in "The Queen"? "I'll definitely drop my fries then." JEREMY IRONS "Why is it that the jobs that are the most fun are the ones that give you the awards? It's like you don't deserve them. I was up against a [gob] of people ...
January 11, 2007 |
TO say that Helen Mirren is having a run that most performers only dream of is something of an understatement. In August, she won an Emmy for her performance in the HBO miniseries "Elizabeth I." And she's been the recipient of numerous honors from critics' groups, as well as receiving nominations for Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards, for her current turn as another British monarch -- Elizabeth II -- in the feature "The Queen."
December 20, 2006 |
PETER MORGAN is having an entire Hollywood career in the span of a few months. He wrote best picture contender "The Queen," adapted "The Last King of Scotland" for likely Oscar nominee Forest Whitaker and wrote the hit London play "Frost / Nixon," which Morgan will adapt for director Ron Howard. On a recent afternoon, the 43-year-old British writer was hardly the star attraction inside a West Hollywood restaurant. That honor went to Jennifer Lopez, seated two tables over. As more than a dozen paparazzi literally climbed over the restaurant's walls for a shot of the "Gigli" star, Morgan -- when he wasn't marveling over the photographers' pluck -- talked about what he calls his "insane, perfect storm" of a year.
November 8, 2006
The skinny: Helen Mirren's performance in "The Queen" is being heralded by critics. She received early kudos this summer at the Venice Film Festival. Will she sustain her hold on first place? *--* 1 Helen Mirren, "The Queen" 2 Penelope Cruz, "Volver" 3 Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal" 4 Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada" 5 Kate Winslet, "Little Children" *--* Log on to TheEnvelope.com for more of this week's Buzzmeter rankings.